One of the greatest challenges in modern networking is spanning large distances while staying within a budget. Unfortunately, cheap hardware usually fails to accommodate longer ranges or succumbs to harsh outdoor environments. That forces you into more expensive technologies, like fiber optics, which may not be affordable.
For Wi-Fi communication to reach spans further than the IEEE 802.11b/g/n standard of a few hundred feet, point-to-point wireless bridging could be the perfect solution you seek. Bridging helps networks transmit across miles using traditional Wi-Fi, cuts installation costs by orders of magnitude, and offers better performance than many competing solutions. Take a minute to explore point-to-point wireless bridging and all that it offers. You might have found the best way to solve your networking challenges.
The Architecture of Point-to-Point Wireless Bridging
Point-to-point wireless bridging is one of the most reliable ways to connect remote Wi-Fi assets. For outdoor applications and campus-level networking, it presents an option to connect access points and clients over an area without the need for excessive and costly cabling.
The technology typically works using directional line-of-sight antennas, which concentrate the signal to each point in the bridge, enabling stronger reception and transmission and less power consumption. The architecture also mitigates signal-to-noise problems and data loss. For these reasons, line-of-sight Wi-Fi typically maintains 99.99% reliability.
Affordable Point-to-Point Wi-Fi Solutions
Westward Sales currently offers point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless bridge packages designed and manufactured by Proxim Wireless and Antaira Technologies. A pair of preconfigured bridges are available, saving you time and trouble when it comes to network design and deployment.
One example of a powerful point-to-multipoint is the Proxim MP-1015. This outdoor-rated base station and subscriber functions as an access point, bridge, or repeater and operates on the 5 GHz band. Using internal 4×4 35-degree directional MIMO panel antennas with 15 dBi gain, it can maintain 200 Mbps throughput at a range of 1.25 miles (2 km). And it includes a PoE port for data and power. Built to work in outdoor and harsh conditions, it features an ingress protection rating of IP67 and operates within temperatures between -30 and 55°C.
A popular point-to-point wireless bridge package from Antaira Technologies is a pair of preconfigured AMY-5133s, named the AMY-5133-AC-PD-KIT. It comes as a keyed pair that bridges two points without the need for any setup onsite. Preconfiguration includes the necessary device setup – IP assignment, SSID, WPA2-PSK encryption, and point-to-point mode – for fast deployment and instant plug-and-play operation. The device pair also comes with a bundled price that saves additional money.
8 Advantages of Preconfigured Wi-Fi Bridges
The AMY-5133-AC-PD-KIT (a pair of AMY-5133 Wi-Fi access points) are configured and tested to work together, saving installation time. It delivers high-performance, long-range communication, plug-and-play setup, affordability, and other benefits as well:
1. Easy Network Extension and Adaptation
The most significant advantage of the AMY-5133-AC-PD-KIT is that it comes preconfigured. This feature is more than just a generic plug-and-play setup as the IP assignment, point-to-point mode, and encryption it set. Because of that, you’re looking at the easiest and quickest possible deployment when adding new bridges or access points to your network. You simply mount them wherever you want to expand or customize the network, point the directional antennas to each other, and apply power.
2. Lowering Outdoor Infrastructure Costs
Reliable outdoor connections are cumbersome. Many systems rely on wired networking, but for considerable distances, that is prohibitively expensive. Copper wire Ethernet runs are limited to 100 meters and can’t handle longer distances, even with Ethernet extenders, without performance degradation. Alternative solutions, like long-range fiber optics, quickly run up the bill. Point-to-point Wi-Fi provides a reliable connection across a distance up to 1.25 miles out of the box and even further with higher gain antennas. As a result, there is no need for expensive cabling, and the overall infrastructure costs for the network drop precipitously. In addition, because these are line-of-sight devices, the connection integrity is more substantial than traditional wireless, allowing faster connections with less latency and stronger signals that are more reliably filtered for noise.
3. High-Level Security
High-level network security protocols prevent most forms of vulnerability plaguing wireless systems. You can use the AMY-5133-AC-PD-KIT wireless bridge pair with confidence in outdoor public spaces and fully reap the benefits of a powerful, robust wireless network. The AMY-5133-AC-PD-KIT is designed for WPA2-PSK security. Fully encrypted communication prevents most forms of direct network attacks that could otherwise compromise your network and secure information. Considering the long-range applications of point-to-point wireless, it’s a doubly important issue.
4. High-Speed Networking
Line-of-sight devices like the AMY-5133-AC-PD are capable of high speeds. They can exceed 300 Mbps at distances longer than a full mile, making them more capable than Fast Ethernet. When you consider the cabling costs to run Fast Ethernet over outdoor distances, you save money while boosting performance. The operational speed is high enough to negate the need for many more expensive equipment options out there. Unless you require Gigabit or 10G connections, point-to-point wireless is primed to save you tons of money on infrastructure costs.
5. Layer 3 Features
Layer 3 features are enticing for any network administrator. These point-to-point wireless bridges support remote access via OpenVPN and IPSec and include event warnings and built-in network troubleshooting assistance. They come equipped with firewall security and support NAT to improve privacy and security. The full range of Layer 3 features allows for more control, access, and security across the network.
6. Passive PoE
Each point-to-point wireless bridge has two passive PoE ports, making network design and deployment even more manageable. The bridge supplies power to essential endpoint devices, like security video cameras. Once again, the hardware cuts cabling costs and increases your available resources and assets within the network.
7. Integrated Cloud Support
Cloud support is vital in almost every application these days, and full cloud support is available and accessible with this system. These point-to-point bridges work with popular cloud platforms like AWS and Azure Cloud.
8. Light-Weight Equipment
The AMY-5133-AC-PD units weigh less than one pound apiece. That makes them easy to handle and mount securely. Overall, the lightweight lowers installation costs, particularly regarding labor, and allows convenient placement without needing heavy-duty masts or brackets.
The Bottom Line on Point-to-Point Wireless Bridges
Point-to-point Wi-Fi bridging is a cost-effective and excellent method of wireless communication. If you want to explore networking possibilities fully, we can help. Contact Westward Sales today and speak with one of our experts. We will discuss your operation and the specific network challenges that you face. Our comprehensive list of hardware and system solutions will consolidate equipment, save money, and fulfill nearly every networking requirement. If you want the most out of your network, we can be one of your most valuable resources.