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wirelessly connect office network?

Discussion in 'Wireless' started by Wires_are_bad, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Wires_are_bad

    Wires_are_bad Nibble Poster

    Hey guys

    Where I work , there is an office, a testing/production area and also a warehouse. Each area has its own set of computers, connected via ethernet to there own switches.

    Each area's switch is then connected to eachother via ethernet connection. What I was wondering was if there was a better way to connect each areas switch to one another?

    My understanding was that a router connects two networks together (LAN to LAN, or WAN to LAN) so in this case it could provide a LAN to LAN connection wouldn't it.

    Could this be implemented simply by connecting a wireless router to each switch in the departments?

    Im having a bit of trouble understanding how this would be implemented, sorry if anything is unclear.

    Many thanks :D
    Certifications: Bsc Business I.T (2:1)
    WIP: A+ and N+
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    You could buy two wireless network points and put them in ‘bridge’ mode (if they support it) and that would join the two network segments together. :biggrin
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    I would say that the current connection is probably optimal.

    If traffic gets *very* heavy then splitting the network up into functional units and using routers would help performance. But on a typical small office network like this it probably isn't worth doing.

    Avoid WiFi for such situations, unless you want to make things worse.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  4. MrNice

    MrNice Kilobyte Poster

    Why would you want to connect the switches using wireless when everything else is wired? If you already have a working ethernet network I wouldnt recommend installing two wireless routers unless there is a very good reason?
    I always hear of wireless being slow and unsecure (even now) and most implementations I come across at work are listed buildings etc where it's not possible to run cable.
    Just my 2p worth
  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    I agree with most of the above comments. It would seem pointless in your situation to change things if the current network is working well.

    There would be an advantage to connecting your two switches back to a router in order to segregate servers if you wanted to, and if your LAN is connected to the outside world, it would make sense if everything went into it via a traditional Firewall - Router - Switch setup.

    However, if you're talking small scale,l then its pointless trying to change things simply for the sake of implementing a WLAN.

    Also, Wireless LANs will ALWAYS be more insecure than wired ones, by definition. If somebody can get into your WLAN broadcast area and start sniffing traffic, they will obviously have more chance of hacking your network than if they have to physically gain entrance to a building and plug into an Ethernet port.

    That said, WPA2 is pretty effective security-wise (although they said that about the original WPA and that didn't take too long to get cracked!)

    Finally, speed wise, Wireless LANs are slower than wired ones. This may not always be the case, but it is set to be so for a good few years yet.

    In short - if it ain't broke, don't fix it :wink:
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  6. Wires_are_bad

    Wires_are_bad Nibble Poster

    thanks for the replies.

    Tbh i was just wondering if it was possible or not. The warehouse is quite a distance away and the ethernet cable that connects the switch from the warehouse to the switch in the production area is extremely long :eek:. I just thought that it would be a bit more practical for the switches to be connected wirelessly.

    I understand security would be a major concern, completely forgot about that for a second.

    I guess it would only be a practical setup for a larger organisation. How do these sort of companies secure there networks anyway? They must have a pretty nifty firewall setup!
    Certifications: Bsc Business I.T (2:1)
    WIP: A+ and N+
  7. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    If it’s Cat5 then you have 100m to play with.

    Must agree with the other guys, if you have the option of having a wired network then use it. Only use wireless if you can’t get cat5 installed for some reason, it`ll save you some problems! 8)
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  8. Rik

    Rik Nibble Poster

    You certainly could connect the two locations together using wireless, I would only do this as a LAST resort tho, if wired is working fine stick with it.

    Depending on the distance between the two locations and any obstructions in between (line of sight is recommended) I wouldnt recommend normal wireless AP/Bridges, unless the two lans are extremely close together, the peformance using this way can be very mediocre to say the least.

    To get best wireless performance, I would recommend a 3com Building to Building Wireless Bridge.


    These are definitley the best opinion for good solid performance wirelessly between 2 or more locations.

    I have sold many of these to USAF and Schools/Uni's and they work very well.

    3Com say the range is upto 10 Miles but that is the US version and in optimum conditions, ie in a Desert with nothing in the way LOL.
    The UK laws are much more strigent and you have to be very careful when implementing these babies, otherwise the DTI/Radio Agency will be breathing down your neck
    In reality you have to do a site survey and look at any obstructions in the way etc.

    But they are not Cheap, and you better have a big wallet :D
    They are really only used as a last resort.

    If wired is working fine stick with it :D
  9. Wires_are_bad

    Wires_are_bad Nibble Poster

    I love this forum :biggrin

    Thanks for all the info!
    Certifications: Bsc Business I.T (2:1)
    WIP: A+ and N+

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