Aruba Networks Instant Access Points – Managed Wi-Fi Network Without a Controller!


A Controller-based centralized wireless (Wi-Fi) network has a lot of advantages. Wireless Controllers are preferred for large networks/ enterprise Wi-Fi connectivity. But, there are certain situations where buying a controller for a one or few access points for a small branch, small/medium business, small office/home office, becomes very expensive. An individual access point (that does not connect to a controller) has its limitations.

In such cases, wouldn’t it be nice if you can buy access points (without a controller) that can coordinate amongst themselves and imbibe many wireless controller features? Wouldn’t it be better if such access points can be integrated with a controller, later on, if required? Welcome to the Aruba Networks Instant Access Points – 90 Series, 100 Series, 130 Series.

These are not your typical home access points. Home access points do not contain much intelligence. For example, they cannot determine the channel of neighboring access points and coordinate with them to set the best channel for themselves (to avoid interference). They cannot manage the power settings, radio connectivity, channel load-balancing, band-steering and other critical wireless parameters automatically, in order to reduce congestion.

Aruba Networks says that you can connect any number of such access points within your network and the AP’s still find each other and coordinate with other access points. If an access point doesn’t have provision for wired connectivity, these access points (depending on the model) can even form wireless mesh links between them (for backbone LAN connectivity). POE may not work with meshed AP’s – power supply is a must.

Aruba Networks have also included their signature firewall feature, for role-based access. With the firewall, you can decide – who can access your network, who in your network can access what, and when.

If you have/plan to have multiple access points in your network and if your Wi-Fi network will have a considerable number of users, you should consider buying these access points, instead of buying normal, home-grade access points. It enhances security, access controls, performance and prevents wireless network congestion, which is a common problem with dense Wi-Fi networks without a wireless controller. Actually, Aruba Networks says that one of the access points becomes a virtual controller and coordinates with other access points.

Aruba Networks is one of the Top-3 enterprise wireless LAN brands across the world and many large enterprises across the world have Aruba Networks Wi-Fi solution. They are consistently featured in the leaders quadrant in Gartner’s magic quadrant reports for enterprise networks.

Their instant access point portfolio enables even small branches, small offices to implement secure Wi-Fi in their premises without performance bottlenecks. The best thing is, you have the option to upgrade to a controller later on, with these instant AP’s.

You can see a multimedia overview of Aruba Networks Instant Access Points from here. Detailed feature-by-feature comparison between the three Aruba Networks Instant Access Points series – 90 Series, 100 Series, 130 Series can be found here (pdf). For any other information, do visit the vendors’ product web-page.

Where to buy: You can approach any Aruba Networks partner/reseller across the world to buy the Instant access points. In the US, you can also buy it online from Amazon. Refer to the following links for price/buying info (United States),

Aruba Networks Instant AP – 90 Series:

1.   Aruba Networks Instant IAP-93 IEEE 802.11n 300 Mbps Wireless Access Point – Yes (Access Point, Integrated Antennas, Single Radio, 2×2 MIMO, 300 Mbps)
2.   Ap-92 Access Point (Instant 802 11A-B-G-N Us Only) – Model#: iap-92-us (Access Point, External Antennas, Single Radio, 2×2 MIMO, 300 Mbps)

Aruba Networks Instant AP – 100 Series:

1.a.  Aruba Networks Instant AP-105 IEEE 802.11n 300 Mbps Wireless Access Point – Yes (Access Point, Dual Radio, 2×2 MIMO, 300 Mbps)
1.b.  Aruba Networks AP-105-MNT Model 105 Wireless Access Point Mount Kit (Ceiling Mount Kit)

Aruba Networks Instant AP – 130 Series:

1.   Ap-135 Wireless Access Point (Instant Wireless United States Only) – Model#: iap-135-us (Access Point, Dual Radio, 3×3 MIMO, 450 Mbps, 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports)

Aruba Networks says that installing these access points is simple and can be done very quickly. Well, see for yourself –

 


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