New Take on Free Hotspots:

New Take on Free Hotspots: Michael Oh may have one of the most unique versions of a free Wi-Fi network anywhere. Oh wanted to extend Wi-Fi around his office, located on a tony stretch of Newbury Street in Boston, and to the shops on the street. He quickly concluded that he would have to charge users too much if he wanted to build a robust and reliable network that customers would pay to use. Instead, he decided to build a free network in hopes that it might serve as good PR for his Mac consulting, sales, and support business, Tech Superpowers. But building a free network that included more than one access point (AP) would be expensive to maintain because it would require paying for high speed data lines for backhaul. So Oh developed his own network architecture. “From an economic standpoint, it's an interesting architecture because it's simple,” Oh said. “We can put up nine locations with a single T1.” At each remote location he uses Apple APs plus wireless bridges from Linksys that were originally designed to wirelessly enable printers. At his central location is an AP with two outdoor antennas, each pointing in a different direction. The remote repeaters look like any type of client to the central AP. “So the AP at our location sees each repeater as nine client cards out there,” he said…. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

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