Do you want to set up a professional WiFi network in your home like those of hotels, large companies or universities? Today you can install and configure a professional WiFi network in your home, providing the best wireless performance to WiFi clients, and with a very high level of security, since we can configure a RADIUS authentication server easily and quickly to use. WPA2 / WPA3-Enterprise. Today in this article we are going to explain everything you will need to set up a professional WiFi network in your home.
Main characteristics of a professional WiFi network
Professional WiFi networks that are installed in hotels, large companies, training centers and other places, are characterized by providing wireless clients with great WiFi performance, very good security, and allow us to isolate wireless clients invited in a certain VLAN, and we can even prevent them from communicating with each other via WiFi (AP Isolation), in this way, we will be providing the professional WiFi network with security and privacy.
Another characteristic of professional WiFi networks is that they use WiFi access points that are connected via cable, and we feed them through PoE switches with the same network cable that carries the information, in this way, we will only need a cable to provide data and power simultaneously. If you have 2, 3 or more professional WiFi access points, you will not have to configure them one by one individually, because there are so-called “WiFi controllers”, some software / hardware devices or in the Cloud, which will allow us to configure all the AP in the same way, be it one AP or 50 access points.
A very important feature that is typical of WiFi Mesh systems we also have it here, WiFi roaming will allow us to go from one access point to another without cutting the wireless connection, this can be done by expelling WiFi clients when they receive little coverage (RSSI), or use the 802.11k / ve standards and even 802.11r to perform this task much more quickly and transparently. Of course, we will also have band-steering, that is, we will broadcast with the same SSID and authentication in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, and the access point will automatically connect you to the best available frequency band.
Regarding the security and segmentation of the networks, all the professional APs support configuring each SSID in a specific VLAN, in this way, with rules in the router or in the L3 switch, we can completely isolate the wireless clients that connect to a certain SSID. We can also create advanced rules to allow or deny traffic, configure access control lists for MAC filtering, configure WPA2 / WPA3-Personal with a pre-shared key, and even WPA2 / WPA3-Enterprise with authentication in an external RADIUS server or in the cloud (if the manufacturer supports it).
Once we know the main characteristics of professional WiFi networks, we are going to explain step by step everything you should do and buy in certain cases. Although it is recommended that both the switches and the WiFi access points be of the same brand and “family”, it is not entirely mandatory, for example, you can have switches from the manufacturer D-Link and then put access points from the manufacturer Aruba with Their Instant On family are seamlessly compatible because they all use standard protocols.
Does your house have Ethernet network outlets?
This is the first thing we should know, if our house has Ethernet network sockets in all the rooms or in some of them, it will greatly facilitate the task of installing and configuring a professional WiFi network at home with professional APs. One detail that we must take into account is that, as of approximately 2011, all new homes have Cat 6 wiring in all rooms (kitchen, living room, bedrooms, cellar, attic) except in the bathrooms, these power outlets network will allow us to provide data and power to the different WiFi access points where we are going to place them.
Normally at the entrance of the house we will have the beginning of the network cabling, with the RJ-45 connectors that we will connect to a manageable or non-manageable switch, to feed data and / or power to the different devices. All the network cables go through an individual conduit to the different rooms, and there we will have an RJ-45 female rosette where we will put a normal network cable to connect the different devices. In the box at the entrance of the house we will have dimensions of about 50cm wide by about 30cm wide, therefore, we will fit a switch, but we will have to measure the different models to make sure that it fits well.
If your house has Ethernet network outlets
If your house has Ethernet network sockets, you already have the most difficult part of the installation done, you will only have to buy the equipment that meets the needs you have. A professional AP for each plant? An AP in each room where you are going to use it the most? Depending on your needs, you will install one or more professional WiFi access points distributed throughout the house
If your home doesn’t have Ethernet network outlets
If your house doesn’t have Ethernet network jacks, then we have a little problem. Professional WiFi access points need both data and power through the Ethernet network cable, there are some models that allow power through an external current transformer, but they are wired to the local network to have a bandwidth of 1Gbps or more for the backhaul network.
There are some WiFi access points with the «Smart Mesh» function, which is basically that some access points can be connected to the network via cable, and others are interconnected via WiFi as if they were WiFi repeaters, however, this solution is not suitable for you. we recommend (unless you have no choice), because the actual performance you will get will be much lower than if they were wired.
