When I moved from being a “city mouse” to now being a “country mouse” I had to rethink how I was going to do my network connectivity. Since I am not in an area that offers cable or fiber type of Internet, I had to go for a cellular based Internet and it made the most sense to put it on the TV tower just to the north of the house to get a good line of site to the nearest tower. There were other challenges I had to chip away at, the biggest (in the context of the network project) was joining my outbuilding that I have dubbed “CubicleLabs” to the network.
The space between the buildings is about 210 feet or 64 meters… ish but it would not be possible to run a cable in a straight line. The path I would have to go would be closer to 300 feet to avoid the obstacles between. The trench work would not have been very much fun and I would probably still be at it, judging at the speed in which I get things like this done. So, I decided to go for a wireless bridge option but not my typical DIY fashion, rather I went for an off the shelf, dedicated appliance.
After much searching I went with this KuWFi, 2-Pack, Long Range WiFi Bridge that runs at 5.8 GHz 900Mbps Point to Point Access Point that is good for indoor or outdoor use. The way I have it set up. The range on it is 2 to 3 kilometers so I was pretty confident that 64 meters would be no problem at all. In fact, it is likely it was overkill but I truly think anything less would likely give me problems because that is the way things tend to go for me.
After several months of use during both nice and unpleasant weather of various manifestations, the bridge has been working without any intervention required. Even through power outage, the bridge has recovered automatically. The only issues I have experienced, thus far, is authentication seems to take just a bit longer on the far end of the bridge than it does on the main router in the house. I know I have introduced four more hops so that may be the issue there.
I have tested the strength of this wifi bridge by monitoring its speed as I walk in front of the transmitter as well as parked a vehicle in front of it without any discernible degradation in communication in the connection. I was expecting something to impede it. Short of putting a concrete wall or steel plate in front of it, I think this will do quite nicely.
I do have another barn I wish to add to the network for incorporation smart switches in there too. I might consider another client for this bridge since you can have multiple slave units to the master unit but I am not sure it will be necessary. I will determine whether or not this ends up being necessary.
From the far end of the bridge, I am able to video conference and even live stream Linux Saloon well enough so I have come to the conclusion that this was the best solution and that the additional latency by those 4 additional hops is completely acceptable.
Wireless bridging is not a real common residential application, at least, not that one that I would think to be common. When you are in a situation where a wireless bridge is necessary, this is a solution I can highly recommend. I am glad I went with the long distance model as it seems to do well even when obstacles re put its way. I think the money spent on the wireless bridge was the better solution to burred wire.