Planning a PtP Link

You have a requirement to run back-ups to a remote server in another building but the buildings area not on the same LAN? Don’t worry. To be honest, there are so many reasons you might look at a wireless bridge, I can’t list them all now but if you are reading this then it’s likely you have one of them but where do you start? Here are a few things to think about and investigate that will hopefully send you on the right path.

Line of Sight?

Hopefully you have established the buildings you want to connect. What is really important is that you can get line of sight from one building to another. If line of sight is clear then great, no need to read and more of this paragraph. If you don’t have clear view between the two locations then there are ways to overcome this. The use of a mast to gain a height advantage or you may want to have a tree that is obscuring the view cut down or trimmed (they do grow back though). It may also be possible to create a ‘dog leg link’ where a third location is used that both locations have line of sight to. Distance between the two locations?

It's worth as soon as you know the two locations you want to link putting them into google maps and having a look at the distance involved. While distance is unlikely to put an end to any plans for a link as most distances can be overcome, it will be deciding factor is the radio that right for your project.

Purpose of the Link?

This is probably a pretty easy question to answer but it’s very important when deciding on a few factors. It will help ascertain the required throughput, if a backup link should be installed and what type of link should be used (be that microwave or laser). For example if VOIP is being used you would want to install a solution they has very low latency so the data packets are going to reach their intended target in good time and ensure it doesn’t sound like you are talking to a Dalek (a member of a race of hostile alien machine-organisms which appeared in the BBC television science fiction series Doctor Who from 1963).

Other Factors to Consider

  • Time Frame: How quickly do you need to link installed?
  • Budget: What Budget do you have?
  • Interference: Are there other links in the area? Are there other factors that may casuse interference with the link such as power lines or an Air Port?