If your house does not have Ethernet network sockets, our recommendation is that you try to run a Cat 7 Ethernet network cable as it is, through conduits that are not electrical, for example, where the TV and satellite cables go, since these are Coaxial cables and they are very well insulated, the same as Cat 7 cable. If you do not have the possibility of passing Ethernet network cable because the cable is too thick, then our recommendation is that you use plastic optical fiber, the power will not pass from the PoE switch to APs, but at least, it will pass data at a real 1Gbps speed to the backhaul.
The router will be one of the most important parts of the network, depending on the choice of the router, you will have to choose some switches or others, this does not influence the WiFi access points (although it does affect their configuration). To choose the ideal router, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to segment the network with VLANs to provide security to the different SSIDs and that they cannot communicate with each other (or yes) based on rules that you configure?
- Want to put all guest WiFi clients on a different subnet with only internet access?
If the answer to both questions is “yes”, then you need a router that supports VLANs on the LAN. Normally routers support VLANs on the Internet WAN to connect to the operator’s network, however, they do not usually support VLANs on the LAN of the local network, except for some models that are oriented to a professional field.
Router without VLAN support
If you do not need to configure VLANs because you are not going to segment the network in your home, then any router is valid, including the operator’s, you will not need anything else. However, if you are very clear that you do not need VLAN support, then we recommend not buying manageable switches, because they are more expensive and you will not take advantage of their possibilities, unless you use functions such as QoS or Link Aggregation, in these cases then you can. be a good option, even if you are not going to segment by VLANs.
Router with support for VLANs
Currently we have routers that are oriented to a professional field that allow us to segment by VLANs, in addition to many other advanced functionalities, such as configuring inter-vlan routing policies, configuring the firewall, different VPN servers / clients and even configuring a Dual WAN with load balancing. In this article we have analyzed several of these professional routers that we are going to recommend.
The first one that we are going to recommend is the ASUS BRT-AC828, a simultaneous dual-band router with AC2600 Wi-Fi (up to 800Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 1733Mbps in 5GHz), but the WiFi of this router is recommended to disable it to use the one of the professional WiFi access points that will be distributed throughout the house. However, if we activate it, it allows configuring a certain SSID in a certain VLAN to segment the traffic. The most interesting thing about this model is that it incorporates two Gigabit Ethernet ports for the Internet WAN, it supports load balancing and failover, it supports VLANs in the WAN and VLANs per port.
Other characteristics of this model are that it incorporates a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports for the LAN, with support for VLANs, both untagged and tagged, therefore, we will have the possibility of segmenting by VLANs easily and quickly. In addition, its firmware is really complete, and it has an integrated RADIUS server, advanced ACL permissions, multiple DHCP servers (one for each VLAN that we configure), captive portal and much more.
The D-Link DSR-1000AC is a simultaneous dual band router with AC1750 Wi-Fi (up to 450Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 1300Mbps in 5GHz), but it is also advisable to disable the WiFi, to use professional APs distributed around the house. If we activate it, we can configure several SSIDs assigned to a specific VLAN. This model also incorporates two Gigabit Ethernet ports for the Internet WAN, supports load balancing and failover, supports VLANs on the WAN.
Other characteristics of this model are that it incorporates a total of 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for the LAN, with support for VLANs, both untagged and tagged, therefore, we will have the possibility of segmenting by VLANs easily and quickly. This team is clearly more professional than the previous one, with very advanced functionalities because it is aimed at medium-sized companies where we have to establish a large number of VPN tunnels. Other features are that it allows you to create different DHCP servers, VPN servers and much more.
The QNAP Qhora-301W is a simultaneous dual band router with Wi-Fi AX3600 (up to 1148Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 2402Mbps in 5GHz), but it is also advisable to deactivate the WiFi, if we activate it, we can configure several SSIDs assigned to a specific VLAN . This model is based on SDN, so we can configure the different ports as WAN or LAN, it supports load balancing and failover, currently it does not support VLANs in the WAN, but a firmware will be released very soon incorporating this functionality.
This router has 2 10G Multigigabit ports and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, in the LAN we will have the possibility of configuring different VLANs with different DHCP servers, however, the ports only allow them to be configured as tagged to pass the VLANs to a manageable switch. This model supports WPA3 and has different VPN servers such as OpenVPN or Qbelt among others.
Of course, you always have the possibility to buy certain hardware and install the operating system pfSense or OPNsense, two operating systems that are specifically oriented to business environments to use it as a router / firewall. Without a doubt, this is our favorite option because we have a huge number of advanced configuration options, the possibility of installing an IDS / IPS, a FreeRADIUS server to authenticate WiFi clients and much more software to squeeze the capacity of the hardware to maximum.
