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I host an event that usually draws 200 people. It is held in a university lecture hall that holds about 260 people. How many/what kind of wifi access points/routers will I likely need to provide everyone reliable access?

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See this question for information on large conferences that may include some that's useful for you. –  Dennis Williamson Apr 13 '10 at 17:56
    
I read that one first, but it didn't give me any advice specific to the size of my event. –  richcollins Apr 13 '10 at 18:42
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How long is a piece of string? What sort of audience? Why might they need network access? What sort of traffic can they be expected to generate? Are we talking about 200+ geeks or a group of elderly people interested in flower arranging? Too many variables. Without knowing anything about the usage pattern that can be expected how could anyone possibly provide a meaningful answer? Perhaps you should provide some relevant details. –  John Gardeniers Apr 14 '10 at 10:32

2 Answers 2

First, if you're not using the universities existing wifi you'll certainly want to get it turned off in that area to reduce interference.

Second, two or three decent AP's (channels 1, 6 and 11) should be more then enough, and if relevant, give the presenter a wired connection just in case.

At this point use 802.11 G AP's (or a/g), N ap's aren't really there yet. Cisco 1200's can be had on eBay fairly cheaply these days and are built like tanks.

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Your answer completely depends on the amount of traffic you expect. The number of people you have attending is a function, but you'll also want to think about the average usage per person, your possible peak traffic, and coverage area.

Essentially, plan for the worst, and then use your estimates to figure out what you don't need.

If your coverage area is open, and indoors, that reduces the number of APs needed. If you don't expect people will be streaming video, that reduces the number of APs. If you don't believe there will be a moment of peak traffic, that reduces APs.

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