I had one of the largest bridged networks ever as I cover 15-18% of the State with wireless. I can tell you a few things about bridging-vs-routing and I aint getting into that, but I can tell you that I don’t think you will want a totally static routed network either. That is not necessary unless you have 50-60 clients to the AP and have multiple hops with that type of traffic. You do need to be in a routed environment today, but IMHO not in the way the majority would steer you.


Ok, this may be a simple question, but I'm trying to figure the best way to do this.  My wireless network is currently all bridged with three different POP's (all statically assigned private IP's).  I'm getting requests for public IP addresses and as I add more clients, I feel like I'm really going to need to have a routed network.


There are many ways to accomplish what you need to have done and I suggest that you look at each one of the suggestions that will have been made and get a good understanding of what will be required down the road to continue what you start. There are a couple very simple solutions that will work, but then there are many ways to accomplish the same task using static routing.


  1. Simplest and fastest (maybe best) is to use layer 2 switches utilizing VLANS. You can get a switch like a ($250.00)  Linksys SRW224G4 (naturally there are better but that will work fine) as there are whole Counties utilizing networks with the Linksys switches and routing and they aren’t even wireless, but fiber!  Arlington County Virginia is just one example and they do the back up for the Pentagon and they are a huge completely bridged network.
  2. Keep your bridged environment between your APs and your clients, but route the backbone to all of your towers. It will break up the broadcast packets...etc from tower to tower, will segment each tower and will not allow a single clients virus to sweep through your entire network and have rolling outages. It also keeps you from having to use 10 subnets/ip ranges for 3 towers and allows for unlimited growth potential.


My biggest question is, how do you manage your CPE remotely in a routed network?  Right now I'm pretty much 90% Tranzeo gear (mixture of CPE-15's and CPQ gear).  If a customer calls with performance or other problems, I'm able to log into their CPE from here to see what's going on from that end.  I would much rather maintain that ability but not sure how to do that with a routed network. 


I understand this question as only another etherant/Tranzeo CPE user would :)  Once you enter a routed environment on the backhaul or otherwise – your scan utility will not scan but to the first router where it will loose its ability to go any farther as the scan tool uses broadcast packets to seek its objects and the router kills broadcast packets. You will have to log every IP on your network and access the antennas via HTTP. (web interface) The scan tool will still be functional at each individual tower and will capture the antennas on the wireless AP you are attached to at the moment. If you maintain a bridged network w/VLANS then the scan tool and everything else will work as it does now.



Also, I would ideally like to have a public IP assigned to each CPE.  The double NAT'ing I've got going right now has been causing a few issues, plus, I'm getting more business customers that want VPN and Remote Access to their network. 


I would NOT use public IPs for CPE, but I try to use public IPs for my infrastructure. Its one of those deals where we all have our own beliefs, If you use private IPs then you would need to do a VPN or RDP (remote desk top) back into your network to see what’s going on. The biggest advantage to privates on infrastructure is NO HACKING from China...etc. Give only public IPs to those who have a need and willing to pay a little extra for the ability. VPNs work even though they are behind NAT. I would also encourage you to keep your bandwidth shaping at the head end of your network for convenience and easy back up. They can only send data as fast as you allow them irregardless of where you do traffic shaping. The PC will slow down the data it is sending thru your network to match what you set there speed to be and it does not create a traffic jam on your network - - as some would make you believe.


I realize this will take subnetting to make it happen.  I've got a /24 right now and can easily bump to more when needed.


I have a huge network right now and only have 2 /24’s and 2 /27’s, but I don’t give public IP’s to anyone who don’t pay for them so 90% of my clients have a private IP. If more public IP’s are easy to get – get them! Once again the greatest advantage of private IPs is the lack of the rest of the world to hack on our clients.



How are the rest of you handling your setups like this? 


Half of my network is static routed and half is completely bridged. Which one is faster? The bridged!  Which one is easier to maintain? The bridged! Which one is easier to add clients to? The bridged! Tell me – is the internet bridged or routed? It is a combination of both! Routers are only used where routers are needed and if you counted the routers –vs- switches  on the fiber backbone of the internet which do you think have the greatest population? I see it the same way on my network - - I will route where I need a router and use a good switch and a VLAN everywhere else.


Let the games begin :-)


Mac Dearman

Maximum Access, LLC.

Rayville, La.


www.mac-tel.us               (VoIP Sales)

www.radioresponse.org   (Katrina Relief)




Jason Hensley, MCP+I

Mozarks Technologies
909 Preacher Roe Blvd
West Plains, MO  65775


417.257.2415 (fax)

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