Wireles Networking is a practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunications infrastructure. See the editorial for more information....

Question & Answer

If you are new to wireless networking, you likely have a number of questions about what the technology can do and what it will cost. Here are some commonly asked questions, with answers and suggestions on the listed page.


How can I supply power to my radio equipment, if there is no power available? Off-the-Grid Power
Do I need to run a power cable all the way up the tower? Providing Power
How can I use solar panel to power my wireless node while keeping it online overnight? Designing a solar or wind powered system
How long will my access point run on a battery? Discharging Characteristics


How can I monitor and manage remote access points from my office? Bandwidth Monitoring
What do I do when the network breaks? Troubleshooting, Proper Troubleshooting Technique
What are the most common problems encountered on wireless networks, and how do I fix them? Common Network Problems


How good is the range of my access point? Link Planning
Is there any formula I can use to know how far I can go with a given access point? Calculating the Link Budget
How can I know if a remote place can be connected to Internet using a wireless link? Link Planning Software
The manufacturer says my access point has a range of 300 meters. Is that true? Calculating the Link Budget
How can I provide wireless connectivity to many remote clients, spread all around the city? Designing the Physical Network
Is it true that I can reach a much greater distance adding a tin can or aluminum foil to my AP's antenna ? Cantenna
Can I use wireless to connect to a remote site and share a single central Internet connection? Designing the Physical Network
My wireless link looks like it will be too long. Can I put a repeater in the middle to make it better? Repeaters
Should I use an amplifier instead? Avoiding Noise, Amplifiers


How can I install my indoor AP on the top of a mast on my roof? Waterproof Enclosures
Is it really useful to add a lightning protector and proper grounding to my antenna mast, or can I go without them? Professional Lightning Protection, Surge and Lightning Protection
Can I build an antenna mast by myself? How high can I go? Antenna Masts
Why does my antenna work much better when I mount it “sideways”? Polarization
Which channel should I use? Frequencies and Channels
Will radio waves travel through buildings and trees? What about people? Absorption
Will radio waves travel through a hill that is in the way? Line of Sight
How do I build a mesh network? Mesh Networking with OLSR
What kind of antenna is the best one for my network? Classification of Antennas
Can I build an access point using a recycled PC? Building an AP from a PC
How can I install Linux on my AP? Why should I do so? Wireless-friendly Operating Systems


How can I know if a wireless link is achievable with a limited amount of money? Commercial vs. DIY solutions
Which is the best AP with the lowest price? Choosing Wireless Components
How can I track and bill customers for using my wireless network? Captive Portals, Bandwidth Monitoring

Partners and Customers

If I am supplying connectivity, do I still need service from an ISP? Why? Designing the Physical Network
How many customers do I need to cover my costs? Mali / Financial Model
How many customers will my wireless network support? Estimating capacity
How do I make my wireless network go faster? Traffic optimization
Is my Internet connection as fast as it can be? Internet link optimization


How can I protect my wireless network from unauthorized access? Mac Filters
Is it true that a wireless network is always insecure and open to attacks by hackers? Threats to the Network
Is it true that the use of open source software makes my network less secure? Encryption
How can I see what is happening on my network? Protocol Analyzers

Information and Licensing

What other books should I read to improve my wireless networking skills? Books
Where can I find more information online? Resources
Can I use parts of this book for my own teaching? Can I print and sell copies of this book? Copyright and About This Book

Last Update: 2007-01-24