I run a few different networks for coworking spaces, the Unifi system, if you don’t know much about networks is a GREAT option for what your trying to do. They have an easy setup, and can all be done from one computer, once the devices are deployed. It sounds like you would need at least 2 WAP spread out across your space. I’m in a 5,000 sq. ft. building between 2 floors, and I run 3 different access points. Both run dual band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) wireless signals. 2 of the devices are are at each end of the one floor, and then I have the 3rd one covering my event space on the floor above us. I have on average 40 people working out of this space, and each one of them has a minimum of 2 devices. (Laptop and iPhone/Android phone. Some even have tablets as well.)
I have used the Unifi system before, and for smaller networks they are great. But when you start putting 30+ devices on one access point, they tend to bog down and kick users offline. After testing and testing and restarting, we ended up going with the Cisco Aironet 1600 autonomous series access points. These things are SOLID. You need to have a little knowledge of how to set them up, but one they are going, you never have to touch them again. I have a few that have been going for almost 8 months straight! They are all 10/100/1000mbps, so they are 1Gb ethernet connections back to the switch.
Plus the Cisco guys are in the $400 or less range.
This brings up another point. If your network is on the older side, your more then likely running 10/100mbp speeds from your network devices. (Firewall, modem, switch). All of the new gear is Gigabit speed (1000mbps) or better (fiber). Having a nice fast internet connection, and access points with the ability to use gigabit speeds, is useless if your firewall/switch’s are only rated at 100mbs vs 1000mbs. There is a bottleneck created when that happens, and that slows down the network. Think of 10/100mb speeds as a 2 lane freeway, 1000mbps would then be a 20 lane freeway. This also coincides with Ethernet cables. Cat5e vs Cat6e. But that’s a whole different ball of wax…
The building materials of the old mansion that your in, dampen WiFi signals extremely well. Think of putting a super heavy moving blanket on the horn of a trumpet, the sound still kinda comes out, but it’s not clear, and hard to hear. Same effect when a WiFi signal is sent through the walls of the building your in, they get dampened. So your connection rates will go down, and your transfer rates as well. This will result in dropped connections, and people getting pissed off because they cant get their work done.
Before spending a ton of money on new access points, you should map out where people are working, what walls are between the working areas, and the area where the access point(s) are going to be. You may need to run an extra Ethernet drop (or 2 or 3 depending) to a new location closer to the people that are working to connect your new access points.
The Apple Airport Extremes your using are for home networks, 5-10 devices really. They are not built for business class workflows. They simply cant handle the packet flow.
On Friday, November 21, 2014 1:56:14 PM UTC-8, @jot wrote:
Ruckus APs are worth every penny but there is a great alternative that’s a little cheaper and much easier to setup.
You still need a separate router as Alex described but the thing that makes the biggest difference to WiFi is more access points. They just need to be intelligent enough to regulate their signal strength and work together rather than against each other.
We use 5 Unifi UAP Pro’s for a similar size space to yours but depending on the layout 3 would probably be plenty. You can get a three pack of them for less than $1000. They work best with a computer permanently set up as a controller either on your local network or remotely but they’re not dependent on it. The software is significantly easier to use than most domestic router software I’ve used.
I was able to set them up within 15 minutes of unboxing them and they completely transformed the WiFi. It went from a running joke to one issue in six months. That one issue required nothing more than turning the APs off and on again.
Your Internet connection and/or router will become the bottleneck with these APs. We’d already switched to a leased line and a high spec router by the time we got them so we knew it was the APs causing problems. Now we don’t have to really think about the Internet connection, everything else gets more time. We see around 100 devices per day and I’m confident that we could go well above 200 with this set up.
I’m feeling pretty lucky that they work as well as they do given the price difference. Has anyone had a contrasting experience with Unifi kit?
Follow my adventures in space, time and code: http://jot.is/sustainablyindy
The Skiff: Brighton Coworking Community http://jot.is/sharing-space
Coder Founders: Digital Product Consultancy http://jot.is/investing-time
CoGrid: Meeting Room Booking Software http://jot.is/writing-code
+44 (0)7766 021 485
skype: jlmarkwell | twitter: http://twitter.com/jot
On Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 9:05 PM, Craig Baute - Creative Density Coworking [email protected] wrote:
I am ready to make the dive off the deep end and go high grade with the routers that Alex is talking about. I don’t need to fine tune control but I want it to be reliable for 100 devices. We often will have 30 people using the space at once and with tablets and cell phones that number spikes above 50. It’s a one time fee that is probably worth the investment.
Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.