Tag: access points

What Is Aruba Instant On? APs & Network Switches for Small Business

What is Aruba Instant On?

Aruba Instant On Wireless Access Points and Instant On Network Switches are network devices designed to help small businesses deploy fast, secure, & reliable wireless connectivity in just a few minutes. Put another way, administrators can manage Instant On networks from anywhere with ease and trust that the latest security intelligence protects their networks around the clock.

Aruba Instant On takes advantage of Smart Mesh Wi-Fi to provide reliable wireless performance with built-in router functionality. On top of that, check out these other attractive benefits of Instant On:

  • Multi-Site Management allowing administrators to easily secure and maintain multiple networks under one platform
  • Site Inventory features that make it easy to see all the switches, access points, and other devices on your network at a glance
  • Application Visibility and Control to ensure bandwidth is always routed to your most important services
  • Easy Guest Access to connect customers and visitors
  • Enterprise-Grade WiFi that smoothly hands off connected devices between access points

How Does Aruba Instant On Work?

An Aruba Instant On AP acts as a network router as well. In short, this means plugging in directly to the Internet right out of the box allows network setup to begin immediately.

Aruba Instant On devices require no licenses, subscriptions, renewals, or prepaid contracts. In other words, Instant On APs and network switches include all needed software and services, right out of the box.



How Do I Set Up Aruba Instant On?

Deploying and configuring an Instant On AP or Switch is as easy as downloading the Instant On smartphone app. The mobile app provides guided setup and plug-n-play deployment. So no experts required.

Need to set up wireless access in an especially tricky location like an outdoor stadium or campus? The Aruba Instant On AP17 includes a ruggedized chassis that withstands the wear and tear of an outdoor deployment.

How to Manage Instant On

Remember that mobile app for network set up? Use the same Instant On application to remotely manage, monitor, and edit network settings from anywhere, any time. Prefer working on the big screen? The web-based  portal.arubainstanton.com shares all the same great features as the Instant On app, but on a browser.

From the app or web portal, you’ll be able to restrict resource allocation to stop bandwidth hogs, block unwanted clients, and easily create separate networks for guests and employees.

Are Aruba Appliances Expensive?

Surely something with this many positives must have a big drawback, right? Well, it’s not going to be the price-point. Instant On access points are competitively priced to meet the needs of lean budgets and small offices.

For instance, small offices can join in the WiFi 6 revolution at the modest price-point of $220 MSRP for the Instant On AP22.

SonicWave vs Ubiquiti Wireless Access Points

SonicWave vs Ubiquiti Wireless Access Points

Comparing SonicWave wireless access points to competitors like Ubiquiti can pose a challenge. Which stats are important when selecting an AP? What makes SonicWave so secure? How does  high performance Wave 2 wireless factor in when it comes to super fast WiFi at a low total cost?

SonicWave is the latest series of wireless access points from SonicWall. In short, Wave 2 wireless provides:

  • Gigabit WiFi potential
  • More bandwidth for connected devices
  • Additional 5 GHz channels
  • Improved user experience
  • Beamforming & bandsteering

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SonicWave 224W

Beamforming & Bandsteering

In the past, wireless coverage acted sort of like a lightbulb. For instance: you turn it on, light spills out in all directions, and the whole room is evenly lit. Beamforming is more like a flashlight (or a torch for our UK friends). That is to say, it allows more direct and focused paths for connectivity. When a device attempts to connect to your wireless AP, onboard engines determine which channel and device will provide the highest quality connection at the time.

To sum up, key benefits of beamforming include:

  • More stable, reliable connectivity
  • Faster data transfers & fewer errors
  • Reduced interference
  • Better “signal-to-noise” ratio

In addition, bandsteering is a game changer for WiFi. Bandsteering is the process of using dual-band WiFi, allowing APs to choose which Gigahertz band will provide the highest performance.

