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Affordable IT: Mobile and Wireless

It's easy and affordable for most any network to go wireless. The key is planning: Make sure any wireless equipment you buy will meet your security and deployment needs
over the system's projected lifespan.

There's no need to install APs (access points) for every nook and cranny. One way to stay on budget is to deploy coverage in only a few tactical areas, such as the lobby, the conference room, and one or two main open areas.

For site planning, look to vendors such as Wireless Valley Communications, whose $5,000 "lite" edition planning tool can help you design a wireless network for locations requiring no more than 25 APs. Alternatively, you can create a rough site plan using pencil and pad and some facts about the lay of the launch. If you're insecure about going it alone but don't want to blow $5,000, look to vendors like Ekahau, which offers wireless site planning and survey software products starting at $2,700 bundled.

Whichever approach you take, follow the two golden rules for 802.11b/g AP deployment: Use only the three nonoverlapping channels (1, 6 and 11); and design the coverage pattern in both two and three dimensions, to minimize channel overlap.

Equipment and Installation

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