Jan 30 2020

Review: The Aerohive AP650 Access Point Maximizes Connectivity

The dual-band access point offers strong connectivity for environments that must support many devices.

The Aerohive AP650 access point combines next-generation Wi-Fi and maximum throughput to provide the best experience to end users. What’s more, the AP650 is designed to stay ahead of current trends in wireless networking.

The AP650 supports Wi-Fi 6, the new industry standard that offers up to 40 percent higher transfer speeds

In conjunction with support for 5GHz radio channels, Wi-Fi 6 on the AP650 also means far less congestion in areas where many devices communicate via Wi-Fi. (Wi-Fi 6 allows multiple clients to chat on the network at the same time; Wi-Fi 5 clients essentially take turns chatting with the access point.)

Aerohive, which has been acquired by Extreme Networks, also added Bluetooth Low Energy and triggered event support for the AP650. It will also soon be available as the Extreme Networks AP510C.

The device can act as a beacon to send out major, minor and unique signals. For example, the beacon could advertise it’s in a particular hospital, on the third floor, in a certain wing. Clients ­connected to that access point can then pick up the signal and trigger a particular application. 

Aerohive has built the AP650 with a controller-free network design. There’s no single point of failure, either in the building or in the cloud, that the access point relies on to communicate with clients. 

The AP650 forms a true peer-to-peer, “cooperative control” network, in which it distributes management tasks and passes clients off to one another. With no central point of failure, WAN access can be lost and devices will still communicate with each other and their clients. As more devices connect, the network reconfigures itself to handle the load. 

The Aerohive AP650 Is Always on Call

The AP650 also operates on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Like all access points, the AP650 has only three nonoverlapping channels at 2.4GHz and 24 at 5GHz.

But unlike other access points, the AP650 is dual–5GHz–capable — meaning that if a particular access point isn’t serving 2.4GHz-only clients, it can instead power up two 5GHz radio antennas, increasing the capacity of the access point. This allows busy organizations to use the full throughput of the device when it’s not limited to down-level clients. 

With support for 2.5 Multigigabit Ethernet wired connectivity on the back end, the AP650 is ahead of the curve and ready to handle an increasingly connected future in healthcare.

Aerohive AP650 Access Point Product Spotlight

Maximize the Value of Your Access Points with ExtremeCloud IQ

Configuring and maintaining a large wireless infrastructure is never an easy task. While each access point could be configured separately, it’s a painstaking process when an administrator is managing dozens — if not hundreds — of access points. And without a centralized controller, how are the access points managed? 

A solution can be found via design, management and reporting software known as ExtremeCloud IQ. This Software as a Service product, which works with the Aerohive AP650, comes in two flavors: Connect, which provides a basic level of support to access points; and Select, which is a subscription-based platform for the management of many access points.

The cooperative-control peer-to-peer network, based in the access points themselves, already allows the devices to distribute workload and manage moment-to-moment tasks. But ExtremeCloud IQ allows administrators to design the network topology, configure many devices at once, report on the health of the environment and gain clues on how to improve the environment’s performance.

READ MORE: Network management tools help providers head off bottlenecks.

Several tabs across the web application will be familiar to most administrators, including prompts to onboard new devices, design and distribute configuration parameters for access points, and manage the network. The Network 360 Plan function, for instance, allows administrators to upload physical floor plans and place access points on them to gain a physical understanding of how the network fits together.

Administrators may view seven distinct scorecards that leverage machine learning algorithms to provide detailed insight into a wireless network. Each of these scorecards — devices, services and security among them — can be broken down further by individual access point, or even down to the client itself.

Another powerful function is Client 360. Here, administrators can drill down to individual clients and examine their performance — especially useful for a health professional who’s always complaining that his or her mobile device is too slow. The received signal strength indicator is a measure of how well a client can hear a signal from the AP650 access points. Users can even view a physical “trail” of how the client traversed the network: which access point served it and where, and how the strength indicator changed as the client moved.

Further, it allows organizations to compare their network performance with other customers’ ExtremeCloud IQ experiences through comparative analytics. Shared anonymously, the data can help reveal best practices that might be leveraged in order to improve a wireless network infrastructure.

SPECIFICATIONS

WIRELESS PROTOCOLS: 802.11ac, 802.11ax
WI-FI BANDS: Two 5GHz radios
CONNECTIVITY: USB, Bluetooth
BACKUP: Redundant Power over Ethernet capable
DIMENSIONS: 8.9x8.9x1.8 inches
WEIGHT: 2.6 pounds

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