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Need help with a new network config


craZak

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Hiya,

I work for a small firm (15-20 users all UK based) who is going to be moving office in the next month or so. We have no infrastructure at all in the new office (no network ports etc).

We dont have any servers coming into the new building with us either as we are a cloud based company, absolutely everything we need is hosted somewhere for us.

As such internet access is paramount to us and I need to design a wireless network which will be both resilient and as fast as I can possible get it.

We should be in a BT fiber area come March the 1st (if I trust anything BT say) so I would like to concentrate on how to get the most out of our fiber connection.

Currently we have 1 ADSL2+ with BT and another with Plusnet both will be upgraded to fiber once the exchange is upgraded.

My current thought is to have two wireless access points that load balance between the two incomming connections (if this is possible?) so I have resilence if one AP dies, or if one internet line dies.

I guess my question for you would be how should I implement this, what hardware should I be looking at? should I run cat6 or fiber to the access points? Is there a way of getting two ISP's into the building using different exchanges (we have had the exchange go down previously which took out both BT and Plusnet).

in a nutshell, i need hardware and cable to create a resilient and as fast as possible wireless network for 15-20 laptop users. Currently there isnt a budget, so I want to concentrate on the best possible, and probably be brought down a peg from the bosses!

any light you can shed would be awesome, thanks

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mgmcc

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Are you aware that, with wireless networking, the available bandwidth is shared by the computers connected to the Wireless Access Point? This is unlike a wired ethernet network where all connections will have the full 100Mbps speed (1000Mbps with Gigabit) of the network switch.

I would think that with two Wireless Access Points and up to 10 users connecting to each, the whole network is going to grind to a halt, particularly if all files need to be accessed over the internet.

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craZak

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Thanks for your reply mgmcc,

We currently operate in this manner, with 1 or 2 users connecting via a cable. With no infrastructure coming to the new building with us we have no choice but to use wireless. would the 5ghz band provide a better throughput?

Or should I get multiple internet lines in connected to seperate AP's and have some form of load balancing between them?

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mgmcc

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To be honest, I've no knowledge or experience of the 5GHz band, but you would still have the issue of multiple computers sharing the available bandwidth of a wireless connection.

"Or should I get multiple internet lines in connected to separate AP's"

You don't need multiple internet lines if your broadband service's bandwidth is sufficient to meet your requirements. What you could do is to connect additional Wireless Access Points to the router's LAN ports and share the wireless computer connections over the various Wireless Access Points.

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craZak

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how would I direct certain computers to certain access points, i'm guessing different SSID's but that sounds very fiddly to manage?

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mgmcc

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Yes, that's it. The different Access Points would have their own SSID and the computers would select which SSID to connect to.

It isn't really fiddly, you give each Access Point its own SSID, which can be as simple as Work1, Work2 etc, and then the computers connect to whichever SSID has been allocated to them.

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