7372 vs R310 which one has stronger RADIO stability and higher per client throughput?

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Friend of mine is having some retired AP from his company. Currently I was advised of the choice of 7372 and R310. I am deciding on which one would be a better AP to be deployed for the purpose.

Currently situation, a Mikrotik 951G-2HnD device has been deployed for WiFi coverage of a community hall of roughly 1200 sq.ft. The 951G works as both Internet router with 100Mb/s fibre Internet WAN access. The Wifi access is a 2.4G, 2x2 802.11n. It has been working fine for past two years or so. 

Recently, the hall has been re-purpose for some other functions with a higher number WIFI client access requirements. We are looking at 30-40 (stretched headroom to bump up to 70-80 clients) clients concurrent connect while 10% of these clients would be sending traffic concurrently.

I am seeing this requirement being a heavy load on the trusty Mikrotik. My current plan is to keep the Internet access router role for the Mikrotik while delegating ALL the wireless access work loads to a dedicated Ruckus AP powered with POE injector. There is no need for too many bell and whistle like captive portal, guest access and things. Ideally one SSID for both 2.4G and 5G band (or I should have one SSID for 2.4G and one SSID for 5G, please advise). Is it possible for the Ruckus to decide base on the client device's wireless capability to allocate it to the relevant band for best stability AND/OR throughput? The SSID will be password protected.

Base on my initial research on Ruckus website, I think the R310 is a better AP to be used for the purpose for the following reason.

1. R310 is Unleased ready, the configuration seems very easy, there is an edge against the Standalone AP firmware for phone APPS for monitoring of AP status.

2. The R310 support for 802.11AC client.

However, as I understand the 7372 was a more "mature" AP, I am wondering if its RADIO would indeed be stronger than the R310, hence better stability.

If I have to choose, stability and then throughput would take priority over the above two points stated for the R310.

I am doing this deployment as a voluntary work for the community hall, they have very limited IT resources for fixing issues. So I would rather to have a solution that is setup once and need not be touched for months or even years. The Mikrotik can achieve this well with the initial requirements.  
 
Thanks and regards. I look forward to some insights from you folks.

Miko
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miko

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Alex Shalima

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Hi Miko,

R310 is newer WAP and supports 2x2:2 MIMO AC, where 7372 is just N radio WAP with no MIMO.
On top of that 7372 is way older and end of life. This is not like wine, the more "mature" WAPs are the newer ones because of the technologies implemented in them. When presented with a choice of 2 WAPs - always pick the newest one. 

Here is R310 Pro/Cons List:

Pro:
- Support of 2x2:2 MIMO
- Support of AC protocol
- Support of Unleashed
- Mobile Access to Unleashed through App

Cons:
- Signal on 2.4 will not cover the same space as 7372

My suggestion to you, use about 2 or 3 R310s WAPs with Unleashed. That will give you the best bang for your buck.


Cheers,
Alex
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miko

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Hi Alex,

Thanks for your reply. I think I understand your rationale of going with the newer AP. However, out of my friend's retired AP surplus. I can see there are a number of 7372 AP that I can grab. But for the  R310, I can currently see just 1. 

Also when I asked the question, I have this in mind, the 7372 when it was for the prime time of the product life cycle, it was the higher end version of the product line, with higher user density (500 client was cited)! While the R310 is newer product, but it's positioned as the "entry level" product with lower user density. I am wondering does that mean, the 7372 does indeed has more processing power and more sophisticated RADIO support, e.g. R310 does not have PD-MRC.

Then my another question is 

- In terms of radio 2.4G 802.11n coverage, would it be better off to go with 3x 7372 vs 1x R310?
- can I deploy say all 3x 7372 for 2.4G 802.11n coverage while having the R310 running the same standalone AP firmware like the 7372 and configure it for providing exclusive 5G AC radio coverage? Then I sort of having the best of both world maximising the usage of my friend's retired gear?

I have this following basic topology in mind,

Internet - ROS (router with all RADIO disabled) - PoE switch - 3x 7372, 1x R310

Please kindly share more of your professional thoughts, it's very much appreciated. 
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Robert Lowe

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Hi Miko, what will you use the AP's for? What sort of traffic will be used on the wireless? What is the bandwidth of you internet pipe? All these questions are valid when making the decision, if your primary concern is not if the product is current or EoL.
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miko

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Hi Robert,

Thanks for jamming in. The use for AP is largely general Internet access over mobile devices, cell phone or notebook, that is on a occasional basis. This is a community hall that is used to run all sort of classes or gatherings. We just need some best effort mobile Internet access.

The bandwidth of the Internet pipe is 100Mb/s. 

My top priority, is stability and ease of set-up or recovery.

The hall area is roughly 1200 sq ft, with only one thin wall partition.

Ideally, I am fine with using the Mikrotik ROS device as Internet access router, if possible for me to have just ONE ROCK SOLID AP to cover the whole area with minimal configuration, then it would be ideal. I don't really need things to be mission critical, as this is provided as a free convenience service, in case people in the class or gathering want to save on their mobile plan, if the location has some sort of WiFi to offer. Just like going Star Bucks, you won't expect super Internet service from Star Bucks.

Thanks and cheers. 
(Edited)
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Robert Lowe

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Ok in that case I would suggest you get the latest standalone firmware supported by the 7372's and deploy 2 or 3 if possible. Use common config for the WLAN as you will need to manually config on both the 2.4 and the 5GHz radios of each AP. The 7372 was a rock steady AP in its day and I still have customers using them now without issue. Just a few pointers on the config:
20MHz channel width on both 2.4 & 5GHz radios. Don't leave as default as this will go to 40MHz in 5GHz.
Turn down the tx power on the 2.4GHz radios to 1/4 and leave the 5GHz at auto. This will help clients who could use either band to hopefully choose 5GHz.
Make sure you change the default password
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Robert Lowe

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Just want to also say there is nothing wrong with Alex's reccomendations and if you had budget, I would also be reccomending ac APs but in the scenario you describe 7372s are more than capable.