Introduction to Cisco's Aironet Line of WiFi Access Points
Cisco's market-leading Aironet line of WiFi access points (APs) has evolved in step with Wi-Fi technology, continually offering improvements in speed, density, coverage, security, manageability and reliability in order to meet the demands of modern wireless networking. Legacy Aironet Wi-Fi access points support up to 15 clients and 300 Mbps throughput, while current Wave 2 devices can handle up to 400 clients each and deliver aggregate data rates exceeding 5 Gbps. Networks of Aironet APs incorporated with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure architecture make it possible to deploy wireless LANs with as many as 18,000 centrally-managed access points and capable of supporting 64,000 clients.
Cisco's Wave 2 Wi-Fi APs extend the network to wireless users without compromising performance or security
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified wireless networking consultants can provide remote or onsite consulting and troubleshooting services to help you design, deploy, update, optimize, manage and debug Aironet Wi-Fi deployments of any size or topology. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers and Cisco Wi-Fi controller consultants can also help you integrate your WiFi ecosystem with your wired wide-area network (WAN) and cloud-based resources to create an enterprise-wide connectivity solution that is easy to manage and expand. Progent also offers affordable WiFi site surveys to help you determine the most efficient selection, placement and configuration of Aironet wireless APs to accommodate your specific office layout, building structure, and anticipated network traffic.
Cisco Aironet Wave 2 Indoor Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Wave 2 WiFi access points feature substantial enhancements over the first generation of 802.11ac products, known as Wave 1, including up to 2.34 Gbps instead of 1.3 Gbps data rate in the 5 GHz band, multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) for transferring data to multiple clients at the same time, better coverage and expandability, and the ability to utilize 160-MHz-wide channels and/or a fourth spatial stream to enhance performance. For high-density WiFi deployments, almost all Aironet Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points support the Cisco Mobility Express solution, which allows 50 to 100 access points to be deployed quickly without requiring a physical Cisco wireless controller. Progent can help you assess the business benefits of upgrading your Wave 1 or earlier Aironet access points and can also help you design, deploy and manage a Wave 2 Aironet Wi-Fi network that adds maximum business value to your Wi-Fi solution.
Cisco's Aironet 1810W Series Wi-Fi access point is a low-profile Wave 2 wall-plate-mountable AP intended for use in multi-dwelling units such as hotels and cruise ships. The Aironet 1810W includes Dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios and a Bluetooth radio, features 2x2 MU-MIMO technology with two spatial streams, and supports a combined data rate of 867-Mbps and a maximum client count of 400. The Aironet 1810W comes with three local Gigabit Ethernet ports including one with Power over Ethernet (PoE) Out for powering a device such as an IP Phone, printer or security camera. The Aironet 1818 also includes a 10/100/1000BASE-T PoE uplink port and a pass-through RJ-45 port. The Cisco Aironet 1810 OfficeExtend Series AP is a Wave 2 802.11ac unit that includes a mounting cradle and is engineered to deliver secure Wi-Fi access for remote workers and small office branch employees. The Cisco Aironet 1810W Series OfficeExtend Access Point requires a connection to a remote wireless network controller, which allows easy centralization of policies and eliminates the hassle of managing home-based or remote-office firewalls. The Aironet 1810 OfficeExtend Series features the same throughput and interfaces as the Aironet 1810W Wi-Fi AP.
Cisco's Aironet 1815 Series access points are low-cost, low-profile Wave 2 devices designed for small and midsize companies. The series includes four models which address different usage scenarios. The 1815i AP offers flexible options for wall or ceiling mount; the 1815w AP is a desktop unit; the 1815t AP includes three GE ports for use by telecommuters or in a micro branch office; and the 1815m AP features extra transmit power for greater coverage. All models of the 1815 AP feature dual radios (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), 2x2 MU-MIMO with two spatial streams, and all except the 1815t AP can be managed with Cisco Mobility Express software. Only the 1815t supports OfficeExtend. Each 1815 access point offers a combined data rate of 1 Gbps and can support a maximum of 400 clients. All models except the 1815t include a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio, and only the 1815t includes a USB port and offers the option of PoE or AC/DC power.
The Cisco Aironet 1830 Series access point is intended for small and medium-sized networks and includes 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, features 3x3 MU-MIMO technology with two spatial streams, includes a 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ-4 Ethernet port with PoE, delivers a combined data rate of up to 867-Mbps on the 5-Ghz radio, and supports a maximum client count of 400. The 1830 Series AP also supports a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio via a USB dongle. The Bluetooth radio can be used for applications like navigation, proximity marketing, and asset tracking.
