Aerohive Announces Three 802.11ax Access Points

When I first became an Aerohive customer in 2012, I knew that I was buying into a platform that was built for the future. By bypassing legacy hardware (WLAN controllers), Aerohive would always be able to stay ahead of the curve with new hardware products and new software. By leveraging a cloud-management platform, Aerohive could focus on building the best access points powered by next-generation software. It wouldn’t have to worry about which controllers could support which access points or test firmware against various controller configurations.

Wi-Fi has been a very resilient technology over the years.  It’s not without its challenges, though. Networks are having more and more devices thrown at them. They are being asked to support IoT devices that are often not “enterprise-ready”. RF environments can often produce challenges that are difficult to work with. In short, the job of an IT administrator has changed rapidly over the years. It’s no longer just about workstations and email servers. It’s about mobility, having access to everything regardless of location, ease of access, and insights.

As the industry looks ahead to 2018 and beyond, 802.11ax is clearly the future. 802.11ax is going to address some of the biggest challenges in delivering Wi-Fi for high density. It will increase capacity up to 4x and improve spectral efficiency for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. In a nutshell: it’s going to be a great experience for WLAN administrators and end-users.

For Aerohive customers, the future is now. Aerohive is introducing not one, but THREE new 802.11ax access points this week. They will begin shipping in early Q3 2018.

The first new access point is the AP630. It includes

  • 4×4 + 4×4 11ax radios
  • Dual 1 GB Ethernet ports
  • Bluetooth low energy,
  • USB
  • Powered by POE+ or DC power

This AP is ideal for environments with mostly 802.11ac (or newer clients), high performance/high-density needs, using voice over Wi-Fi, and expecting to be using IoT applications soon.

The AP650 is also being released. It includes:

  • 4×4 + 4×4 11ax radios
  • 2x Ethernet ports (supporting 2.5G and 1G)
  • Bluetooth low energy,
  • USB
  • Software definable radio (Dual 5 GHz)
  • POE+ or DC power

This AP is ideal for environments with mostly 802.11ac (or newer clients), high performance/ high-density needs, and environments with updated switching infrastructure supports 1 GBps+

Finally, the AP650X is also being released. It includes:

  • 4×4 + 4×4 11ax radios
  • 2x Ethernet ports (supporting 2.5G and 1G)
  • Bluetooth low energy
  • USB
  • Software definable radio (Dual 5 GHz)
  • POE+ or DC power
  • 8 external antennas

This AP is ideal for industrial environments, lecture halls, or auditoriums that require specialized omni/sector antennas.

Aerohive’s architecture, because it’s built without controller-based hardware, is uniquely prepared for 802.11ax deployments. Will there be deployments in 2018 that are 100% 11ax? Absolutely, but I also I imagine a lot of people would like to supplement existing 802.11ac deployments with 802.11ax APs. Aerohive’s architecture really shows its value in these type situations. If you want to swap a couple of your 11ac APs in high-density areas to 11ax ones, you can do that. You don’t have to worry about your controller supporting 11ax or needing to be replaced (or expanded). You can mix and match 11ac and 11ax access points to create the best network for your environment.

Aerohive’s 11ax APs are built on Aerohive’s RF-IQ technology which allows for automated intelligence for channel selection, power, and band steering. The APs will retail for $1199 (AP630) and $1399 (AP650 and AP650X).

I’m excited to get my hands on an 11ax access point. Not only does 802.11ax bring even greater speeds to Wi-Fi, but it also provides a better overall experience to end users. Wi-Fi technology is getting faster, easier to manage, and easier to deploy.

As an IT Director, Aerohive technology continues to make my life easier by making my network smarter, faster, and easier to manage.

Bradley Chambers has been the Director of Information Technology at Brainerd Baptist School since 2009. At BBS, he manages a network of Apple and Chrome OS devices. He also writes at Tools & Toys. The Sweet Setup, and 9to5Mac.

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