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Determining Wireless AP Deployment Needs

Updated: December 19, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

To determine how many wireless APs to deploy, following these guidelines:

  • Deploy enough wireless APs to ensure that wireless users have sufficient signal strength from anywhere within the area of coverage you want.

    Wireless APs typically have an indoor range of a 150-foot radius. Depending on the type of antenna that is used, outdoor wireless APs can provide a radius of 300 feet, or less than 100 feet. Include enough wireless APs to ensure signal overlap between the wireless APs.

  • Determine the maximum number of simultaneous wireless users per coverage area.

  • Estimate the data throughput that the average wireless user requires.

Add additional wireless APs to:

  • Improve wireless client network bandwidth capacity.

  • Increase the number of wireless users supported within a coverage area.

    Based on the total data throughput of all users, determine the number of users that you can connect through a wireless AP. Obtain a clear picture of throughput before deploying the network or making changes. Some wireless vendors provide an 802.11 simulation tool, which you can use to model traffic on a network and view throughput levels under various conditions.

  • Ensure redundancy, in the event that a wireless AP fails.

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