AP 230 or 130?

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  • Updated 3 years ago

I've got 7 AP230's and need 4 or 5 more AP's.  I'd be interested to hear anyone's advice as to whether I should add additional AP230's or go with the newer AP130.

Thanks,

Steve

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Steve Kellogg

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Posted 3 years ago

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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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It depends entirely on your needs/use case.

The AP230s are 3x3:3 and have two gigabit ethernet ports, one of which one is PoE-capable.

The AP130s are 2x2:2, have a single gigabit ethernet port and can only be powered by PoE.
It has a smaller form factor too. Consider it the little brother of the AP230.

If you can afford it, for consistency, I would be minded to go with more AP230s as you have 7 already.
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Matt Kopp

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It also has the console port inaccessible if the device is mounted (on the bottom instead of the side)...  Seems like they forgot to add a console port then just cut one in the plastic where it fit...
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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To be honest, I don't see this as being much of an issue for most deployments. I've only ever used a console port when an AP has been taken down because a) it's not working, or b) for lab testing/debugging purposes.

Do you use/have you used the console port when an AP is in situ?
(Edited)
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Matt Kopp

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I've used them while mounted a couple times since it's easier the unmounting them (especially the AP230s and the newfangled brackets).  It's not often, but, and it could be a personal issue (probably is), but I struggle with unmounting with the new AP230/130 brackets.  It reminds me a bit of working in the engine of a Honda - hand size of a 3-year old and strength of a 30-year old.
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Steve Kellogg

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Thanks - that decides the issue.  AP230's it is!

I appreciate the information.

Steve

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Matt Kopp

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Steve, I've deployed both here.  Honestly for the price-to-benefit; AP230s all day.  They have the 3x3:3 as Nick mentioned and are only [MSRP] $150 more.  The extra port, which can be used to support 2Gbps backhaul, the extra radio (and spacial stream), just makes it easy...  Unless you're completely budget-conscious (read: frugal), it's definitely the right course.
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Steve Kellogg

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Thanks to both Nick and Matt - I just ordered the 230's!

Steve

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Alan Davies

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I have been looking at devices that connect - and I wouldn't mind a small bet that a very low percentage - and quite possibly none of your client devices are capable of 3x3. Certainly  mobile phones are only 1 stream. Some tablets are 1 stream - and even top of the range tablets are only 2 stream. Yes - there are some high end laptops which support 3x3 and yes an aggregated 2GB connection (Do you have two cables to every access point?) would be necessary if they are going to deliver what they are capable of. My own view is that unless client devices are ones which you give out - and know to be 3x3 capable then 3x3 access points are a waste of money.

And I don't think we are going to see new devices which have 3x3.  I do think we will see new client devices such as phones and tablets  which will be MU-MIMO with wave 2 chip sets in the client, and new access points that support 4X4 will at least be cable to do 4x1 (or is  it 1x4) and make use of those extra streams. I'd have saved my money now - and bought the odd wave 2 access point later.
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Steve Kellogg

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Thanks - that seems to make sense as you describe it.  Oh, well... I've got the 230's...

Steve
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Except that it is no where near that simple. Clients typically achieve better rate over range in concert with 3x3:3 APs than with 2x2:2 APs because of the additional antenna.

Just giving one example, Cyclic Shift Diversity (CSD) + Space-Time Block Code (STBC) optimise transmission with single streams. They improve range and resiliency by sending one stream, phase shifted, from all available transmitters, typically helping rate over range by about 1 dB to 3 dB.

With 1x1:1 and 2x2:2 clients, you should expect to see better throughput and stability with 3x3:3 APs than you would with 2x2:2 APs.

Two cables are also almost certainly not necessary to a 3x3:3 802.11ac AP for performance reasons. The main gain and concern is with airtime efficiency, the typical contention point is nearly always in the air or with the WAN connection. It is pure marketing spin that there is an issue on the wired side of the network for typical deployment scenarios. There is just not this requirement in the real world for the vast majority, it is instead a vendor fallacy created to sell more kit...

Additionally, in an Enterprise-class setting, deployments typically will not (and usually should not) be using 80 MHz channels at 5 GHz, rather 20 MHz or 40 MHz are appropriate due to CCI concerns. More overall capability/capacity is realised by running with narrower channel widths.

You are also likely to see feature differentiation between 2x2:2 and 3x3:3 APs as they are sold at different price points. Historical examples are things like Voice-Enterprise features (802.11k/r/v) and Protected Management Frames (802.11w).
(Edited)