Question Recommended Wifi for Public Location

spinningstill

Reputable
Jan 15, 2018
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What resource should I use to help determine a good router solution for a church. Maybe 200-400 people on any given Sunday, after the Pandemic. I know what I use for my home, but what about multiple users in a public setting?

Then perhaps the office, should it have a smaller router or just use a main one? It's an older brick church.

Kind Regards.
 

Math Geek

Champion
Ambassador
they could all use the same router but for that many users, you're into enterprise level stuff. the home use routers would never be able to handle that many users.

if you're office is serving up private data or other use, then it's own network would be a good idea. if there are just a couple office machines with internet access on them, then they can share the same access point.

you need to consider the square footage you have to cover. if there are multiple rooms, are they separated by sheetrock, concrete or other material? how many users do you expect to log in and use it at the same time?
 

OrlyP

Great
Aug 20, 2020
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I'd consider using Ubiquiti UniFi access points for that. Depending on the building layout, size, and construction, I'd say, anywhere between 3-5 access points should cover it. That's an overly simplistic assessment and the final results will vary depending on a few other important factors.

As for the router, the free stuff that came with your ISP will probably not cut it. Options available for you would be Microtik, Ubiquiti USG, Ubiquiti EdgeRouter-X, or maybe even Untangle NG.

You can go full Ubiquiti UniFi stuff for an integrated setup and management.... UniFi UAP access points + UniFi PoE Switches + UniFi Security Gateway (USG)

Depending on how many features you need or the amount of control you have over the network, you're likely going to need a professional to do it for you.

FWIW: At home, I have UniFi UAP-AC-Pro and UAP-AC-LR access points, a Cisco Layer-3 switch, and Untangle NG Home Pro firewall.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I am a little late to this thread, but first thing is you need a router that can handle 400 devices. That excludes most "home" routers because they only handle a class C (255 addresses).
As was also said you need multiple WIFI access points to distribute this load of devices. For the sanctuary, which hopefully doesn't have too many people using WIFI, you may want APs that are specifically designed for "high density" deployments.
If yours is like other church installations I have seen, you will have several classrooms, possibly a gym or activity room to cover. You may want WIFI for digital signage inside and outside the building. You probably have some security cameras that probably should be tied into your network somehow.
You also need to get some dedicated space for your "network closet". This room needs to have stable temperature and airflow. It also needs to have power protection, in the form of a UPS.
You will need to pull ethernet cables from your network closet to all your WIFI access points. Check on any code requirements for your locality regarding fire stops or other penetrations you may have to get through.

All these things, and MANY more mean you need to find a local person that you can use as a consultant.
 

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