Wireless Options Comparison Chart

The following chart is an overview of some wireless options.

Access point
Basic wireless connectivity
$50 to $80
One to two hours
Wireless gateway
Increased control over your wireless network
$500 to $1500
Variable, depending on what features you want, but gateways are more difficult to configure than a regular access point
Hotspot provider
Ease of maintenance
$500 to $1000 startup cost and $50 per month
Depends on your package, but providers often perform all setup and troubleshooting for you and your patrons
A second Internet connection
Improved security
$25 to $50 per month
One to two hours
A firewall with separate VLANs
Improved security
$500 to $1500
Variable, but firewalls are complex devices, and you may need outside help to configure it properly

Note: Sorting through the variations of this approach can be confusing. You might want to talk to an experienced network consultant first.