Switches with PoE (Power over Ethernet)
The switches will be responsible for providing connectivity to the network and also power thanks to their PoE (Power over Ethernet) ports. We currently have several PoE standards, depending on the power we need to provide. We have to look closely at the PoE that the access points support, to buy a switch according to their needs.
- If the APs support PoE or the 802.3af standard, we must buy a switch with support for it. Up to 15W per port must provide.
- If the APs support PoE + or the 802.3at standard, we must buy a switch with support for it. Up to 30W per port must provide.
PoE + or 802.3at switches are compatible with APs that support PoE or 802.3af, but not the other way around. We must also take into account the PoE Budget, that is, the maximum power that it is capable of providing to the different APs that are connected to the switch.
For example, let’s imagine that we have 4 access points with the 802.3af standard (up to 30W) but that have a maximum consumption of 13W according to the manufacturer, and we have a switch with a PoE Budget of 65W, it will serve us perfectly because the real consumption of these APs is clearly less than the maximum PoE Budget. It is always advisable to have a certain margin, in case we want to put one more AP or there is a consumption peak, but a margin of 20-25% should be enough.
Unmanaged switches with PoE
Now we are going to recommend a series of PoE and PoE ++ switches that are unmanageable. If you have decided not to segment by VLANs and you do not have a router that supports VLANs on the LAN, these models are the ones you should buy (unless you want manageable switches to configure QoS, Link Aggregation and more).
The D-Link DGS-1008P switch has a total of 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE + (802.3af / at), and another four Gigabit Ethernet ports without PoE, in total we have 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports. This model has 68W of PoE Budget, enough to power four professional APs without problems.
The NETGEAR GS308P switch has a total of 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE (802.3af), and another four Gigabit Ethernet ports without PoE, in total we have 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports. This model has 55W of PoE Budget.
The NETGEAR GS308EP switch has a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE + (802.3af / at). This model has 62W of PoE Budget.
The NETGEAR GS316P switch has a total of 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE + (802.3af / at). This model has 115W PoE Budget. If you are going to connect many professional APs or we have many RJ-45 rosettes in our home, this 16-port Gigabit Ethernet model is ideal for you because it is very thin and will fit in the hole without problems.
Depending on your needs and the number of professional APs that you are going to install, you will have to buy some models or others.
Managed Switches with PoE
All manageable switches have the same configuration options, for example, we can segment by VLANs, configure QoS and bandwidth limiter per port, configure Spanning-Tree to avoid loops at layer 2 level, Link Aggregation to make aggregation of links and increase the speed that we can have in a wired equipment, such as a NAS server, and many other configuration options. Normally the management of manageable switches is local, we enter the switch configuration via the web and start configuring it, however, in recent times, locally manageable switches are appearing and also in the Cloud, such as those of Aruba and EnGenius, this Management is completely free, so it is a very good option. We recommend that you see on the official websites of the different models what configuration options we have available, but they are all more or less the same because they belong to the same range of L2 manageable switches.
The Aruba Instant On Switch 1930 PoE 8G is one of the most recommended manageable switches, it allows local management via the web and also through the free Aruba Instant On Cloud, which is really complete and highly recommended for use in environments of less than 25 devices (APs and switches). We have a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports with support for PoE + (802.3af / at) and a total of 124W of PoE Budget, in addition, we also have two 1G SFP ports for uplink with other switches, through a DAC cable or fiber optic.
If you manage this switch locally, you will have more advanced configuration options, but Aruba is working so that all switches have the same configuration options locally and in the Cloud.
The D-Link DGS-1210-10P is one of the manageable switches with the best quality / performance / price ratio, in this case we only have local management. We have a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports with support for PoE + (802.3af / at) and a total of 65W of PoE Budget, in addition, we also have two 1G SFP ports for uplink with other switches, through a DAC cable or fiber optic.
If you need more PoE Budget than the 65W of the previous model, you can buy the D-Link DGS-1210-10MP switch that is exactly the same as before with the same technical characteristics, but allows up to 130W of PoE Budget, in addition, it is also completely silent.
The NETGEAR GS110TP is a L2 managed switch with a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports with support for PoE + (802.3af / at) and a total of 53W of PoE Budget, in addition, we also have two 1G SFP ports for uplink with other switches , through a DAC or fiber optic cable.
