Question Connecting two buildings via wifi ...

wheezer

Honorable
Dec 7, 2012
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Client has two identical Engenius ENS202EXT outdoor AP/Bridge/ Repeater/WDS wifi units. My question: What's the 'best' means to 'extend' the LAN in one building to the new 'security shack' building and retain as much 'network speed' as possible? Buildings are approx. 410 ft. apart with minimal 'obstruction' from VERY tall tree trunks (on National Park land, meaning I can't just chop these suckers down). Ideally, we need a 'bridged' connection to the mini-LAN in the security building.
As I understand it, WDS can affect overall network speeds and (to confuse the issue) I'd also like to preserve the 'AP' wifi functionality of the one unit that services the 'communal areas' between buildings.
As I understand it, these Engenius devices can be configured for 'Client Bridge' to 'Client Router" configuration, but this will solely link them together and 'kill' wifi access to the shared area. These are pretty capable units but not sure how I can best utilize them to 'bridge' buildings and still preserve wifi signal to the communal area. Tried "AP" to "bridge client" but something ain't right here, Rickie.. Can't 'see' devices between buildings...
I suggested a fiber connection between buildings since CAT-5 /CAT 6 maxxes out at something like 330 ft. , but he has these Engenius units and chokes on the estimated $800 cost of fiber channels.
Anyone care to suggest possible configurations?
 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2JH7PV/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_bCpODbBGXQ3G0

A couple of these should fix you right up. They function as a long range Wi-Fi link between two sites. We've tried them and have gotten about 14 miles of range, with no interference and no obstructions (nothing to obstruct them in Antarctica). Less than a mile is no problem. Those Engenius units just won't have the range. A couple hundred feet wouldn't be a problem, but you seem to be going way beyond that and with obstructions the signal just isn't going to be there.
 

nigelivey

Distinguished
Just look at Ubiquiti M5, they are more than enough for your needs and are easy to configure. (They may be end of life and replaced with AirMax but they essentially do the same thing).

Edit: I believe the actual replacements are Nanobeam
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The ENS202EXT are not optimum for a point to point link. They are omnidirectional. You can try using them. It has been a while since I used my ENS202 (the directional version) but you would configure the one nearest the router as a standard access point. The remote unit you would setup as a client bridge if you desire to have a single network. Otherwise you can configure the remote unit as a client router. In that configuration the received WIFI signal is treated like the internet and a separate NAT router is created.
You would want both of these devices mounted outside as high as possible with the best line of sight.
You bring the network inside the remote location on an ethernet cable and then use a switch or access point for local network.
 

wheezer

Honorable
Dec 7, 2012
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THX for all the input... It's why I rely on all the Tom's forums.
I also posed this to Engenius, who told me to use a WDS AP -> WDS client... and I guess things are working OK - at least for now. At least it is 'stable'....
But as we all know, the network speeds are slightly diminished altho these two can still maintain roughly 170-200Mbs from the signal quality (.. uh, on a good day.. if I hold my breath and tilt my head to the right angle ...... strictly an attempt at a joke here, y'all..)
Originally I had the ENS202 closest to the Internet router set up as a simple AP and the 'guard shack' as a client bridge but... under DHCP the 'shack' was not able to "see" the server in the main building dependably, and then I noticed that DHCP between buildings was 'spotty' at best... so I then tried setting all network interfaces to static addresses, which sort of worked but... nyeh... IMHO it's not very 'elegant'.
(BTW: in my 'testing' of all this, I grabbed and added a 'new' (different) AP for the 'communal area' just so I could 'devote' the "202's" to this effort).
Oh, yeah... Roughly a week ago I found some 'affordable' small yagi's that are in the 18-20 dbi range, so I think I might try these on the two SMA-RP connectors at the top of these units, and then mount them on the side of the buildings, in an effort to achieve a better 'directionality' of the signal 'cuz ....
Well I (myself) think this has a lot more to do with the damned tree trunks in the intervening distance between buildings. The existing omni's on top the units are (to my way of thinking) just not gonna cut it with that omni-directional radiation pattern. So for a total cost of less than $100, I can fit both units with these yagi's and then be VERY attentive to the aiming - or so I tell myself.
But I suppose this arguably has more to do with my cool new laser aiming toy I got from one of my suppliers (who asked me to 'test' this gizmo) just after I made that OP...
But WTF do I know... strictly grasping at straws, I guess...
At least no one is complaining at right this moment....
Mr. Kerberos_20: I showed that Ubiquiti 'mini-dish' (my term) to "The Boss" and - damn if he didn't choke on a measly $135.00. REALLY..? Kee-ripes.. Whatever, dude...
Gotta be a 'federal attitude' toward costs, IMHO ...
 
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