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Dive into the world of Point-to-Point (P2P) WiFi access points with our enlightening blog post, where we explore the transformative benefits and practical considerations of this technology. From enhancing connectivity between remote locations to significantly improving internet speed and reliability, point-to-point WiFi is revolutionising wireless communication for businesses and outdoor environments where running a physical cable is just not possible or way too expensive.

We’ll delve into the advantages of direct wireless links, offer guidance on setup and optimisation, and address the critical aspect of network security. Highlighting a real-world application, we present a case study on a P2P WiFi Bridge system implemented by Liveport, showcasing the tangible impact of this technology. This post promises a comprehensive overview, blending technical insights with practical advice, to empower you with the knowledge needed to leverage P2P WiFi access points effectively.

Pros & Cons of Point-to-Point Wifi

Pros

  • Long-Distance Connectivity (up to 12km with reduced throughput)
  • Wire-like throughput over the air (up to 500Mbps)
  • Cost-Effective Deployment
  • Quick Installation
  • Some equipment capable of Point-to-multipoint connections

Cons

  • Susceptible to interference from other electrical devices, physical obstacles , or environmental factors
  • Weather impacted – heavy rain or dense fog, may affect signal strength and reliability in point-to-point WiFi connections
  • Limited scalability
  • Security Concerns – Implementing robust encryption and security measures is crucial to mitigate risks

How Point-to-Point WiFi works

Point-to-Point (P2P) WiFi is a wireless communication technology that connects two locations directly, using radio or microwave signals to transmit data over the air. Unlike traditional WiFi networks that broadcast signals in all directions, P2P WiFi focuses the signal between two specific points, such as two antennas or devices, which can be miles apart. This direct line of communication is established through dedicated outdoor WiFi equipment, including directional antennas that precisely align with each other to ensure the strongest possible signal path.

The process begins with one device (the transmitter) sending a signal to another (the receiver), using a specific frequency band that minimises interference and maximises bandwidth availability. This setup allows for high-speed data transmission, capable of supporting bandwidth-intensive applications without the congestion typically found in public WiFi networks. The efficiency and reliability of P2P WiFi Bridge stem from this dedicated, unobstructed link, which is not subject to the typical limitations of standard WiFi, such as physical barriers or distance.

4 essential tips for installing a point-to-point wifi bridge connection

Drawing from our extensive experience in deploying wireless solutions, here are our top four recommendations for installing point-to-point WiFi bridges:

  1. Choose your equipment wisely: Opt for systems that offer straightforward mounting and pairing procedures to streamline your setup process.
  2. Ensure Laser-focused Alignment: Use devices with precise aiming capabilities, such as LED indicators or beamwidth antennas, to ensure optimal signal strength and network performance. 
  3. Design for Network Growth: Choose solutions that support scalability, allowing you to expand your network efficiently without sacrificing connectivity quality. Installing equipment that ‘just gets the job done’ is only going to come back to bite you later on as customer demand for IOT (Internet of things) devices and increased internet speeds continues to grow.
  4. Implement Robust Security: Secure your network by enabling AES encryption and utilising VLANs to separate and protect data traffic.

Case Study: Bright Resort’s Innovative Wireless Network Solution

Point-to-Point WiFi connection speed dashboard

Bright Resort, nestled in the heart of the Victorian High Country, is a prime destination for tourists seeking the beauty and adventure of all four seasons. With its 34 two-bedroom units spread across a challenging landscape, the resort faced significant connectivity issues due to the lack of cabling infrastructure and the dispersed layout of its accommodations. Recognising the crucial need for a robust and reliable wireless network to enhance guest experience, Liveport undertook the task of deploying a Point-to-MultiPoint (P2MP) network. This case study explores the challenges faced and the solutions implemented to provide Bright Resort with a state-of-the-art wireless network.

Project Overview

The primary objective was to deploy a P2MP network that connected each unit back to the main communications room. The scattered arrangement of separate houses and rooms throughout the property, combined with natural and man-made obstacles, posed significant challenges for establishing a reliable wireless network.

Challenges we faced

  • Line of Sight: The property’s diverse topography, dense vegetation, and architectural features obstructed direct lines of sight between network points.
  • Capacity Issues: The resort predominantly accommodates families, necessitating a network capable of handling high demand and speed requirements.
  • Infrastructure Limitations: The absence of existing cabling infrastructure across the resort’s expansive and segmented property complicated the deployment.

The Solution

To overcome these challenges, Liveport decided on a two-fold approach, utilising Unifi hardware for the backbone P2MP network and Ruckus Hardware for endpoint access points (APs) to ensure guests could connect seamlessly.

Implementation Steps

  1. On-site Survey: A comprehensive assessment of the property to identify optimal locations for network devices and understand the unique challenges of the terrain.
  2. Capacity Planning: Estimation of network demand to ensure the infrastructure could handle peak loads, especially during the busy ski and summer seasons.
  3. Heat Mapping with Ekahau: Utilisation of advanced software tools for planning the network layout and ensuring coverage throughout the resort.
  4. Pole Mounts Installation: Strategic placement of pole mounts for each unit to overcome line-of-sight issues, ensuring a direct and unobstructed path for the wireless signal.
  5. Power and Data Infrastructure: Installation of power points and running data cables for each network point, laying the groundwork for a solid and reliable network foundation.

Results

The deployment of the P2MP network at Bright Resort led to remarkable improvements in guest connectivity:

  • High-Speed Connectivity: The network achieved link speeds between point-to-point dishes of approximately 300Mbps, with guests enjoying speeds of 40-50 Mbps in each unit.
  • Reliability: The wireless network proved to be fast and reliable, particularly during peak occupancy periods, ensuring uninterrupted service.
  • Guest Satisfaction: There was a significant reduction in customer complaints regarding internet connectivity, enhancing the overall guest experience.

Final Thoughts

In closing, embracing Point-to-Point WiFi technology not only bridges the gap where traditional cabling falls short but revolutionises connectivity with unparalleled speed, security, and scalability, as demonstrated through our comprehensive insights and the transformative case study of Liveport’s success.

author avatar
Jeff R. Owner
With 15 years of experience in the Wireless industry and a focus and passion in the hospitality space. Jeff Rhode has run his own team that creates and manages enterprise grade wireless networks. With properties that are as small as 10 room hotels to 5000 room resorts.