Covering 5 acres with wireless. What hardware and is pfSense good for this?

  • Hi Guys,

    We are looking to cover about 5 acres or 217,000 square feet of apartment which houses 5 building each with two floors. Total of 70 units.

    I am looking for high gain antennas and software that allows to tune the gain all the way up as there are no regulations to wireless in this country. Need a lot area covered so need the best quality APs.

    Looking to bring in multiple WAN connections into the pfSense router and then disperse it out to APs.

    I was thinking of at least 3 APs in-front of the 5 buildings (each 2 story).

    1- Is pfSense right for this?
    2- Do I need multiple pfSense routers or can I do this with one backbone pfSense router and then attach all APs in ad-hoc mode?
    3- What sort of enclosure do you guys purpose should be used with what type of hardware?
    4- What type of APs antennas? Need all b/g/n frequencies.
    5- Do I need to erect a post in-front each building? how tall? or can I leave the antennas on the balconies?
    6- What kind of APs should look into? (to be mounted outside under rain)

    *** It also rain in this place frequently so outside enclosure and measure are needed.

    There is not going to be any need for firewall, routing etc…authentication can be the simple WPA2 or no any other load on the router. No QoS or traffic shaping either.

    Please give me a picture of what I may need. I highly appreciate your input and it would be really great to hear from you if you have done a large implementation like this.


  • Where you position your antennas depends on what type you use.  Many antenna vendors provide horizontal & vertical gain patterns like the ones at the links below.

  • "Turning the gain all the way up" is not really possible on the RX side, and you definitely do not want to crank up your output power in a multi-AP installation.

    Ubiquiti just announced a multi-AP management solution that might work for you.

  • pfSense would easily do the job if installed on the correct equipment. 3 ap's would be questionable with the amount of traffic and distance your talking though…

    Be nice to see a layout of your buildings and the results of any testing you guys performed...

  • Saludos voy a responder en español ya que google te lo traducirá al ingles OK. Bueno recientemente hice una red utilizando el bullet de ubiquiti y los puse a trabajar en banda N y todos los equipos en modo AP wds con un servidor pfsense y en verdad estoy seguro que solucionaran tu problema, los bullet son de 630 mwatt y son capaces de cubrir hasta 50 km yo utilice 5 antenas de grilladas de 24 db y los resultados fueron excelentes. bueno espero que te sirva esto.

  • Please at least have the good manners to translate it yourself:


    Greetings I answer in Spanish as google will translate it into English OK. Well recently I made a network using the bullet of ubiquitin and the band set to work on N and all the teams in AP wds with pfSense server and in truth I'm sure that will solve your problem, are the 630 bullet and able mWatt cover up to 50 km I use 5 grilled antennas of 24 dB and the results were excellent. well I hope it serves you.

    I should point out that there is no N band - it's either 2.4 GHz (as originally used by 802.11b) or 5 GHz (as originally used by 802.11a). 802.11n can operate in both bands, though 2.4 GHz will generally have the greater range.

  • I recently did a wireless project to cover 60 acres.  The equipment used was from Engenius.  We used a combination of EOC-2611 for outdoor coverage and bridging where necessary and EAP-9550 for the indoor coverage. We also used 8.5db omni antennas for most of the outdoor 2611s

Log in to reply