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Lester Street Student Housing Wireless Internet     
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Lester Street Student Housing Wireless Internet - 2013

Situation:
A multi-tenant student residence building located in Waterloo, ON needed to provide secure internet access to each unit averaging 50 to 75 devices attached to the network simultaneously. These devices include laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, web-enabled TVs, etc.

Challenges:
This residence houses many students and visitors with a variety of wireless network devices. One of the main concerns was to secure and protect personal data and computer systems while preventing unauthorized access and maintain seamless connectivity to the internet.

In addition, we required a solution which would be able to limit the bandwidth for each unit to avoid users monopolizing bandwidth due to excessive downloads or file sharing.

Lastly, we needed to provide hardware durable enough to survive within a student residence environment.

Solution:
From a security and performance standpoint, a Cisco WAP321 wireless access point, configured with WPA2 security encryption was the best option. These were located within each unit using Power over Ethernet on a single Category 5E cable which eliminated the need for electrical outlets allowing for flexible placement of these access points for the best signal strength and coverage area.

For added security, a Cisco SG300 managed switch was then used to create separate virtual LANs preventing devices from one network to see devices on other networks.

Finally, a Cisco 1921 firewall placed between the managed switch and internet access (provided by Rogers) to stop intrusion attempts and attacks on the network from the outside.

Result:
A secure and protected wireless network capable of supporting an excessive number of devices while maintaining a balance to ensure each user has reliable internet access.

Project Pictures

Final product installed in equipment room

Access point installed in a room

Setup of router and switch in equipment room

Pre-Setup of access points

Pre-Setup of access points
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