Question : Is possible to just to use a wireless router to extend wireless access to wireless access points?

A Cisco 5508 wireless lan controller is very expensive. Is it possible to extend wireless N access to wireless access points without a wireless lan controller?

I am looking to setup a new network in a building for a new healthcare center that right now has only a verizon dsl wireless G modem on the second floor that reaches part of the first floor at 40 percent. ( Alot of the wall on the first floor are concrete)

Note: For new equipment we want to support speed so any equipment that supports Wireless N and gigabit we looking for at a reasonable rate.

For the project, we are purchasing a Cisco 891 router (maybe wireless version) and 2960 poe+ switch to support POE wireless access points,  ip phones and ip cameras. I got quotes for 891 Router, 2960 gigabit poe+ layer 3 switch, 5508 wireless lan controller and four 1142 access points we might just need 2 or 3 so we may just take two to see and save cost.

For now, we are not sure do CME through Cisco or a third party for the voip phones (there are three phone lines/phone numbers (analog)now but eventually we will do vpn for a site to site to support internal network for the ip phones extensions to call in and out the building and for  workstations at both sites to see each other.

The issue is cost with these items. I looking to go with Cisco instead of HP (But HP low cost and  lifetime warranty is tempting). To save cost and since we may not need much access points especially using wireless N.

 I was hoping we can save on cost by securing the network with vlans, port security and access-lists. I was told the wireless lan controller would be better to secure the wireless but it is very expensive.

Is just using the router and switch  with the access points enough for what I want to do?

Answer : Is possible to just to use a wireless router to extend wireless access to wireless access points?

> 2.To save cost, I am eliminating the wireless controller for now.

In my opinion, that's a good decision if you will be using 4 or less APs... the main advantage with a controller is not having to logon to and program each one separately; You still have to run cat5 from the controller to each AP, just like from the nearest switch when they're standalone. Once you get over 4 APs it doesn't take very many change cycles to amortize the cost of the controller vis a vis the extra time spent programming each one separately.

Ideally, after they're installed and working correctly, you don't need to touch them or their setups again... but 'ideal' rarely stays that way long in the real world, unfortunately. I have yet to own a wireless router or AP that didn't get at least one important (e.g. security or needed-feature related) firmware update.

You could also get standalone 1142 APs and switch them to LAP mode later if/when you get a controller.  I don't think the LAP units can be switched to standalone, though (that's why they're ~$90 cheaper than standalone, typical).

Still, you can probably find 3 or 4 of those Linksys WAP4410N's for the price of a single AP1142N (the WAP44xxN's are sold under the Cisco small business name now, but they had Linksys molded right in the top of the covers the last time I saw one)... that can be a sizeable chunk of savings.

As for the title of this thread, most small-business/consumer wireless routers can be converted to APs by just connecting the cat5 to one of their LAN ports instead of the WAN port, and disabling their built-in DHCP server. Some don't even require the LAN/WAN 'trick' and support turning off NAT internally with their DHCP server switched to 'relay' mode (because broadcasts are usually blocked between the LAN and WAN ports).
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