OK. Based on what you described, there basic solution should work and
there are a number of price points available for the antenna portion.
The rest of the equipment should be pretty similar once you decide on
the antenna set up. For what you describe, I suggest a directional
antenna but let me briefly outline the advantages / disadvantages of
- Directional - best distance, less loss of data. Harder to intercept
by others and should also have less interference from other sources.
Also harder to set up - must point in a relatively narrow direction
and if you have high wind gusts, the signal could drop out more
frequently. You mitigate the last disadvantage with a solid roof
- Sector - good distance but has more chance for interference. The
"panel" antennas tend to be similar in performance as well.
- Omnidirectional - shortest distance and something I would use only
if you are the only wireless network within range. If another wireless
user is within range, you could have real problems with interference.
EXTREME LOW COST ANTENNA
Perhaps you have heard of the "Cantenna". If not, and you are willing
to build it yourself, you can adapt a Pringles can to be your Antenna.
for the original article or
an article at O'Reilly describing how you can build two of them for
about $10 for a range of up to 10 miles or even pre built at
(admittedly this last one is not extremely low cost...)
for more good references.
LOW COST ANTENNA
Pacific Wireless has a number of good products, direct from the
manufacturer or from a number of distributors. For example:
lists a number of directional antennas in the under $100 each range.
The directional performance is pretty good, see
for an example showing a +/- 20 degree range for the best performance.
[yes - that means you have to aim within 20 degrees between the two
Other suppliers include (for antennas and other products)
(select wireless B/G then antennas)
(select antennas & cables)
HIGHER COST ANTENNA
For more money, you generally get better penetration (in case of non
line of sight. For example
or the spec page at
shows an antenna for roughly $200 which claims to "penetrate trees".
Also, for more money, you can get longer distance. For example:
is an antenna claimed to work up to 20 miles (for over $500).
I do not suggest a high cost antenna unless you do not have line of sight.
For additional antenna references, try searches like
or searching with phrases like
802.11 2.4 Ghz miles
802.11 long distance antenna
MOUNTING / LIGHTNING PROTECTION
There are plenty of good mounts - choose one that you can install
easily in your facility. See
for some specific examples or
for several other examples from Froogle.
Do not forget lightning protection. Many of the sites I already
referenced have lightning protection as either built in to the antenna
or as a separate item.
Good cables will help make or break this installation. See
for a possible supplier and a brief explanation of the line losses you
can expect. For the product mentioned at 2.4 Ghz, the loss is 6.65 db
per 100 feet. If you mount the wireless router within a reasonable
distance of the antenna (certainly within 100 feet if possible) you
should not have a problem with the antennas suggested above.
For additional references, try searches like
2.4 Ghz cable jumper
2.4 Ghz cable outdoor
2.4 Ghz cable jumper (your wireless interface brand)
ROUTER SET UP
This part is going to vary based on the specific model of wireless
access point. For example, the description at
indicates this DLINK product can be set up in one of five modes
including a point to point bridge - confirmed with the manual at
What I cannot confirm however is a way to establish a static route
with this product nor could I find that capability in the similar
Linksys products. Based on this, you will need a router as well -
local systems -- Router -- Wireless AP -- Antenna
local DSL link ----+
at each site and specify the static route in the router (you did not
mention the model of router you had - it probably has this capability
already). The static route is describe briefly at (with Cisco
but you can find out more for your router with a search like
static route (your router model here)
or indicate the router model and I can search for it as well - make a
A good description of really long distance connections (5 & 20+ mile).
Complete kits are available at
or for example
(showing all the items included)
I also suggest you ask the vendor about FCC approvals related to the
equipment you purchase. Some of the solutions may use power levels in
excess of FCC guidelines and require special approval.
Please make a clarification request if some part of the answer is
unclear or incomplete in any way.