The EnGenius EWS2908P is a managed L2 switch with a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports with support for PoE (802.3af) and a total of 55W of PoE Budget. The main feature of this switch is that it integrates an EnGenius access point WiFi controller, therefore, if you are going to buy AP from the manufacturer EnGenius, this switch will be the controller, ideal for not having to use a software or hardware controller on another device, the switch itself will act as a WiFi controller.
If you need a switch with support for PoE + (802.3af / at) then you will have to buy the EnGenius EWS5912FP, this model has a total of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE +, one RJ-45 console port, two Combo RJ-45 / Additional SFPs without PoE. This switch also integrates the WiFi controller of the professional access points of the manufacturer.
As you can see, we have different models of switches, the most notable is the Aruba 1930 with management in the Cloud, and also the EnGenius switches that integrate the WiFi controller.
Professional WiFi access points
We currently have a large number of professional access points, depending on the number of antennas and type of WiFi, if we want local management, through a software / hardware controller and even if we want management from the free cloud, we will have to buy some models or others. Today in this article we are going to recommend different access points, which can be configured as standalone (individual management) which is not recommended if we have several APs, because we will not have WiFi roaming or unified management, or centrally controlled.
Depending on its management, we have divided this section into four well differentiated parts: individual management, centralized with software WiFi controller, centralized with hardware WiFi controller, and centralized with WiFi controller in the cloud (Cloud), but free, because we currently have of APs with management in the Cloud, but require a paid subscription.
Individual management (not recommended)
Although individual management is not recommended, because we do not have a global vision of the entire wireless network, nor do we have the possibility of deploying configurations to all APs, firmware updates centrally, see all the logs of all APs in one same place, and many other negative things, we are going to recommend you some professional APs that support VLANs, QoS and bandwidth management, the possibility of configuring isolated guest WiFi and much more.
The D-Link DAP-2610 is the most complete and cheapest professional AP that we can currently have. Its main hardware characteristics are that it has simultaneous dual band with Wi-Fi AC1300 (up to 400Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 867Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO in the 5GHz band, Beamforming to focus the WiFi signal on the clients, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE support (802.3af) to power it, but we can also power it with a current transformer. Regarding the options that we have in the firmware, the most relevant are:
- Multiple-SSID support up to 8 SSID for each radio
- Support for VLANs
- AP load balancing, has band-steering
- L2 Roaming
- Automatic channel selection
- WPA2-Personal and Enterprise security
- WLAN partition to isolate WiFi clients between SSIDs and isolate clients on the same SSID.
- Rogue AP detection
- With the old firmware we have AP Array, to configure up to 8 APs through the Master AP.
The price of this AP is only 90 euros, a really competitive price because at the firmware level it is really complete. This AP also allows centralized management with Nuclias Connect, either via software or with the D-Link DNH-100 WiFi controller.
If you want something better than the previous model (at the hardware level), we recommend the D-Link DAP-2680. Its main hardware characteristics are that it has simultaneous dual band with Wi-Fi AC1750 (up to 450Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 130Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO in the 5GHz band, Beamforming to focus the WiFi signal on the clients, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE + support (802.3at) to power it, but we can also power it with a current transformer. This model is ideal if we are going to connect many WiFi clients simultaneously, because it has a greater capacity to manage more WiFi clients.
At the level of software characteristics, we have exactly the same configuration options and possibilities as the previous model, the only differences are at the hardware level. This AP allows centralized management with Nuclias Connect, like the previous model.
The EnGenius EWS330AP is also a highly recommended access point, its main characteristics are that it has simultaneous dual band with AC1300 Wi-Fi (up to 400Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 867Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO in the 5GHz band, Beamforming, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE support (802.3af) to power it, but we can also power it with a current transformer. Regarding the options that we have in the firmware, the most relevant are:
- Supports Multiple-SSID with up to 8 SSIDs for each radio, supports SSID with VLANs
- AP load balancing, has band-steering, WiFi roaming with 802.11k / v / r.
- Automatic channel selection, WPA2-Personal and Enterprise security
- WLAN partition to isolate WiFi clients between SSIDs and isolate clients on the same SSID.
- Rogue AP detection
The price of this AP is only 145 euros. A very important detail is that it allows individual management, through a compatible switch such as the one we have previously recommended, and it also allows them to be controlled centrally with the ezMaster software.
If you want something better than the previous model (at the hardware level), we recommend the EnGenius EWS360AP. Its main hardware characteristics are that it has simultaneous dual band with Wi-Fi AC1750 (up to 450Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 130Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO and Beamforming, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE + support (802.3at) to power it , but we can also feed it with a current transformer. This model is ideal if we are going to connect many WiFi clients simultaneously, because it has a greater capacity to manage more WiFi clients.
