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Planning a Wireless Network

One of the first considerations facing the enterprise that wants to deploy wireless networking is – which wireless technologies to adopt and when?

This paper examines the three prevalent standards, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a, with an eye toward the forthcoming 802.11n standard, which promises much higher throughput than is currently available.

We also look at two wireless LAN (WLAN) architectures – standalone access points and centrally controlled coordinated access points – and discuss implementation considerations that can help you decide which architectures to adopt in your environment. To help decide which standards-based products to implement, you’ll want to perform a site survey that identifies the most appropriate wireless technologies and architectures for your environment. Before delving into the more technical details, let’s examine what’s involved in planning and conducting a site survey.

The security solution must control network access in different ways for different types of users who may be in the same location. Some users, such as employees, may be entitled to total or broad access. Other users, such as guests or contractors, may be entitled only to more limited access. In a more sophisticated solution, an access controller sits between the access point and the network, functioning as a gatekeeper, or rights administrator, at the network edge. With such a device, for example, employees can be granted access to corporate resources, and guests may be granted only access to the Internet.

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