Wireless LAN Requirements
The following are some of the standard components required to create a wireless LAN. If you still need more guidance in the design of your wireless network, let me know, and I’ll get you in touch with someone who can help you out.
Wireless Access Points:
Wireless access points are what allow the wireless devices to connect to the wireless network. The access points normally connect to a wired network through the Ethernet hub, but they can also send data over the air with wireless mesh techniques. Typically, several wireless access points are attached to the wired network and then users can gain access to the office LAN wirelessly. Basically, the wireless access points act as gateways for users to connect to the wired network from their mobile devices. Pictured above is the Motorola AP-7131 Wireless Access Point, it can be controlled with a wireless switch to enable central management, but in the event of loss of connectivity it will resume as a standalone access point. This type of wireless access point can eliminate the need to purchase additional equipment.
Wireless Switches or Controllers:
Because large wireless networks typically have a number of wireless access points spread throughout a significant coverage area it can become difficult to oversee. Wireless switches or controllers can help reduce the cost and hassle to handle these types of large networks. Wireless switches centralize functions like security and management and can control the wireless access points spread throughout your network. Most switches have the ability to track hundreds or thousands of wireless devices within an infrastructure. At left is the Motorola RFS7000 Wireless RF Switch, it is designed for large scale high bandwidth enterprise deployments. This wireless switch is capable of supporting 8,000 to 96,000 mobile devices!
Client Radio Devices:
Client radio devices are PC cards or PCI cards that are slipped into any laptop or other device with a PC card slot and they provide instant wireless access and network connectivity. Pictured at left is the Motorola LA-5137 Wireless Networker Compact Flash Radio Card, this radio card takes advantage of 802.11a/b/g, providing optimal wireless security and a variety of features. To add wireless connectivity to Ethernet devices that don’t have a PC or PCI card slot, you can utilize a client bridge. This device will allow you to extend secure and affordable wireless capabilities to multiple devices that don’t have PC card slots. An example of a client bridge is pictured below, it is the Motorola CB3000.
This is really the last part of the wireless solution. The type of mobile devices you’ll be using to access your wireless network depend on the type of business you’re in. Numerous varieties are available, from rugged mobile computers, to hand-held computers, to just a simple laptop, it’s the mobile devices that will be used to increase the efficiency of your business. Mobile devices can facilitate faster decision-making and increase productivity for your business, so it’s important to employ the correct type. A week from now I’ll begin posts focusing on mobile computers; the different types, where to use them, what to consider before purchasing and more.