Friday, January 28, 2005

WiFi Works (Thanks Jim)

Wifi is working in the main room. We'll extend the repeaters shortly to cover as much of the law school area as we can.


Hank J said...

Many thanks from another satisfied user

Jim said...

Because I've been asked a few times...

There's a total of 5 boxes you'll see around. There's one in the main 290 room which is the "base" unit. Everything passes through that box; it's the brains of the outfit (the router.) That box manages what IP your laptop gets assigned and manages delivering the correct data to the correct laptop. You'll see it is both plugged in for electrical power and also has a CAT-5 wire plugged into the network.

There are 2 other boxes on the second floor that you'll see just plugged into the wall for power but not with a network cable. One of those boxes acts as a booster, or repeater, for the base unit. It's there because of the concrete walls in the building; the signal from the base unit in the 290 room won't reach the rooms on the other side of the second floor without that repeater.

The other box you see on the second floor acts as a signal booster, but no one can connect to it. That box (which is by the stairs) wirelessly connects to the base unit and to a box you'll see on the first floor. No one can connect to the first floor box either, and it wirelessly connects to a box in the basement. (Doing this saves running a long cable from the second floor to the basement!)

Then in the basement there's another repeater that finally does allow people to connect to it. So if you're in one of the rooms in the basement, your signal goes from that box, to the box on the first floor, to the box on the second floor, then finally to the base unit.

And in a nutshell, that's how it all works.

This makes life easier on everyone because each piece of equipment must be registered with the school in order to work on their network (the MAC Address, you can usually find that number on the bottom of your laptop.) Doing this Wi-Fi setup, we only need to register the one Wi-Fi base unit with the school, and the base unit then makes its own network. In the base unit's network, I've left it open for anyone to connect to, so all you have to do is turn on your lappy and use the network! Enjoy!