Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My school is very behind in the technological age. I need to access the Internet for class work and am forced to use 3G data. Our school does have wifi but it was locked after it crashed two years ago because almost 200 devices were connected. Our computer teacher doesn't know how to set up the necessary network and I really want to make a change. I need to know what is necessary to set up this network so it can support all the devices. I was also wondering if there was a way to give each student an individual username and password. Please help I'm desperate and don't have anyone to help.

We do have a network set up because the teachers still use the wifi, but our tech who barely even knows how to use a computer says that it will crash if they give us access. How can this be fixed? It hampering my learning and this needs addressed.

share|improve this question
Is wired rather than WiFi an option? That is much easier to setup. Granted, is is not as nice for the students who need to bring a cable and can not walk around, but will if suffice for school needs? – Hennes Jan 29 '13 at 23:33
No we do have wired but we need wifi. We have Ethernet ports in every room I thought we would just be able to put an AP or a router in each port. – user193833 Jan 29 '13 at 23:48
In theory you can. (And a Kensington lock so they do not get stolen). But if you use the 2.4GHz bands you would need to carefully select the channels used, turn down transmit power and preferable mount it at a high point (e.g. ceiling in the center of the room). Reason: Water (and the human body) is excellent at absorbing 2.4GHz radiation. And then you still do not have any management, so everybody would know the network password. – Hennes Jan 29 '13 at 23:53
Also, depending on your country school can get in trouble if students surf to 'morally wrong webpages' and they might be responsive if students start leaching music. Which either requires management and monitoring, or an AP which only gets powered up when the teacher thinks this specific class needs wireless. – Hennes Jan 29 '13 at 23:54
Well it's a private school so it's not subject to any of that. – user193833 Jan 29 '13 at 23:58

First, you'll have to have the infrastructure/hardware to accomplish this. Second, you will need some sort of server OS in use. If you're primarily a Microsoft location, look into Microsoft Server.

Once set up, you will want to create an Active Directory, which will also require a Domain Controller. Once that's set up, you can start creating users within your Directory, as well as groups. Groups will allow you to separate students from teachers from non-teaching staff, and you can grant/deny access based on these groups to different resources, such as shared drives/folders, firewall, etc.

They teach entire courses in colleges revolving this, and even then they don't scratch the surface of the topic. Start Googleing some of the topics I mentioned and feel free to ask question.

As for the WiFi, you'll need to make sure that all of the networking hardware can handle 200+ machines. This may require a LARGE upgrade if they're behind on the times.

share|improve this answer
Thank you soo much. Can you explain a little more about what kind of upgrade? – user193833 Jan 29 '13 at 22:39
@Kruug I think he's on the student side, so asking him to buy Win Server is quite an overbudget solution ;) By the way how's it related to gaining access to wifi network? I think freeradius will do on some linux box. – Kitet Jan 29 '13 at 22:39
The school would be buying it but nobody there is even close to being able to do anything – user193833 Jan 29 '13 at 22:41
Any server setup (Windows, or Linux or whatever other OS) will need maintenance. Setting up a network and keeping it running without someone to pay attention is not a good idea. – Hennes Jan 29 '13 at 22:46
When you have 200 students that are ganging up on one Wifi Access Point (AP), then no wonder it crashed. I think the 'upgrade' Kruug meant, was buying a LOT of new AP's and a manager that would distribute the load between them. And someone who will set it up and maintain, as Hennes said. – Kitet Jan 29 '13 at 22:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .