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Is it possible to connect to an AP from far away? Or is it limited by the device connecting?

My question concerns AP's like Ubiquiti's NanoStation locoM2 which claims 5km+ range.

Would I be able to connect to it from that far (in ideal conditions) with a laptop's embedded WiFi?

I understand that interference and obstacles will greatly reduce this, but would I achieve say, 1km? Or is it limited on the laptop's side?

And is communal WiFi (ie lots of users using the same AP) users vulnerable to network sniffing?

Is there something better than Ubiquiti for wide area wifi networks?

I am a beginner in large scale networking, so please forgive the stupidity,

Thanks in advance

  • And what's up with the random down votes?!?! Hope the admin catch the sour person. – JacquesL Jul 11 '14 at 20:45
  • But you can't just go round killing people or stealing their money (or in this case rep) without a valid reason. If there is a mistake in the question, I will correct it. The only way anybody can move forward is by constructive criticism. Have you heard about the Facebook experiments? – JacquesL Jul 11 '14 at 21:56
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Operational range depends on both ends. If the AP can be heard 10mi away, it doesn't do much good when your laptop/tablet/phone has a low power transmitter that cannot be heard 300ft away. The Nanostation range is between two nanostations.

is communal WiFi users vulnerable to network sniffing?

Yes, however the link is almost always encrypted (WPA-Enterprise, so each link has it's own key.)

is there something better than Ubiquiti for wide area wifi networks?

That's a shopping question / opinion, and off-topic. (Everybody has their favorite gear.)

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  • Thanks. So it would mean I would have to place a nanostation every 200m to get good coverage? Sorry for the off topic. I was hoping that there was a clear leader/best practice (like Google) – JacquesL Jul 11 '14 at 20:09
  • FYI long distances are not always a burden with a strong external antenna and line of sight between the AP / laptop. Google for cantenna as one common example – Mike Pennington Jul 11 '14 at 21:24
  • Thanks. The problem comes in with phones etc. I will eventually sell access to the network to 'posh' people, so makeshift looking solutions won't work. But maybe a strong repeater can bridge the problem. – JacquesL Jul 11 '14 at 22:04

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