Archive for July, 2012

Looking for a high power yet low cost wireless access point?

Are you looking for a high power, yet low cost Wireless Access Point (WAP)?

What is a WAP? If you already have a firewall or router that does not have wireless (Wifi) capabilities built-in and you either love it or are stuck with it, then a WAP is what you need. It does not act as a router blocking traffic, it just bridges (pass-through) your wired network to your wireless network.

I have been searching for a while, and finally stumbled into one. The setup takes a little extra effort, but it is worth it considering the bang for the buck that you get. I started with a Amped Wireless R10000G.

http://www.ampedwireless.com/products/r10000g.html

I chose this device because of reviews, price and the quoted range is 10000 square feet! My location is not 10000 square feet, but we do have multiple floors. It easily covers our space.

If you look at this product you will say, hey that is a router not an WAP! But I found out how to bypass the router functionality and get a WAP for less than $200 that actually works!

Setup as WAP steps:

  1. Plug PC into LAN – ‘Wired Devices’ port, and power it up.
  2. From that PC, browse to http://setup.ampedwireless.com
  3. Bypass the setup wizard, and click on ‘more settings’ –> ‘network settings’ and set the following 4 fields to match your LAN.
  4. Static IP address (for the WAP on your LAN), Subnet mask, Gateway (of your LAN), and finally disable DHCP.
  5. Choose ‘reboot now’ and wait for the countdown while the device reboots.
  6. While you are waiting, label the WAP with this IP address now before you forget it!
  7. Plug a network cable from your LAN to another ‘Wired Devices’ port on the WAP. Do not plug into the ‘modem’ port because that is where the router functions originate. Unplug and ‘re-plug’ the network cable to your PC to get it to see the LAN and get an IP address on the LAN.
  8. Browse to see if you have internet access. If not you may have to reset the device to factory settings by pressing the ‘reset’ button until all of the lights come on and then reboot and start the process over again. It did take me 2 tries to get this process right which is why I am documenting the process now.
  9. Browse to the WAP setup page using the IP address recorded earlier in steps 4 and 6.
  10. At this point you should setup the wireless and security for the WAP.
  11. Set a new admin password under ‘more settings’ –> ‘management’ –> ‘password’
  12. Set a new SSID and pass phrase under ”wireless basic’ and ‘wireless security’.
  13. I also chose to set the wireless WPA encryption from mixed to WPA2. WPA(version 1) has security risks. This is also under ‘wireless security’.
  14. I chose to turn off wireless WPS as a security risk also under ‘Wifi protected setup’.
  15. If all else, fails they have US based helpful phone support 8am to 5pm pacific time, even on Saturdays! I love Saturday support!

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Microsoft kills SBS and Windows Home Server

The news is out and Microsoft is killing Windows SBS Standard and Premium as well as Home Server.  The only server offering remaining in this area is Windows Server 2012 Essentials which is a replacement for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. The change will leave a giant hole for either small businesses that want the mail server on site or small businesses over or approaching the 25 user limit built into the Essentials product.

For more details from the Home Server front check out http://www.wegotserved.com/2012/07/05/microsoft-draws-windows-home-server-era-close/ .

From the SBS side check out http://www.winsupersite.com/blog/supersite-blog-39/windows-server/windows-server-2012-skus-revealed-143615

and http://channelnomics.com/2012/07/05/microsoft-kills-sbs-windows-server-2012/.

We use Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials for most of our clients anyway, but I am concerned that Microsoft is trying to force their Office365 on the small busineses, whether it is the right product or not.  There are other cloud based exchange servers and other onsite Exchange compatible mail services out there like Kerio.

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