Multi-Building WiFi

We love helping local businesses maximize their potential by giving them the tools they need to grow.  Part of this potential is met with quality network services, especially in a time when businesses are shifting to online sales and live events.

A few weeks ago we had the chance to tag team an install with a friend to help a local business increase their WiFi bandwidth in various locations of their property for livestreaming sales.

Previously the client had multiple ISP provided wireless routers branching off their main router (multiple subnets), and multiple WiFi SSID’s.  During one livestream a couple months into the pandemic the network failed in one way or another and caused the livestream to crash – which caused a severe loss in profit.  The trouble with this was partly due to the placement of the ISP provided routers coupled with the capabilities of those routers and partly due to the uplink bandwidth from the ISP.

sunDigital was brought in to design a network that would provide quality wireless to all the different buildings and open spaces on the property, add IPS/IDS and DPI, and facilitate upgrading the ISP circuit to 100/100mbps.

Thankfully, the main building already had structured cabling from a previous renovation.  There were CAT5e drops just about everywhere.  The location of the service point from the ISP didn’t really have a good spot to put any kind of rack, but we cleaned up the cabling as best we could and installed a USG 3 and a 24 port 250w switch to facilitate VoIP phones in the future.

The In-Wall AC AP’s proved to be a perfect fit for these single-gang drops throughout the primary building.

This particular property had one small office building with house cable going to it (CAT6 underground), and one large metal building (garage) with the same type of underground cable run to it.  Both of these buildings ran back to a secondary low voltage box in the primary building (gray cables).  We needed at least 802.3at PoE in that location for the plans to distribute wireless in the garage, so we threw one of the 8 port 150w UniFi switches in there, which fit perfectly.

In the metal garage, we needed wireless, ports for hardwiring equipment, and PoE to power a point to point antenna to provide connectivity to another building at the far end of the property.

To do this, we utilized the UniFi Flex Switch.  The switch was powered by the 8 port 150W switch in the main building.  Out of this switch we were able to power a Mesh point antenna for wireless in the building and a Nanostation AC antenna outside the building to bridge the connection to the building on the far side of the property. Metal buildings aren’t exactly the easiest to mount equipment in, but this worked out ok:

The magnetic back on these Flex Switches is awesome!

After this project was completed, the business owner expressed a need for wireless and wired connections in a building toward the front of the property.  The distance was far enough that calling 811 and trenching cable in 100 degree heat was a no go, not far enough to warrant point to point antennas, but close enough for meshing to work with the Mesh Pro AP’s.  Using the Mesh Pro’s met the need of having wireless in the building, roaming capability between the buildings, and the wireless uplink functionality gave us a wired uplink for a Flex Mini Switch.

Finally we linked up the building on the far end of the property with the other Nanostation AC and added wireless with a Mesh antenna.  Ran a cable from the secondary port on the Nanostation thinking I might be able to use it to uplink the Mesh antenna, could never get that to work for some reason.  Ended up putting another Flex Switch in for wired ports and powering everything with injectors….not my proudest network design moment, but hey, sometimes it be like that.



Share This