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Which Access Point should I get?    Cisco vs Dlink vs your opinion

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
We are looking into a wireless solution, when building the network in our new facility.
I have asked about access points prior and was directed to the d-link DWL-3200AP. While speaking with CDW because we are buying switches to increase our backbone (procurve 1800) plus these down the road are capable of QOS for a decent price  (we do not heavily manage our switches so tons of options was not needed we run a fairly simple network) Any how CDW recomended, Cisco Aironet 1242AG 802.11a/g Non-modular IOS AP. They recomended this Because where they will be used is a manufacturing facilitty building metal buildings (we build switchgear for wind farms) and uwe will have lots of metal building frame work. a typical warehouse with overhead cranes ceilings are say 30 feet tall
the shop is 200 feet wide and 560 feet long
Now for the price of the cisco $605.00 ea Plus 110.00 for an antenna, I can buy a few more of the Dlinks at right now 139.00.  I will need at least 2 cisco units. as the whole shop doesn't need to be covered, plus they do not need to have full speed as the wireless will only to be to view a website or get a drawing.

Ok what would you do buy 5-6 of the dlink units at 139.00 or 2 of the cisco units at aprox 714.00 each?
Is the cisco unit so much better that its definitly worth it or would the multiple Dlink units make up for it.
or would you have another recomendation for an access point.
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Question by:codeyello
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Expert Comment

by:BluewaterTechnologies
ID: 22659257
With a number of different options out there for network gear it can be hard to find one that works for your needs.  I have been through a number of ap's in our office and the one I settled on is the Netgear WPN802.  This router is relatively easy to manage and offers support for both 802.11 b and g.  It also has a nifty technology called Smart MIMO which senses radio interference in your office and adjusts the wireless signal accordingly for maximum signal.  Plus it has pretty blinking blue lights to keep you occupied :).  I am currently using 4 of these throughout my office and have been extremely satisfied and at about 100 bucks you cant beat it with a stick.  Well you could but that would kind of negate your investment.  Trendnet also offers some reliable models at a discounted price.
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by:codeyello
ID: 22659397
Those might work well for my office but I wonder how well they would work in a shop enviroment.
I have a netgear in the office and I like it covers the whole office both floors.  But the AP's I need will be hung from rafters about 22-25 feet in the air.  and will need to handle dirt, dust and be virtually maintenance free due to the location.  the netgear is plastic and that worries me.
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Johnjces earned 500 total points
ID: 22660057
I recommend the D-Links as I have a lot of them form outdoor to indoor and they have been rock solid, no problems and they just work with no other needs. Set them up one, which is easy and away you go.

Cisco is good and high dollar stuff. BUT, I am not certain why (other than an Agreement for better pricing and salesman commissions and I am only speculating), that they would recommend Cisco because of metal buildings and obstacles.

RF, Radio Frequencies, no matter whose device sends them out, will react the same when confronting a reflective surface.

Now, I have not compared actually frequency tolerances, RF receive sensitivity, actual power output and the signal quality in db at a meter, but you might get yourself a good spec sheet on the RF characteristics. More sensitivity and a better power output beyond the antenna, usually represented in db, can show better engineering in the RF stage. Maybe the Cisco has better error correction which will mean less time, less latency of the data packets.

If you need better range/sensitivity, for either AP, you can add a direction high gain or omnidirectional antenna.

That's my .02 cents anyway. I believe both are good. I also know that the Cisco may be a bit more difficult to set up but it has a lot more software features that it sounds like in your environment you will not need.

John
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by:Johnjces
ID: 22660065
PS, go with metal boxed devices like the 3200 or the 2700, more designed for outdoor and harsh environments.

John
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by:codeyello
ID: 22660498
We don't need anything special wirelessly.  just to be able to connect and it might onloy be one person at a time maybe at maximum 3

I was thinking that with 4 dlinks I could spread them out and get better line of sight where with only 2 ciscos I would be limited.  I was thinking cisco was going to give me say a 150ft range where the dlink might only give me 50, the way they were talking up the cisco.
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by:Johnjces
ID: 22660705
Range is all dependent upon the physical factors. If you go to the D-Link site they claim some pretty good distances too!

