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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs? 172

Posted by timothy
from the call-them-all-linksys-done dept.
First time accepted submitter junkfish writes "I am not able to install a controller based Wi-Fi solution in my office due to cost, but I like presenting my users with a single SSID rather than an array of four or five differently named SSIDs from different access points. What is your experience deploying multiple wireless access points with the same SSID and password? I have been doing this with Cisco 1040 series Access Points this year, and have had good success. It seems like the client is able to determine which AP is best to connect to, and is able to roam around the office without too much of an interruption when it connects to a different AP. Is this sloppy practice? Or does the general state of the 802.11 provide for this sort of resiliency? I am really interested in your opinion because I have not seem too much documented on this subject."
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs?

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  • by pclminion (145572) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @07:47PM (#42469149)
    I thought that was the standard way of doing it anyway. Is it not?
  • Ubiquiti Wireless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @07:47PM (#42469159)

    I would highly encourage you to look at the Ubiquiti UniFi system. Software based centralized computer and basic APs are only $66. We're switching to them from Cisco and have been very happy.

    http://www.ubnt.com/unifi

  • Old PC + pfSense (Score:1, Interesting)

    by iMouse (963104) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @08:01PM (#42469345)

    Why not install pfSense on an old PC (Pentium 4-class is more than enough) with a couple of NICs and the FreeRADIUS 2 module? Put the APs in bridged mode and set up 802.1x authentication.

    If you didn't want to use self-signed certs and a private CA, your only cost would be for certificate purchases/renewals. The cost is negligible if you count your staff IT hours as costing you nothing.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @08:28PM (#42469583)

    I do it this way with two cheap Linksys access points. Same SSID, same pass-phrase, different channels. MAC filtering enabled.

    Having to occasionally update the MAC filter list twice isn't much of a labor. Thou depending on how many access points you have and how often you have to make changes would depend on how boring that might get.

    Why use MAC filtering?

    It does nothing to stop someone that's interested in joining your network - if they can hack your WPA key (or steal it from someone's desk), the MAC is not an impediment at all -- it's broadcast in plain text.

    All MAC filtering does is keep honest users off your network, but if they are that honest, they probably aren't going to get on your network in the first place.

    If you're looking for security, setup a RADIUS server and use 802.1x authentication instead of PSK.

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