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Need suggestions to add guest access to wireless in school

by Steven Haninger / April 2, 2013 5:05 AM PDT

Firstly, I'm not a network engineer just a volunteer but I've done the majority of the hardware installation at this school. The current and growing need is for school parents, guests, presenters, etc. to have access to the wireless network but without access to the LAN. The network not a domain but simple peer-to-peer with device access controlled via firewalls and/or user/passwords. The best I can find on the web is the use of some VLAN capability and think we might already have most of, if not all, the needed hardware. Here's what we have:

Eight 3Com model # CRWE7760/75 APs connected to a 3Com model # 3CDSG10PWR managed switch. I have access to all these devices. This POE switch connects to one of 5 (it has 24) active ports on a Cisco layer 3 switch. That router is managed remotely and I've no way to get to it. The APs can handle 4 SSIDs and have the ability to individually assign VLAN ports to each. The POE switch has the ability to configure VLANs for all ports.

All that is desired is enable select APs in certain parts of the school to allow guest access to the internet only. If possible we'd like to do this without purchasing new hardware at this time. I can tinker with it but, for now, I'd like to know if this can be done without involving the Cisco router. If the router is definitely...and I suspect it might be...a party to the plan, we can contact the person who handles that end. Thanks in advance

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Just say no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2013 5:15 AM PDT

Since 3Com is no more and HP rarely answered the question just forget it. If folk want the internet they'll bring their smart phone or personal wifi hot spot.

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Thanks. I suspect it might be more trouble than it's worth
by Steven Haninger / April 2, 2013 5:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Just say no.

and probably a better idea to wait until the current hardware (and lack of trained IT staff) is no longer serving well. Of course, $$$$ is always the barrier.

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I agree.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2013 8:34 AM PDT

I can't share the full details but the school would be blasted if they were able to get pron over the guest network. Not a fun way to get de-funded.

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That wouldn't be the worry
by Steven Haninger / April 2, 2013 10:10 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree.

All schools in the diocesan system route through a school which is home to a tightly managed firewall. Teachers complain it's too tight as you can't even access youtube within the building. I'm guessing that a proxy server is part of the control. IT people at the server location also manage the router that's in the local school and they don't hand out admin passwords. As for allowing guest access, I'd be more concerned about losing bandwidth during times of peak need by students. Leaching from the system after hours isn't a problem as, because the APs are POE, we can just flip a toggle to the switch dedicated to the wireless side. No one can sit in the parking lot and surf once the tech coordinator locks up and goes home. Eventually, as needs grow and a more complex system is needed, they'll need a way to find money to hire or contract real IT services but I'm sure some jaws would drop at such a sales presentation.

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