Introduction

Community Wireless Networks can be draft in numerous ways. To assist you recognize these various methods for creating networks, this file covers the basics of what different tools do in wireless networks, and how they have the right to be provided in different configurations. Using the understanding and activities in this document, you deserve to work with others to architecture the wireless network that works ideal for her community.

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Reading and working through learn Wireless Basics prior to this file will help you with few of the principles used in creating wireless networks. It gives some essential background details for this document.

Reading through this material should take around 30 to 45 minutes. Working v the activities, or diving deeper right into the subject with a team may take longer.

Wireless machine Roles

There room three significant “modes” a Wi-Fi maker can use. This modes specify the role a Wi-Fi maker has in the network, and also networks must be developed out of combinations of devices operating in these various modes. Just how the tools are configured relies on the types of connections you want to use between parts of the network.

In stating these modes and the instances below, several varieties of tools are used. In enhancement to the phones, tablets, and also laptops you use in accessing a network, routers comprise the hardware the runs the network. This routers are characterized in discover Networking Basics, but for the services of this document the quick definition of a router is a network device that can affix one network to another, identify what traffic have the right to pass in between them, and perform other attributes 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 phones are common Clients on a network. Once you space accessing a wireless hotspot, or the router in your residence or office, your device is the client. This customer mode is also known as “station mode” together well.Some routers have the right to operate as Clients as well, which permits them come act favor the wireless map in a computer, and connect to other accessibility Points. This have the right to bridge two Ethernet networks, or connect to much more distant APs.A Wireless customer is comparable to a human being in the audience of a pat or movie. Castle are one of several or many people accessing information through the same conduit - someone speaking.

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Access points (Master)

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

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Ad-Hoc Node (Mesh)

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Some wireless devices (laptops, clever phones, or wireless routers) assistance a mode dubbed Ad-Hoc. This allows those devices to connect together directly, without an accessibility Point in-between controlling the connection. This develops a different type of network - in Ad-Hoc mode, all gadgets are responsible for sending and also receiving message to the other tools - there is no anything rather in between. In an Ad-Hoc network, every maker must it is in in this role, and using the very same configuration to participate. Not all tools use this mode, and some have it as a “hidden” feature.Ad-Hoc devices are supplied to create a Mesh network, so once they space in this mode, lock are referred to as “Mesh Nodes”.An Ad-Hoc or Mesh node is comparable to an separation, personal, instance in a group or roundtable discussion. They have the right to take equal part in the conversation, raising their hand when they desire to speak for this reason the others will certainly listen. If who at the finish of the table cannot hear, among the individuals in-between have the right to repeat the initial message for the listener.

Quick Activity: explain the distinctions in the two instance networks below. What space 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 in between nodes: __________________________________Role of the Yellow nodes: __________________________________ role of the Blue nodes: __________________________________Relationship between nodes: __________________________________

The 2 networks over are Ad-Hoc and Infrastructure (Access Point) networks. Room there areas or time in a social case where you are in an accessibility Point or client situation? are there locations or times once you are in an Ad-Hoc situation?

What connects to what?

From the roles above, you deserve to see the Clients constantly need to affix to an access Point, and Mesh nodes all affix to every other. That should also be listed that as result of how Wi-Fi is designed, this likewise prevents various roles from connecting come each various other as well.

Access points cannot connect to each various other wirelessly:

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Clients cannot attach to each other wirelessly:

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Clients cannot attach to Ad-Hoc (Mesh) tools wirelessly:

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

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Wireless tools in networks

Treat the three types of roles over - Clients, access Points, and also Ad-Hoc nodes - together the building blocks for large networks. Listed below are several instances that show how gadgets configured for various roles have the right to be used.

Access point - residence or Office network

Wireless networks used in your residence or office are usually 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 internet (Optional - networks can duty without the Internet). 2 represents the router that assigns IP addresses and also provides a firewall in between your network and also the Internet. 3 to represent the accessibility Point, offering a wireless bridge between the router and also the users’ devices. 4 represent user devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

In countless home networks, or small office networks, the router and also AP may be combined into a single device. This is normally just called a wireless router. It may also have a DSL, Cable, 3G, or 4G port to administer the link to the Internet. In huge office scenarios, there may be number of AP tools spread throughout the building to provide more even wireless coverage, connected earlier to the router through long Ethernet cables.