The Cisco Aironet 1850i Wi-Fi AP is intended for small and mid-sized businesses and features 4x4 MU-MIMO technology with up to four spatial streams (when in single-user MIMO mode, three spatial streams in multiuser mode), incorporates one GE PoE interface, one GE port for link aggregation, and an RJ-45 management console port. The Aironet 1850i supports a total aggregate dual-radio data rate of 2.0 Gbps and a maximum client count of 400. A Bluetooth radio can be added to the 1850i Series access point via a USB dongle.
The Cisco Aironet 2800 Series WiFi AP is intended for large enterprises and can maximize throughput by dynamically assigning its dual radios as one 2.4 and one 5 GHz radio or as two 5 GHz radios, delivering combined performance as high as 5 Gbps. The Aironet 2800 WiFi access point features 4x4 MU-MIMO and three spatial streams and supports up to 400 Wi-Fi clients. A second antenna connector accommodates challenging environments such as high-ceiling auditoriums, libraries and cafeterias. The 2800 AP includes two GE interfaces and an RJ-45 management console port. A Bluetooth radio can be added via a USB dongle.
Cisco Aironet 3800 Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points are intended for high-density environments such as large offices or warehouses. The Aironet 3800 has three different antenna options. The 3800i comes with internal antennas, the 3800e has external ones, and the 3800p has high-power external antennas to handle high-density indoor venues like arenas and convention centers. All models of the 3800 AP support 4x4 MU-MIMO and three spatial streams and their dual radios can operate in 2.4-GHz/5-GHz mode or in Dual 5-GHz 802.11ac mode. Total throughput can be up to 5.2 Gbps in dual 5-GHz mode. The Aironet 3800 can support up to 400 clients and includes two 100/1000/2500/5000 Multigigabit Ethernet ports, one 100/1000BASE-T RJ-45 auxiliary port, and an RJ-45 management console port.
The Cisco Aironet 4800, designed for large enterprises in need of high performance and security, is the high end of the Aironet family, featuring dual 2.4 and 5 GHz or dual 5 GHz radios and 4x4 MU-MIMO radio designs with three spatial streams. The 4800 AP can support up to 400 clients. The device includes two multigigabit ports, one RJ-45 management console port, and a BLE radio. By having a fourth radio, the 4800 AP can distribute core Aironet functions across more radios so they can run concurrently. These functions include built-in Flexible Radio Assignment, Hyperlocation, and Bluetooth Low Energy [BLE]). The 4800's fourth internal radio adds enhanced security and in-depth analytics for performance and location. Having four radios also makes it possible for the two Wi-Fi radios outfitted with Flexible Radio Assignment to run in 5 GHz client serving mode, supporting 5.2 Gbps (2 x 2.6 Gbps) wireless throughput and increasing client capacity.
Cisco Aironet Wave 1 802.11ac Indoor Wireless Access Points
The 802.11ac standard operates exclusively in the 5-GHz band, utilizes 80-MHz channels for higher performance, and allows Wi-Fi radios to use spectrum more efficiently, transmit data faster, and relinquish spectrum more quickly than preceding Wi-Fi standards. This optimizes performance, mitigation, scalability, and roaming for high-density wireless networks. Although the 802.11ac specification was approved in the beginning of 2014, Cisco developed transitional Aironet 802.11ac access points before then. These transitional products offer many of the key benefits of the 802.11ac standard and Cisco refers to them as Wave 1 access points. Cisco's Wave 1 dual-band Aironet APs include 2.4 GHz radios to accommodate older generation client devices.
Cisco's entry-level Aironet 1700 Series is a value-priced AP that supports 802.11ac Wave 1 technology, features 3x3 multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) equalization with two spatial streams, and supports a maximum connection rate of 867 Mbps and 200 clients. The Cisco Aironet 2700 Series is a wall-mountable AP for midsize or large enterprises and is offered with four internal or external antennas. The 2700 Series AP features a 3x4 MIMO radio design with three spatial streams, delivers a maximum connection rate of 1.3 Gbps, and supports 200 802.11ac clients and 128 802.11n clients. Cisco's Aironet 3700 Series access points include modular, wall-mountable enterprise-class devices available with an internal antenna, an external antenna, or in a special 3700p version with a narrow-beam width, high-gain antenna. The 3700 Series AP features a 4x4 MIMO radio design with three spatial streams and supports a maximum connection rate of 1.3 Gbps. The modular design of the 3700 Series supports Cisco's Wireless Security add-on module and 3G Small Cells module.
