What WiFi do Apple.Inc have?

A few thousand access points would almost certainly cover the area sufficiently. Enterprise WiFi is nothing like home WiFi in its back-end infrastructure and architecture. This is done all over the place. Our satellite campuses have the same WiFi network as our main campus and they’re hundreds of Km away.

Major universities have campuses that are easily as large as Apple’s, have many more people there, with tens of thousands of concurrent users at any given campus, and campuses distributed over large metropolitan (or geographic) regions.

From a technical point of view, WiFi for that campus is a run of the mill thing to provision.


Does it work kind of like home mesh? Or does it mainly use access points with ethernet to some fancy routing equipment that lets all the access points be “on the same page”, so to speak?

It’s been 20+ years since I’ve had to do anything with equipment that even had things like routing tables, so I’m way, way out of the loop. :smiley:

It’s getting kinda more meshy, with a tendency to keep WiFi traffic out nearer the edges (last time I looked into it a few years ago), but this all generally works (or worked) by creating tunnels so that endpoints can maintain their IP addresses as they move from WiFi cell to WiFi cell. That allows for seamless roaming.

It’s usually not meshy in the sense that traffic tends to transit from endpoint to AP to infrastructure rather than AP to AP to AP to infrastructure, though mesh networks are used in areas where wired backhaul isn’t available.

Home networks don’t have to create tunnels because they operate over a single layer 2 network so there is no need to give the illusion of a single layer 3 network.

(Edit to add: My practical WiFi experience goes up to the (late) shift from autonomous APs to a controller based system. Recently our network team (that I left in 2013 or 14; it’s all foggy) has implemented a second generation of controller based WiFi network and things may have changed again.)

That’s pretty slick. And obviously it would be even easier to implement a network like that if you quite literally got to design the entire building from the ground up with super-smart engineers laying everything out in advance. :smiley:

I remember that my single least favorite part of networking was trying to figure out how to get Cat5 from place to place in buildings that just weren’t wired for it.

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Thankfully I never had to run cable, but yeah, that’s a terrible experience. (When our original campus residence buildings were rewired to provide WiFi in every suite, the cabling guy had to deal with a lot of that.

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Are you dead serious or are you just trying to insult me?

Are you serious? (no offence, it’s just hard to tell :slight_smile: )

A large WiFi network consist of several access points, meaning they can provide an extremely large area, in theory unlimited coverage. You can connect them via standard ethernet cable or via a wireless backbone (usually called “Mesh”).

Real WiFi is good today. I would be surprised if Apple have more than 20% of their equipment connected via cable.


What if they blow a fuse?

There’s no such thing as a space that can’t be networked.

Where I work we have 2 campuses, one in a skyscraper 40 floors high, another 150km away that is a few square miles in size and about 40 other buildings all spread out in a capital city. Using a Cisco managed network, with a few thousand routers, the same corporate network is seamlessly available in all the locations with excellent wifi coverage throughout. One of the campuses is a 13th century monastery that has incredibly thick stone walls (it was once a prison so it is not an average building to propagate a signal though) and lots of routers overcame this huge challenge.

Compared to my university’s network, the Apple campus is a cinch!


Sorry to say, but this is getting pathetic.

As you could read in the replies it’s no rocket science. Although it definitely requires a lot of planning and expert knowledge.

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Sorry. Didn’t realize that.

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I didn’t know that WiFi is such a touchy subject. Sorry!

Nah, it’s not a touchy subject :slight_smile:

I get the sense that you don’t have expericnece with enterprise network archticture, and that’s just fine; no sane person would unless they were compelled to do so due to poor life choices leading them to a career in the field :wink: The flip side of that is that you should realize that some of us do, in fact, know what we’re talking about and when we offer up the knowlege of our experience, it might (during brief moments of lucid thought not devoted to VRFs, eBGP, iBGP, MPLS, and (in this case) LWAP) make people a bit grumpy when someone makes assertions that don’t hold up in the real world.

On the flip-flip side, it would be a good thing for those of us who have the experice to recall the time when we ourselves were the ones who were the ones without it, and that we’re just one room full of really, really smart people from being (relatively) in that place again.

I am, of course, exempt from that last bit, as I’m always the smartest person in the room. Just like everyone else :laughing: