Best Accesspoint to buy? (Business Grade)



  • I've been using TP Link AP/Router in AP mode for many years and I find that under very heavy throughput they will fail, at least once a month. I've seen AP costing few thousands on newegg and that just blow my mind. My box is all the way in the basement and setting it up as an AP is a no go. I need to have an AP on every single floor. What'd be some reliable AP to buy?



  • I saw a recommendation on this forum for Ubiquiti a couple of months ago. Great price point and central management software. We've been piloting them at a local private school with good luck…



  • @rjcrowder:

    I saw a recommendation on this forum for Ubiquiti a couple of months ago. Great price point and central management software. We've been piloting them at a local private school with good luck…

    6 months ago I would have said Ubiquiti's UniFi but at this point I'm neutral-to-negative on them.  The Standard and LR APs are really cheap for what you get.  The Pro & AC bump up a bit but are still really aggressively-priced.  The problem is that the software just isn't there.  There haven't been any updates to the stable (2.4.x) or beta (3.1.x) release chains since October and there are a TON of bugs.  A few of the major features (notably, zero-handoff roaming) they've been going on about for a year now about 3.x simply don't work (ZH works some of the time for non-AC, never if you have AC APs).

    They released a 3.1.7 beta back in December but promptly pulled it due to issues.  I wish I could say it was the first time that happened.

    If this is a home, I'd recommend one or more Apple AirPort Extreme or Engenius ECB600 APs as needed to cover your working area.  I was using the former but have since switched to the latter because they can be powered via PoE.

    EDIT:  I just noticed that all beta releases after 3.1.6 require you to explicitly opt-in to their beta program.  They are now up to 3.1.9 as of 12-20-2013.  I'm sure hiding them from the mobs of people who installed earlier betas but aren't daily participants in their forums means that a ton of people are stranded on earlier releases.

    EDIT:  Honestly, if I had money to burn, I'd be using these:  https://meraki.cisco.com/products/wireless#models

    EDIT:  Interesting, you can get a free access point for testing if you sign up and attend a webinar and provide a company email and address.  No better way to justify getting your budget increased than hands-on tinkering.



  • Sadly I'm outside of the regions where they ship the meraki out for free. I noticed that most TP Link routers cannot handle large data throughput for an extended period. I don't think they are overheating as we have an ambient of less 22-24C. This morning my TP Link is down again. Only the 2nd floor one failed, the ground floor AP which hardly gets any use works fine.

    200 bucks for an AP is pretty expensive, but I wouldn't mind paying for it if it just works and works. I have borrowed an Asus RT-N16 and will give it a try. It's really sad that we have excellent gateway but don't have equivalently good AP to go with it



  • I had similar issues with a tp-link tl-wr1043nd. I loaded the gargoyle OpenWRT based firmware (see http://www.gargoyle-router.com/ and it improved things quite a bit, but still not 100% reliable. My latest router is an Asus RT-N66U (running Tomato firmware) and it has been very solid.



  • @kin0kin:

    Sadly I'm outside of the regions where they ship the meraki out for free. I noticed that most TP Link routers cannot handle large data throughput for an extended period. I don't think they are overheating as we have an ambient of less 22-24C. This morning my TP Link is down again. Only the 2nd floor one failed, the ground floor AP which hardly gets any use works fine.

    200 bucks for an AP is pretty expensive, but I wouldn't mind paying for it if it just works and works. I have borrowed an Asus RT-N16 and will give it a try. It's really sad that we have excellent gateway but don't have equivalently good AP to go with it

    I genuinely want to try out Meraki.  I'd be OK with leaving the Ubiquiti stuff in the warehouses and just replacing the 6 APs in the office with new ones.  I'm hoping that the free one is actually a "credit towards" and not just a MR12 outright.  The MR12 is 2.4Ghz only and I've actually moved most of the office over to 5Ghz due to interference issues.  A MR12 to test with won't be much of a test.  I'd be willing to pay for an upgrade to the MR16 instead.



  • I am still happy with my 3 Ubiquity AP's. But then again, I am not in Jason's league (I don't even have a clue what 'zero handoff' is  ;D ). I simply use them for a VLAN for my mobile internet needs, and with Radius enterprise for authentification. In that, they are rock solid (so, like said, simple needs). And of course I don't ever upgrade unless it solves a (security)-problem  :P



  • I can't recommend the meraki enough for stability and ease of deployment and management.  We have about 30 meraki AP's, a few of their switches and security appliances and the product is awesome.  PS I started with a free AP via web, just like you noticed.  drop dead simple to do so many things that we hoped to do.

    I highly suggest that everyone with real word WiFi deployments, hook yourself up with a free mr12, and see what you can do with it. (PS yes it's 2.4 only , not great it all locations, but it will expose you to all the features.



  • They're not sending the MR12 anymore. Now that the MR18 is out they're sending out the leftover MR16 APs.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Just a quick comment on Meraki. A friend of mine did the extended seminar and was given the access point and the central management security appliance. I had a quick play around with it and, yes, it's by far the most powerful wifi setup I've ever come close to. A phenomenal range of features that actually do work.
    However last time I spoke to him the appliance was acting as a paper weight because it has an expose DNS (could have been NTP?) service vulnerable to amplification attacks. The suggested solution was 'put it behind your firewall'. Seems a bit lame in a security appliance. I'm sure they'll get around to patching it but seemed in no hurry.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Just a quick comment on Meraki. A friend of mine did the extended seminar and was given the access point and the central management security appliance. I had a quick play around with it and, yes, it's by far the most powerful wifi setup I've ever come close to. A phenomenal range of features that actually do work.
    However last time I spoke to him the appliance was acting as a paper weight because it has an expose DNS (could have been NTP?) service vulnerable to amplification attacks. The suggested solution was 'put it behind your firewall'. Seems a bit lame in a security appliance. I'm sure they'll get around to patching it but seemed in no hurry.

    Steve

    I don't know that they give those out any more, but I wouldn't have been interested anyway.  The top model they sell, with a street price of more than $40K with a 1 year enterprise license or more like $55K with the advanced security license, is only good for 200Mbit/s of VPN traffic.  That makes it a pretty lousy "concentrator" for 10,000 users.

    I am/was mildly interested in their switches though.  Probably won't end up buying any though since I already went with the Nexus 5500's for my core, and am planning on adding a couple 2000-series FEX later this year.  The last thing I need is a 3rd product line on my network.  I was also confused as to why their L2 switches don't have 10Gbe uplinks.  They did in the previous model.  I don't want to have to buy all L3 gear just to have a 10Gbe core between racks.