Wireless Networking/Internet Installations
Web Site Services
Wireless Networking/Internet Systems Installations
How does Wireless Networking work?
While too technical to go into great detail, here is
a non-technical summary. Using 2.4 or 5GHz radio
frequencies, two devices communicate. One is
the access point and the other is your wireless
network adapter (in your computer.) This radio
signal transmits data back and forth between the two
devices. If the access point is connected to
an Internet gateway, then your computer will have
access to the Internet via this wireless connection.
As long as the signal strength at your computer is
above 50%, it is typically reliable. The
stronger the signal, the more reliable and the
faster the transmission rate (up to the wireless
adapters limits.) Typical equipment is either
B or G yielding limits of 11Mbps or 54Mbps without
software enhancements. These devices are
"Line-of-Sight" meaning the signal travels in a
straight line from your computer to the access
point. Any and ALL things between the access
point and your computer obstruct and degrade the
signal strength including walls, windows, trees,
people, etc. In fact, things near the
line-of-sight can cause interference.
Microwave ovens and 2.4GHz cordless phones also
cause interference with these B and G devices.
Huh, with all these limitations, it is a wonder how
this technology even works!!!
Who would want a Wireless Network?
This service is great for businesses as well as
vacation and/or rental environments, where multiple
access accounts or running cables would be costly. It allows the owner
to share their internet access with any guest or
visitor that has a wireless laptop and in some cases
a wired-Ethernet port.
Imagitec offers this service in order to aid
customers in maximizing their Internet access
dollar. We assist our customers in combining a
Wireless Networking scheme with a local High Speed
Internet service. Using this combination, the
customer is able to broadcast their internet
connectivity over a short distance and without having to
run extensive networking cables. To further
this discussion, the sections below pertain to
Large-scale Wireless Networks, not home or
a Large-scale Wireless Network cost?
There is no way to ballpark a figure for a
large-scale Wireless Network. Every site is
completely different and would require a Site Survey
in order to plan out the potential for installation.
Of course, separate from this wireless network, you will need to have a high speed
Internet access provider on your property (e.g.-
Comcast Cable or CenturyLink DSL) and it needs to be an
adequate bandwidth to support the number of users
expected. Typically a $100/month Comcast
Business Grade Cable service is the most cost
effective and reliable. Finally, the actual
wireless network projects can start from $5000 and
proceed upwards from there.
With Imagitec, there are no recurring costs after installation. You own your equipment.
There would only be additional costs if
repairs are needed and Services Rates are
quoted on the written proposal. Neither the
Site Survey, Design, Written Proposal nor Site Test
obligates the potential customer to moving forward
with that project, however, in some large-scale
installations, these steps have a cost that is
separate from the project cost.
some Large-scale Wireless Networks cost?
Our least expensive completed project was $5000 (a
single Access Point.) To-date our most
expensive (and obviously more complex) was $35,000
(a 6 acre, 7 Access Point project.)
What is entailed in the Site Survey, Design and
During the Site Survey, we will walk through the
property, make notations about the physical layout,
obstructions and power requirements as well as
hypothesize the equipment needed. Based on
that information observed and collected, Imagitec
can then begin the network design and engineering
process. When the design is complete and
confirmed by the manufacturer's engineers, the
proposal can be written. This proposal will help you
organization to determine the value of this service
as well as the advantages to yourselves and/or to
What is in the Written Proposal?
It will spell out: the approximate location of each
network device/enclosure; the method of connecting
each device to the Internet and/or to each other;
quantity of equipment to be installed; quantity of
cable/conduit to be run; benefits of the design;
expected coverage areas; expected time to complete;
separate electrical contractor requirements; equipment
warranties; deposit amount; total cost including
equipment and labor; service rates after
installation. It will even include an
aerial/side layout of the expected design. The
typical $400 cost for large-scale prokjects is based on the work involved and the
What is the purpose of the Site Test and what is
In order to guarantee that the proposal/project cost
will be FIRM, Imagitec would perform a Site Test for
$200-400. This is a live test on the property
of the intended equipment in the desired locations.
The actual cost of this test depends upon the
complexity of the design and will be identified in
the written proposal. If the design is
confirmed accurate, the written proposal will become
FIRM as is. If the testing identifies the need
to make design changes, a new design and proposal
will be created at no additional cost and it will be
Is it worth it to install a Large-scale Wireless
Please be aware that no two wireless projects are
alike. The physical layout, obstructions and
coverage desires dictate the design and equipment
needed. Using a hybrid design of both wired
and wireless is sometimes the best solution, but
then it generally requires cables be run in conduit or
underground. In some cases, the cost to create
a wireless network on your property may NOT be worth
it. Typically, a 10 unit or less property is
generally NOT worth the cost to install unless a
single Access Point will suffice. Between 10
and 20 units is borderline. Over 20 units
usually becomes clearly worth it. However, if
your property is LARGE or if centrally located
access points cannot be utilized forcing additional
access points be used, the project can become
exorbitant again. In addition, if the "best"
locations for equipment are NOT desirable and/or are
NOT feasible, cost projections usually rise.
How do I decide if it is worth it?
Do the math. Typical cost for Comcast WIRED
access cable modem is $35/month (bulk rate) PER UNIT
or $46/month if any less than ALL units in the
complex. For a condo property with 40 units
that would be $1400/month multiplied by 12 months
totaling $16,800 PER YEAR. This is only WIRED
high speed and requires the user to connect a cable
directly to the cable modem installed in each unit.
This is not WIRELESS! Comcast cannot offer
wireless modems for the same reason Imagitec cannot
install a wireless device in every unit... the
technology simply does not have enough channels to
handle more than 3 devices in proximity of each
other. If the proposed wireless network will
cost $12,000 to install and be a one time cost (not
counting the Comcast $100/month)... then the
installation of the wireless network equipment will
pay for itself in savings within 1 year. WITH
the added benefit of actually being WIRELESS!!!
What if we don't want to cover the entire property
We can build your wireless internet in Phases, meaning that we can:
Install the minimal wireless configuration/equipment
in order to introduce the wireless option and
ascertain the effectiveness, range and demand.
Then, measure and determine what additional
equipment (if any) is needed to complete or expand
the coverage area.
Construct an Upgrade Proposal for the expansion.
Then, allow You to determine if the additions are
appropriate for your needs now or if they can wait.
If you expect some guests, visitors or staff to lack
wireless networking capabilities, we are able to
integrate WIRED access as well. This allows
those individuals with older or non-upgradeable
computers to be included in the offering, instead of
How long does this process take?
A Site Survey can be scheduled within one week and
takes one day. The Design and Written Proposal
can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending upon the
complexity and size of the property.
Installation can usually begin within two weeks of
contract and typically takes only a few days/weeks to
complete. However, the complexity and your
site's physical installation challenges dictate the
projected time frame and will be outlined in the
proposal we create. Note: Installation
is on a First Contract - First Installation basis
and is scheduled upon authorized contract and paid
Imagitec can even diagnose and/or troubleshoot
certain network problems remotely if a computer on
the property's network can be configured for
dedicated remote access OR if the Router can be
setup for Remote Access. Additional costs may
Imagitec will provide a laminated One-Page instruction sheet for
your staff, owners, guests or visitors that identifies the
main steps for connecting, the warnings about
wireless security, the cautions regarding resource
sharing, firewalls and antivirus protection.
And every One-Page sheet has our contact information
and services rates.
Some Wireless Networking Tips:
Current wireless devices are 2.4 and 5GHz Radio Frequency
and are therefore "Line-of-Sight". This means
that the signal travels in straight lines from the
Access Point or Antenna to your receiving Device.
Any and all obstacles between the two points will
decrease the signal strength (e.g.- Walls, building
materials, windows, trees, humans, etc.) Each
of these obstructions typically decreases the signal
strength by HALF for each obstruction in or near the
Trees and leafy trees are especially intrusive to signal strength
because of their high WATER content.
The signal can sometimes be dragged or stretched
from a good signal area to a poor signal area (but
signal reliability is usually short-lived.)
The signal can be good in one kitchen chair and poor
in the chair to the right/left. A typical
suggestion regarding improving the signal strength
is to move 2-3 feet to the left or right and retest
the signal strength. Of course, if you have
obstructions, it is best to eliminate them.
In situations where the signal strength is below
50%, it is generally more important to move CLOSER
to the access point. Reliability is primarily
based on reasonable proximity to the access point
(100 feet or less, although some can reach up to 300
feet without amplification.)
High Gain Antennas and/or Amplifiers can be used to
extend the signal, however obstructions still
degrade the signal. When both the transmitting
and receiving devices have high gain antennas and
amplifiers, the signal can travel for miles!!
This method just does not work for a condo property
though because you generally cannot add an antenna
to a guest's laptop and it would be too costly.
Laptops with built-in wireless devices generally
have a Y-shaped antenna within their LCD displays or
lids. Point the BACK of your laptop display
toward the access point for the best signal
Every wireless adapter (the part IN your laptop) is
different. Some use the Windows (XP/Vista/7) Wireless
Control Panel and others use their OWN software for
configuring and connecting their adapter. It
is best to use whatever the manufacturer of your
The bottom line is that wireless is not perfect
unless the access point is really CLOSE.
Otherwise, it is more like the old rabbit ear
antennas your father (or grandfather) made you hold
until he could see the football game clearer.
We don't recommend holding your laptop higher in the
air or over your head because you could drop it, it
makes it harder to see and/or it could make your
arms really tired. Good Luck with your