This is not exactly open source or free softwares but wireless LAN is becoming a must have in the office and very small business should (or at least consider) have it installed.
Recently we added another office one storey above our existing office. The new office is not directly above but a few units away. So the question arises as to how should we connect the 2 offices?
We started with a few options:
Installing a new ADSL for the new office
Using the existing wireless LAN
Linking the 2 offices with a network cable
Installing a new ADSL was dropped since it would mean additional cost that we are not prepared to pay.
Using the existing wireless LAN surprising is an option. The wireless signal was able to reach up to the second floor. However we wanted to cater to users that do not have wireless connection.
This leaves us with the third option which is to connect the 2 offices with a network cable. The resulting network looks something like this.
We could have used a wireless Access Point (AP) on the upper storey. Much to my surprise however, a wireless AP cost 2 times as much as a wireless router. I have no idea why. The retailer hinted that AP are used typically by offices, therefore costing more.
So we added another wireless router on the upper floor and connect its WAN to the wireless router on the lower floor which in turn connects to the ADSL modem.
The wireless router has 4 network ports built-in. In order to connect more than 3 (one taken up by the router above) network cables, a 8 ports switch was added.
Setting up the network this way, we now have all network going through a single Internet connection.
The only drawback is that we now have 2 separate segments that cannot inter-communicate. Any suggestion of softwares or setup to solve this?