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I am currently trying to choose hardware for two projects.

The first project: there is a five-storey apartment block, which receives Internet connection through Wi-Fi. It is planned to place a grid antenna on the roof. The place from where Internet connection is received is 500 meters away from the building, so a grid antenna is used on the roof of that building as well. The bandwidth of the Internet connection is 7 Mib. It is planned to divide it among 7 users. From the roof of the five-storey apartment block (where these 7 users live) it is planned to lay 7 twisted pair cables, that will be connected to each of the 7 apartments.

Can you please clue me in on choosing hardware for both sides (the building that has an Internet link, and the building that should receive Internet connection through Wi-Fi and has 7 users to divide the Internet connection among them). It is desirable that the Internet connection works stably. It is also obligatory to set up a billing system: the users need to be able to use a web authentication screen to log in, and we should be able to control bandwidth of specific users. Instead of a web authentication screen, there can be a PPTP (VPN) server, depending on what is simpler and quicker to set up (we still need to control bandwidth of each user, though).

I think that we can use some of the Mikrotik products for both sides. Do you think it is a good idea? Any thoughts about exact devices that would be suitable?

The second project: there is a six-storey apartment block, which has two ADSL2+ links on the first floor (one link is 2 Mib, another is 10 Mib). We need to choose a router (preferably Mikrotik) which can be simultaneously connected to two ADSL modems (in other words, is able to have two WAN interfaces for connecting to the Internet through both modems at the same time). It is planned to connect the router to 6 Wi-Fi access points (using twisted pair cables), one on each floor (so, in case of a 10-port router, we still have 2 free ports). Access points in this case work in bridge mode, so the connected users get directly to the main network. And it is planned to use the 2 Mib link for the web traffic (80 and 443, but maybe some other specific ports), and the 10 Mib link for all the rest. So the router should support such division (using one Internet connection for specific traffic, and another for all other traffic). Web authentication screen or VPN server is needed for this project, too.

So can you please tell me how to better do these things? Is Mikrotik a good choice? What device is more suitable for the second project?

Or do you maybe have some overall recommendations on these projects?

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There are two questions here, so please split them up into two seperate questions. There's just too much to handle for both at once because they're both complex questions. – Mark Henderson Jul 7 '11 at 1:33
up vote 4 down vote accepted

For the first project for the wireless link you can get away with a regular wireless router (Linksys is a popular choice for such applications), directional antennas and weather proof housing powered via Ethernet cable. People reported stable links up to 40km/25mi using this setup with good directional antennas, so 500m would be piece of cake for this setup. Here is an example of what I'm talking about.

For your second project I would recommend one of Juniper firewall appliances - either SSG-20 with an external switch or SSG-140. The software on these appliance is of professional grade, so configuration can be as flexible as you can imagine it and they priced for SOHO/SMB.

Obviously there are plenty of other options but this is what I had hands-on experience with and what worked best on several of my projects.

UPDATE: It seems Juniper is phasing out their SSG line replacing it with SRX, so if you planing longterm then SRX is the way to go.

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