Monday, February 28, 2011

Get To Know CIsco Aironet Wireless Access Point

Ah, I just love these things the Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points, on the left one you can see the Cisco Aironet 1240AG Access Point, one among every other Cisco Aironet series.

This is the very first Cisco device that I got, I thought that at least I can integrate it with my existing non-Cisco home network.

1240AG is not the prettiest access point that you can get, but I like the shape anyway. It reminds me of liquor bottles that I used to see in the movies.

Now why would you want to buy Cisco Aironet, it costs about ten times or more than the average home usage access points like Linksys or D-Link.

These Aironet things are great, for the 1240AG, it has one Fast Ethernet port and one console port.
It doesn't come with integrated antennas, you have to buy them. You can use the 802.11G antennas and/or 802.11A antennas. This gives you flexibility in choosing the antennas, you can even use both if you want to.
Mind you that not all countries allow the use of 802.11A standard.

The console port as usual used for configuring the Cisco Aironet Access Point through CLI. You can also use web browser to configure the Access Point, different from other Cisco devices' web interfaces, the Aironet web interface offers rich features configuration.
Other Cisco devices have not that good appearances, you definitely prefer configuring other Cisco devices through CLI.

Below is the example of the Cisco Aironet web interface:

Unlike other Cisco devices, Cisco Aironet Access Points are by default configure to accept IP address from DHCP server, if you have DHCP server in your LAN, that's great.
Just plug in a cable to connect the access point to your LAN and as soon as it receives IP address you can do configuration for it.

One tip, for the Cisco Aironet 1100 series Access Points, they have a default IP address of that last for just 5 minutes.
So during that 5 minutes you can configure your computer NIC for an IP address of or other, and connect a network cable from your computer NIC to the ethernet port of the access point.
Open the web browser and type in the address, then you can do some configuration. Remember this only last for 5 minutes, after that the access point will request IP address from DHCP address indefinitely.

Now what other features the Aironet Access Points have, many features that the average home usage access points don't have.

You can configure the Access Points to be an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) to protect your network, use it for scanning your network for rogue access points that your neighbour use for stealing your bandwidth, and they also offer the powerful 802.1x to authenticate clients.

You can also set your own transmit power and data rates of the wireless radio interfaces.

Configure several SSIDs to segment your network. Each SSID can be correlated with VLAN. Provide SSID for your guests, another SSID for your home users, and a special SSID just for administration purpose.
Want another SSID? a special SSID just for handling your VoIP packets, cool.

If you have several Cisco Aironet Access Points in your disposal, set them up so your users can roam all over the place and jump from one area of access point to another without loosing connection.

Have hundreds of Aironet Access Points in a project? You don't need to configure them one by one. Upgrade or request from Cisco for Aironet with Cisco IOS Lightweight enable mode.
With Ligthweight feature and wireless LAN controller you just need to make one configuration on the wireless LAN controller and it will send the configuration to all access points in your network.
Saves you from lot of works.

So many features to tell, to try out all these features get your own Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points now. You won't be sorry if you're a true techies, except that your wallet would be thinner a bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment