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Author Topic: Captive portal wifi range extention.  (Read 1383 times)

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Offline vi

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Captive portal wifi range extention.
« on: April 17, 2012, 06:00:02 am »
Is it possible to extend the range of a wifi network with wpa and the captive portal enabled?
Either with out of the box wifi repeaters of with more pfsense aps?

ps. I know you can setup multiple captive portals as master-slave but the current setup doesn't really allow this.

Offline EOC2611P

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Re: Captive portal wifi range extention.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 02:13:39 pm »
I think PFSense has lots of different functionalities but i don't think it can help to extend the range of the area covered by your wifi, for that you might want to try a bigger size antenna or putting the one you already have in a more favourable position, also, some "repeater" give you the option to increase the power of the output signal  ;)

Offline markuhde

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Re: Captive portal wifi range extention.
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 05:53:05 pm »
Don't mess with repeaters of any type. Not a good idea, and except for some proprietary solutions, not layer 2 transparent like you need. Install more hard-wired access points. I really like EnGenius in terms of value for money. Get a bunch of EnGenius EAP350's for indoors and ENH202's for outdoors. The ENH202 comes with a proprietary power injector. The EAP350 requires an 802.3af power injector or switch. Hook these units up to a switch off your pfSense box. Make sure to use only channels 1, 6, and 11 and keep overlap to a minimum (with n=3 reuse, you WILL have overlap. Ignore the people who propose using 1, 4, 8, 11 or 1, 4, 7, 11 to reduce overlap. Even Cisco once recommended that in the early days of Wi-Fi. Real world experience has shown even these minimally overlapping channels dramatically reduce throughput - far more than co-channel interference will. If you're outside North America, use 1,5,9,13 as long as you're okay with some devices not being able to connect on channel 13. 1,5,9,13 are non-overlapping for 802.11g and 802.11n and almost non-overlapping for 802.11b).

I really love the EnGenius product line, and their customer support is great. They don't do everything, but for the money, they're excellent and have good range - great stability - and support up to 4 VLAN-isolated VAPs and VLAN management.

My second choice would be anything that can run DD-WRT. MUCH harder to use and configure, less stable unless you play with finding the right build, but has a ton of capabilities. I'm using some Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N's as AP's in various installs. DD-WRT 18777 is stable on these, though most other build's (INCLUDING BUFFALO'S OFFICIAL BUILDS) are horrifically unstable. Like them a lot for the money (about $40 a piece). No Power over Ethernet, desktop style box. But cheap and capable.

I'm also really interested in trying the MikroTik product, but this adds even more complexity. Great prices though.

EnGenius/Senao is easy to use, has great range/stability, great customer service, and works very well.

I have no affiliation with any of these companies, just saying what I use and am satisfied with!