What kit do I need? Joining 2 networks


Helping a friend out here - but wireless kit is not my forte...

He runs a small business with two long (400 ft) buildings some 500 feet apart - with a road running between them.

Essentially, the buildings are end-to-end with the road seperating them. So the far ends are way apart - but there is a nice line of sight between the ends next the road.

Both buildings have Ethernet LAN - and he'd like to join them together.

Also, broadband is due to arrive this year (at last!) so one side needs a ADSL modem + firewall as well as a 802.11g -ish link.

He wants to keep the existing LAN's, NICs etc. Just bridge the road and join the LAN's. (BTW this is in UK and throwing a wire across the road is illegal)

So, I'm thinking that two boxes are needed with LAN I/O - one with a modem / firewall. It'd be nice to have a mini-hub in that box too.

The modem/firewall/hub/wireless box sounds pretty much standard but I'm not sure about the kit needed at the other end.

Also, will standard antenna be OK with a 500ft line of sight?? Will I need some sort of hi-gain antenna at each end?

Your advices please! What do we need buy??



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check out external directional antennas

for example Cantenna -

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of course the AP's that are used will need to have external antenna connectors

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Sounds like you are looking to do a wireless bridge. Two consumer AP's capable of "Bridge Mode" should do just this, but the distance (500 feet) may be outside their range with standard omni-directional antennas. May have to look at directionals, parabolics, or if you want to go cheap do a google for "cantennas" -- which are antennas contructed out of all things, tin soup cans and/or Pringles potato chip cans. One of these days, I've been planning to make one myself "just for fun".

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a script on that web site that'll do some of the calculations for you. Don't know how accurate the formulas are though.)

Will your LOS shot be able to go across traffic traveling down the street? I.e., set your shots from a roof so it'll go over traffic? (When I was in the Air Force, I had a shot (about a mile long running in 4 to 4.5 Ghz range) that would intermittingly break during the course of a day. Turned out aircraft passing over a particular piece of the tarmac were breaking the shot up. After masting the antenna's at 100 feet, the shot became rock solid.) :^)

802.11a (5 Ghz) may be more reliable than 802.11g (2.4 Ghz) for such a shot as well, but it would definetly add a lot more expense. Here, in the US, consumer wifi manufacturers are finally being able to release 802.11a consumer hardware with removeable antennas. (Not that fixed antennas has stopped anyone from doing homebrew 802.11a antennas in the past, but..)


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