Most federal agencies with extensive Wi-Fi networks, whether for their employees internally or for use in public areas where guests can connect, built up and configured these networks long before wireless-capable devices flooded the market.
Today, even areas where Wi-Fi coverage had been adequate are starting to feel the strain. This manifests in slow connections, dropped signals, poor connectivity during busy times and even dead zones that make it impossible to work wirelessly.
The HPE Aruba Instant On AP22 was designed specifically for busy locations where older or less advanced access points are struggling. The AP itself is physically unassuming, just a little white disk that could pass as a smoke detector at first glance.
It comes with a small mounting kit so it can easily be attached to a wall or ceiling. And it supports Power over Ethernet, so you don’t even need to run power to it, just a network cable that is PoE-capable.
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Too Many Devices on the Network? No Problem
Within the unassuming enclosure are dual radios and the intelligence to enable multiple devices to connect simultaneously using either the 2.4-gigahertz band for older gear or 5GHz for cutting-edge devices. All of that together makes up the Wi-Fi 6 standard, or 802.11ax.
Wi-Fi 6 is not really a new wireless technology, but an improvement on how APs and other devices handle wireless signals. In my testing, connecting 20 different devices wirelessly through an older AP resulted in some of them experiencing slowdowns when trying to transfer large files or serve up bandwidth-intensive content such as streaming videos.
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Because those streams were not managed well by the older AP, almost everything else connected at the time experienced performance problems due to new devices joining the network.
By contrast, when using the HPE Aruba Instant On AP22, all of the test devices had their bandwidth maximized to the best extent possible. Older devices still had slower connections than modern ones, but the great traffic control and increased bandwidth on the AP minimized the effect of too many devices on the network.
Administrators Can Easily Adjust Performance and Security Levels
While the AP22 handles most everything automatically, the inclusion of the free Aruba Instant On App also lets administrators tweak performance and even security levels with an easy-to-use graphical interface.
With the app, administrators can prioritize bandwidth usage, restrict certain applications from running or even create a home page that users will see when connecting — perfect for explaining the rules and security requirements pertaining to the network.
The AP22 is designed for a modern and complex Wi-Fi network. It can manage the wireless chaos that has crept up in recent years by augmenting and working with existing APs or replacing them altogether. It’s also incredibly easy to set up and maintain, something overworked IT professionals will certainly appreciate.
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Device Type: 802.11ax wireless access point
Radios: Dual-band 5GHz and 2.4GHz
Other Connectivity: Bluetooth signal for use with Internet of Things devices
Security: Supports WPA2 and WPA3 encryption
Dimensions: 1.5x6.3x6.3 inches
Rack Size: 1.1 pounds