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Long Range Wireless

Has anyone dealt with installing any sort of long range wireless network. I work at a nonprofit Christian camp that is over 100 acres and I'm curious about the possibility of connecting some of the buildings to the office network. I know fiber optics could do it, but we don't have that kind of $. Any ideas?
I haven't used long range wireless because i never had the need for it, but i know of some antennas for the job. here are some from smc.

SMCANT-DI105 (up to 3.5 miles)

SMCANT-DI135 (up to 7 miles)

SMCANT-DI145 (up to 9 miles)

You can search for the designation to find prices on local stores Wink (Google IS your friend)

Be Well Cool
Have you heard out 802.11g or b? well now there is wireless N. This technology is designed to go much further than privious networks, and the hardware is now availible at most mainstream computer stores.

Check it out as the distances of normal networks is greatly increasing with this new jump in technology. It's called Wireless N and it's now avialible on Linksys (strongly recomended) hardware.

Also, you might look into yagi wireless antennas that either broadcast like cellphone networks to a wider area (not sure how this compairs to wireless N, but wireless N is probably your best option for omnidirectional parts of your network) or yagi wireless directional antennas that broadcast as far as 25 miles for one single, line of sight, network bridge.
take a look here yagi style antennas

So your basic network would be set up like this. Wireless cards in all the computers, One wireless N router/switch for every building, one set of yagi directional antennas for every large gap that you have to cover between the buildings. It's going to be hard to cover the whole campus with one network, but if you hit the big areas you'll get everyone short of that guy that is sitting in a far corner of the campus who wants internet access from the picknick tables. Seeing how there is no power outlets at the picknick tables he'll have to move when his battery dies anyway.

All you need then is a large business grade connection to the internet coming into one of the buildings. Either business DSL, business cable, or a T1 connection.

How many computers are you talking about here? Are most of the computers wireless already? The cost jump is considderable if the company has to foot the bill for all the computers to get wireless cards, but other than that you are looking at about $1500 to put three large buildings with upto 25 miles between each of the buildings on the internet, but like I said, that is before considdering buying cards for each of the computers to access the wireless network.

Note: another good thing about wireless N is it is backward compatible with 802.11g and b, so the computers that have cards for that will have alittle bit more trouble finding the network (ie. their range is much smaller) but if they can see it and it can see them then they will also be able to jump on the new network. Wireless N cards for the computers that are the farthest away from the router/switch will probably be nessisary.

Another thing to note: if your buildings are cinder block construction your best bet is installing wired networks in each of the buildings and then hopping the gaps with yagi directional antennas on top of the buildings. Don't rely on a wireless signal going through a series of cinder block walls. It will go through for the most part, but it has trouble passing through cinderblock walls that also have metal pipes or rubar frames running on the inside of the walls. Wireless networks have next to no trouble with wood and dry wall construction, but they don't like concrete and metal buildings as signal penetration will become more of a problem.

Well, good luck with this project, and feel free to email, pm, or reply to this post with any questions.
WiFi is not secure...
Couldn't you just encrypt the unsecured parts?

What I mean is encrypt the network so the traffic that goes over the unsecured portion is encrypted by the routers on both ends. I wish I could see if this were possible, but I don't have a test setup to run it on at the moment.

For most the distance capabilities of Wifi is a serious need, so I'm sure there are work arounds on the security side. The only network I helped set up was in africa so security wasn't as much of an issue as getting the network up and running. The guy I worked with did a lot of stuff here in town, but we don't talk any more, so I never was privalege to information about securing a wifi network bridge.

I'm sure there is a work around though. Like I said encrypting the data before it goes across the unsecured portion of the network.
Heard of Wi-Max. It can solve your problem.

Abhinav Shah
what type of terain do you have Trees,hills, open fields?
what type of buildins?
Lign of sight?

I run a wireless ISP and a MESH wireless network post the details and I may be able to help design a system for you.
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