Cisco Aironet 802.11n Indoor Access Points
The 802.11n standard made it practical for people to use Wi-Fi as their day-to-day network connection, nominally supporting 390 Mbps throughput and single-user MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Cisco continues to offer an extensive portfolio of wireless access points based on this popular Wi-Fi technology. Progent can provide online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco's current 802.11n APs as well as legacy Aironet access points, and Progent can help you assess the value to your business of upgrading from your older AP infrastructure to the new generation of 802.11ac devices.
The Cisco Aironet 700W Series access point is an 802.11n unit designed for multi-dwelling environments such as college dorms or hotels and can be mounted on a wall junction box. The dual-radio Aironet 700W features 2x2 MIMO and two spatial streams, can handle 100 wireless clients, includes four 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports (one with PoE), and delivers 300 Mbps performance. The Cisco Aironet 1600 Series is an entry-level AP for small and midsize organizations and includes 802.11n-based 3x3 MIMO with two spatial streams, can handle 128 clients, and offers 300 Mbps throughput. The Cisco Aironet 2600 Series access point is designed for high-density environments and features 802.11n 3x4 MIMO with three spatial streams, supports 200 clients, and delivers a maximum data rate of 450 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet Outdoor and Industrial Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Aironet line of Wi-Fi access points includes Wave 2, Wave 1, and 802.11a/b/g/n devices designed to be deployed in outdoor environments that can range from campuses and municipalities to extreme industrial sites such as rail, transportation, mining, oil and gas. Progent can help you select, deploy and manage Aironet outdoor and industrial APs to fit your technical requirements and budget. Progent's security consultants can also help you define and enforce security policies for your outdoor Wi-Fi infrastructure or test and validate the security profile of your Aironet outdoor APs.
The Cisco Aironet 1530 Series outdoor 802.11b/g/n access points are Wave 1 dual-radio, carrier-grade APs available in an IP67-rated enclosure resistant to dust, moisture, shock and temperature extremes. The APs have a GE LAN port and a GE WAN uplink port and deliver data rates of up to 300 Mbps. The Aironet 1530I includes integrated antennas and supports 3x3:2 MIMO with three spatial streams on the 2.4 GHz radio and 2x3 MIMO with two spatial streams on the 5GHz radio. The Aironet 1530E outdoor access point supports 2x2 MIMO and two spatial streams on each radio and includes external software-configurable dual-band antennas or single-band antennas.
Cisco's Aironet 1540 Series outdoor access points are Wave 2 devices that provide up to 867-Mbps data rates on the 5 GHz radio. This enables a total aggregate dual-radio data rate of up to 1.1 Gbps. The 1540 features 2x2 MU-MIMO and supports up to two spatial streams. For small to midsize networks with up to 50 access points, you can use Cisco Mobility Express Solution for fast and easy deployment without the need for a Cisco wireless Wi-Fi controller appliance. One of the smallest outdoor access points with internal antennas, the 1540 AP is available with either a directional or a semi-omni directional antenna, providing flexibility in selecting antenna patterns appropriate for handling different usage scenarios.
Cisco's Aironet 1552S outdoor/industrial AP is designed for hazardous environments such as refineries, chemical plants, or process control applications and has a built-in ISA100-compliant backbone router to communicate with wireless sensor networks, providing an all-in-one solution for Wi-Fi client support and access to sensor devices. The Aironet 1552WU comes in a Class 1, Div 2/Zone 2 hazardous location-certified enclosure, supports 2:3 MIMO and two spatial streams, delivers 300 Mbps throughput, and provides Gigabit Ethernet, 10/100/1000 BaseT, and fiber Small-Form-Factor Pluggable (SP) uplink interfaces. Cisco's Aironet 1552WU is designed for hazardous environments and includes an integrated WirelessHART gateway for connecting wirelessly to industrial sensor equipment. The Aironet 1552WU comes in a hazardous location-certified enclosure, supports 2:3 MIMO and two spatial streams, handles data rates of up to 300 Mbps, and provides GE and 10/100/1000 BaseT uplink options.
