Hello a relative of mine is the administrator at a three story 55 small apartment complex. The residents stay there only during summer and they decided to setup a central internet connections for all the apartments, with wireless coverage.

The complex is shaped like this picture http://imgur.com/pkoRzNO

The local ISP has two different lines ending in the complex, and the max speed for one line 10Mbps (you can buy multiple lines).

My plan is to setup two different networks one for each side. Each network would have a router with three switches connected to it (one on each floor), and 1 access point for every two or three apartments, connected to the switches.

The problems is I don't really have experience with networks of this size so I am looking for general advice.

Any advice on equipment? I was thinking of pfsense or mikrotik routers, I will definately need good QoS and I am thinking I sould go dual wan in case we need more lines in the future. Also the access points will be outdoors.

Would a 10Mbps line on each side cover normal internet usage for so many clients, or should I get more from the beggining?

Is my plan realistic? Am I missing something?

Thanks for any advice.


You can start with 4x10Mbps lines and see how it goes, if clients utilize it all.

For the wireless part I suggest the Unifi, which is easy to install and has good reviews. Moreover I wanted to install it too in a hotel but I keep postponing it.

For router, since you mentioned Mikrotik, I was very satisfied by the 750G. It has 5 ports, so you can use one for downlink to switches and the other ports can connect to the uplink ISP, so you have 4 ports for ISP connections. Of course Alix boards with pfsense will also do the work you want.

The other thing to take in consideration is how will you load balance the customers between the multiple wans. I think it would be easier to have all clients in same network and use one router in order to avoid messing with first hop redundancy issues. Moreover since you are not experienced keep it simple and not run dynamic routing with your isp.

Switched don't have to be something special, something with gigabit ports is enough to relay wireless customers.

  • Thanks for answering, I was checking the unifi access points myself and they look good, so I will probably go with them and the mikrotik router. I was mainly looking for confirmation, since I am not experienced, but it seems the plan looks good. – odysseas Aug 11 '13 at 22:15

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