AP naming convention

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Matthew Arnold

Jul 26, 2021, 2:31:02 PM7/26/21
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Hi all,

We're finally getting decent Internet (200mb cable vs 15mb DSL) at our school so I'm trying to upgrade our network. Actually, the network has mainly been the router up to this point. That doesn't work so hot with concrete block walls. We've got four rooms with CAT5 run from each room to where the router is. I'm planning on getting some Unifi (or similar) APs.

I was just wondering about naming conventions. Is it better to name the APs the same thing as the main router? I'd like it to be as seamless as possible. We mainly would be serving the teachers and secretary. We have ~20 students who don't have Chromebooks yet since our Internet capacity was so low and the network was so bad. It would be good to set it up so that we would be as ready as possible for Chromebooks in the future.

Pastor Matthew Arnold
St. Luke's Church and School
Vassar, MI

Joshua Schoeneck

Jul 26, 2021, 2:36:37 PM7/26/21
to Matthew Arnold, WELSTech
Best practice is to have all of the APs using the same SSID (I think this is what you mean by "naming"). Ideally you would use a system where the APs actually communicate with each other to help handoff traffic from one AP to the next as devices move. It you go with Unifi, you would use a "controller" (either software running 24/7 on a PC or a Unifi Cloud Key). You may want to consider turning off the WiFi on your router and just using APs that are centrally controlled.

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Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
Joshua J. Schoeneck
Registrar, Director of Technology, Technology Instructor
Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
262-677-4051 x4045
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Educating for Life and for Eternity

Tom Rosenow

Jul 26, 2021, 3:10:27 PM7/26/21
to Matthew Arnold, WELSTech
For all-in-one devices, a single unit handles wireless connections
(broadcast AP), hardline connections (switch), routing duties (router,
firewall, etc.). Most residential-grade routers are really router /
switch / access point. A few provider-issued devices are modem /
router / switch / access point. Your new setup will be shifting duties
to separate devices.

Modem - connects to internet lines coming into the building, often
provided by or leased from your ISP.
Router - Brain of the network, routes connections where they need to go.
Switch - Paths for the network to follow; your hardlines of CAT will
make their way to a switch, and then to the router.
Access point - provides a wireless signal that devices can connect to;
will also be connected to a switch.

As Joshua replied already, having everything on a single SSID
(wireless network name) is best. A "mesh" system, such as what Cisco,
Unifi, or certain residential devices have, handles the handoff
between APs as a device moves from one coverage area to another.

You could also, depending on your setup, direct students to one
wireless network, staff to a second, etc. Unifi can handle that
internally by creating VLAN (virtual local access networks), and
moving prespecificed devices to specific networks.

On Mon, Jul 26, 2021 at 1:31 PM Matthew Arnold <rev...@gmail.com> wrote:

Matthew Arnold

Jul 26, 2021, 4:13:33 PM7/26/21
to WELSTech, rosenotw, WELSTech, Matthew Arnold
That's pretty handy. I'm going to look into those things. I'm pretty well versed in commercially-available routers, but mesh systems are somewhat new to me.

Matthew Arnold

Jul 26, 2021, 4:34:11 PM7/26/21
to WELSTech, joshua.schoeneck, WELSTech, Matthew Arnold
I'm assuming that if I got Unifi's APs and the cloud key, I would also need something like their switch mini to connect the APs and the cloud key together, yes?

Kyle J. Riess

Jul 26, 2021, 7:15:01 PM7/26/21
to Matthew Arnold, WELSTech, joshua.schoeneck
It is a good idea to get the Unifi switch, but absolutely not necessary.  I do recommend having a cloud key or better instead of a 24/7 pc or cloud hosting if you’re just getting started.

I have some spare cloud key gen 2 plus if you want one, and several original keys…. I might have other hardware too if you need like APs or switches, but need to look for that.  I run Unifi at our church and school as well as at home and for family.  It’s great for beginners to networking.  I’d also recommend the new video series by Crosstalk Solutions on YouTube to get started.

God speed on your project and let us know if you have any more questions!


Kyle J. Riess, PharmD, RPh
Pharmacist - Sanford Bemidji Medical Center
Riess Photography
218-333-5541 W
218-209-2337 C

Matthew Arnold

Aug 3, 2021, 12:53:19 PM8/3/21
to WELSTech, kjriess, WELSTech, joshua.schoeneck, Matthew Arnold
Is there a reason why Unifi stuff seems so expensive on Amazon? On their own store some of the stuff I've looked at is 50% cheaper.

Also, Kyle, I'd be happy to take a Cloud Key Gen 2 Plus off your hands. How much would you want for it?


Tom Rosenow

Aug 3, 2021, 12:55:21 PM8/3/21
to Matthew Arnold, WELSTech, kjriess, joshua.schoeneck
Scarcity. Unifi's stuff often is backordered. They usually get more stock in a day or two, but if you need it now...

Matthew Arnold

Aug 3, 2021, 1:06:07 PM8/3/21
to WELSTech, rosenotw, WELSTech, kjriess, joshua.schoeneck, Matthew Arnold
Aha. It's going to be up to a month and a half before Spectrum can get everything installed so I have time, but I also know how time tends to slip through your fingers.

I'm looking at a switch that could provide five ports with PoE power sufficient to power five APs. That would be the max we would need, assuming we aren't so richly blessed that we would need to add on someday. I don't foresee that being a problem any time soon, but it's be a great one to have!

St. Marks Lutheran Church and School

Aug 3, 2021, 2:24:25 PM8/3/21
to Matthew Arnold, WELSTech, kjriess, joshua.schoeneck
Sure thing!  I'll clear our old key and send it to you.  Where shall I send it?

It comes with a HDD inside, I think 1tb...?

Do you want the rack mount to go with it?  I can send a 6U rack too if it's where I left it at church.

Also, I might be able to send you a poe switch... Otherwise I'd recommend the 16 port switch to get started (lite version is fine).  The cloud key also runs on PoE...  Then you'll want to add cameras... 😂 It's an addiction.  How soon do you need it?


Matthew Arnold

Aug 3, 2021, 3:41:13 PM8/3/21
to WELSTech, St. Marks Lutheran Church and School, WELSTech, kjriess, joshua.schoeneck, Matthew Arnold
Thank you, Kyle!

I don't think we'd need the rackmount, but thanks for offering. Would the 16 port one have enough PoE power for five APs?

You can send it to:

St. Luke's Lutheran Church
916 W. Huron Ave.
Vassar, MI 48768

Let me know what you want for it. I really appreciate it! As far as time goes, as I mentioned, Spectrum should be here within a month and a half at the latest for our install. As soon as that is in, I want to get the rest of the networking up.

I totally understand about the addiction part. I'm pretty excited about getting this set up. The little nerd in me is grinning like a fool. That may also explain why I just upgraded to Slackware -current on my main computer :)

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