WLAN coverage, 24 machines

OoteROoteR Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello all,

I'm in the midst of getting ready to place a few AP's in a small building to cover for a 24 piece roaming laptop cart...

I can get the coverage I need out of 3 or 4 AP's (I need to do some testing, thanks Droid/Wifi Analyzer) but my main concern is getting AP's that can handle having 24 machines connected to them at one time with WPA2.

I really have to do this on a budget, (say under $1k if possible, $500 would be more ideal)

Anyone have suggestions for the hardware?

HP would be great, and N capability is a plus, not a requirement..

2k11 Goals:
VCP - Currently Studying
MCITP:EA - 620 (done)


  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,744 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I would recommend asking questions on www.cwnp.com as well. They have a great wireless forum on their web site, and I am sure someone there can give you an excellent answer.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think you're going to have more issues with available bandwidth than simply the number of machines associated with an AP. You have to consider that actual throughput is about half of the state speed, so 802.11G will only give you about 27mb of available throughput. That might get spread pretty thin with 24 devices connected to it. You may want to go above your 3-4 number and use more with a smaller area of coverage to provide better throughput. If all those devices are together, you could have two cover the same area on different channels and then put half of the devices on each.

    That's a really small budget for wireless. You may end up with soho stuff like Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, etc. You can hit $500+ on a single AP from Cisco, Aruba, etc.

    Do you want to do roaming between those, or can they just associate with different APs as needed? You're going to need a wireless controller for more advanced configurations, and that's going to obliterate your budget by itself.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    I've heard good things about the Cisco AP 541N. A colleague of mine has deployed sets of 2 in two places supporting 15-20 people and they've worked great. He's running them in N-mode, not mixed, where mixed is the cause for the only bad review I've seen of them, which is on Amazon. I've used several Cisco AP's in different scenarios in mixed-mode, all have failed, so if you're using mixed, don't buy anything Cisco is my recommendation.

    They can cluster without a controller:
    Advanced clustering intelligence: Clustering is the ability of a wireless access point to form a dynamic, configuration-aware group (called a cluster) with other similarly designed access points in the same network and subnet. All access points in the cluster self-organize, cloning configuration settings from one access point to another and balancing wireless channels to minimize radio interference. The cluster also provides a single point of administration, allowing you to configure and manage all access points as a single wireless network, rather than as a collection of individual devices -- without the need for a wireless controller. Types of information shared within the cluster include:
    – Wireless network identifier (SSID)
    – Security features, such as encryption settings, access lists, and MAC address filters
    – User names and passwords
    – Quality of service (QoS) settings
    – Radio settings
    – Wireless interface settings
    – Guest welcome screen
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