Wireless Bridges & APs

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Buying guide

Choosing your Wireless-Bridge-AP


Choose the right wireless-bridges-AP without spending a lot

Before you look to purchase wireless-bridges-APs, you must gain some knowledge about these devices. You don’t need extensive networking knowledge, but basic knowledge about how this system works will definitely help. This is important because compatibility can be an issue here. If your internet speed is not good enough, there is no point purchasing an expensive wireless bridge or AP – you will not only pay more for the device, but it will also consume more power while giving you no special benefits.


Know the bridging types

There are two types of bridging that are possible in wireless-bridges-APs and you should know about both of them.


Point to Point or PTP Bridging connects two networks that are based in separate locations using a wireless bridge in each of the locations. This type of bridging is simple to configure.


Point to Multi-point or PTMP Bridging connects multiple locations and they can share the same network resources. The bridge at the central location is called the base station or root bridge and any data that passes through the network passes through this location. This type of bridging is more used for commercial purposes including corporate campuses, schools and so on.


Elements to consider when buying wireless-bridges-APs

Some of the most critical elements to consider when purchasing wireless-bridges-APs are given below.


If there is no clear line of sight between the two locations you intend to connect, you must install a tower or a pole on your roof to establish the connection.


As far as frequency is concerned, you can opt for unlicensed or licensed bands. The unlicensed bands can be 2.4 GHz or 5-5.8 GHz.


Depending on the distance between the locations, an appropriate antenna needs to be purchased. You will need to decide whether an internal integrated antenna can establish the connection or whether you need to purchase an external antenna.


In order to choose between indoor or wireless-bridges-APs, you must balance between the functionality and cost. The former are less expensive but the cost can escalate because a larger length of LMR-400 cable may be required to connect with the outdoor antennas. This can result in signal loss and to compensate, there could be a need to invest in higher gain antennas. Outdoor bridges, on the other hand, can be placed right next to the outdoor antennas. The benefits here are two – less amount of cable required and less amount of signal losses.


If you purchase a bridge that doesn't have an integrated antenna, you will need to buy one. This is an additional expense but it has to be made.


The standard wireless protocol used in wireless-bridges-APs is 802.11. However, you also have the option to choose a proprietary protocol with better security benefits.


For added security, you should look to purchase a lightning arrestor and RF antenna cables. Everyone and everything will be safe when you use these accessories.


You should also ensure that the hardware in use is doubled so that the setup in both the locations is identical.



Get an expert for installation

For installation of wireless-bridges-APs, a professional installer is always recommended. You can easily find a local installer online and this should be no issue for you at all. It is best not to try the installation yourself, but if you choose to do that, ensure that you test everything before you get started.


Which wireless-bridges-APs for which use?

For wireless-bridges-APs to be used for non-commercial purposes, PTP bridging is the simplest to handle. The top selling devices using PTP include Ubiquiti Networks AirFiber 5 GHz Carrier Backhaul Radio, Ubiquiti Networks Rocket M2 2.4ghz Outdoor Access Point and Ubiquiti Networks Rocket M5 5ghz Outdoor Access Point.


In fact, most of the common wireless-bridges-APs use PTP and you can easily choose from some of the bestselling products in this domain. The models for you to look at include TP-LINK RE200, D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender, zBoost SOHO YX545, ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-N600 Range Extender and Netgear WiFi Range Extender EX6200.


If you are looking for the best known manufacturers of wireless-bridges-APs, the names to consider are CISCO, D-Link, Engenius, HP and Netgear. You buy the models of any of these manufacturers and you can ensure seamless wireless connectivity.

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