  • 2.4 GHz – Slower data transfer, more interference, but larger coverage area & penetration
  • 5 GHz – Higher speeds, more reliable connections, & less congestion

Sometimes the higher capacity 5 GHz band is the faster option. However, in some cases the 2.4 GHz can be the best bet if 5 GHz is congested or a little out of reach. With bandsteering, you do not have to decide. SonicWaves automatically connect to the most efficient band. In other words, the AP does the thinking for you.

Go Controller-Free with SonicWave

SonicWall SonicWave APs feature easy deployment and management options that lower costs. There is no need to purchase a separate wireless controller because your wireless network can be managed through the firewall. Single pane of glass management means less clicking around in multiple tabs and windows to find what you’re looking for. You also have the option of SonicWall’s WiFi Cloud Manager, which offers several bonus features of its own.

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Network Security Integration

SonicWall comes backed by multiple decades in the greater network security world. While Ubiquiti excels in their own little fish bowl, SonicWall is a shark that has prowled every corner of the cybercrime seven seas. Above all, SonicWave access points integrate into a larger, centrally managed network with real-time communication and unified threat protection operating across several security layers.

Because SonicWall sports a pedigree in security, SonicWave APs are built with security foremost in mind. That means SonicWaves benefit from:

  • Automatic firmware updates
  • Security alerts & rich analytics
  • SSL/TLS decryption & inspection
  • Wireless intrusion detection & prevention

Dedicated Security Radio

SonicWave 400 series access points include three radios. The first two radios operate on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Most importantly – when it comes to a protected network – the third radio is there just to secure your WiFi! SonicWave’s security radios scan for rogue access points and perform other wireless security tasks. Additional security-related features include:

  • Rogue AP Scanning
  • Virtual AP Segmentation
  • RF Monitoring
  • Passive Scanning
  • Wireless Packet Capture

SonicWave 432i vs Ubiquiti Quick Comparisons

Here we break out a few quick side-by-side stats comparing SonicWave APs vs a Ubiquiti UniFi Pro:


  • SonicWave: 8 fully internal antennas
  • Ubiquiti: 3 dual-band antennas

802.11ac Max Date Rates

  • SonicWave: 2.34 Gbps – 3.47 Gbps
  • Ubiquiti: 450 Mbps – 1.3 Gbps

Interfaces & Ports

  • SonicWave: (1) 10/100/1000 RJ-45 Ethernet/PoE; (1) 100/1000/2.5 GbE RJ-45 Ethernet; (1) RJ-45 Console; (1) USB 2.0
  • Ubiquiti: (2) 10/100/1000 RJ-45 Ethernet; (1) USB 2.0


  • SonicWave: 4×4 MU-MIMO
  • Ubiquiti: 3×3 MIMO

If you’re looking for the bare bones to get a Wi-Fi network up, a Ubiquiti UniFi access point may do the job. If you’re serious about wireless networking, unified security, and user experience, a SonicWave 432i or SonicWave 231c is a better fit for you. SonicWave access points come with the peace of mind that your wireless equipment was home-grown by a company steeped in network security know-how. The demand for fast, stable wireless access continues to grow. Therefore, the volume and variety of advanced attacks targeting WiFi networks will also grow. A SonicWave wireless AP is the way to go for small businesses with cyber security in mind.


SonicWave vs SonicPoint: Comparing Wireless APs

SonicWave vs SonicPoint: Comparing SonicWall Wireless APs

The wave of the future in SonicWall wifi is here with SonicWave wireless access points. To compare SonicWave vs SonicPoint is to compare the future to the past. SonicWave’s predecessor – SonicPoint wireless APs – retired in 2019, but their wifi footprint remains large. For those with active SonicPoint devices or those shopping for wireless networking solutions, it’s worth taking a look at what both model lines have to offer. Let’s compare and contrast SonicWall’s latest wireless line with it’s previous entry into the wifi space.

