wireless advise

From: mowgli
Sent on: Saturday, October 23, 2010 6:34 PM
hi i have a question about setting up a new wireless network.

we're going into a new office.? its 20k sq ft but we only occupy 6k sq ft right now.? we'll lease the rest for now.? we want to serve wireless connectivity for the entire bldg (but keep networks separate on a per tenant basis).? we will also be hosting voip on our customized trixbox server.

at the onset we'll have 15-20 users in the 6k sq ft space.? some network printers, all softphones for the voip.? we use all FOSS (ubuntu, ooo, ff, etc).? we have 3 bonded T1s coming into the center of the bldg.? b/c we are distributing both voip & data over wireless, reliability/performance/security are concerns for me (i have little experience w/ wireless networks).

here are my questions:
  1. should we use wireless repeaters or wireless bridges to extend the network?? what are pros/cons of ea? (ie repeaters cut the bandwidth in 1/2 each node etc.)? why dont people just use bridges instead of repeaters?
  2. is it wiser to hard wire some access points throughout the bldg vs using wireless repeaters/bridges or does that make little difference in reliability/performance/etc?
  3. how far apart should the devices be before diminishing quality of the network?? its all normal office drywall construction, wooden doors, wooden & metal furniture.? i know you can only estimate here.? just looking for experience & advise.
  4. any pitfalls/caveats you can warn me of?? brands to avoid, brands to consider, must have specs/features on devices especially the usb wireless sticks for each client, etc?
  5. should i use devices (routers/bridges/wireless USB sticks/etc) all from 1 vendor?? does mixing vendors/brands effect network quality?
  6. what non network things can diminish wireless network quality?? (appliances of some type, type of furniture, proximity of devices to some sort of things, etc)
  7. anything else you can advise to make my network as strong/reliable/effective as possible?
thanx so much & in advance for any info you can send me.? i invite personal experiences, ideas, knowledge you have, links, anything!? consider me a sponge.

btw anyone use inline power as their network?? wonder if this has too much interference or quality issues to support voip or an office.? i've read about this & wireless networks online quite a bit now; opinions are all over the place, so i want to get the opinions of some local gurus.

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