Go to each site for the equipment and compare.

I have several D-Link APs outdoors (2700) that are bridged and one about 1000' feet apart and another about 500'. I do have high gain antennas on them due to the many pine trees and other obstacles in the way as I am not line of site due to a lot of infrastructure problems which do not allow me to do this correctly. But we get a good outdoor signal and into metal skinned recreational vehicles throughout our RV park. We have 4 APs for a 125 - 150 acre RV park. That si slim and if I could put more in, (infrastructure needed) I would. But the D-Link 2700s are doing it with good results... not excellent, but good.

I want excellent indoor, and between two floors, wireless availability in our hotel and I use the 3200s. They are about 80 feet apart. All rooms all floors get full speed and good signals. This allows for great wireless roaming.

Do the comparison yourself.. you really must. I certainly don't trust salesmen as they do receive commissions and their company gets promo savings that should be passed on to customers.

However, I would buy four D-Links instead of two Ciscos and have the same range, performance as four Ciscos. I just do not believe that 2 Cisco APs will be as good as four D-Links at all.  As my mom used to say, "that's hooey"! Maybe they are... but I for one doubt it.

Someone may think I am a Cisco biggot. Well, I am, sort of as I believe they are over priced but I do use several Cisco routers because they can do things that others cannot.

John
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by:kyleb84
ID: 22664842
If your looking for a very cost effective solution, go something a bit higher quality than D-Link, but still in the same pl

Linksys WAP54G / WRT54GL's are still cheap, but are classed as better quality than D-Link.

You'll find that if you get 4 x D-Link AP's, there's a good chance at least one will die within 12 months.

Linksys (Specifically those models mentioned), though still consumer level, are a bit more robust, and will last you longer.
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by:kyleb84
ID: 22664851
Spose I should give my evidence:

I used to work for a small ISP for a couple of years, we deployed hundreds of various D-Link devices (Originally) then found the failure rate was rather high - and they hated power spikes. From memory it was near 23% failure over 12 months.

We started deploying Linksys and Netcomm, both were much better than D-Link failure-wise, and they were just easier to configure imo.

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by:Johnjces
ID: 22665167
kyleb84

We are not talking about home access pointsllike the Linksys WAP54G. We are speaking of metal cased, hardened, heavy duty, business class D-Link products, the DWL-2700AP and the DWP-3200AP. Not plastic SOHO Linksys devices which aren't bad for thier purpose.

I currently use over a dozen of these D-Links models listed above and have for 3 years now. I have NOT had a single hardware failure.

Please check out D-Links website on these two APs.

John
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 22665298
I think the outdoor-rated D-Links should work fine for this, and you've already got plenty of good advice on them.

So I'll just add that they use RP-SMA connectors, and since most 3rd-party antennae use N-Female connectors, you'll want a pigtail for them such as listed on this page:
http://www.wifi-link.com/product.php?class1_id=226&class2_id=280

LLC-400 is excellent low-loss cable, btw... but you still want the pigtails to be no longer than necessary.

Hope that helps.
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by:Johnjces
ID: 22665338
Good point darr247.

The DWL-2700APs outdoor APs come with a high quality pigtail to attach a high gain antenna if needed, but make sure that if you add a high gain antenna get the correct connector. Been there, done that and bought that T-shirt! Nothing worse than setting up and having the wrong stuff.
 
I have purchased from HyperLink a lot of antennas and adapters so here's a link to them just in case.

http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/products.php

John
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 22687625
Codeyello,

Did you make a final decision?

John
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by:crummieman
ID: 23000511
I would also have to go with the LinkSys.  I have about five different models they all work great.  I also use www.sveasoft.com for the specialized firmware to increase transmit power.  They also have hotspot and mesh firmware that makes expanding your wireless network range fast and easy.
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