Cisco's Aironet 1562 model outdoor Wi-Fi access points are available with three antenna options to match different usage scenarios. The high-performance 1562I access point has internal omnidirectional antennas for general-purpose use such as a school campus. The 1562E includes powerful external omni antennas for venues where users determine the coverage requirements such as outdoor warehouses or shopping malls. The 1562D has an internal directional antenna suitable for high-density sites or locales that require wireless point-to-point bridging such as parks, stadiums or concert halls. All three models can handle up to 400 clients, support 48 VDC and PoE power, and feature Fiber SPF optics and cable modem backhaul. The 1562E and 1562D models feature 2x2 MU-MIMO with 2 spatial streams and deliver data rates of 867 Mbps. The 1562I features 3x3 MU-MIMO with 3 spatial streams and supports a data rate of 1,300 Mbps.
Cisco's Aironet 1570 Series is an enterprise and carrier-class device that was at introduction the fastest performing outdoor AP on the market. The Aironet 1570 includes internal or external antennas, supports 4x4 MIMO with three spatial streams, offers maximum data rates of up to 1.3 Gbps, and has Fiber/SFP, GE, and Cable Modem uplink interfaces. Models include the Aironet 1572EAC that has an external antenna with AC-power, the Aironet 1572IC which includes internal antennas with cable modem, and the Aironet 1572EC which has an external antenna with cable modem.
Cisco's Industrial Wireless 3700 (IW3700) Series is the first industrial/outdoor wireless access point to offer 4x4 MIMO with three spatial streams and beamforming. The Wave 1 IW3700 AP has a rugged IP67-rated housing, includes a dual-band radio compliant with 802.11ac (5 GHz) and 802.11n (2.4 GHz), provides over-the-air data rates of up to 1.3 Gbps, and supports up to 200 clients.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points Supported by Progent
The dramatic improvements in Wi-Fi performance and density enabled by 802.11ac technology, combined with the proliferation of BYOD clients running high-bandwidth applications such as HD video, has effectively rendered earlier generations of Wi-Fi infrastructure obsolete. Although many organizations run wireless workloads that are well served by existing 802.11n networks, the fact that older wireless infrastructure products such as access points have reached, or are about to reach, end-of-life can have serious consequences for security compliance, the continued availability of technical support, and the challenge of future expansion.
Progent's certified experts in Cisco's wireless technology can provide advanced consulting services to help businesses of any size manage and support their current Aironet solution, assess the potential benefits for upgrading to the latest generation of Aironet APs, and design a budget-friendly plan to migrate to a cohesive new Wi-Fi solution that provides the performance, security and manageability expected of a modern wireless ecosystem. Examples of legacy Aironet access points for which Progent continues to offer online and on-premises support include:
Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family wireless access points are intended for offices and similar locations which have minimal environmental variability. These products have built-in antennas that provide dependable omnidirectional range profiles. The Aironet 1130G Series device is designed for restricted locations that do not allow 802.11a operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family access points are designed for more challenging radio frequency environments such as manufacturing plants and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which often call for flexible protruding antennas and durable cases. The Aironet 1240G family access point is intended for controlled domains that do not permit 802.11a transmission.
Aironet 1500 lightweight outdoor wireless mesh access points provide an affordable, expandable, protected outdoor wireless solution for enterprise campus and public access for mobile phones or computers in outdoor areas.
The Cisco Aironet 600 OfficeExtend Series wireless access point is an 802.11n device intended for home-based telecommuters. The Aironet 600 includes a dual 2.4/5 GHz radio, features 2x3 MIMO and two spatial streams, supports up to 15 Wi-Fi clients, and delivers 300 Mbps throughput.
How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Aironet Access Points
Progent offers affordable online or onsite support from a certified CCIE consultant to help you plan, install, manage, upgrade or repair a Wi-Fi environment that incorporates Cisco's Aironet access points. Progent can help you manage and troubleshoot legacy Aironet devices or migrate cost-effectively to Cisco's current generation of Wave 2 Wi-Fi technology based on the 802.11ac standard. Progent's Cisco Wi-Fi controller consultants can help you determine whether your Wi-Fi deployment calls for Cisco wireless controller appliances or can be handled with software-based deployment and management tools like the Cisco Mobility Express platform.
Progent's online and onsite Wi-Fi site surveys can help you determine the most appropriate selection and placement of Aironet APs to provide the coverage you need and to support your application workloads. Progent's network security consultants can help you design and validate a compliant security strategy that addresses business processes, network policies, device configuration, and system monitoring and management. Progent's disaster preparedness experts and business continuity planning consultants can assist you to build fault-tolerance and recoverability into your Cisco product deployments to maximize the availability of your converged wired/wireless network infrastructure.
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Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi Access Points
To learn about Progent's consulting services for configuring, managing and troubleshooting Wi-Fi access points, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.