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Wireless Access Point Recommendation

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 15, 2012 1:52:44 PM

Hello people of Tom's Hardware,

This is my first post, so I don't know if it's placed in the correct forum, but here goes :-)

I'm currently assigned the task of purchasing new wireless access points, for our offices, at my workplace.

We've previously been using "HP V-M200" access points, but we encoutered heavy throughput problems with these. During my tests of the network, I've seen these APs decrease their tranfer-rate to 30Mb, during file-transfer and ping-test. The issue here is concerning the transfer-rate from the Network Interface Card of my laptop to the wireless AP (did an iptraf while testing, and then noticed the 30Mb).

Suffice to say, we're after the best of the best in wireless technology, but our realistic demands are as follows:
- Supports 802.11n, a-b and g.
- Supports up to 2 ESSIDS.
- Supports VLAN.
- Supports WPA2 and RADIUS.

Any suggestions? Or is there somebody with some good experience, with certain APs that fulfills these criteria?
November 15, 2012 4:06:09 PM

We have had good luck with the HP AP but they are not exactly the same as yours.

I don't know how much difference you will see when you look at the commercial grade equipment. Cisco,Avaya,Belair as well as HP and Dell all make systems.

If you already have a the controller module from HP it will most likely be cheaper to just replace the AP and keep the controller.

The key to good performance is to keep a good balance of users on your AP's. Most these controllers can dynamically tune the output power of AP to give you optimum coverage. I have found you really need to keep the N and the G band traffic on different AP or at least on different radios on the same AP. This degrades performance a lot when you run a mix. Your performance of 30m may be the best you will get if you are either running G or you are running mixed mode or you are running TKIP for your encryption. You have to remember that wireless is half duplex and you will be lucky to get 1/2 the rated speed so if you are running G 30m is about what you would expect. To really test N you need to force the AP to N only make sure you are running AES and that you are running wide channels so you can at least have 150m max. Still you will get nowhere near that expect maybe 100m if you are lucky sitting right under the AP.

Which brand you pick is tough all vendors will work about the same. You never 100% know if a particular AP is good or not. The HP ones we have had massive issues with dropping users but now that they have been patched they are stable as can be.

!