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  Ideas on setting up wifi for apts 
 Date Written 
Sparxx Aug 30, 2011, 08:05pm EDT Report Abuse
I have 3 buildings that I am looking to set up free wifi in. There is a total of 10 units. The furthest point between where the modem will be is roughly 75 feet.

How can I get a wifi signal to reach that far and can I set up the wifi so each apartment unit has it's own key to access the internet?

Any ideas on running this?

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BoT Mar 19, 2012, 08:58pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Ideas on setting up wifi for apts
are you sure it's 75 feet? not 750 feet or 75 meters?
75 feet should really not be an issue for any of the better n-draft routers.

i personally would go with something like this
it's a bit more pricey then other routers but it delivers great performance
one of those should be enough but for ultimate coverage you could place a 2nd unit halfway to the furthest end of the facility and bridge the connection.

for access control you could require your tenants to give you the MAC addresses to enable devices. vast majority of this class of routers allow and encourage mac address allow list.
this basically means that any MAC address not on the list will not be allowed to use the network. it's not fool prove but a pretty good way to keep track of things. it could also be a bit cumbersome at first at least to setup as you literally would need the MAC address of every device they want to get on the networking. including phones, pda's, tablets, etc

You can either be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
Codisha -
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john albrich Mar 19, 2012, 10:54pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Ideas on setting up wifi for apts
Some general "ideas on running this"...

If you are planning to advertise the apartments, you may wish to exclude the information that it has free WiFi, especially if you can't strongly secure it for some reason. It only makes it a target for drive-bys or neighbors piggy-backing on your internet connection...esp as simple MAC filtering won't present any difficulty to someone who is looking to piggy-back on your service. As said above, MAC filtering isn't all. See also:
Why Wi-Fi Connection Not As Fast As It "Should" Be
and, search internet for [ Wifi security myths ] examples of results...
What Hackers Know
Busting (or Trusting) Wi-Fi Security Myths
How to Find Who Is Using Your WiFi

You might disclose it just to prospective tenants who show up in person. Doesn't eliminate the risk but it would reduce it.

You may also want to pre-prepare a list of all the common things that can degrade WiFi performance...and how to minimize them, and have it ready to hand out to any tenants that experience problems.

Note also that any repeaters, etc. will increase the overhead and degrade performance to some degree. However, a low signal also can degrade performance, so it can be a matter of balancing equipment selection. Depending on the location of your router, a directional type of antenna (or array) might provide a better solution than using a repeater. For example, if the apartments are in a straight line and you want to locate the router centrally, a bi-directional antenna might be best. But if the router is located at one end of the line of apartments, a uni-directional antenna would probably be best. Remember that in addition to increasing signal strength, a directional antenna also reduces interference from off-angle RF sources...which can again improve performance by a significant amount when operating in a "noisy" environment. Make sure whatever antenna(s) you use handle the frequency band(s) you plan to support. Also note that the longer is the cable between the router and the antenna, the more it will degrade any benefit provided by using a high-gain, directional, or optimally located antenna. Too long a cable can even reduce the range to just a few feet due to signal losses.

Kevin Greenwood Nov 24, 2012, 01:33am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Ideas on setting up wifi for apts
I also have a motorola SURFboard SBG6580 located in the corner of our basement office. It's great, but doesn't reach the farthest reaches of the main floor. I also have a SBG901 wireless cable modem sitting in the closet. How would I go about converting the SBG901 into a repeater? Is that possible?




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