Wireless Site Survey

Any wireless experts?

I am looking to setup wireless access in a small 3 story hotel. 160 ft x 75 ft building, 68 rooms.

There are cat5e cables already wired to each room and we can put small WAPs into some rooms. Problem is, guests will tamper with the WAPs and people lose signal. Instead of many small WAPs in the rooms, we want to try a few powerful wireless routers/access points that we can keep in locked up utility closets.

Which wirless router/access point would you recommend? Ideally we want to have wifi for the whole building, but from 1 or 2 devices, so we need something powerful.

Right now we have a ZyXEL ZyAIR G-4100 v2 (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&q=g-4100+v2&cid=3263896966897183828#p).

Any other advice?

First off - you will need to understand how the RF works in that building.  Since you are just building for data - you are going to want at least -75dB readings throughout the building.  How do you accomplish this?

Get an AP + Battery - set it up and then use something like Netstumlber and draw a circle around the -75dB area.

Secondly - you will have to concern yourself with only three channels - 1, 6, 11 .  You will have to figure out how to at least make a 1 and a 1 not interfere with each other and have some overlap between those.

How about this - get the maps for the hotel and I will design you something really quick.  I've done it for so long I can look at a map and be about 95% accurate via an actual site survey.  But NOTHING beats an actual physical site survey.

You are providing public wireless to everyone - have you thought about the security side of it?  for both your guests on the WLAN or the external security?  What about the gateway congestion?  

Setting up wireless past 3 access points for most people will become a pretty tedious task if you want to build something reliable and secure.  Just letting you know, not brow beating.

And 1 or 2 devices for a 3 story small hotel?  No.

just remember this:  You will be able to see AP's far away with a lot of equipment but the other side also has to transmit.  You could have the worlds most powerful AP but if the end station at the other end cannot send frames back - you have one way communication.

Without knowing the setup I'm going to say this.

Use two on the opposite ends on the first floor - without jacking up the mW (Channel 1, 11)

On floor two - center it in between both of them. (Channel 6)

on floor three - copy the design from 1st floor and use channel 1, 11 again.

This will be much more reliable than sticking a 2 overpower AP's on the first/third floor.


Wow Road Warrior huge thank you for all that knowledge.

Road Warrior Fin - 

Get an AP + Battery -

Battery? Is this just so it does not loose power in case the wall socket fails? Or is it something else?

Also, regarding the channels, I was under the impression I want all the APs that are on this one network to be on the same channel. Is this wrong? I did not realize two APs broadcasting the same wifi network could interfere with one another.

Below is a map of the 1st floor.


The 2nd and 3rd floors both look like this


The APs are currently wired to all be on the 2nd floor. I guess somebody figured it would give coverage to the 3rd and 1st floors that way too. Eventually I would like to change this to the design you suggested.

Should they still all be on the same channel in this case? Now they are all on channel 11.

Thanks for your input on the security aspects of it. That's not configured yet, but planned for the future.

Anarkis2 - A CWNA book will give you an idea of tools to use. But road just gave you the condensed version.

thanks will check it out