Point to point link - long Distance Connections

Wireless networks can be offered to attach distant structures or areas. It normally requires very focused antennas - such together a food antenna - that have the right to send a narrow beam in a particular direction. This is debated in learn Wireless Basics - so go there for an ext details on exactly how that works.

A long-distance link is often called a “point-to-point”, or “PtP” link. The name explains the concept: 2 points are associated together, and nothing else. This requires two wireless devices: one configured together an accessibility Point; the other configured as a Client. In the instance below, two wireless devices are configured to develop a point-to-point link.

Omnidirectional accessibility Point and customer Link

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

This could look choose the building-to-building connection, as displayed below:

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Long-distance directional accessibility Point and customer Link

Here we have another example of a point-to-point link, yet where the routers have actually dish antennas because that greater link distance.

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In the chart above:

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

This could look choose the network below, whereby an AP an installed on a tower is able to connect with a client device in a home really far away, since the key are encountering one another.

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In both of this examples, over there are just two wireless devices connected together - and the antennas recognize the range at which they deserve to connect. The an ext focused the signal, the additional the point-to-point connect can reach. As the distance in between the tools grow, that is an ext an an ext important to focus the signal v antennas - at both ends of the connection. Otherwise one finish may hear the other, but not be loud enough to it is in heard!

Point come MultiPoint - Wireless Internet service Provider model

If we integrate the two principles used in the networks above - many customer devices connecting come an accessibility Point, and much more powerful antennas offered for outdoor devices to create longer web links - we can create suggest to Multipoint networks. These space larger-scale access Point networks, wherein there is a single device in the “center”, controlling every one of the Clients associated to it and also bridging those connections to the Internet.

These species of networks are offered by Wireless Internet business Providers (WISPs) to affix homes and also businesses come the Internet. Instead of to run cables approximately a neighborhood or town, they put up one or an ext powerful accessibility Points top top a tall building or tower. By installation directional wireless devices in a customer role on other rooftops, and also pointing them back at the tall structure or tower, those structures can be associated to the WISP’s networks, and thereby the Internet.

The diagram below demonstrates one design for just how this works. Over there is a an effective Access Point an installed on a high building, and also several surrounding buildings through rooftop wireless customer devices: this forms the Point-to-Multipoint network. Connected to every of the customer devices is an indoor router or accessibility Point, which enables users to attach their computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones to the WISP network.

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In the diagram above:

1 to represent the connection to the Internet. 2 to represent an access Point providing the signal for client devices to connect to. 3 to represent a an effective omnidirectional (all directions) antenna, sending out the wireless signal come a huge area roughly the building. 4 represent client wireless tools on the roof of various other buildings, linking to the an effective Access Point, and able to attach to the net through the AP. 5 represents little Access clues distributing wireless organization inside the building.

Mesh - Neighbor-to-neighbor Networks

A mesh network takes the rule of Point-to-Multipoint, and also extends it come the idea of every node connecting to every other node in range. In effect, this create a “Multipoint-to-Multipoint” network. This requires that every the devices are in the Ad-Hoc mode - wireless devices all in AP setting or client mode can’t carry out the very same function. For an ext information on just how this rule works, see the development to Mesh document.

The diagram below demonstrates one version for exactly how this works. Wireless mesh nodes are installed on the rooftops of assorted buildings, and also those nodes that are in range and don’t have anything blocking the signals will connect. These nodes will share every resources linked to them together as neighborhood servers hosting applications and connections come the Internet. Lock can additionally be associated to computers, access Points, or routers inside the buildings so customers can accessibility the resources everywhere on the network.

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In the diagram above:

1 represents the connection to the Internet. 2 to represent a Mesh Node with a connection to the Internet, with an omnidirectional (all directions) antenna. 3 to represent Mesh Nodes v omnidirectional (all directions) antennas. These nodes room receiving Internet accessibility from Mesh Node B. They may be linked to different devices inside the building. 4 represents little Access point out distributing wireless organization inside the building.

Hybrid Networks

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

In the diagram below, we can see an instance of a hybrid network. There is no single example that deserve to cover all of the possible uses because that a network! In the activity that follows, you will explore the different ways to construct a network by working through scenarios.

