'Best' and 'cost effective' don't usually go hand in hand. My own experience with wi-fi is as follows......
Most people site routers close to where the phone line comes in. This is usually not the best place for a wii-fi base station.
Linking wi-fi bases together wirelessly can seriously slow down communications, because the second station will be re-transmitting packets received from the first station, and even when the link between the two is perfect, you won't get very good performance with large file transfers, video streaming, etc., because of retransmission time caused by bad packet reception.
I know this may not be what you want to hear, but after much trial and error, I found the best way of serving a large house with wi-fi is as follows:
Place a wired router close to where the phone line comes in, and run Cat5 cabling from the router LAN output to the first Wireless Access Point (WEP). Run more Cat5 cables from the router to subsequent WEPs.
Locate the WEPs in the centre of areas where wi-fi coverage is desired. Bear in mind that the radiation pattern from WEP antennas is doughnut shaped, with the antenna going through the hole in the doughnut. If coverage on multiple floors of a property is desired, then antennas may need to be laid in a horizontal direction, or you may need to use more WEPs (linked by wire to the router).
Lastly, if you are in an area where there are lots of wi-fi users, it will probably be best to have all the WEPs on one wi-fi channel. If you are in an area where you are the sole user, then you can use two or more channels for your WEPs.
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Edited by zebedeee (Thu 17-Mar-11 12:33:26)