What would you do here? (Network related)

Ok I have a property (4 stories, 8 apartments on each floor, brick)

The guy wants wireless internet throughout the building. That, seems easy enough, AP's on each floor using PoE wired back to a router.

But he wants it password protected so only the tenants that pay his $10 or whatever a month can access it. That also is easy but I'm having a brain cramp at the moment and I'm trying to think of a way to have a unique password for every buyer since with one it can just get passed around the whole complex.

Also, as far as network equipment, what is the best for the price now-a-days? I used to use Cisco, then took up a spot running and dropping lines (monkey work) and now I'm out of the loop, and Cisco is expensive as all hell.

Any advice here would be great.


You want a RADIUS server and APs that support RADIUS.

I know how to do this quickly with Windows Server 2003/2008 and some Cisco Aironet APs but it can seem somewhat involved if you've never set something like that up before.

Anyone have any experience with aruba? They gave me a call today and I just got a weird feeling with the saleswoman and saw mixed reviews when doing research on them.

My cheap D-Link has multiple PWs if needed. This probably doesn't help but I thought i would mention it =)

I doubt you'll need anything past 12 APs for an install like that. (confimed with my redneck site survey)

I'll give you the cisco answer first.

2112 WLAN Controller - Since you don't sound like you know how to do a proper site survey you'll be safe using this because of RRM (Radio resource management which does the channeling and power management automatically) 

You'll also be able to setup a guest VLAN that will have a built in radius to where you can adminstrate to the different user accounts.  The customers will have to get into a webpage to login but the SSID will be fully open to broadcast (as long as you don't change that) and there will be no wep/wpa to implement.

Here is the cisco install guide for guest access setup on WLCs



This is a very rough and shoddy site survey.  I've done enough to be able to eye it out and be 95% accurate and considering there are no radiology rooms, you'll be fine.

The reason the floors are not the same is because you don't want to co-channel interference from floor bleed through and this also helps you maximize coverage utilizing the weak layer between floors that would be in apartments.  

If you actually have the maps - I can get a much more professional one done in a few minutes, I don't care. 


 You also have to take into consideration the WAN/Gateway connection.  Limiting the rates for each user is not possible through wireless (as of yet) and even if it was, you have other issues because of it riding on the physical layer of air.

Something like a packet shaper would be a much better solution since it automatically places these rules straight from the box.  They may have one that also acts as a gateway device for soho use??  but this would allow all of the pipe to be intelligently utilized instead of punishing everyone with lower speeds. 

 That is the cisco answer

Your other bet would be to use a Bluesocket device.

The bluesocket device is much more plug and play as per the Cisco route.

The BS acts as a WAN Gateway, Wireless controller, Guest management, etc., and they also have POE access points but you will need to get a POE switch and at least know how to setup vlans.  I don't know if they have RRM but if the apartment is somewhat similar to what I posted - blue = channel 1, red = 6, green = 11.

I don't know if they have rate limiting/qos just incase you gotta a fucker on torrents.

Becareful if you plan on placing AP's in the stairwell areas instead of the apartments - You will have WAY too much co-channel and by practice, I do every 3rd floor in stairwell areas.  You are going to want to have these mounted inside of the apartments which I imagine could cause problems.

You may be able to "redneck" it up and get coverage throughout and for the most part, be happy - I'm just very meticulous in how I have to do my survey since I have medical devices and carts that can't lose connection as well as VOIP phones that are extremely sensitive to changes in the RF enviroment.

If you want to kind of do your own site survey - bring out an AP and set it up channel 1 and place it near the areas you'd like to try to place them.  Pull out airmagnet and read the s/r ratio and for data - you want -75db and under.  Walk around with the laptop and get an idea of the area, which walls cause more rf interference and how far you can get till you hit -75.


Haha, I didn't answer this thread specifically because I knew Fin would do a much better job. :D

would it be better to assign their mac addresses to one or more APs?

could it then be used to track network usage easier?

what if you get a kid who torrents all day and jams up an AP?


How technical are you? Do you know what radius is? Do you want a plug in play and the added cost? Go cisco and just use their solution.

If you're ok with building something, go with http://nocat.net/ .


They don't need a controller and I'm pretty sure they have a built in radius server if you don't want to use your own.  And, they are so easy to configure even someone who isn't very tech savvy can figure it out.