Wireless – Mesh It!

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Traditionally, there were 2 methods of delivering WiFi. There was the standard basic WiFi router (think the iconic blue home-based Linksys router), and the enterprise solutions. The enterprise solutions usually had a central ‘controller’ (which was normally rack mounted), and individual APs (Access Points), which had to be wired back to the controller. The enterprise solution for WiFi service delivery is, to put it frankly, very expensive. Between the hardware costs and the installation costs, most small to medium size organizations will be priced out and won’t be able to afford it.

There is a technology out there that offers a happy medium though. It is more robust and reliable than using a home-based router, and doesn’t have the hefty price tag of a true traditional enterprise solution. It’s called wireless mesh.

If you don’t know what wireless mesh technology is, take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_mesh_network
Essentially, wireless mesh allows you to deploy APs in a ‘Lilly pad’ fashion. The first AP is connected to the LAN via ethernet, and the second AP just needs to be placed within the ‘WiFi cloud’ of that first AP. That second AP then creates its own ‘WiFi cloud’, and you can place a third AP within that cloud, and so forth. Basically, you’re able to wirelessly daisy chain your APs, which can drastically reduce deployment time per AP.

In areas where one AP won’t provide sufficient coverage, wireless mesh is a great option when it is cost prohibitive to run ethernet wiring or purchase the traditional enterprise solution. In the real world, wireless mesh provides an excellent service that will perform very well for most small to medium sized organizations.

Remember, you need to be flexible with your solutions for your clients. If your only solution is something that your client can’t purchase, then they will find someone else who can provide what they’re looking for.


Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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