Wirelessly networking a fraternity house

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by sstern1, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. sstern1 macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    So I'm the only mac user (and one of the only democrats) in my republican-dominated, PC-laden frat house on campus, and all 28 guys in the house each pay $25 a month to Cox Cable for Cable internet access.

    I'm thinking of wirelessly networking the house, it's 3 stories — and I want to go with the 802.11g standard. I've got the money — just need to know, what router should I use (I really like the Airport Extreme Basestation). to accomodate the 28 guys living in the house and is one Cable internet connection enough for them, or should I set up one on each end of the house? Maybe one on each floor? (It would still be cheaper than 28 guys paying $25 a month a piece).

    Keep in mind these guys are not power users but just music downloaders, espn.com'ers etc.
    Most have Wireless-G cards as well

    Thanks for the advice
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    You're probably going to need multiple IP's from Cox cable. Having 28 people on one bandwidth pipe is not going to make anybody happy. Without knowing the layout of the house here's what I would do.

    Put at least one wireless router on each floor. Have 3 IP's coming into the house, one on each floor. Assign the people on the bottom floor to the bottom router, middle to middle router, top to top router. The move centered in the house they are, the better the reception will probably be (unless all the rooms are on one side of the house, then of course locate it appropriately).

    If you need more coverage do this per floor:

    Move the wireless base station to one side of the house (not all the way to the outer wall but about 25% inward) then put another base station on the opposite side of the house that can repeat the signal. Now you have 3 IPs (one on each floor) and 6 base stations (2 on each floor). Assign people appropriately.

    If you need more bandwidth... go with the 2 base stations per floor scenario and purchase a total of 6 IPs from Cox Cable. Each base station will have its own outgoing IP address which would (theoretically) mean that each person would get about 1/5th of the bandwidth of their own personal cable connection. I would think that would be plenty unless they're all constantly downloading stuff.

    Of course... you can keep incrementing this stuff. You really won't know what kind of wireless coverage you're going to get in the place until you put one in. Random things in the wall can mess reception up. Just take a laptop around and test the signal in all parts of the house, modifying as you see fit.

    Good luck!
  3. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    depends is your frat house all wood or boarding or does it have concrete and metal; if the former then i think one base station with a atenae should be able to do the trick, but if not, i think two should be enough; three shouldnt be necesarry; you could use one bastation hard wired to a router and the other would relay the signal

    as for the cable 28 guys sharing 1 cable connection, i dont think its enough, i mean id go for a 6 mbit dsl line or something along those lines
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    here is what i would do..... one on the first floor with cable connection and another on the top floor with cable connection and split the guys between the two.....but i agree that one cable connection will not be enough for everyone.....its still cheaper though right?
  5. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    id go for DSL connections. . . cable is really bad at eating up bandwidth. . especially if a number of people are downloading things at the same time. i would go one router per floor and if needed a repeater or range extender on each floor as well. with some DSL companies you can get 'small business' packages that include lots of bandwidth (more than the standard 1. whatever MB/s ) and a number of seperat IPs. then assign the different IPs to the different routers. as for the actual router id go for the Linksys. as cool as the AE basestations may be they are very expensive compared to Linksys systems.

    btw . . . what frat? im in KA. . . very conservative and ive been the only mac user in any chapter ive hung out with!!!
  6. sstern1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Thanks for the help... I'll check out the DSL lines..

    I'm a Sigma Phi Epsilon.

  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Whichever way you go - cable or DSL - I think the recommendation to go with 6 base stations is a good one - and have all 6 with their own IPs. That's still almost 5 guys per connection, and if they do a lot of music transfer, you'll need the bandwidth - and they'll only pay, what, $6 a month? That's nothing.

    Also, you might want to consider 3 DSL and 3 cable lines, if possible. Sometimes cable goes out. Sometimes the DSL lines have problems. Rarely do they both fail at the same time.

    Finally, if you have the money, spring for a cheap UPS for each base station. That way, if your power goes out, you'll still have internet access. Useful in emergencies, etc. Also keeps the base stations protected, as most UPS's have pretty good surge and brownout protection as well.
  8. spasticmutant macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    Santa Clara
    It's a noble thought, but there could be serious legal implications if people share a wireless link - specifically for the individual in whose name the cable connection is being shared. If anyone sharing that link does anything shady, like, say, illegally downloading or sharing music, the owner of the cable line could be in for an RIAA subpoena. Those Net.Nazis' favorite thing to do is to send the subpoena to the owner of the dynamic or static IP address in violation. That IP address is in the logs of the ISP, which may be compelled to reveal which cable box ID is bound to the IP address at the time the violation was detected.

    That ID, in turn, is registered on the cable box and can't be changed. The cable company keeps your cable box ID on file with your account so they can turn on or off internet traffic to your cable box based on your account status.

    If the people sharing the wireless link all understand this, and the owner of the cable line being shared wirelessly trusts his buddies (yeah, right... :eek: ) then I see no problem. However, it only takes one ******* with poor judgement to ruin it for everyone. Good luck fighting the Music Stasi.

    However, after doing the math, $25/month per guy * 28 guys * 12 months/year = $8400/year. That's far more then the Jack Booted Thugs demand from their victims to settle out of court - it's generally around $2000-$4000 dollars. So if everyone contributes a few bucks to the potential RIAA defense fund, then you can do whatever you want AND be able to pay off the RIAA Brown Shirts if they come calling, or maybe even fund a shark^H^H^H^H^Hlawyer to fight them. (In fact, you could fund RIAA extortion AND buy a really terrific big screen TV for the common room with that kind of dough!)

    My 2 cents... :)

    Anne Marie
  9. phonemonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2004
    dont forget lots of trash bags to put over the routers, i hear beer spills can wreak havok on them.
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I want to know how you are getting Cox Cable Modem service for $25! We are paying $40 here in the Nova area of DC from Cox, and that is if you have cable TV.
  11. sstern1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Our campus has a deal with Cox Cable where if you live on campus in a residence hall or greek house you can get a discount and pay only $25 for the service.

    DSL is a whole lot more...and it's only 3 mbps


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