Hello, this is my first time posting to these groups ... so please be gentle. =) Anyways, here's my situation: (I apologize if this is long winded, I just don't want to leave anything out)
I have a project to setup a roaming wireless network in our main office building which is only 2 floors, each of which is about the area of half of a football field, maybe a little larger. I will have one dedicated DSL line which will be completely separate from the rest of our network; we decided on this for security reasons because this wireless infrastructure will be primarily used by guests in the conference rooms. The DSL line will be available through one jack in the wall at the location of my choosing for the router to connect, but this can be changed if need be.
I have read other threads and it looks like I will need one router and multiple access points in order to obtain smooth roaming without connection loss/session interruption. These should be set on non-conflicting channels with the same SSID, subnet and WEP (which I will change frequently for minimal security, although this is separate from the network as stated above). Is this correct, or are there easier/better ways of going about this? Ideally, I would like to only give the users/guests a SSID and WEP in order to connect, then they could walk all over the office without losing connection.
My major questions are these (please try to be as specific as possible in the answers as it will help greatly):
(1) How in the heck will I connect all this stuff in order to get the true 'roaming' effect? I have seen posts stating that all the AP's must be hard wired into the one router, but that seems like ALOT of wiring and extra work just to obtain smooth roaming WiFi in the office. Let alone it would seem to defeat the purpose of 'wireless.' There has to be a way for all this to connect without having to run tons of new cable in the ceilings and walls. (2) Will I be able to disable the SSID broadcast and still obtain the roaming effect? I would like to keep the possibility of eavesdropping as minimal as possible. (3) Can you offer any advice on configuring the devices, or was I correct above? (4) With all these AP's running through one router I would think the load would be pretty heavy at times and I don't want this to crash or freeze during peak traffic, so what suggestions can you provide on hardware? A nice solid router and some decent AP's as suggestions would be great, unless I'm wrong about the required hardware, then please feel free to suggest otherwise. (We have approx 80 users in the office) I just want to avoid spending some our department's budget on equipment that I will not use, or even worse, on equipment that sucks.
All in all, I would really like this project to be a 'home-run' as it will be my first with this company. If the approach I am taking is wrong and there's a better method, then please inform me otherwise, as I would be happy to learn. Thanks in advance!