This is the first of three articles outlining the installation of a WiFi bubble over a small geographic region. The second article will outline how to install wireless IP security cameras (indoor and outdoor). The last article will outline how to install an email server (such as Microsoft Exchange) on this system to allow your group to have email without the Internet (or Prism).
Most people are familiar with a WiFi hotspot or wireless network in their home. The range of these installations is not large so your neighbor across the street will not be able to access your computers. However, there are applications where a larger WiFi bubble or a connection between two wireless bubbles will provide communications and security at a reasonable price. The system outlined in this article has been tested at a distance of three miles. It is rated at 17 miles depending on the topography.
You will need to purchase two (one at each point) Ubiquiti Nanobridge NB-5G25 Outdoor MIMO 5GHz 25DBI.
You will need at least one laptop with an Ethernet port to set up the initial bridge installation as outlined in this video:
You can use this bridge installation to test and setup your wireless antennas using the built-in diagnostics on IP address 192.168.1.20.
Set up your antennas to work with a wireless router as outlined in this video:
While any router will work, I recommend a newer router that will support new security protocols. If you buy (or have) a router with external antennas, you will be able to add some short offshoots to your system. Here is one option:
Your router choice will be determined by price, security features and throughput. If you have external antennas on your router, you can replace one with a small Yagi antenna to extend the range of the router to include another device. If you have a security camera outside the range of your router (or WiFi bubble), unscrew one of the external antennas and connect a Yagi antenna to it. Point the antenna to the device and it will be included in your bubble. Depending on the topography and building/tree interference, this will reach up to 100 yard (or more).
The Yagi antenna shown above is under $20 (rated 2 stars) but it will get 80 yards line of sight.
Multiple installations of the Ubiquiti antennas will extend the range of your WiFi bubble as needed. Imagine having IP security cameras scattered over a hundred square miles that can be monitored securely by anyone with access to your system. Although I recommend installing this system off of the Internet (and Prism), proper firewalls and security must be incorporated.
The advantages of having remote security cameras and email without the Internet should be obvious to all prepper groups. The power requirements are minimal and should easily be accommodated with off grid alternative. Any additions or suggestions are welcome. This is obviously the time to set up secure communications.