I am looking for a wireless solution for a small number of summer cabins at a lake. We are going to have Direcway 2-way Satellite Internet probably at the park office. The cabins are all in close proximity to the office and there are no trees to block the line of site.
What equipment would we use to provide this sort of solution?
This is an easy one, but a site survey by a qualified person is a must. You need one Access Point (AP) with a high gain omni antenna installed at the house with the connection to your ISP. The other cabins would have possibly yagi antennas and APs. If any of the cabins are close enough to the cabin with the ISP connection, they might get by with just wireless NICs. All this depends on many factors that can only be determined by a site survey. You will also probably need a switch or some type of gateway to allow many users to use the single ISP connection, but again: site survey.
It sounds like you probably want to hit the clients directly - which would be cheaper and simpler for everyone.
If you get the right antenna, you can do that with a single Access Point at a central location. The only caveat is that you don't want to put more than about 25 users on one AP.
An omnidirectional may not be the best answer for several reasons. If you want to FAX a simple layout drawing we can tell you what antenna or combinations of antennas would give you the best speed and reliability.
I hate to differ with either of the earlier answers, but in my opinion the best option (may not be the cheapest) is to go with Cisco Aironet Bridges in each of your cabins.
Hard mount the bridge in an inconspicuous place in the cabin (you can put the ruggedized ones anywhere even in the attic) and run ethernet to a small hub. From the hub you can install cat-5 outlets anywhere in the cabin for your guests to plug right into, even if they dont have a wireless lan card in their computer. For the bridges antenna you will want to use a "yagi" antenna.
In your park office you will want to have another Aironet bridge (not an AP! Bridges connect to Bridges) with a high gain Omni-directional antenna on top. You can come from your bridge to a switch and have your office wired! Just plug one open switch port into your satellite modem and BOOM your entire park has internet!
Cisco has really made wireless lan's simple! I have put many of these in, and the hardest part is mounting the antenna!!
I don't learn anything from people who always agree with me, so I welcome alternate opinions!
Aside from the cost difference, the reason I would look at a direct AP-to-client solution is that it would enable them to have a large number of users in one cabin without prior setup.
However your suggestion of wireless to the cabin/wired to the client would probably result in better throughput. And just to cover one more alternative - they could use wireless for both a bridge and an AP in the cabin, or use an AP in the cabin as a repeater. But I don't like to make my clients' heads explode with options.