Wireless routers

Aug 23, 2011
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London, UK
#5
Re: Wireless routers

Ubiquiti bullet HP every time!

Pick your flavour (2.4Ghz or 5Ghz). In an arena, with LoS I would go 5Ghz as its less borked by punters' smartphones.

They output at 600+mW, so with a good antenna and a tablet with decent wifi performance (or better yet, with an external wifi module) and you'll have no problems
 

Bennett Prescott

Just This Guy, You Know?
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Jan 11, 2011
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#7
Jan 22, 2011
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NYC/ORL
#8
Re: Wireless routers

The best thing you can do for wi-fi in an arean right now is use 5GHz. The 2.4GHz range is getting bombarded by the audience in addition other gear used on the show, not to mention in-house networks. Mount the access point to a boom stand(at full extension) to get it above the audience, and buy some decent antennas for improved signal strength.
 
Jan 11, 2011
168
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US
#9
Re: Wireless routers

I have been using Netgear WNDR3700 for a couple of years. Excellent performance. The newer WNDR4500 has improved performance. Netgear WNDR4500 Wi-Fi Router Review | Maximum PC

The 3700 accepts DD-WRT firmware if required.
I recently got a Netgear R6300, which works really well. It will still be used around here with the various surfaces, but just yesterday, I bought an Apple Airport Extreme to use with my Apple stuff. Just to see how it works out...

Geri O
 
#10
Re: Wireless routers

Scott,

I have had great success with the Cisco Aironet and Apple Airport products. I have had mixed results with everything else.
If you can afford it, I definitely second the Cisco Aironet. You definitely want a Wireless N router with a 5GHz radio. I would stay away from anything non-commercial grade; you need something that can withstand a few thousand cell phones coming at it all at once. Anything from the usual suspects: HP, Cisco, Juniper. Where I work recently bought Ruckus and they have been quite good.

Another option: can you run a CAT-5 along one of your snakes to the stage? If so, add another wireless access point at the other end and that will help tremendously in preventing weak signal. One last thing, disable the SSID broadcast. It won't help much for security, but most devices will not attempt to join it if it is not visible.
 
#11
Re: Wireless routers

Whats everyone using in the way of wireless routers these days? I need something that will work all around a 20k pax arena. It also needs to be VERY RELIABLE. Cutouts are not an option
More important than the equipment is proper setup and expectations. If this is mission-critical, run a wire if possible, or have a backup plan (or both). Make sure your applications can deal properly with reduced network bandwidth and high latencies (both are common symptoms of interference).

For the most part, RF is RF, and the same considerations apply here as would apply with other wireless equipment. The only difference is that most of the audience is carrying devices that have the potential to interfere with your network.

Clean line of sight is going to be your friend, as is proper spectrum coordination (to the extent possible). This means getting the antennas in the air, and this means running a scan to see what else is out there (and choosing your channels appropriately). It also probably means running 5Ghz, as the 2.4Ghz band is rather congested these days. This also means using the proper amount of directionality on your antennas. And just like with the rest of the wireless gear, the cheap stuff isn't worth the headaches. You want the commercial-grade hardware, as Jeff says, from the usual suspects (Cisco, Juniper, Aruba Networks, etc.). I've had decent luck with some prosumer gear from EnGenius for a specific application, but it's unclear how well it would deal with a more hostile environment.
 

Tim Duffin

Armchair Instigator
Mar 4, 2011
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CA
#12
Re: Wireless routers

All of the previously listed solutions are...meh. They can all be hacked and your show can go down. For the ultimate in reliability, you need to look outside of the world of "routers" and consider ultra-high power P2P millimeter wave transceivers. Here is an example of one: Cambium Networks Products : PTP 200 Series

These networks do not go down and they cannot be hacked. Also, they are multi gigabit systems, so there is little bandwidth concern.
 
#13
Re: Wireless routers

Is there a verifiable instance of anyone "hacking" a show network? Ever? It doesn't seem very likely to me. Considering most big venues are searching people for weapons, drugs, and video cams, how are they gonna get a laptop in the venue to hack your network. And for what reason?

The real answer is to use a solid router and an antenna system that offers plenty of gain, and maybe some directionality. Then turn off ssid and maybe use some encryption (encryption will slow down your throughput however). Personally I use an open network for speed. I connect on the 5Ghz band and have ssid disabled so that the punters are not facebooking on my network. It's been good enough for me. Although if I lose connectivity it won't kill the show. I just have to reconnect and sync up again....
 
Jan 13, 2011
459
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Ottawa
#14
Re: Wireless routers

Any recommendations for external antennas?
I have a feeling this would solve 90% of my problems as I'm usually off in only one direction but I need to get through some building walls etc.

for a router with 2-3 antennas do you need to replace all of them with directional?

Jason
 

Bennett Prescott

Just This Guy, You Know?
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Jan 11, 2011
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#15
Re: Wireless routers

Is there a verifiable instance of anyone "hacking" a show network? Ever?
And even if they did, why would they then have the software to control anything? Far more likely they're just looking for free WiFi, and the biggest risk is just from a few hundred punters pushing enough traffic to shut down your show network.
 
#16
Re: Wireless routers

And even if they did, why would they then have the software to control anything? Far more likely they're just looking for free WiFi, and the biggest risk is just from a few hundred punters pushing enough traffic to shut down your show network.
You don't really need the control software, you just have to load a tic-tac-toe program into the DSP and have it play itself. It will then realize that in live sound the only way to win is to not play.

That scene from War Games - YouTube
 
Jul 18, 2011
412
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Chicago
#17
Re: Wireless routers

Considering most big venues are searching people for weapons, drugs, and video cams, how are they gonna get a laptop in the venue to hack your network.
Haven't you seen Person of Interest? He can hack any site from his phone while limping down the street with a dog leash in one hand. And do it in about 30 seconds. While talking on a com.
 
Mar 14, 2013
49
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Brooklyn
#18
Re: Wireless routers

Subtopic: How reliable have you found the iPad control software?

Even in non-congested wireless environments I experience drops with Midas, Soundcraft, Yamaha, and Behringer control apps. I'd blame it on the router, but Lake Control for my PC works flawlessly under the same circumstances. Might it be an issue with the iPad's wireless card being weaker?

For this reason, I usually use control apps to set up the system before shows or for tweaking during, not for cues.
 
#20
Re: Wireless routers

Well even if they don't hack it, they do touch it which can degrade performance. As others have stated I believe your best bet is to run 802.11N at 5GHz and name the network something that doesn't look interesting.
How about the line6 reciever? Doesn't it need to analyze some sort of data stream before dropping non-line6 data leaving this open to some sort of DoS?