Networking & Wireless forum

Question

Networking 300 Laptops over wireless.

by stroid11 / July 10, 2012 11:20 PM PDT

Hi
Could anyone please help me about networking 300 laptops over wireless.
It is for a workshop at my college. It is a coding competition. So the candidates should be able to submit the coding for evaluation to a server.
The general idea I have is to get a switch and connect 10 APs.
What all problems could i face? Like radio interference from other APs? Would 10 APs cut it?
I would very much appreciate if anyone could help me with it. If you need anymore info please reply..
Many thanks

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All Answers

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Answer
Nice initial plan.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 11, 2012 12:59 AM PDT

But look at the usual NET MASK of 255.255.255.0 and ask yourself if you understand why that matters.

As to the channels, yes, it will be crazy but best bet is to have routers as WAPs that automatically select the channels.
Bob

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Answer
AP density
by bill012 / July 11, 2012 12:59 AM PDT

Your problem is not the number of AP exactly it is more the total radio bandwidth allowed and the location of your users.

If you were to look at a unrealistic worst case. All you users sit a single table and you use only the 2.4 band.
You will end up with 3 usable radio frequencies. So the most you can have is 3 AP which mean 100 users per AP. If you attempt to use more AP to cut the users per AP you then must overlap multiple AP on the radio. Neither is really a good option but since you have more control over QoS and users than radio interference patterns fewer AP is better.

The only way to really do this is to make sure your users are spread out as far as possible so you can have multiple groups of 3 usable radio frequencies. You do this by reducing the radio transmission power on the AP and the PC so they don't interfere with the other group. Tends to be very tricky to setup since you can only reduce the power so far.

The number of users per AP really depends on what they are doing and what quality level is acceptable. Most the time they recommend no more that 7-10 active users. But active in this case means low use like email or web surfing. You stream video or try to run business grade VoIP calls and it quickly drops to 2-3 active per AP. A single user doing a file replication can max a AP.

You may to a point be able to increase your density by using the 5g channels in addition to the 2.4 but your PC will have to have the 5g ability. You also must find a way to balance your users between the AP in your groups. Does little good if they all connect to the same AP and don't use the others.

In cases of a very high density of users in a single location you are better off using wired connections for as many users as possible and leaving the wireless for those you have not other option for.

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