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Recommendations for a wireless router?

mattydies

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Mar 16, 2007
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316
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Ottawa Valley, Ontario
I am working at a small hotel which needs to purchase a wireless router for guests. The motel is about 100 feet long, and our #1 priority (for the router) is to have a GREAT signal throughout the building. Right now the wired router is basically at one end of the building. Yes I could place a wireless router in the attic, half way down, but the owners are rather old, so it's not practical (in case they need to reset it, etc.).

ALSO it would be nice if we could plug in a printer so the office computer and bosses laptops can all access the printer at any time.

I looked at routers at an online retailer but no one seems to want to tell the range a router is capable of (yes I would imagine the signal quality can vary greatly...)


Thanks.
 

Rye 1080

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Sep 20, 2010
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Collingwood, Ontario
I have been looking into buying a new wireless router myself and the Asus RT-N16 is looking like my choice.

Its not simultaneous dual band or anything, but its got 2 USB ports, 4 gigabit ethernet ports, and a big support group at DD-WRT. The guys over there have probably forgotten more about wireless routers then I'll ever know

As for the range, unfortunately its one of those your mileage will vary greatly things. External antennas will be a plus for you, worst case you can always get higher gain ones.
 
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JD

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Yeah the RT-N16 is pretty solid. However if you're after top wireless performance, it's not the greatest.

And well to cover 100 feet of motel rooms, I'd really suggest looking into doing at least 2 access points, if not more. One at each end and perhaps another in the middle. At the very least, put the router in the middle of the motel or close to it.

I'd probably go with one of these: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=42953&vpn=EAP-3660&manufacture=EnGenius and use one of these as the main router: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=43072&vpn=ESR-1221 EXT&manufacture=EnGenius Granted it's only 200mW output, but that's still far more than your typical consumer router. The repeater does 600mW though, but it would have to be within range of the router to repeat the signal. It should provide enough coverage itself though, even if it's relatively close to the router.

However I don't know how good Engenius is in general, so you'll want to look them up...
 

geokilla

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Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 flashed with DD-WRT. The built in amplifier does wonders!
 

DCCV44.2223

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Apr 1, 2010
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Vancouver
Do you have a spare WLAN AP that you can setup in situ so you can get some signal reading with InSSIDer, so you'll at least have some idea how wifi (un)friendly the structure is:

inSSIDer Wi-Fi Scanner | MetaGeek

I looked at routers at an online retailer but no one seems to want to tell the range a router is capable of (yes I would imagine the signal quality can vary greatly...)

Not only that but it would also depend on the structure. Anyways if anyone did give a range it'll most likely be optimal line of sight, not real life in a structure with walls, etc.

Yes I could place a wireless router in the attic, half way down, but the owners are rather old, so it's not practical (in case they need to reset it, etc.).

Are the owners knowledgeable enough to deal with a restore-to-default reset? If it's only for rebooting, some APs will allow you to do that via the web config console, or you can use PoE where they can simply pull the CAT cable, or you can feed the AP via a network managed UPS (bit of overkill but there are some cheap ones around).

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=46395&vpn=BH500NET&manufacture=AMERICAN POWER CONVERSION

Lastly, there're some AP out there that have "guest modes" that simplifies logging on, I've only used SonicWall ones but I'm sure there are others that have similar features.
 

Xeven

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Vancouver, BC
Yeah the RT-N16 is pretty solid. However if you're after top wireless performance, it's not the greatest.

I wouldn't recommend it for a performance setup either. I have 2x high gain antennas on mine and I still have trouble maintaining ~300Mbps, best stable I can get at around 15 feet is 150Mbps. I use an old oleg firmware though and I guess I'm a bit out of touch about the any improvements with the oleg or dd-wrt last few months.
 

_dangtx_

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Aug 4, 2007
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mtl
to be on the safe side youll need access points every 20 feet. closer ifthe walls are thick. so its like a one floor thing right?

remember the owners that with wireless, weird things can and will happen(disconnects etc)

so unless they want to drill every other wall for wired internet, thats the way to go. i set up a small hotel(3 floors) a while ago, and the owner wasnt happy he had to invest in more than just a little 'wireless box thing' as he called it lol
 

bushwhacker

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May 3, 2007
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285
Location
Lake of the Woods
Do you have a spare WLAN AP that you can setup in situ so you can get some signal reading with InSSIDer, so you'll at least have some idea how wifi (un)friendly the structure is:

inSSIDer Wi-Fi Scanner | MetaGeek

Not only that but it would also depend on the structure. Anyways if anyone did give a range it'll most likely be optimal line of sight, not real life in a structure with walls, etc.

Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 flashed with DD-WRT. The built in amplifier does wonders!

To compliment these suggestions as the motel may have concrete or concrete block walls between each room is the post here by JackMDS
 

grinder

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Mar 16, 2007
Messages
832
you wont know how many you need, and where to place them unless you do a site survey. And I wouldn't even bother with residential units (asus, linksys, belkin, blah), that are capped at 100mW.

When pricing out a unit, consider it's installation cost per access point. If you go with a better access point that costs more (but you need less), you save money as a whole.
<edit> like Power Over Ethernet access points are a good example of this </edit>

Indoor Access Points / Client Bridges

it's a business dude, go with commercial gear!!!! ;)
 
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snoosebum

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Dec 19, 2007
Messages
413
Location
Mackenzie BC
smallnetbuilder.com tests all kinds of wireless residential routers, you could probably get a few more answers there. They test from 6 locations in a house I believe. The furthest is about 65 feet through several floors and wall. A lot of equiment struggles or fails even at this distance. I would think at least 2 access points are probably necessary in your application. I replaced my router this spring and of the top routers I think netgear WNDR3700, Buffallo WZR HP G300NH, Asus RT N13U and linksys 610N were well regarded. Possibly this has changed.
 

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