Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bridging Local-Area Networks (LAN) across buildings

Lately I had the need for bridging a second building placed 80/100 m away, in order to share the internet connection and interface remote cameras.

The CPE mounted on a TV Antenna
The best quality-price solution I have found is the Ubiquity Nanostation M serie. Main products are the M2 and M5, which differ for their operating frequency, 2.4GHz and 5 GHz respectively. In particular, I opted for the "loco" version which is slightly less powerful and cheaper than the full M2.

A quick installation intro is available here and here. What's required is basically to configure one of the CPEs as Access Point, which creates a new IEEE 802.11ac wireless network which can be secured with a passkey. It's also important to correctly refer to the gateway in the network mask.

Similarly, the other CPE can be set as station to connect to the network just created. That's it.

I am using a switch to connect to the station. Apparently the CPE also forwards DHCP requests, which allows the gateway to seamlessly distribute IP addresses back to the second network.

Stepwise guides are available here and here.

So far so good, although I am curious to see how it behaves under bad weather conditions, especially for prolonged time. The case does not really look that robust for outdoor applications, still I am quite satisfied with the performance of the whole deployment.

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