Installing 30 waps

Soldato
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Hi all,

We have a client who has a hotel with 30 rooms and they have bought one of these for each room:

ZyXEL ZyAIR NWA-3100 - Radio access point

I was just wondering how you guys would recommend setting these up for best performance?

They have existing wireless in communal areas.

The only requirement is that every guest can easily get wireless Internet access. Against our advice they want this unsecured.

Someone suggested having 30 SSIDs one for each room, but there aren't 30 channels and I'm concerned about interference so was considering one huge SSID that is the same as the communal one.

/edit I forgot to mention that each room has it's own Ethernet port patched into a procurve switch and connected to the optional network on their watchguard firewall. This will be configured to use a new separate Internet connection that has been installed purely for the guests to use for free.

Any thoughts?


Thanks,

G
 
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Soldato
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Not that it matters but SSIDs and wireless channels have little to do with each other.

If they want it unsecured then put your objections down on paper and have them sign something that will avoid any potential liability issues at a later date.

I’d look at creating a single wireless network (with wireless isolation between the clients). This could be an extension of the existing communal access, or it could be kept separate.

An access point per room seems like massive overkill. The kit mentioned is EOL so maybe it came cheap. The normal approach would be to plan the network, and then purchase suitable kit.

There’s a good chance the entire project could turn into an expensive train wreck. Is walking away from it a viable option?
 
Soldato
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There’s a good chance the entire project could turn into an expensive train wreck. Is walking away from it a viable option?

What makes you say that? Walking away is not an option.
 
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Soldato
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What makes you say that? Walking away is not an option.

It doesn't seem like you are too clued up on wireless technology for business. (Edit: I'd run a million miles anyway.)

But anyway, to help you a bit... Use the same SSID on all access points and use the non overlapping channels 1, 6 and 11. Try to distance each channel as much as possible.

Also, you should do a wireless survey to identify where the APs need to be.
 
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Soldato
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Turns out the waps are wap3205's is there any reason we can't just have them all set to the same SSID with the channel set to the same on all and the mode to universal repeaters?
 
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It doesn't seem like you are too clued up on wireless technology for business. (Edit: I'd run a million miles anyway.)

Agree, imo this should be left to somebody else.

A WPA-Enterprise is surely the best solution for this.

DO NOT let them put unsecured wireless in rooms, huge security risks involved with it.
 
Man of Honour
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Ouch... you only need 1 maybe 2-3 repeaters max unless the building is really tricky to get signal around...

I'm a little out of date with my wireless LAN stuff but it used to be to that the more people active + the more repeaters you had the slower speeds would get, 30 APs all working as repeaters would crawl to a halt with more than a couple of people using them. (Even more so than a dozen guests all using wireless at the same time from 1 AP or spread over 3-4 channels).
 
Soldato
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You want all the SSID's the same, but have them on different channels.

Obviously there aren't 30 Channels, but you wouldn't want a channel 2 one next to a channel 1 one - try and keep a good separation. I'd do it something like 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10.
 
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For repeater mode they need the same channel indeed. Surely you dont need that many to get around the building?

WPA-E Is fairly simple, just assign them a username/password and set up a background RADIUS server, nothing tricky about entering it when connecting.
 
Soldato
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You want all the SSID's the same, but have them on different channels.

Obviously there aren't 30 Channels, but you wouldn't want a channel 2 one next to a channel 1 one - try and keep a good separation. I'd do it something like 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10, 1, 6, 11, 2, 7, 10.

Keep to just 1, 6 and 11. Any other will cause interference as the frequencies overlap. Cisco Access points in autonomous mode have a setting called channel least congested, maybe they will have the same. This will save you having to work out which channel is least noisy for each access point.


Turns out the waps are wap3205's is there any reason we can't just have them all set to the same SSID with the channel set to the same on all and the mode to universal repeaters?

Am I right in understand in your OP, you said there was a network point in each room? If so, use this and don't use repeaters. Remember wireless technology is half duplex (can talk or listen) and all bandwidth is shared between all connected hosts.


I personally wouldn't worry about encryption. Not your problem if they don't want it.
 
Soldato
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Keep to just 1, 6 and 11. Any other will cause interference as the frequencies overlap. Cisco Access points in autonomous mode have a setting called channel least congested, maybe they will have the same. This will save you having to work out which channel is least noisy for each access point.




Am I right in understand in your OP, you said there was a network point in each room? If so, use this and don't use repeaters. Remember wireless technology is half duplex (can talk or listen) and all bandwidth is shared between all connected hosts.


I personally wouldn't worry about encryption. Not your problem if they don't want it.

Yeah each room is wired, this universal repeater mode claims to make each on work as an access point and a repeater, so we should have redundancy should any fail or any Ethernet cables get unplugged etc fingers crossed.

These was don't scan for congestion like the ciscos, will see if I can find some software to do a survey.
 
Soldato
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redundancy

I really wouldn't bother, especially if it means they have to be on the same channel.

If you are concerned about having APs fail having holes in the coverage, install each AP close enough together so there is another one in connectible range. This way you will be covered if the actual AP fails.
 

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Use ESSID and set channels to 1,6,11. Do these AP's allow for a controller? I cant help but think you'd be in a much better place with 30 AP's and a controller, i.e. Cisco 1131's and a WISM, that way they are just dumb AP's. Minimal configuration too.
 
Man of Honour
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Yeah each room is wired, this universal repeater mode claims to make each on work as an access point and a repeater, so we should have redundancy should any fail or any Ethernet cables get unplugged etc fingers crossed.

These was don't scan for congestion like the ciscos, will see if I can find some software to do a survey.

www.metageek.net/products/inssider is pretty good for manually getting an idea of whats going on in the area wireless network wise.
 
Soldato
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We did end up using inssider so thanks for that. The whole thing is incomplete at the moment as the guy from BT who was putting in the guest Internet line didn't rock up until 18:45.

The watchguard didn't seem to like giving out dhcp through all these access points, so we are going to bypass the watchguard when the new line goes live and have the LAN port on their draytek 2830 do dhcp to see if we have more luck.

We installed 20 waps in the end so far but at least 5 seem to have already been turned off by guests as we couldn't connect to them before we had to leave.

Ball ache of a job as a lot of you suggested but regretfully one I had no choice about and no involvement in at any stage before actually putting the kit in :(

If it had been down to me I probably would have got 6 cisco aironets, one at esch end of each floor and used that to cover it instead of a shed load of £45 units :(

I would have had new LAN ports installed in the hallways at each end for the aironets to plug into and had not one part of this in the rooms. But then I would have also had it all wpa2 (aes) too so what do I know? lol
 
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