We want to connect our bus garage to our LAN as they are currently using dial-up. The garage is a steel building about 800 feet from our main building. I am thinking wireless is our best solution. Do you have any recommendations as to how to proceed? - Sue Laubach.
Wireless is certainly an option. You will want to use a different type of wireless access device called a wireless bridge, which is specifically made for a point to point connection. You will want to look at some type of directional antenna so that you focus the signal between bridges to where you want to it to be. You don't need a highly directional antenna because the more directional it is, the more you may have to occasionally realign the antenna to keep them directly pointing at each other. Even with a directional antenna, you will still want to use the highest level of encryption (use WPA2 if at all possible).
Go to www.grc.com/passwords for help in generating an encryption key that will be just about impossible to break.
Talk to your telephone folks to see if there are available dry copper lines running between the buildings. If there is, or it can be put in with little or no expense, you can look at using a device called an Ethernet extender. This takes copper wiring with no voltage present and less you provide Ethernet connections to the other building. Depending on how the electricity is installed in this other building, you may need to find one these devices with an optical isolator circuit installed so that this new network connection doesn't become a big ground connection between buildings.
Another option is a variation on what I just mentioned but will use fibre-optic cabling. This gives you the best electrical isolation between buildings. Where this becomes a plus is in the event you have a nearby lightning strike. With using fibre-optic cabling, you are electrically separating the buildings and can provide a connection that can run at gigabit speeds. This may be faster than what can be managed with even a short of a run as you appear to have between buildings. This option will be the most expensive due to the cost of the fibre versus copper, the cost to have the fibre run between buildings and the equipment needed to convert the fibre connection to a copper connection used by the network gear in both buildings.
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