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OldNoob

IT Clever People- Router Advice Needed

Very off topic but there you go! I need to look at a router I can deploy in a number of buildings that we run.

Background- We have a legacy of a number of different routers, some from providers and some bought, with a variety of specs, some suitable but many not. I want to standardise all the routers at a given level of service, to boost our ability to do things like video conferencing and allow our young people and staff to be more connected to each other across the area.

The key features I need are.
1- Maximum wireless band width, with good coverage. We have old and new buildings, often with multiple rooms.
2- Ability to partition the router into two, with 60% of the bandwidth password protected for staff/work use and 40% available for open 'public' access. We have lots of young people with smart phones, they can't use the networks in some buildings and take all the band width in others.
3- Idiot proof- Must be SIMPLE to set up, filter and maintain.
4- Budget- Not massive but we are happy to spend money on the right product.
5-Simple support for fibre broadband. Currently we have rubbish contracts that don't give us fibre, mostly we have 17mbps down line speeds.
blindgeekuk

I'll ask our hardware buyer
OldNoob

Awesome. I am thinking I might end up needing a software solution to the band with partition.
blindgeekuk

We use Open Mesh access points - they have the dual networks you want, with option to throttle bandwidth and even the time they are available. Support upto 50 simulteanous connections, and build their own intelligent network so that if one fails, the others help out.
OldNoob

Would that need a standard wired firewall/router on the end? I know nothing.
blindgeekuk

Yeah, these are networked wifi access points.

In terms of router gear itself, whatever your broadband provider gives you, and turn the internal wifi off would allow you to do the dual wifis.

We run 5 of these at our office, across 3 floors, and all go into a 100mbps line - we have about 80 devices on te wifi at any one time, and use the second network as a publicly accessible one for candidate being interviewed

Our router is provided by the company who run the business park we're on, and to them via virgin I think. I've not bought/used non provided routers in nearly a decade
OldNoob

Awesome. If i can work out how you set those up they  may be the solution.

Next question- Easy way to partition my band width so that all the kids don't suck up the whole network with phones? Would that be to so a VPN within the supplied router software or should I look at router management software? I will probably want to stop kids from searching for things like "Chicken Porn" on the public network whilst still allowing unfiltered on the staff sites for things like accessing drug awareness and sexual health sites.
blindgeekuk

The access points have the throttling built in. Firewall, not built in, but I've done something similar with a linux firewall box before, so its definitely doable.

I'll pm you the details of my old company, who like doing stuff like this, they might be able to come up with a good cheap solution.
Gordy

I would highly recommend looking at UniFi boxes.  They are superb, easy to roll out and easy to maintain.
OldNoob

Gordy- was that the Ubiquiti ones?
Anyone got experience in setting up a Ubiquiti PoE system? Like the look of it and the fact that it is easy to manage remotely etc.

BG- Spoke to your mate Jerry, he was very helpful, buy him a pint if you see him and send me the bill!
Gordy

OldNoob wrote:
Gordy- was that the Ubiquiti ones?
Anyone got experience in setting up a Ubiquiti PoE system? Like the look of it and the fact that it is easy to manage remotely etc.


Yeah that's the ones.  They are simple to setup you install a little program on one computer (ideally the server) then its dead simple to add and setup.  Adding extra boxes is child's play, its one button from memory.  They also have a cloud based admin setup, but whilst it's free for the first three years you have to pay after that so I've not played with that yet.

The POE bit makes it easy as you can run a single network cable to wherever you want to put one.  They come with a POE power injector or you can hook them up to a POE switch.

They mount on walls or in ceiling tiles in minutes too.  

I started using them as all the network guru's seemed to rate them highly and I was very impressed.
OldNoob

I am putting them in as my recommended solution. We don't mind paying for the management program later. It looked simple enough that I might be able to get my head around it. We don't have servers, the council have those but there's a separate network for them. We are considering a cloud based document and data based solution for when we potentially stop using the council system, I think it makes sense given the dispersed and highly mobile nature of our workers.
Thanks for your help do far gentlemen. Expect more questions this month as things develop,

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