Aruba is probably best known for that when it comes to enterprise wireless gear. However, its Instant-On range of wireless APs and network switches are directed at SMBs. These focus on making it so that the setup and management are easy.
On test, the Instant Om AP12 is a Wave 2 dual-band AP that offers speeds up to 1,300bits/sec over its 5GHz radio and 300Mbits/sec on the 2.4GHz band. We reviewed a kit that has brackets for ceiling mounting. However, no power supply exists. Instead, this gadget needs a PoE source tied to its uplink ports – Gigabit Ethernet.
Here, we look at Aruba’s 1930 8G PoE switch. The cost is 163 pounds and provides eight Giggly Ethernet ports – each one supports PoE+ with a budget of power of 124W and two fibre Gigabit uplinks. You can use your switch or injector. However, Aruba is an excellent partner for the AP12 because it seamlessly integrates, and you can manage it from the same console.
The installation is simple. Deploying the AP is as easy as using a tablet or mobile. All that is needed is to download the Instant-On free app to an iPad. After that, you connect the AP12 to the switch and turn it on.
The app directs you on how to connect and automatically locate any unclaimed APs within range. After registering the hardware, you enter a few settings to define and name your first secure wireless network. After that, you’re done.
Once your network is set up and running, the app’s dashboard gives you the information you need on your client connections, active wireless networks, the number of managed devices, and the data transferred over the 24 hours past. When you tap on any of the displays, it will take you to an expanded view where more details are presented and where you can modify the settings.
Up to eight wireless networks can be configured per site. WPA2 or WPA3 encryption can be enabled for each SSID. You can also establish various per-client bandwidth limits and decide which radio bands are to be active. Layer 2 (L2) isolation can be enabled. It blocks clients from one another, which means that only Internet access can be established. In addition, a schedule to decide which network should be available can be set.
You can see real-time traffic rates when you touch the data transfer widget. However, more importantly, you can also see precisely what is using your bandwidth. There is an extensive range of application types that the Aruba software recognizes. It also sorts traffic into 20 different types, including business, email, utilities, gaming, and malicious sites. To selectively shut own a certain kind of activity, all you need to do is touch its bar to block.
To create cloud management, you need to sign up for an Instant On portal account, which is free. After that, you can access the web console. It has features and design as presented in the mobile app. It also has components for making portals that are custom for any wireless guests.
The Ap12 is not only easy to manage, but it’s also speedy for a Wi-Fi 5AP. Completed at an average of 71MB/sec at close range and dropping to 64MB/sec at a 10m distance, are large file copies between a Windows 10 Pro desktop that has a Netgear nighthawk AC1900 USB adapter and a LAN server. You probably won’t need a speedier Wi-Fi connection. In addition, the 3×3 Mu-MIMO helps performance at busier times.
One of the final advantages is the meshing technology of Aruba. That makes for an excellent inclusion for the price. After plugging in a second AP12 AP, near the end of the lab, the mobile app discovered it in two minutes. A single tap adds it to our network as a meshed AP.
If cost and complexity worry you regarding wireless network management, the Instant-On by Aruba is an excellent solution. There is a fantastic range of features with the AP12 and a reasonable price. The slick mobile app that is user-friendly will get you up and running fast.