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Aruba 320 Series
The advantages of 802.11ac are multiuser MIMO communications, optionally 160 MHz wide channels, and completely moving out of the crowded 2.4 GHz band. MIMO requires somewhat more processing power on the receiving end to process, and a different antenna design. However, the dramatically increased speeds, combined with the release of devices that support 802.11ac, make it a worthwhile consideration for upgrading your wireless network.
Aruba’s 320 Series features support forrn802.11ac Wave 2, in 4X4:3 configuration for MU-MIMO (rated at up to 1,300rnMbps), and 4X4:4 for SU-MIMO (rated at up to 1,733 Mbps). Being anrnenterprise-grade access point, it can support 255 users per radio. The AP-325rn(left) contains eight integrated omni-directional downtilt antennas, while thernAP-324 (right) has four dual-band external RP-SMA antenna connectors.
Ruckus ZoneFlex R710
The ZoneFlex R710 from Ruckus Wireless (seen hererndisassembled) is a full 802.11ac Wave 2 access point, with a 4×4:4 antennarndesign, which can achieve speeds up to 1733 Mbps. The R710 uses the BeamFlex+rnintegrated antenna design, which purportedly provides more consistent performancernas clients change orientation relative to the access point.
Cisco Aironet 3700
The Cisco Aironet 3700 series is an 802.11ac Wavern2 ready access point that can bernupgraded using an add-on module. It has a 4×4:3 antenna design, which isrnavailable in both integrated and external antenna configurations. The Aironetrn3700 requires the use of other Cisco software for management.
The Linksys EA8500 is the first home / prosumerrnrouter to support 802.11ac Wave 2, which adds support for multiuser MIMO, offeringrnspeeds approximately four times faster than Wave 1 devices. It can support 50rnusers, making it a better fit for home office and small business settings. Atrnan MSRP of $279.99, it is one of the most expensive home routers available, but thern802.11ac performance is very good.
Zebra AP 8232
The Zebra AP 8232 is a rather ruggedly-builtrnenterprise-grade access point with a 3×3:3 antenna design. In contrast to otherrnenterprise access points, it has optional upgrades for light sensors andrnintrusion detection, as well as a 4G LTE backhaul to prevent downtime during anrnoutage of the wired network.
This product was previously sold by MotorolarnSolutions (the half of Motorola not owned by Google, which was subsequently sold to Lenovo).
Ubiquiti Networks UniFi AP-AC
Ubiquiti’s UniFi AP-AC supports speeds up to 1300 Mbps,rnusing a 3×3:3 antenna design. Ubiquiti’s licensing model does not includernlicensing or software fees, which can be an important TCO consideration. ThernUAP-AC is also available in a ruggedized Outdoor version, which supports wall or pole mounting.
D-Link DAP-2695 Rev. A1
The D-Link DAP-2695 A1 is a Qualcomm Atheros-basedrn802.11ac access point, using a 3×3:3 antenna design with removable RP-SMArnantenna connectors. Owing to the fact that it has external antennas, the systemrnweighs 1,140 grams (2.52 lbs.), which is somewhat heavier than the 950 gramrn(2.094 lbs.) Aruba AP-325, which has integrated antennas.
The Aerohive AP390 provides 802x11ac support with a 3×3:3rnantenna design. Of particular interest is the Aerohive’s HiveOS, which allowsrnthe access points to organize into groups or “hives” that coordinate variousrnfeatures such as cooperative RF management without a dependency on a backendrnnetwork.
The Meru AP832 is a Broadcom-based 80211ac accessrnpoint with a 3×3:3 antenna design, which can achieve speeds up to 1300 Mbps.rnLike other solutions, it is available in an integrated antenna and an externalrnantenna design.