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The New Wave

When it comes to many of the differences between these two model lines, much simply has to do with differences in the technology available at launch date. In other words, older SonicPoints support older performance standards, while newer SonicWaves are ready for whatever today has to offer. Perhaps the biggest difference that puts SonicWaves ahead of SonicPoint APs is support for 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless technology. Wave 2 offers a couple of clearly enhanced capabilities that give SonicWave access points a performance edge:

SonicWave 224W

SonicWave (Wave 2 Technology)

  • 4 data streams
  • 160 MHz channel usage

SonicPoint ACi

SonicPoint (Prior Generation)

  • 3 data streams
  • 80 MHz channel usage

The math is pretty simple there. The larger the bandwidth and the more data streams means more devices supported and better performance. And onto another improvement that relates to Wave 2.


SonicWave models support MU-MIMO instead of SonicPoint’s SU-MIMO. In case you’re unfamiliar, MIMO stands for multiple-input, multiple-output. SU stands for single user, while MU is multiple users. What it’s meant to address is a lag in performance on a network with many users.  The MU-MIMO technology found in Wave 2 devices better accounts for today’s mobile-device heavy environment, while SU-MIMO was designed with primarily laptop usage in mind. MU-MIMO allows a wireless connection to simultaneously transmit and receive data between multiple supported devices at a time, as opposed to just one with single-use. That means better performance, more device support, and a reduction in the dreaded lag.

Deployment Options

There are simple physical differences when comparing SonicWave vs SonicPoint models. That is, SonicPoint offered only indoor-capable wireless access points. But the SonicWave series gives you options for whatever your needs, including if those needs include a more rugged appliance. SonicWave has models designed for the traditional indoor ceiling and wall mount, while also offering models specifically designed for outdoor deployments. The SonicWave 231O and 432O are IP67-Rated and feature industrial-grade enclosures meant to stand up to harsh environments. Basically, they can go wherever you need wifi.

Security and Integration

These features go hand-in-hand. SonicWall is always taking network security into account with any solution it offers. Both SonicWave and SonicPoint models support wireless data encryption. But the SonicWave series goes several steps further. SonicWaves are designed to integrate with SonicWall next generation firewalls to take advantage of the robust security they offer – like deep packet inspection to block network threats – as well as single-pane-of-glass management. If you don’t have a SonicWall firewall though, SonicWave APs can perform advanced security services, including the powerful, zero-day stopping Capture ATP sandbox service on their own.

Plus, most SonicWave APs include three radios, with the third fully focused on security. The third radio performs rogue AP detection, passive scanning, and packet capturing. But wait, there’s more! SonicWaves also integrate additional security-related features including:

  • Wireless intrusion prevention
  • Virtual AP segmentation
  • Wireless guest services
  • RF monitoring
  • Packet capture

And as mentioned, you can manage them through your firewall, or with SonicWall’s WiFi Cloud Manager – an intuitive, cloud-based WiFi network management system ideal for networks of any size.

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This one’s perhaps the easiest comparison of SonicWave vs SonicPoint. If you’re looking for new wireless APs, it’s SonicWave or bust. The last SonicPoint models reached end of sale in spring of 2019 (with end of support looming in 2022), so the choice is clear. Shop the SonicWave 200 or 400 series to find the right fit for your networking needs.


3 Ways to Improve Hotel Wi-Fi with Ruckus Security

Veterans of the hospitality industry have witnessed a noticeable shift in the types of feedback received from their guests. Younger travelers come with high-tech expectations like USB charging ports, extra outlets for multiple devices, and, of course, fast and reliable wireless internet. Just a quick scan through review sites illuminates how prominent both complaints and praise are in regards to a hotel’s Wi-Fi. In fact, independent surveys by Forbes, TravelPulse, and eHotelier all point to Internet issues as one of the most common guest complaints. In many cases, arriving guests ask for the Wi-Fi password at check-in and attempt to connect in the lobby, meaning a hotel’s wireless network quality may be the first real impression a guest forms about their stay.

