setting up wi-fi over 5 story apartment bldg

April 19, 2010 at 11:44:40
Specs: Various version
I'm kinda new to networking and I want to
setup a wireless network over our apartment
bulding. the purpose of this network is to
provide internet connectivity to households.
there are 12 flats in this apartment (there will
be 12 users) and it has 5 stories. the internet
service cost is calculated per KB of transfer.
so there should be a system to count
transfered data of each user. and also it would
be appropriate to have a system to limit
bandwidth of each user.

can anybody help me please with hardware
and software needed?

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April 19, 2010 at 14:24:35
Get 5 Wireless Access Points 1 Managed Switch and 1 router. You will need some 5 CAT5e wires one run to each unit that will combine in the location of your ISPs hookup. On the managed switch setup 5 VLANs to seperate the trafic or if you have never worked with VLANs then you could simply setup separate passwords for each wireless access points. Then give each unit the password that belongs to their unit only.

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April 19, 2010 at 14:52:39
You're overthinking this ace.

One access point or wireless SOHO router could facilitate 12 users at one time. However, 2 AP's would be better for that number since I'm sure 12 on one AP would cause a noticeable loss of bandwidth for everybody connected.

With 5 floors, your idea of putting one on each floor makes sense. Wireless clients will always connect to the strongest signal. With one AP on each floor, the people living on each floor will connect automatically to the AP on their floor, without forcing them to do so since the AP on their floor will have the strongest signal from their point of view. I'd be willing to bet on that.

A managed switch is overkill. I could do this with a SOHO Router, an 8 port unmanaged switch and 4 AP's. I'd use a wireless router and that would be the AP for that floor

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April 19, 2010 at 22:01:02
thank you for your reply.
as i said i'm an amateur so I didn't get it. why we need 1
switch and 1 router? i'm assuming all 5 AP's are connected to
a router via CAT5's. and the router is also connected to the
internet. can you please explain it to me?

and one more question: in each floor there are 4 users so i
want every access point to have 4 user accounts to track every user's internet usage separately. is that possible?
thanks again.

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April 20, 2010 at 05:58:54
Actually, now that I think about it, a wireless capable SOHO Router with 4 LAN ports would work without the switch since that gives you enough LAN ports for the AP's.

First, you get your router connected to the internet and working. You then configure the wireless network on it. Then you connect your 4 AP's via ethernet cable (be it Cat5e or Cat6) and configure them.

and one more question: in each floor there are 4 users so i want every access point to have 4 user accounts to track every user's internet usage separately. is that possible?

Sorry but I can't help you with this. We don't track usage at work for employees so I have no experience with that. The best advice I can give you on this is to look at different SOHO Routers and AP's and see if any of them are able to track usage. If they are, go with those devices (remember, you can always configure a router for use as an access point)

To be honest, I'm not sure why you'd want to go through all the extra hassle of tracking. I'd charge a flat fee and stick something in there to limit bandwidth in case any of your users, or their children, try to hog up all the bandwidth using file sharing app's like limewire.

Regardless of pay-for-play like you're talking about, it's not fair to the "regular" users to never have bandwidth available to them because you have a couple clients running point-to-point software (like limewire) that hog all the bandwidth.

Trust me on this, if I was a client of yours (ie: lived in your building) and could never get bandwidth because you don't limit people like that, I'd be all over you like ugly on an ape.

In the end, I'd just get my own provider and not bother with your service. Chances are I'd get better bandwidth with less hassles for less money. Keep in mind, there are already a lot of ISP's out there providing internet and you're trying to reinvent the wheel. The ONLY benefit you could provide to people in your building is if you can give them good bandwidth at a better price than they could get from any other provider.

Just some food for thought before you go spending a bunch of money on this. Personally, I couldn't be bothered as it's just one more thing you have to take care of in your condo's. Better to let them get their own service from whomever they want and you don't have the hassles of calls at 3 am because, "There's no internet and I want to check my email"

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