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I'm looking to set up WiFi in our current office space. Our 50 employees currently connect via Ethernet only, but I'd like to add WiFi for easier access in meeting rooms and working not at a desk.

Are Small Office/Home Office routers generally OK for a business environment, or are enterprise grade APs in order here?

Also, should I plug each one into Ethernet, or is there a feature I should look for that would allow them to create a mesh based on just one hard-wired connection?

  • I edited out your product rec request, which is explicitly off-topic per the faq and flagged this to be reopened. Please take a minute to read the rules of our community before you ask your next question :) – MDMarra Feb 16 '12 at 21:17
  • cough Ubiquity has a newish UniFi product that's reasonably priced and works for small scale business environments cough – Chris S Feb 16 '12 at 21:28
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Product recommendations are off-topic here, but if you want reliability, I'd strongly recommend staying away from SOHO gear and ponying up for a couple of enterprise-grade APs. You may have sticker-shock from the price of some of the high-end APs, but trust me - they're entirely worth it if you care about reliability and performance.

The "best" thing to do, if you can, is plug each AP into Ethernet. Many enterprise-grade solutions support PoE, so you don't need to run power, only Ethernet if you have a PoE switch, or an injector.

Mesh APs certainly do exist (and that's exactly what it's called). Cisco, Aruba, and the other major vendors support this configuration, but it takes much more careful planning than just running CAT5e/6 to each.

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    +1: Buying cheap access points almost always turns out to cost more in the long run. – 87cd25770a Feb 16 '12 at 21:57

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