Does a Dual Radio Access points give better coverage for Wireless ?


I am looking at some of the wireless access points to setup for our office building.

I was looking at Motorola AP-5131,7181 access points and they have dual radio in specification.

1) What exactly is this Dual Radio feature in the wireless access points ?

2)  Does having a dual radio feature in access point give a better performance and coverage ?


3) What feature  I need to look in an enterprise level wireless access point, which will
     tell me how much of coverage distance it is good for ?
OCUBEAsked:
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AmickCommented:
1. The dual radio makes the access point compatible with the older 802.11 a specificaton. It is useful if you have any old devices that are incapable of operating at b, g or n specs.  
2. It does not directly contribute to better performance or coverage.
3. Good features to look for include ease of configuration, access to technical service, low power consumption, ability of the device to operate in your environment. (temperature, humidity, particulate matter, power supply), number of simultaneous sessions it can comfortably support, wired network connections available in addition to wireless.  Routing and security capabilities that match your needs for security, address management, firewall, VPN, protocol, etc.

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Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
Sumiltanious dual ban means it has networks on both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz spectrums at the same time
OCUBEAuthor Commented:
Does having a dual radio help in setting a wireless mesh network ?
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Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
It can help with spreading a network wirelessly but I wouldn't exactly call it mesh. For example, a wireless repeater has to send and receive in the same space so it's bandwidth is essentially cut in half. I have setup dual ban access points so one ban is a client back to the main network, and the other band is an access point for clients. These have no hardwire to the backbone. That way I get the full bandwidth of the one broadcast band.
OCUBEAuthor Commented:
What kind of setup would a typical wireless setup would be in a building which is around 30k square foot
all in one level.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
Cisco has a good writeup of this topic. Start by reading through this:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/technology/ap1000/deployment/guide/dg10ic.html#wp1009029
OCUBEAuthor Commented:
Ok I will ready the document.

Does Antennas play a big role in performance/coverage boost ?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
A better antenna can help get either more coverage in a direction or more gain for a louder signal, but it won't help with the amount of clients that can connect. So not only do you need to consider the distance and speed for an area but also the density of clients.
diepesCommented:
OCUBE:
Dual radio means a 2.4Gig and 5Gig radio in one package.

This can help with mesh, as it give you double the bandwidth through the air.

Antennas can't change the power the radio put's out, it can only focus/direct the energy, thus allowing you to send more of the radio signal where you want it and less where you dont need it.
kuohCommented:
If the building is 30k square (173 x 173), then a single AP in the middle should be sufficient, unless there are many interior walls or extra RF shielding of some sort.  If it's more rectangular, then you might benefit from an AP at each end depending on how long it is.

For many organizations these days, a big advantage of dual band radios is the ability to get out of the increasingly crowded 2.4GHz (B/G) spectrum.  While they may have an entire floor, in a crowded building, there can be other radios above and below which can lead to unpredictable delays and signal drops on the clients despite seemingly good signal levels.  Being able to switch to 5GHz is usually a preferred option over adding more APs / power.

KuoH
OCUBEAuthor Commented:

Any recommendation on access points which are good and are easy to configure .  And should give better coverage.

We can get 4-8 AP's as well

price is not a factor.
kuohCommented:
My primary experience has been with Cisco wireless products, so those are the only ones I can offer advice on.  However, we really need more information on the building layout, interior partitioning and expected client load and use to give better advice.  For an open floor plan, light to moderate use environment, something like a AIR-AP1142N-A-K9 might be sufficient.  In a heavier use or more RF challenging environment, one or more AIR-AP1252AG-A-K9 might be appropriate.  If you want to be able to seamlessly integrate multiple office sites under a centrally managed wireless domain, you might want to go with a controller based solution, but that is not as easy to configure as the previous two options.  Again, the right choice depends on the physical environment and what you want out of the wireless network, now and in the future.  If you just want quick and simple, then choose option 1 or 2.

KuoH
OCUBEAuthor Commented:
thanks
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