Introduction

Community Wireless Networks have the right to be designed in countless ways. To help you understand these different methods for creating networks, this paper covers the basics the what different gadgets do in wireless networks, and also how they deserve to be used in different configurations. Making use of the understanding and tasks in this document, you have the right to work v others to architecture the wireless network that works finest for her community.

You are watching: ____ help users establish a connection to another computer, mobile device, or network.

Reading and also working through learn Wireless Basics prior to this document will aid you with some of the ideas used in designing wireless networks. It provides some important background info for this document.

Reading v this product should take about 30 to 45 minutes. Working v the activities, or diving deeper into the topic with a team may take it longer.

Wireless maker Roles

There room three significant “modes” a Wi-Fi device can use. This modes define the role a Wi-Fi device has in the network, and networks must be constructed out of combinations of devices operating in these different modes. Exactly how the devices are configured relies on the species of relations you want to use in between parts of the network.

In mentioning these modes and the examples below, several types of devices are used. In addition to the phones, tablets, and also laptops you usage in accessing a network, routers make up the hardware the runs the network. This routers are defined in find out Networking Basics, but for the sake of this document the quick meaning of a router is a network machine that can affix one network to another, recognize what traffic can pass between them, and also perform other features on a network, such together assigning IP addresses.

The three wireless functions are:

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Wireless clients (Station)

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Devices such together computers, tablets, and also phones are typical Clients ~ above a network. When you are accessing a wireless hotspot, or the router in your home or office, your an equipment is the client. This customer mode is likewise known together “station mode” as well.Some routers can operate as Clients as well, which enables them to act favor the wireless map in a computer, and connect come other access Points. This deserve to bridge 2 Ethernet networks, or affix to an ext distant APs.A Wireless customer is similar to a human in the audience of a play or movie. Castle are one of several or many civilization accessing information through the same conduit - someone speaking.

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Access points (Master)

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Most wireless networks are made using access Points - gadgets that host and also control the wireless connection for laptops, tablets, or smart phones. If you usage Wi-Fi in your residence or office, it is most likely through an accessibility Point. Once a router is set up as an AP, it is stated to it is in in “Master” or “Infrastructure” mode.An AP is occasionally a stand-alone maker that bridges between a wireless and also wired (Ethernet) network, or is component of a router. APs can cover a selection of areas with a wireless signal, depending on the power of the an equipment and the kind of antenna. There are also some APs that room weatherproof, designed come be an installed outdoors.An accessibility Point is comparable to a human being on stage, addressing one audience or group - castle are providing the details for everyone else. Those audience members deserve to ask concerns of the person on the stage, and also receive a response.

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Ad-Hoc Node (Mesh)

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Some wireless devices (laptops, smart phones, or wireless routers) support a mode dubbed Ad-Hoc. This permits those devices to attach together directly, there is no an accessibility Point in-between managing the connection. This creates a different type of network - in Ad-Hoc mode, all gadgets are responsible for sending and receiving messages to the other devices - there is no anything rather in between. In one Ad-Hoc network, every machine must be in this role, and also using the exact same configuration to participate. Not all tools use this mode, and some have actually it together a “hidden” feature.Ad-Hoc tools are provided to produce a Mesh network, so as soon as they are in this mode, castle are dubbed “Mesh Nodes”.An Ad-Hoc or Mesh node is comparable to an individual in a group or roundtable discussion. They have the right to take equal part in the conversation, elevating their hand as soon as they want to speak so the others will listen. If someone at the end of the table cannot hear, among the individuals in-between can repeat the original message because that the listener.

Quick Activity: describe the distinctions in the two instance networks below. What are the roles and also relationships between the various colored nodes in the networks?

Example 1
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Example 2
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Role of the Pink Nodes: __________________________________Relationship between nodes: __________________________________Role the the Yellow nodes: __________________________________ function of the Blue nodes: __________________________________Relationship in between nodes: __________________________________

The 2 networks above are Ad-Hoc and also Infrastructure (Access Point) networks. Room there places or time in a social instance where you space in an accessibility Point or client situation? space there areas or times as soon as you space in an Ad-Hoc situation?

What connects to what?

From the duties above, you deserve to see that Clients always need to attach to an accessibility Point, and Mesh nodes all attach to every other. It should likewise be noted that because of how Wi-Fi is designed, this additionally prevents various roles from connecting come each various other as well.

Access point out cannot attach to each other wirelessly:

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Clients cannot attach to each other wirelessly:

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Clients cannot connect to Ad-Hoc (Mesh) gadgets wirelessly:

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Access point out cannot affix to Ad-Hoc (Mesh) tools wirelessly:

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Wireless tools in networks

Treat the three species of roles over - Clients, access Points, and also Ad-Hoc nodes - together the building blocks for large networks. Below are several examples that show how gadgets configured for various roles deserve to be used.

Access suggest - residence or Office network

Wireless networks supplied in your house or office are typically a mix of a router and a wireless access Point (AP).

