Create a Public Wireless Network

Create a public wireless networkOver the last few months DII Consulting has looked at a lot of wireless solutions for one of our multi location business clients. We had two primary objectives:

1. Create a private, closed commercial grade wireless network
2. Create a public wireless network

In case you weren’t aware, there are a lot and I mean bunches of companies and hardware that provide wireless services and devices. It can get confusing trying to sort through all of the availability but with patience, diligence and a little good fortune success can be had.
While the focus of this article is on our second objective, the guest network, it should be noted that we went with Ruckus for the private wireless, in large part because they were Awesome. So far it has proved a great decision.

On with the article…..

The customer’s goals to create a public wireless network were very specific. It had to be cheap, easy to manage and on a completely separate circuit from the private wireless. Optimally it would be managed by a company that specializes in managed services so they could avoid the headaches. This optimal request turned out to be a no go – why,,, very expensive. Of the companies we looked at most were difficult to get service from and all wanted exorbitant fees on top of the ability to advertise to guests. That left us with self-managed.

The goals for the self-managed network were simple:

– Inexpensive
– Easy to manage
– Scalable
– Reasonably robust

Enter Open-Mesh. This this is where the good fortune comes in because this nifty little item turned out to be perfect. The VP of Operations sort of tripped over this company and after a little hesitation we ordered some product.

create a public wireless network

Here’s a few helpful hints when ordering from the Open-Mesh Site:

  • Each product is sold individually
  • If they suggest a companion product, take a good look
  • The 8 port POE and the POE injectors are great
  • Watch the videos and read the instructions
  • Questions? Call them. Unlike most other companies they have phone support

It can seem pretty complicated but it is absolutely not. All you really need to do is order your equipment, create your account on cloudtrax, create your network, add your devices and connect.

Our test:

Our first location is a large venue, two stories and fairly long from one end to the other. We weren’t sure how the Open-Mesh signal would carry. To our delight of the five OM2P’s purchased we only used two and both of those are on the first floor. For this configuration we went as basic as possible: ISP DSL single port modem to a Netgear four port switch to one of the Open-Mesh 8 port POE switches (we could have used 2 of the POE injectors) out to the AP’s. After connecting we cycled the modem and it was green lights.

Going to the web management tool “CloudTrax” we could see that the AP’s were up and working no problem. One of the great things about this web management platform is that we can also create additional and separate networks within the main user account. All in all pretty seamless.

With 6 more locations to set up were very happy to have found this product and suggest you take a look.

Need help or have questions? Contact Dixon: support@diiconsulting.com

Links:

– Open-Mesh
– Ruckus Wireless
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