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please accept my apologies for my noviceness.

We are planning on rebuilding our church in the next few years, so needs a great networking solution. These are my needs:

1) A staff network for wireless devices, wired computers and an onsite server 2) A public network with access just to the internet 3) A third network just to wire the sound desk and to connect an iPad.

I was thinking of using the provided ISP router (Likely to be BT) - Connect this to a switch which connects to many Ubiquiti access points as well as the office computers.

1) Is this possible? 2) How do I make it so the server and the desk are only accessible by their respective networks?

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    The BT router may not have the ability to carry out routing to other LAN networks. My BT Home Hub 5 is a reasonably new model and it doesn't allow me to add any additional LAN networks or static routes. This may hinder your ability to host multiple networks for the WiFi. It is still possible, but you would need to host your networks on another device and then NAT them onto the BT HH LAN. I am using pfsense (open source) hosted on a server instead of the BT router to get around this. This requires a separate VDSL to PPPoE modem. – Karl Billington Jul 22 '16 at 21:23
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1) Is this possible?

Generally yes, but I suspect not with simple British Telecommunications router.

2) How do I make it so the server and the desk are only accessible by their respective networks?

By using managed switch with VLANs and AP that support VLANs. Or by using AP and Wireless controller that tunneling traffic between them.

Cost of solution can differ depends on chosen equipment. But anyway radio planning and cabling planning is required, specially if You planning to use multiple APs.

UPD. Try to make more specific in project.

1. How many AP is necessary?

One AP can work from 10 to 100 meters, depends on AP, Wi-Fi standard (g ,n ,ac), walls, desired speed, AP antennas and other parameters.

Reinforced concrete make good isolation, so at least 1 AP on floor. One of way is set test AP and try, how far from it phone work acceptable.

2. How many active users must be served simultaneous?

(active mean do something on network or internet)

In 2.4 GHz band only 3 channels simultaneous possible. And more 15-20 active users on single channel in single interference area can make problem with performance.

If it problem meet, use low power AP that have less coverage and less interference area, and possible use directional antennas. But then more AP required. And/OR use 5 GHz band where more channels can be used (8 - 12 depends on country), if enough client devices support it.

If not, You can try use long range higher power AP.

3. Where it must be placed?

There some different solution possible. It somehow like box packaging. Some AP can have directional antennas and make far coverage in one direction and short in other.

It can depend on wiring limitation (maximum 100 meters of twisted pair) and on AP choose.

4. What AP you choose?

Hard question.

For example:

Ubiquiti UniFi is nice, but requite controller (PC software or "UniFi Cloud Key"). And if one or more switch is used it must be VLAN capable managed switch. And there no directional AP that support multiple SSID (if not do reflash to non native firmware).

Mikrotik - any wireless can be controlled AP or work without controller. Any router can be wireless controller (limited only by planned load). More flexible router, for my taste (but less trivial).

Meraki, Ruckus, Aruba ... - can do anything of above and much more, but several times more expensive. And I lack expertise in it.

5. What router to use?

How much traffic must handle the router? (In Your case - What planned speed of internet connection plus estimation of inter-VLAN traffic?)

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  • Can the routers from Ubiquiti do this? If so, is it smart to just put the BT router into modem mode and then use the Ubiquiti router for the VLANS - I presume their Wireless AP understand this because you can make several networks. – Aidan Beaumont Jul 23 '16 at 19:40
  • @AidanBeaumont In general yes. It possible solution. Ubiquiti switches with PoE (and vlans) can power APs. UniFi Switch managed only from controller (same as UniFi AP). So Controller required. – mmv-ru Jul 23 '16 at 21:24
  • I advice to hire ubiquiti consultant for assistance in project and configuring equipment. – mmv-ru Jul 23 '16 at 22:39
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2) How do I make it so the server and the desk are only accessible by their respective networks?

You will need a switch that allows VLANs, and access points that are VLAN aware. A VLAN acts as a "virtual switch" isolating devices from each other. So you can create a virtual network (wired and wireless) just for the sound desk, and additional separate ones for your server and guest wireless.

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You will need an Ethernet switch to terminate the links to the Access Points and any other wired IP endpoints. You will also need a security gateway that provides URL/Content Filtering (no browsing gambling, profane sites, etc.) as well as firewall features. The public network needs to be child appropriate.

A key factor is the required number of AP's. There are 2 approaches - coverage based or capacity based. If you are going to have 300 people show up in a church or conference hall with many of them using your WiFi, you need to plan for this. A capacity based predictive model can guide you. See Meraki's High Density Wi-Fi Deployment Guide

The AP's will likely be powered by the network cable but copper only works for 300 feet. Beyond that you use fiber cable. They make fiber to copper media converters with PoE+ which might be what you need.

Contact a "Structured Cabling provider" to get all this cable run and AP's installed.

Hope that helps.

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@aidan beaumont - All the answers provided by the multiple techs on this post are very helpful to your quest.

To your list add a communications rack at least 42 RUs with horizontal/vertical cablemanagement in a secured air-conditioned room. Which is properly grounded by an electrician. Two racks are even better, one for your cabling and POE network switches. The other for your servers and other comms equipment.

All your cabling (preferably cat6a shielded) can terminate into the patch panels within the rack and serve your POE wireless access points

Planning a clean a thorough installation from day 1 sure helps later for when you add growth and locating what is connected to your network. :-)

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