I am going to try and keep this very brief, but it is a long story.
I work in a very large corporation. Prefer not to say what department just in case this is somehow against the rules.
Anyway, over 2 years ago now we convinced our IT department to let us install our own Wireless Network within the building.
At the time we had some needs they were not willing to allow on our official corporate network. We also were doing virtual classes using Adobe Connect, and they preferred the traffic from those classes were also not on their network, although I do believe that has more to do with our agreement of WebEx being our official virtual platform, but that is not very relevant.
The main point is our IT department agreed to let us go to an ISP directly and get two business lines installed directly into our department.
IT assigned a very cool guy to the project, and he basically laid out the entire way we would set the network up. I just actually executed it all. This was all his master plan so to speak.
So here are the facts you need to know
- 2 Separate Business Lines Come Into Our Building into a Closet
- The closet has 2 modems, each with 4 ports
- The closet also has 10 ethernet ports in it. Each one of those ports goes to a different "drop point" that is scattered throughout the ground floor of the building (where my department resides)
- Each "drop point" has a router.
Here is the closet with the ethernet drops on the wall and the two modems.
So in order to give the "illusion" of one continuous network to make it as easy as possible for anyone to connect to our network, each router is assigned the same SSID. Let's just say it is "wireless" for my example.
Then each router is manually assigned a different Start IP address.
Here is a schematic of the network itself.
As you can see, we kept it simple. Router 2 is 192.168.2.1, Router 3 is 192.168.3.1, so on and so forth. We also had to use a switch as there were just not enough ports on the modem.
Here is one of the routers along with one of the drop points.
So assigning each router it's own IP obviously has introduced some complexities in regards to actual networked devices. If we want to connect to an Apple TV for example and do AirPlay, the iPad and Apple TV each need to be connected to the same IP, which because we named all of the SSID's the same name, there is no way to know if that was the case without manually going into each device and checking it's assigned IP.
So some routers over time actually got their own unique SSID to simplify some stuff like using AirPlay. You want to project your iPad to the projector the Apple TV is connected to, you have to be connected to the SSID "Wireless-AppleTV"
So I am wondering, was there any better way to set this all up where somehow it does create one continuous harmonious network? Or did we set it up the right way initially to give the illusion of one large, single WiFi connection?
Remember the big thing to keep in mind here, is we want to make the end users experience as easy as possible (talking up to 2500 over the course of the year), so we need to keep it as one SSID.
Also the other thing to keep in mind, is we had little to no budget to do this. The total cost of equipment to do this was around $2500.
In conclusion, as I alluded to above, we have been using this setup for 2 years now. And it has worked out pretty good. I am just wondering if it could have been done better somehow, and if there is some way to make it all one true network so if a Printer or Apple TV is connected to Router 3 but the end user is connected to Router 9, they can still access it.
TIA for any help, comments, or suggestions.