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In the chart above:

1 represents the connection to the net (Optional - networks can function without the Internet). 2 represents the router that assigns IP addresses and provides a firewall in between your network and also the Internet. 3 represents the accessibility Point, providing a wireless bridge between the router and also the users’ devices. 4 represent user devices, such together laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

In many home networks, or little office networks, the router and AP may be merged into a solitary device. This is generally just called a wireless router. That may likewise have a DSL, Cable, 3G, or 4G harbor to carry out the connection to the Internet. In large office scenarios, there might be number of AP devices spread transparent the building to provide much more even wireless coverage, connected back to the router through lengthy Ethernet cables.

Point to suggest link - long Distance Connections

Wireless networks have the right to be provided to attach distant structures or areas. It typically requires really focused antennas - such together a dish antenna - that can send a narrow beam in a details direction. This is debated in find out Wireless Basics - so walk there for more details on how that works.

A long-distance connection is often referred to as a “point-to-point”, or “PtP” link. The name describes the concept: two points are linked together, and also nothing else. This needs two wireless devices: one configured as an access Point; the various other configured as a Client. In the instance below, two wireless tools are configured to produce a point-to-point link.

Omnidirectional accessibility Point and client Link

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1 represents computers linked with Ethernet cables to the wireless devices. These computer systems are connected to each other over the Point-to-Point link. 2 to represent the wireless device setup as an access Point. 3 to represent the wireless an equipment setup as a Client, connected to the accessibility Point.

This could look like the building-to-building connection, as shown below:

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Long-distance directional accessibility Point and client Link

Here us have an additional example the a point-to-point link, but where the routers have actually dish antennas because that greater link distance.

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In the diagram above:

1 represents computers associated with Ethernet cables come the wireless devices. These computers are linked to each other over the Point-to-Point link. 2 to represent the wireless device setup as an access Point. 3 represents food antennas that emphasis the wireless signal, enabling connections over long distances. 4 to represent the wireless machine setup together a Client, associated to the access Point.

This could look prefer the network below, wherein an AP an installed on a tower is maybe to affix with a customer device in a home very far away, because the dishes are facing one another.

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In both of this examples, there are simply two wireless devices linked together - and also the antennas identify the variety at i m sorry they have the right to connect. The much more focused the signal, the more the point-to-point attach can reach. As the distance between the gadgets grow, the is much more an more important to emphasis the signal v antennas - in ~ both ends of the connection. Otherwise one finish may listen the other, but not it is in loud enough to it is in heard!

Point to MultiPoint - Wireless Internet business Provider model

If we combine the two values used in the networks over - many customer devices connecting come an accessibility Point, and more powerful antennas offered for outdoor gadgets to develop longer links - we can create allude to Multipoint networks. These room larger-scale accessibility Point networks, wherein there is a single maker in the “center”, controlling all of the Clients associated to it and bridging those relationships to the Internet.

These species of networks are supplied by Wireless Internet service Providers (WISPs) to connect homes and also businesses to the Internet. Rather of running cables about a ar or town, they placed up one or an ext powerful access Points top top a tall building or tower. By installing directional wireless devices in a client role on various other rooftops, and also pointing them ago at the tall structure or tower, those buildings can be linked to the WISP’s networks, and thereby the Internet.

The diagram below demonstrates one model for how this works. Over there is a powerful Access Point mounted on a high building, and several adjacent buildings with rooftop wireless customer devices: this creates the Point-to-Multipoint network. Associated to each of the customer devices is an indoor router or accessibility Point, which allows users to attach their computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones come the WISP network.

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In the diagram above:

1 to represent the connection to the Internet. 2 represents an accessibility Point offering the signal for client devices to affix to. 3 represents a an effective omnidirectional (all directions) antenna, sending out the wireless signal to a big area about the building. 4 represent customer wireless devices on the roof of other buildings, linking come the an effective Access Point, and able to affix to the net through that AP. 5 represents little Access points distributing wireless service inside the building.

Mesh - Neighbor-to-neighbor Networks

A mesh network bring away the rule of Point-to-Multipoint, and extends it come the idea of every node connecting come every other node in range. In effect, this create a “Multipoint-to-Multipoint” network. This needs that all the devices are in the Ad-Hoc mode - wireless gadgets all in AP setting or client mode can’t do the same function. For an ext information on exactly how this rule works, see the introduction to Mesh document.

The diagram listed below demonstrates one model for exactly how this works. Wireless mesh nodes are set up on the rooftops of miscellaneous buildings, and also those nodes that are in variety and don’t have actually anything prevent the signals will connect. This nodes will certainly share all resources connected to them together as neighborhood servers hosting applications and also connections come the Internet. Castle can also be linked to computers, access Points, or routers within the buildings so users can access the resources almost everywhere on the network.

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In the diagram above:

1 to represent the link to the Internet. 2 represents a Mesh Node through a connection to the Internet, v an omnidirectional (all directions) antenna. 3 to represent Mesh Nodes v omnidirectional (all directions) antennas. These nodes space receiving Internet accessibility from Mesh Node B. They might be associated to different gadgets inside the building. 4 represents tiny Access clues distributing wireless organization inside the building.

