Phuket Wireless Networks
Wireless network installation for a large area requires deep understanding of radio propagation laws. No location is the same; there are a lot of factors to be considered. To measure or detect some of them a specialized equipment might be required. (Typical example of these is the radiation from the microwave ovens - it's main frequency lies in the 801.11b/g WiFi frequency range!) Equipment configuration "out-of-the-box" often doesn't work as desired.
Employing large number of chaotically placed access points is always a mistake. As the number of non-overlapping radio channels for a wireless use is limited, access points start to interfere with each other. Amount of radio noise also increases.
We use heavily modified access points for our installations and they are ofen tuned differently depending on many conditions. There was the case of wireless network reinstallation when we replaced six access points installed by another company with only one of ours - well placed and well tuned - and the coverage area became larger after that!
Considering the huge variety of possible wireless client hardware and software configurations, security decisions are not an easy ones. The tradeoff in security is often necessary to achieve greater compatibility for the installations such as Internet Cafes and other public hotspots.
Often overlooked is a cabling and electrical wiring side. Proper equipment protection is necessary.
The last, but quite important part is the clear post-installation documentation. Have it, and any good network engineer can manage your network easily. Dont' have, and he will have hard time finding where this or that cable goes.
WEP encryption, found in so many wireless networks in Phuket (and in the world), has a very weak security. It matters very little if you have 64,128 or 160 bit WEP key. An attacker within the range of your access point will be able to break it on the average in 2 hours. And this is something what IT college students are doing in a lab as a project. In 2005, a group from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation gave a demonstration where they cracked a WEP-protected network in 3 minutes using publicly available tools. So, if you really concerned about security, you should not use WEP and use WPA or WPA2 instead.