Ruckus Wireless understands that hotels come with a host of unique issues that make planning an effective wireless strategy a challenge. Hotels are large, often with multiple wings and floors, making for a lot of ground to cover. Each room comes with four walls, a ceiling, thick doors, and plenty of other barriers constructed of building materials that block or weaken signal strength. On an average night, a hotel’s wireless network needs to serve up high-performance connections to hundreds of guests. And all this doesn’t even take into consideration additional outdoor facilities such as pools, parking lots, terraces, and shuttle areas where guests arriving or departing the hotel still expect to connect.

Below, we’ll explore some of the most hospitality-friendly solutions Ruckus Wireless offers for hotels looking to boost Wi-Fi guest ratings.

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Ruckus Wall Plate Access Points

Many hotels choose to deploy wireless access points throughout their hallways in standard ceiling mounts. While this may seem practical (allowing a single access point to make the most of its effective range by reaching a cluster of surrounding rooms), this also means putting the most obstructions between guests and APs. Certain areas of a room may receive weaker signal strength than others. Some parts of the room may receive no signal at all. By putting walls in the way and making in-room guests surf the fringes of an AP’s range, hotels with ceiling-mounted access points are choosing a utilitarian but flawed solution.

Wall plate access points like the Ruckus ZoneFlex C110, Ruckus Unleashed R510, or Fortinet’s FortiAP-C24JE are designed to use existing wall data cables to provide low-profile in-room signal sources. This means guests receive the most direct Wi-Fi signal possible at a distance that makes the most of the appliance’s range.

Beam Flex Technology

Most APs are either “omnidirectional,” radiating signal in all directions like light bulbs, or “directional,” sending signals on a single vector like a flashlight. Both omnidirectional and directional APs ask clients to find exactly where to stand for the best results. Many modern vendors now make use of “beamforming” to establish targeted connections. Beamforming is a process that allows an AP to focus a WiFi signal to a specific target. Most vendors make use of beamforming by manipulating the signal processing built into their access points’ chip, also known as “transmit beamforming” or TxBF. However, a majority of devices do not support the TxBF protocol. TxBF transmitters also cannot make use of other techniques like spatial multiplexing when beamforming.

Ruckus Wireless takes signal forming to the next level with their patented BeamFlex Adaptive Antenna technology. BeamFlex uses smart, compact antenna systems containing multiple elements that manipulate antenna properties, forming personalized antenna patterns for the individual devices with which they communicate. This means Ruckus Wireless access points establish the strongest connections possible, automatically.

To stick with the lamp metaphor, where omnidirectional APs are lightbulbs and directional APs are flashlights, you can think of a Ruckus BeamFlex access point like a plasma ball. The AP will find you and reach out to initiate an optimal connection.

Wireless Heat Mapping

Custom Wi-Fi heat maps allow you to pre-plan the layout of access point deployments to find and fix wireless dead zones before installation. Ruckus’s ZonePlanner Wi-Fi RF Simulation tool lets you place and compare access points on a real, customized map of your facilities. It also takes into account variables like building materials, wall thickness, and other environmental factors. You can swap different access point models in and out to find which hardware makes the most sense for you.

Properly size new deployments for any location and predict network performance before you buy by previewing your network by channel or SSID. You can even seek out and minimize signal bleed to keep guest Wi-Fi out of sensitive areas.

Pre-planning your wireless network saves you money by preventing overspending on unnecessary access points. Firewalls.com will save you even more by mapping out your office using Ruckus ZonePlanner at no additional cost when you purchase a Ruckus access point. You send us a map of your building with as much detail as possible and we’ll send back a detailed wireless heat map showing how a variety of different Ruckus access points would fit your needs. Call us at 866-957-2975 to request a free wireless heat map report.

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See How to Get A Free Wireless Heat Map

Looking for even more ways to save money on a wireless network?

Read how Ruckus Unleashed lets you dodge the costs of wireless controllers.