Cisco 881W Firewall

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james_francisco
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Cisco 881W Firewall

Postby james_francisco » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:33 am

Does anyone have experience with this new hardware as the wireless access point in a building? Where in the building is the best place to mount it to get full coverage of the building?

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:08 pm

To me, it's first and foremost a firewall. I'd mount it where it can be assessable for troubleshooting by authorized members (and out of reach by the unauthorized) and where you can connect other computers to it. To the extent that it's also a AP, that's great. But I'd buy APs as needed to cover the building. Unless you have a small building that's transparent to 2.4GHz, you probably need more than one AP anyway.
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Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:06 pm

RussellHltn wrote:To me, it's first and foremost a firewall. I'd mount it where it can be assessable for troubleshooting by authorized members (and out of reach by the unauthorized) and where you can connect other computers to it. To the extent that it's also a AP, that's great. But I'd buy APs as needed to cover the building. Unless you have a small building that's transparent to 2.4GHz, you probably need more than one AP anyway.


Under the recent policy changes, you should not be buying access points for the Cisco 881W to extend the wireless range. Instead, work with the FM group to procure Cisco 1041 WAPs. See Wireless networking (meetinghouse) on the wiki for details.
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Postby donaldbrooksby » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:12 pm

aebrown wrote:Under the recent policy changes, you should not be buying access points for the Cisco 881W to extend the wireless range. Instead, work with the FM group to procure Cisco 1041 WAPs. See Wireless networking (meetinghouse) on the wiki for details.


Also, if the cabling isn't there for APs, Never prewire before knowing where the AP will be going or where you think it should go. Have a long CAT5 cable where you can plug into the Firewall and walk down the hall or into some rooms with a "live" AP and test with your laptop or by using a tool to see the signal strength. Then wire and get Power to the location, via FM, where you will get the best signal strength for that area, and so on, for the whole building. Remembering that -65dbm is the farthest you want to be out from the AP...closer to Zero is best.

There are non-church approved AP's available where you can have 1 unit for the whole building, but stick with the approved solutions and place the devices in multiple locations with the Cisco product. It will be the easiest way to have proper support from Salt Lake as well.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:48 pm

donaldbrooksby wrote:Never prewire before knowing where the AP will be going or where you think it should go. Have a long CAT5 cable where you can plug into the Firewall and walk down the hall or into some rooms with a "live" AP and test with your laptop or by using a tool to see the signal strength.


Few things worse then wiring something up and finding that location doesn't work.
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Postby donaldbrooksby » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:32 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Few things worse then wiring something up and finding that location doesn't work.


Been there, done that...just too frustrating.

One additional tid-bit. When "dry-fitting" the AP, always assume a little variance when poking the AP in a ceiling. There will be just a slight signal loss.

Also: I wonder what you would get by poking the AP visible at the peak of the Cultural Hall - that ceiling is very high and would give some great signal out and around rather than in the ceiling in a Hall, plus I don't think anyone would notice that Cisco AP - it is so low-profile and white. It is hard to guess what that would do for the rooms on either side of the building....just a thought...

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Postby Aczlan » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:58 pm

donaldbrooksby wrote:Also: I wonder what you would get by poking the AP visible at the peak of the Cultural Hall - that ceiling is very high and would give some great signal out and around rather than in the ceiling in a Hall, plus I don't think anyone would notice that Cisco AP - it is so low-profile and white. It is hard to guess what that would do for the rooms on either side of the building....just a thought...


I would find a cage to mount over the WAP to prevent stray balls from hitting it if mounting ANYWHERE in the cultural hall...

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Aczlan wrote:I would find a cage to mount over the WAP to prevent stray balls from hitting it if mounting ANYWHERE in the cultural hall...


And a metal cage would defeat the purpose.

Something else to consider, while generally height is a good thing as it gets you above the local "ground clutter". But too much height can create problems too. Depending on the design of the building, you might end up with the signal having to go though the exterior wall and the roof to reach adjoining rooms. Not to mention that more height is more distance. It may result in a weaker signal then if it was mounted lower and only had to deal with interior walls.
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Postby Aczlan » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:35 pm

RussellHltn wrote:And a metal cage would defeat the purpose.

True, you would need to have a cage with full wavelength holes in it, or it could block the signal.

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:52 pm

Aczlan wrote:True, you would need to have a cage with full wavelength holes in it, or it could block the signal.


About 12.5cm. I think that comes out to a couple of protective bars rather then a "cage".

Even then, I wonder what kind of distortion in the radiation pattern the nearby metal would cause.
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