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One last note prior to we move on come the activity - in the instances above, and in the task that follows, the diagrams emphasis on structure networks throughout rooftops or from building to building. This is normally the best way to develop networks the cover neighborhoods, towns, or communities. In the diagrams, the method people affix to this network isn’t always shown.

Keep in mind the these rooftop routers may not administer connections to users on the ground, or in buildings. A great way to provide these connections is through attaching access Points come an Ethernet port on the rooftop router. This indoor access Point have the right to be collection up to use the rooftop network as the source of relations to the Internet, or come provide accessibility to applications and also servers on the network. A thorough look at this is below:

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In the diagram:

1 represents the rooftop wireless device. It can be a Mesh Node, or client router. 2 represents the Ethernet cable running the end to the rooftop from the power over Ethernet adapter. 3 to represent a power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter - a common means to strength outdoor wireless devices. 4 to represent an accessibility Point, associated to the neighborhood or community network v the rooftop router.

Group Activity

Since there are so countless ways to develop wireless networks to cover your city or community, us recommend working with these pen-and-paper activities. Download the network worksheets and also example solutions and shot your hand at creating wireless networks.

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If you space working through the activity on your own, shot printing the end the worksheets an initial and draw in a possible solution to each of the scenarios. You can then review the instance solutions and also see just how your networks compare with some others. Us recommend you work-related through this task with a group of your ar members, particularly when planning and designing a network. An initial print out a few sets that the network worksheets, and also break into teams of two or three civilization (depending on exactly how many people are gathered). Attract solutions to each scenario, climate meet ago up and compare all of your options to the scenarios. Girlfriend can likewise look v the example solutions and compare them to what your groups came up with. Comment on what solutions can be ideal for your community.

There are a few basic rule to follow when working with the activity.

1. There space three varieties of routers you will use: Omnidirectional. These can send and receive wireless signals in every direction.

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Sector. this send and also receive wireless signal in a limited arc. Limit the relationships these routers make to a wedge-shaped area.
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Focused. these send and receive wireless signal in a small beam. Border the relations to a single thin line.
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2. You have actually a limited amount the equipment accessible for every network. Each worksheet has icons of the types and variety of pieces the equipment. The example below provides 3 omnidirectional, one sector, and one concentrated router:

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3. You deserve to “configure” the wireless equipment in her network come serve any of the wireless functions - AP, client, or ad-hoc node (mesh). The tools can be any mix of roles, castle don’t need to all it is in the very same role. Label each router through an “A”, “C”, or “M” depending 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 that Clients deserve to only connect to accessibility Points. APs cannot attach to each other wirelessly, clients cannot attach to each various other wirelessly, and Mesh nodes cannot affix to APs or client wirelessly.

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

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7. If you desire to attach different combinations of devices together, you have the right to “wire” them together, as if friend plugged an Ethernet cable in in between the devices. This method devices that normally cannot affix wirelessly can still it is in networked. For example, an access Point or customer can be associated to a Mesh node v an Ethernet cable.

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Now download and print out the worksheets and also example solutions, and try out part designs!

Definitions

Ad-hoc Network / maker Network ~ above some gadgets (e.g. Laptops) some accessible network relations are presented as computer system to computer networks. These are networks that may be ad-hoc mesh networks or suggest to suggest links between computers because that small paper sharing. The term “ad-hoc” can also refer come unplanned, decentralized network connections. Antenna Converts electrical signals come radio waves. The is normally connected to a radio transmitter or radio receiver, and also is the interface between the electric signals in the radio, and the motion of the signals through the air. AP (Access Point) A an equipment that enables wireless gadgets to connect to a wired network making use of Wi-Fi or related standards customer Device : The maker with a wifi radio that you usage to connect to a wireless accessibility point, e.g. A computer, mobile or tablet computer device. Ethernet A type of networking protocol - it defines the species of cables and also connections that are supplied to cable computers, switches, and routers together. Most often Ethernet cabling is classification 5 or 6, comprised of twisted pair wiring comparable to phone call cables. PoE (Power end Ethernet) describes systems i m sorry pass electric power together with data top top Ethernet cabling. Node an individual an equipment in a mesh network.

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Related Information

This file is intended come be used after girlfriend have functioned through Every Network speak a Story, and Learn Wireless Basics. That is a partner paper to Wireless Challenges, and also can it is in done before or after the activity.