Though many WLAN environments have yet to purchase their first 11ac access point, the 11ac market is certainly maturing. As counter-intuitive as that may sound, we continue to see more 11ac products and released almost weekly in the Enterprise Wi-Fi space. We also have a lot of exciting news afoot regarding 11ac client device capabilities. Both are important for a number of reasons, but before we go there let’s talk about Aerohive’s newest 11ac access point- the AP230.
I say “newest” because this is not Aerohive’s first 11ac offering. The AP370 and external-antenna version AP390 marked the company’s initial volley in the 11ac game. Now, the AP230 launch puts Aerohive on par with the likes of Cisco and Aruba who have also launched a couple of different 11ac APs to date. So… what’s the AP230 all about?
It’s a mix of technology and philosophy:
- This is meant to be the new default Aerohive 11ac AP for carpeted spaces
- 3×3, with 3 streams per band- 11n in 2.4 GHz, 11ac in 5 GHz (TxBF, 256 QAM, 80 MHz)
- 2x Gig Ethernet with Link Aggregation
- Application Visibility and Control (AVC) and the other features that come with your cloud-based Hive Manager account
- As with all Aerohive access points, no controller is required for the AP230
- Works on standard PoE (802.3af)
- List Price: $799 Details here.
At theAP230’s price point, Aerohive hopes to make 11ac compelling enough to overcome cost concerns of those that might generally continue deploying 11n, while adding 11ac only to user-dense spaces to save on WLAN costs.
Aerohive is quick to point out that at current list pricing, the 11ac AP230 is less expensive than most competitors’ 11n offerings. Many Aerohive customers (and potential customers) will like the full-featured 11ac paradigm offered by the AP230 without the need for switch upgrades to PoE+, though top-end power output will be less than the AP370 (and some competitors’ offerings- this is one of those details you really have to drill into for clarity). For many of us, we seldom run APs at max available power in our dense WLANs, so the low cost and feature set of the AP230 will likely outweigh whatever transmit power concession you may feel is in play.
Aerohive’s latest product release is among a number of interesting milestones afoot that indicate 11ac is not only here to to stay, but is also proving to be a fast-advancing technology despite the fact that wide adoption is just beginning. To learn more, take a listen to the second-ever wirednot podcast. Here I talk about the general state of 11ac, and recent developments that you should be thinking about. (Had an odd audio thing going on in spots, still learning the ropes on getting this right).
(Play or Download)
There’s certainly more to come on 11ac, as this is one big story with no end end in sight at this point.