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Choosing a Wireless Cisco Router for 50-120 users

Dearest Cisco Support Community

I would like your feedback on what product to invest in.

I am currently managing the network infrastructure for a retreat-center. In the Guesthouse the amount of people accessing the Internet during retreats is between 5-70 active users, at peak times maybe as far as 120 users, probably more like maximum 70 users.

These users are using the wireless, since it would be to must cost to have 120 wired connections.

So my plan is to have a good stable Cisco Router at the base, and the 3-4 APs, to get the wireless to cover the whole building. I am looking into having these of different brands since I was told that different computer have an easier time to relate to different brands.

The retreat cente is out in the countryside so protecting the connection is not needed, the Guesthouse net will be without password.

I have been looking at the 1801W, but it only recommends 50 users. Do you think it would manage having 50-60 usally, but up to 120 at peak times (say one hour)?

What kind of Router do you suggest?

Lots of gratitude for having this support forum!

Yours Truly


Everyone's tags (3)
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Re: Choosing a Wireless Cisco Router for 50-120 users

For starters, I'm no big fan of imbedded wireless card in a router.  Particularly in your case.  I would, however, consider separating the router and APs.  Between 3 to 5 is probably what you need.  The question is which ones?

Let's begin with the router.  The X8XX routers are called ISR G1 and they have recently been superseded by the ISR G2s.   I'd be looking at the 2911 or if your budget persist, you can go to the 2941.

Now what AP to use.  Let me give you your options:

Autonomous APs that support 802.11 a/b/g:  1130, 1140, 1240, 1250

Autonomous APs that support 802.11 a/b/g/n:  1140 & 1250

Controller-based APs that support 802.11 a/b/g:  1130, 1140, 1240, 1250, 1260 (new), 3500i/e (new)

Autonomous APs that support 802.11 a/b/g/n:  1140, 1250, 1260 (new), 3500i/e (new)

Access Points that require external (optional) antennae:  3500e, 1240, 1250, 1260

Because of the you may have 3 to 5 APs, you have the option of configuring and managing each APs individually (autonomous) or as a single unit (controller based).  If you budget permits, you have the option of getting NME-AIR-WLC12 which supports up to 12 wireless access points.

If I was in your shoes, I'd be getting a 2911 (first option) or the 2941 (second option) with a wireless LAN controller (WLC) for 12 APs.  For the APs, I'd be getting the 3500i (first option) or the 1140 (second option).

Q&A:  Cisco Integrated Services Router Generation 2

Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers Data Sheet

Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module


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