Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My company is demoing our network enabled products at big conferences. For this purpose, we would like to be able to set up a small WiFi network in our booth with a range of less than 10 meters. We will only be connecting the device that we are demoing and the iPad or PC running our demo software.

I understand that there are conferences that won't allow you to run your own WiFi equipment, but some fairly big ones do (e.g. IMTS, which we were just at).

I know that the AP should be encrypted and not broadcast its SSID, but are there additional equipment considerations to deal with the high level of RF noise in such an environment? Is there a particular technology that I should be looking at?

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Use 5GHz A/N if your devices support it. I don't believe current gen iPads do, but some PC/Mac wifi chipsets do.

Get some hardware like a Wi-Spy Channelizer that will tell you what channels are most congested in your area and run your AP on a different one.

If you want to be a good neighbor, you'll keep your transmit power low. If you don't care about the booth next to you, crank that sucker way up.

Definitely use WPA2 with a long key so that people can't hop onto your wifi and contribute to the problem.

We don't do specific brand recommendations here, but get an enterprise product from an enterprise vendor. They typically have the most configuration options available for dealing with situations like this. If you spend $50 and get a Linksys from Best Buy, you're going to have a bad time.

If all else fails, you can build a giant Faraday cage and demo inside of that ;-)

share|improve this answer
+1 for ...good neighbour, you'll keep your transmit power low.... – Hennes Sep 20 '12 at 14:21
Also do a quick site survey using InSSIDer on Windows or Wifi Explorer on Mac to find out what channels are available (especially if you're using 2.4GHz) as to not conflict with what's out there. – gravyface Sep 20 '12 at 14:25
@gravyface I sort of covered that with the recommendation to get a Wi-Spy device since it will show 2.4GHz and 5GHz interference from everything not just other wifi devices. Those products are definitely good recommendations if the OP doesn't want to invest in a Wi-Spy or similar device, though. – MDMarra Sep 20 '12 at 14:26
you're right. Eyes glazed over I guess. Still, might not have the budget for extra hardware and InSSIDer's free. – gravyface Sep 20 '12 at 14:47
In my experience 2.4 Ghz in a conference/trade fair setting is too congested to be usable at all. 5 Ghz is usually doable. I recommend to disable the AP feature to use the "least congested channel". This seems like a good idea but if the neighbors do the same they will keep changing channels continuously, thereby killing performance. – Tonny Sep 20 '12 at 15:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.