I recently had an email from a Happy Router .com visitor. Here is his question:
What is the best Wireless access point to have for setting up Hotspot to connect to my Gateway within a 20+ Mile radius. Do you have an example configuration to hand to perform this?
Wow, this is a challenging question. I will give this question my best shot. Maybe there are other HappyRouter.com members that have had experience in this. If so, please post your comments!
Here is my response-
Honestly, I have never seen or heard of any wireless gear or technology that would create a circular (omnidirectional) wifi hotspot that is about 20 miles in circumference.
Now, you may be talking about cellular gear – like what is used in cellular towers (3G). It can do data and has long range but usually at slower speeds than wifi (maybe 512k-3MB) however, you need a cellular data card and probably hundreds of thousands of dollars to get that type of gear.
With wifi 802.11b, g, or pre-n, the range is usually that of a typical house. In fact, the signal from my 802.11g wireless gear barely reaches from one side of my house to another. Outdoors, I have heard about 300 feet.
Now, a new option for you that gets you closer is Wimax. It generally has a range of about 10miles, maybe up to 20 in ideal conditions. Still, the people connecting will need wimax adaptors (not 802.11b, g or pre-n). I think that Wimax is the best bet for you.
I am trying to picture why you would want a hotspot that is 20 miles around. The only think I can picture is like a huge rock concert of festival. I have read articles about those where they setup wifi access-points every 300 feet, or whatever, and covered the area with them. That is usually what has to be done.
Now, you said “hotspot” to me that is a wireless area with a circular shape (an omnidirectional antenna). You can put a directional antenna on wifi gear, add an amp, and, maybe, just maybe, you could go a few of 10 miles. Not sure exactly as I have never had to go more than maybe 1000 ft. I have done that with some Cisco 1300 bridges. It works great but it isn’t a “hotspot” it is a site to site wireless connection to connect buildings.
I hope that helps you out! Please post your response here in the forum. And, if you are interested in wireless Networking, please checkout this wireless
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