Hybrid Networks

When designing and also building town or community-sized networks, it might be challenging or impossible to usage a single an approach to affix everyone. Because that instance, a solitary Point-to-Multipoint network may not cover whole community. Mesh nodes deserve to be provided to extend client sites to surrounding buildings. Point-to-point connections deserve to bridge much longer distances and join several disconnected networks together.

In the diagram below, we deserve to see an example of a hybrid network. Over there is no single example that have the right to cover all of the feasible uses for a network! In the task that follows, girlfriend will check out the various ways to build a network by working v scenarios.

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One critical note prior to we move on to the task - in the instances above, and also in the task that follows, the diagrams emphasis on building networks throughout rooftops or from structure to building. This is normally the best means to build networks the cover neighborhoods, towns, or communities. In the diagrams, the method people attach to this network isn’t constantly shown.

Keep in mind the these rooftop routers might not administer connections to customers on the ground, or in buildings. A great way to provide these connections is through attaching accessibility Points come an Ethernet harbor on the rooftop router. This indoor accessibility Point can be collection up to use the rooftop network as the resource of relations to the Internet, or come provide accessibility to applications and also servers on the network. A in-depth look in ~ this is below:

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In the diagram:

1 represents the rooftop wireless device. It could be a Mesh Node, or client router. 2 to represent the Ethernet cable running out to the rooftop from the power over Ethernet adapter. 3 to represent a strength over Ethernet (PoE) adapter - a common means to strength outdoor wireless devices. 4 represents an access Point, linked to the ar or neighborhood network with the rooftop router.

Group Activity

Since there room so plenty of ways to build wireless networks to cover your town or community, we recommend working with these pen-and-paper activities. Download the network worksheets and also example services and try your hand at creating wireless networks.

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If you space working through the task on her own, shot printing the end the worksheets very first and attract in a feasible solution to every of the scenarios. You deserve to then review the instance solutions and see exactly how your networks compare through some others. Us recommend you job-related through this task with a group of your ar members, particularly when planning and designing a network. First print out a couple of sets the the network worksheets, and also break into groups of 2 or three people (depending on exactly how many human being are gathered). Attract solutions to every scenario, climate meet ago up and compare every one of your solutions to the scenarios. Girlfriend can likewise look with the example solutions and also compare them to what your teams came increase with. Discuss what solutions can be finest for her community.

There space a few basic rule to follow as soon as working v the activity.

1. There space three species of routers you will certainly use: Omnidirectional. These can send and also receive wireless signal in every direction.

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Sector. these send and receive wireless signals in a minimal arc. Limit the connections these routers do to a wedge-shaped area.
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Focused. these send and also receive wireless signals in a narrow beam. Limit the relationships to a solitary thin line.
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2. You have actually a minimal amount that equipment easily accessible for each network. Every worksheet has actually icons the the types and number of pieces the equipment. The example below provides 3 omnidirectional, one sector, and one focused router:

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3. You have the right to “configure” the wireless tools in her network to serve any type of of the wireless functions - AP, client, or ad-hoc node (mesh). The tools can be any mix of roles, lock don’t have to all be the very same role. Label each router through an “A”, “C”, or “M” relying on the role.

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4. You deserve to assume that all of the wireless tools in the examples are within range of each other - the signals will certainly reach.

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5. Remember the Clients deserve to only attach to access Points. APs cannot affix to each various other wirelessly, client cannot affix to each other wirelessly, and Mesh nodes cannot connect to APs or clients wirelessly.

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6. numerous Clients can affix to a single Access Point. Ad-hoc (mesh) tools can have connections come multiple other mesh tools at once.

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7. If you desire to connect different combine of tools together, you deserve to “wire” lock together, as if friend plugged an Ethernet cable in in between the devices. This way devices that generally cannot connect wirelessly deserve to still be networked. For example, an accessibility Point or customer can be connected to a Mesh node with an Ethernet cable.

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Now download and also print the end the worksheets and also example solutions, and shot out some designs!

Definitions

Ad-hoc Network / an equipment Network on some devices (e.g. Laptops) some easily accessible network relations are displayed as computer to computer networks. These are networks that may be ad-hoc mesh networks or allude to allude links between computers because that small paper sharing. The term “ad-hoc” can likewise refer to unplanned, decentralized network connections. Antenna Converts electrical signals to radio waves. It is normally linked to a radio transmitter or radio receiver, and also is the interface in between the electric signals in the radio, and the motion of the signals with the air. AP (Access Point) A maker that allows wireless gadgets to affix to a wired network making use of Wi-Fi or related standards customer Device : The an equipment with a wifi radio the you use to connect to a wireless access point, e.g. A computer, mobile or tablet computer device. Ethernet A type of networking protocol - it defines the types of cables and also connections the are provided to wire computers, switches, and also routers together. Most regularly Ethernet cabling is classification 5 or 6, comprised of twisted pair wiring comparable to phone cables. PoE (Power over Ethernet) describes systems i beg your pardon pass electrical power in addition to data ~ above Ethernet cabling. Node an individual machine in a mesh network.

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Related Information

This record is intended come be offered after friend have operated through Every Network speak a Story, and Learn Wireless Basics. That is a partner record to Wireless Challenges, and can be done before or after the activity.