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Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

[ Edited ]

Our nonprofit is establishing itself in two locations in the Dominican Republic. Each poses their own set of challenges. We currently have two locations in Haiti using a mix of networking hardware that was setup before my time. In starting at these new locations, I have the ability to do it my way. I am looking for cost effective all-UniFi solutions that will support our full-time misisonaries and short-term mission trip participants. I am in the US and will need to purchase all the hardware before I leave so I can take it down there with me to install, which makes planning more important than usual. We would like the ability for short-term teams to pay for wifi access per device. Our current locations in Haiti use Meraki solutions for this; I would like to stick with UniFi if possible. I am looking for advice on hardware choices. I'll post the two locations separately (here's the other one). 

 

Location: Hotel

Description: 4-story hotel, concrete floors and walls; internet comes in on first floor, probably fiber at 100mbps max

Assumptions: cannot run cable; equipment can be housed in first-floor office; equipment can be placed anywhere

Needs: strong wifi signal on 4 floors; 30-40 concurrent users max

Wants: paywall for short term teams; firewall; moderate signal at outdoor pool

 


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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

[ Edited ]

Show us photos and/or a floorplan. Ask the hotel if they have a LAN network, and if yes, if you can plug into that.

 

The very dirty & very imperfect solution: Place two AC-M & UMA-D combinations on poles outside and aim them at the rooms. You may have to connect this to the router with a pair of NanoBeams or NanoStations. Problem: The outdoor hardware might walk away at night, and only the window rooms will see a WiFi signal.

 

Another imperfect solution: Use NanoBeams to establish a wireless bridge - inside or outside - the building to connect the floors, from there on use UniFi AC-LRs and small UniFi switches. UniFi CloudKey Gen2 as controller. You might also want to bring a couple of UPS. You probably also want either a USG, USG-4 (USG Pro) or an EdgeRouter (ER-X-SFP or ER-4).

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

It is almost impossible to know what to recommend without walking through the building. There is so much to a deployment like this, even beyond wifi signals. So many times you find there are huge challenges to running the network cables, limitations on where APs can be installed, where can the back-end gear be installed, etc. It will help to post floor plans of the building, but again there is so much more to it than just placing some pictures of APs on some floor plans.

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

[ Edited ]

added this:

Assumptions: cannot run cable; equipment can be housed in first-floor office; APs other equipment can be placed anywhere

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

If you can't run cable, how is it possible that the APs can be anywhere?

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

That's why I'm posting here. I don't know much about repeaters, amplifiers, etc. Looking for solutions.

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

Well, access points (excluding wireless uplinks, which probably won't work here and you should avoid anyway) need cables run to them. Even if you do use wireless uplinks, you still need power, which requires cabling. And, you'll be cabling across multiple floors, so you'll have to figure that out too. Ethernet cables have a maximum length of 100 meters, so you may need fiber runs or intermediate switches between floors and such.

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

I agree that cabling between floors would be best case. I need an option for a fallback plan, even if it is uplink.

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

[ Edited ]

Show us photos and/or a floorplan. Ask the hotel if they have a LAN network, and if yes, if you can plug into that.

 

The very dirty & very imperfect solution: Place two AC-M & UMA-D combinations on poles outside and aim them at the rooms. You may have to connect this to the router with a pair of NanoBeams or NanoStations. Problem: The outdoor hardware might walk away at night, and only the window rooms will see a WiFi signal.

 

Another imperfect solution: Use NanoBeams to establish a wireless bridge - inside or outside - the building to connect the floors, from there on use UniFi AC-LRs and small UniFi switches. UniFi CloudKey Gen2 as controller. You might also want to bring a couple of UPS. You probably also want either a USG, USG-4 (USG Pro) or an EdgeRouter (ER-X-SFP or ER-4).

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Registered: ‎07-18-2018

Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

The NanoBeam might be the answer, depending on access to cabling. Thanks for thinking outside the box with me.

 

You like the AC-LR over the others? I have no experience with them and have a hard time believing (for no justifiable reason) that they would be better than the AC-PRO.

 

I'm thinking of switching to the USG-4 in our US office (currently using Meraki). You think the standard USG is fine for these other locaitons?

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

USG3 will handle this traffic with no problem.

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

The AC-Pro costs more but in your case does not come with more features that matter, compared to the AC-LR. In other words, you'd be wasting money. And if you had a valid reason to go for the AC-Pro, then the nanoHD would almost certainly be the better choice. :-)

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

Thanks for the help everyone. I won't have more details untli I get there, but this gives me a good idea of what I need to order first.

 

Where's your favorite place to drop a few thousand bucks on this stuff?

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

Ubiqiuti store

B&H Photo

Amazon

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

[ Edited ]

There is no google satellite image or map or photo or name of the hotel available?

 

Pre-terminated fiber: Check fs.com or search google. Get single mode. Don't forget the 1 Gigabit SFP modules, and make sure they are compatible with the UBNT products you want to use (UBNT also sells SFP modules).

 

Estimating ethernet cable lengths won't be easy, but make an effort. Also bring a cable tester, a crimp tool and RJ45 plugs. I would also add one or two EdgeRouter ER-X-SFP to the mix as they are very versatile (use as router or switch or PoE switch) and very cost effective.

 

Depending on the length of the floors you would want 1 or 2 AC-LRs for each. Estimate 1 AP for 6 rooms (3 on each side of the corridor), at most for 8 rooms.

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Re: Dominican Republic wifi install location #1: hotel

So are you up and running? Which approach did you take? Am curious.

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