At the level of software and management features, it is exactly the same as the EnGenius EWS330AP, they belong to the same family.
Management with software WiFi controller
Having a software WiFi controller means having a hardware team (a laptop, a desktop PC, a NAS server with a virtualized Windows, etc.) always on, to control the WiFi access points correctly. The “always on” detail is very important. The WiFi controller not only helps us to massively deploy configurations to all APs, but also to collect the different records generated by clients when connecting / disconnecting, to view them centrally. If, for example, we configure a captive portal, we must always have the WiFi controller working, otherwise the wireless clients will not be able to authenticate.
At the D-Link manufacturer we have the D-Link Nuclias Connect software controller, which we have already talked about in this article on many occasions, and where you have step-by-step tutorials on how to perform different actions. This software driver can be installed both in Microsoft Windows operating systems, as well as in any operating system that uses Docker, because the manufacturer provides us with a Docker container with everything necessary for startup. Some of the features of Nuclias Connect are as follows:
- Management of WiFi networks via the web or with the mobile app.
- Medium scalability, allows dozens of WiFi access points.
- Free software, we only have to put the hardware where to install it.
- Without any kind of license or subscription.
- NAT Passthrough, only one port needs to be opened for HTTPS communication.
- It allows traffic analysis, management of WiFi radios, channels, integrated captive portal.
- Supports RADIUS authentication on an external server.
- Allows you to configure different users with different permissions
- Integrates payment pass-through for business WiFi networks
- Web interface in Spanish.
Regarding the compatible access points, all those of the DAP family are compatible, such as:
And many other models, we will only have to add it to the WiFi controller, and we will have the same graphical user interface for all of them.
If you choose to buy EnGenius access points, we have ezMaster software, software that is also completely free and with very advanced configuration options. In this case, ezMaster can be installed directly on Windows 10, or a virtual machine can also be downloaded for centralized management of the different WiFi access points. The main configuration options for EnGenius ezMaster are as follows:
- Unlimited flexibility and free
- Multiple SSID network management, VLAN management for each SSID, WiFi client isolation and AP isolation
- Wireless performance optimizer, selecting the power and WiFi channel for each AP
- Integrated captive portal for customer authentication
- Really easy and fast provisioning
- Report and analysis of the entire wireless network
- Compatible with manageable WiFi access points that support ezMaster, to manage them centrally.
As you can see, this centralized management software is also really complete.
Management with hardware WiFi controller
If you have chosen access points from the manufacturer D-Link, the ideal hardware WiFi controller for you is the D-Link DNH-100 , a controller that integrates Nuclias Connect, so you will not need to have a computer or server permanently on. This model has exactly the same functionalities as the software Nuclias Connect, the only thing that we have up to 100 APs instead of 1000 APs to manage. In domestic environments this is ideal because you will save on always-on hardware, and also on electrical energy because the consumption of this equipment is almost zero.
This controller consists of a console port for CLI administration tasks, and a Gigabit Ethernet port that will be connected to the local network to control the APs. We also have a micro SD card slot that will allow us to save the logs locally, and a USB 3.0 port to make backup copies or load new firmwares easily and quickly. If you are going to buy APs from D-Link, we recommend buying this controller, in addition, soon you will also be able to centrally manage switches from the DGS range of the manufacturer D-Link.
If you have chosen access points from the manufacturer EnGenius, the ideal hardware WiFi controller for you is the EnGenius SkyKey , a controller that integrates ezMaster with all the management and configuration options of the software controller. This model can be powered with PoE on its Gigabit Ethernet LAN1 port, but it also has a second Gigabit Ethernet LAN port to connect it to another network. This device allows managing up to 100 access points and switches simultaneously, ideal for home environments where we want to deploy a professional network.
Thanks to this driver, you won’t need to have a computer or server turned on. In addition, we must remember that EnGenius manageable switches also incorporate ezMaster to centrally manage WiFi access points, therefore, you would not even need this WiFi controller and dedicated switch, because you can manage centrally through the switches that you use. we have recommended before.
Management with WiFi controller in the Cloud
If you want to have the Wi-Fi controller in the manufacturer’s own cloud for free, both the manufacturer Aruba with its Aruba Instant On family and EnGenius (for certain APs) allow it. Next, we detail all the advantages of managing in the cloud:
- We will not need WiFi driver software installed on a computer or server.
- We will not need hardware WiFI controller, because it is to buy an additional device.
