The scenario: A customer has a main office area, and they want to expand their operations into a second workshop around three quarters of a mile away. The workshop location can’t have any phone lines installed (for broadband purposes) due to its location, so we need to extend the existing connectivity from the main office area to the workshop area, so they can use the Internet and access files located on an onsite server.
Step forward the TP Link CPE210 Outdoor Wireless unit. Specifically two of them.
These units are easy on the eye, with a nice compact, crisp design to them. Let’s be honest though, I wouldn’t care if they looked hideous – as long as they do the job. They have two Ethernet ports on the devices themselves – one for POE passthrough and one for the LAN. You also get a POE adapter if you don’t have a POE switch, which in this instance we didn’t so that came in jolly handy. The POE adaptor also has a ‘LAN out’ facility as well, if you require this at one end of the end link.
With a pair of Ethernet cables connected up to the device (POE & LAN), and the devices mounted on mounting poles, we were good to. The ‘master device’ was set up at the main office area end. We choose to configure this as Wireless Access Point, as it was wired back to the main LAN. Like any other Wireless Access Point, you simply give it a name and set your level of security. Having checked and tested this one device, it was time to configure the other end at the workshop. At the workshop end we configured this unit as an extender of the network we’d just setup at the main office area. This worked straight away, with it detecting it no problems at all, with us just entering the wireless password and away it went. We then used the LAN cable for testing, connected that to a laptop and sure enough we were able to use the Internet and access the server which was some three quarters of a mile away.
An important note here, is to ensure that your wireless unit has been mounted in such a way that they have a clear ‘line of sight’ so they can easily talk to each other.
The ease in which these devices were setup, and speed of the connection was superb. Ideally you’d be able to do everything you need with just the one network cable, but given the price, ease of use and speed – that’s just me being picky.
Overall, this is a great product and is highly recommended.
If you want any further advice or would like assistance in installing these devices, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by Gavin Moorhouse, owner of Lucid Computer Solutions. He likes to be outdoors, preferably in the countryside somewhere, if not, setting up outdoor WiFi is also fine.