I'd like to make or new location wireless, i'm planning to get a nice fat pipe in for the broadband connection (if anyone knows any killer deals, that would be appreciated).
As far as networking goes, I need a range of approx. 2000sq ft, but I need a real fast connection thats capable of handling large graphics files and general traffic - we are a print company so the files can be upto 300mb+. Plus we are also sharing a raid server that's got all the work on.
There is a mixture of macs & PCs on the network, image setters and digital presses - any suggestions please?
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Not going to dampen your hopes, but just by looking at those requirements you may be better off with Ethernet. Have you considered regular cabling as an option? It's faster and more reliable, but it does require you to set it all up (ie. wiring etc.).
Rent some shared server space at a colocation facility. Set up some software so that the customers can pickup and drop off their work. Upload and download work from your business to/from the shared server. The idea is to keep the customers off your inhouse system. You don't want them to directly access the machines, or to bring your internet connection to a standstill by uploading while you're trying to use the internet connection.
Bad idea. Massive file transfers will not move anywhere near as fast as you expect. Under ideal conditions, a 54Mbit/sec connection will move data at perhaps 25Mbits/sec. Usually, it's less. If there are two PC's moving large files, the speed is cut in half or less. Put a few walls and sources of interference in the area, and your speed with be much less.
That's not what happens with an ethernet switch. Most copiers are
100baseTX-FDX (full duplex) which can move files at wire speed of perhaps 90Mbits/sec. If you upgrade to all gigabit ethernet (recommended), you can easily go at 10 times that speed. Fast is fun. (Slow is no fun).
Ethernet is usually done with an ethernet switch. The idea is that traffic going between two ports does not affect the rest of the network. You can move large files, for long durations, and none of the machines that are NOT involved in the transfer see any of the traffic or are slowed down by the traffic. That is NOT the case with wireless. Wireless is a shared medium, where only one transmitter in an given area can be on the air at a time. If you perform a bulk file transfer via wireless, all the other machines come to a grinding halt during the transfer. You also get to share the channel with the neighbors, the pizza joint next door, and city municipal network.
Run CAT5 or fiber optic cables. Gigabit ethernet if possible. Save the wireless for the laptops and PDA's that come and go.
Given your business and data type, you /really/ don't want wireless. Throughput at best will be woefully slow (think 5x slower than your existing network), and at worst unusable. You'll also end up cabling most of the building anyway, just to get Access Points into useful locations.