- We only need an Internet connection, from the web or from an app we can manage the WiFi network.
- We do not need VPN to access the local network from the Internet to make configurations, everything is through reverse connections with APs and switches.
- Ease of configuration, deployment, administration and management.
- Email alerts and push notifications without configuring anything, if an AP or a switch goes down, it will notify us.
However, we also have some disadvantages that you should consider:
- We depend on the Cloud of a manufacturer, it is possible that in the future it will become paid, or that at certain times it will not be available.
- Possible security flaws that are discovered through data breaches, as has happened to many companies.
- You must always have an Internet connection for management and administration.
Both Aruba and EnGenius are number one brands, therefore we should not have security or availability problems, but 100% security does not exist.
In the case of Aruba Instant On with its management in the Cloud, we have many configuration options that are common to all the access points that we are going to add. Some of the main configurations that we can make are:
- Multiple SSID with up to 4 SSIDs for each radio, allows management with VLANs and even “NATear” the network.
- WPA2 / WPA3-Personal authentication and also through a local external RADIUS server.
- Guest WiFi network isolated from business network
- Access configuration to the different networks with VLANs
- Set a schedule to enable or disable a specific SSID
- Configure band-steering to unify two frequency bands in an SSID, limit the bandwidth per WiFi client, optimize video transmission and allow to extend the 2.4GHz range
- WiFi roaming between access points seamlessly, with 802.11k / v for the best user experience
- It allows filtering Internet content natively from the same AP, and only to the same SSID.
- Smart Mesh to interconnect the APs between them via WiFi (it will give you less performance).
We must bear in mind that in the Cloud we can also integrate the manageable switches, therefore, we will have a centralized management of both switches and APs.
The AP11 is the cheapest professional AP we can currently have with free cloud management. Its main hardware characteristics are that it has simultaneous dual band with Wi-Fi AC1200 (up to 300Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 867Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO and Beamforming, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE support (802.3af) to power it , but we can also feed it with a current transformer.
The AP11D is a professional desktop AP, it has simultaneous dual band with AC1200 Wi-Fi (up to 300Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 867Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO and Beamforming, we have several ports:
- E0 – Gigabit Ethernet port allowing power over PoE or PoE +
- E1-3E: 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports for the LAN, where we will connect the different equipment. If the AP11D is powered by current transformer or PoE +, the E3 port allows PoE in output to power another AP.
The AP12 is the most advanced professional wireless AP than the previous ones, it is simultaneous dual band with AC1600 Wi-Fi (up to 300Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 1300Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO and Beamforming, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with support PoE (802.3af) to power it, but we can also power it with a current transformer. This model is ideal for environments where we are going to connect a large number of wireless clients.
In the case of EnGenius with its management in the Cloud, we also have all the typical configuration options here. Some of the main configurations that we can make are:
- Multiple SSIDs with up to 8 SSIDs for each radio, allows management with VLANs
- WPA2 / WPA3-Personal authentication and also through a RADIUS server in the integrated Cloud.
- Guest WiFi network isolated from business network
- Configure schedules for the different SSIDs.
- Band-steering and WiFi roaming with 802.11k / v for the best user experience.
- Smart Mesh to interconnect the APs between them via WiFi (it will give you less performance).
- The Cloud is completely free.
The EnGenius ECW115 is a professional desktop AP, it is very affordable and fully managed in the cloud. Its main hardware characteristics are that it has simultaneous dual band with Wi-Fi AC1200 (up to 300Mbps in 2.4GHz and up to 867Mbps in 5GHz), we have MU-MIMO and Beamforming, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE / PoE + input support, but We also have an additional Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE output to power another device. This model also supports power supply with current transformer.
The EnGenius ECW120 is a professional AP in fact with the same characteristics as the previous one, it is WiFi AC1200 and with a Gigabit Ethernet PoE input port. This model also supports power supply with current transformer.
As you can see, EnGenius Cloud is also a really powerful centralized management system in the cloud of switches and WiFi access points, and most importantly: it is completely free, in addition, we have a RADIUS server for WPA2 / WPA3 authentication -Enterprise in the cloud, without the need for us to have a FreeRADIUS server.
So far we have come up with this complete guide on how we can configure a professional WiFi network in our home, although it could also serve you perfectly to install a professional WiFi network in a small and medium-sized company, because the concepts are exactly the same, the only thing that It will change are the routers to adapt them to the needs, always manageable switches to segment the network into VLANs, and more powerful WiFi access points with greater capacity to have more wireless clients connected simultaneously.