AC AP selection

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I am trying to choose an AC AP for our new office.
I was looking at the R600 spec and have problem to understand the client limit spec:
Concurrent Stations	Up to 500 clients per AP
Simultaneous VoIP Clients Up to 30
What does the VoIP Clients limit means? is that WiFi users that are using VoIP application such as Skype or a different type of connection supported by the AP?

Also, is there any spec that mentions the coverage distance of the AP?
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Yuval Ben Ari

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Posted 2 years ago

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Big Dog

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Hi Yuval,its the max user concurrent user supported by one AP when threre is simultaneous VOIP calls without call quality decreasing (with SIP or other VOIP protocol and codec).
About coverage it depending of your space propagation
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Yuval Ben Ari

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Assume that it's an open space with no walls. What would be a reasonable distance from the AP?
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John D, AlphaDog

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VOIP clients refers to things like Spectralink handsets that use Call Admission Control  / QoS to guarantee airtime, it doesn't apply to VOIP applications like Skype/Facetime/Google Hangouts or even Wi-Fi Calling, all of which were designed to cope with an unreliable network without strict realtime guarantees.


Be aware though that regardless of AP, supporting more than 30 simultaneous VOIP calls is moderately challenging for networking equipment and you may find that your upstream firewall/gateway isn't up to snuff either!
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Yuval Ben Ari

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So if I have an open space area (no walls) with around 50 users that will do  normal Wi-Fi usage like browsing / video / standard voice applications. Will one R600 AP handle it? What are the guidelines for choosing between R500/R600/R700?
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John D, AlphaDog

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R700 appears to no longer be in the current lineup, replaced by R710.... I think this is a good move, because quite honestly, my previous advice for R700 was "basically never" over R500/R600. I've never noticed a performance or capacity advantage to R700, despite it was supposed to be a higher end AP.

Long story short, the R700 is the 7982 with 802.11ac capable radios but largely identical analog components. Shortly afterwards, the R600 and R500 were introduced with newer antenna designs, and IMO these are the best 802.11ac AP's on the market in terms of performance and value.

As far as choosing between the R500 and R600, I think it boils down to whether or not you have 3x3 clients or not. For capable 3x3 clients, I've observed around a 20% throughput improvement on R600 vs R500. You'll have to decide if that's worth the price premium.


Of course, the R710 is a behemoth both in capability and price, and I've noticed a noticeable performance/range improvement over the R600 and R500, but I think it's a big price to pay for it. If you are ever deciding between two R500's or 1 R710, I'd still vote for the former.
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Yuval Ben Ari

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Thanks. This really helped. I am thinking R600 will be my choise.
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Max O'Driscoll, AlphaDog

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The R600 should handle your 50 users comfortably.
Think you are far more likely to be constrained by your internet connection.

Doesn't matter how big the tap is if the pipe is narrow. A very basic analogy - not meant to stand up to technical analysis!
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Yuval Ben Ari

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Thanks. The bandwidth / firewall whould be quite robust. I am more concerned about wireless performance during busy hours...
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Robert Lowe

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IMO you would be better served with 2 x R310's than a single R600. Single AP = single transmission per radio at any given moment. 2 AP's doubles the WiFi capacity, throughput (to the likely level office users would demand) & adds a level of redundancy. 
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John D, AlphaDog

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If one is at all cost sensitive, I would definitely recommend the R500 or R310 over the R600, but the R600 is already a great value.... Note that it's worth checking whether your clients are 1x1, 2x2, or 3x3 MIMO. A lot of clients, especially laptops, are only 2x2 MIMO, and at that point the R500 and R600 deliver virtually identical performance.


I agree with Robert that with a large number of clients (e.g. more than 20 per AP), it's advantageous to add a second AP. It won't boost any single client's speeds, but it will provide more capacity and robustness, and IMO you don't want to build a business around a single point of wifi failure, even if a single AP can service all clients.
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Yuval Ben Ari

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Thanks for the input. Of course the office will have more than one AP. I am talking about a specifc area that I was trying to figure out if one AP is enough for.
Any downside to using "too many AP's" in a specific area?
Also, any downside to R600 over R500 except price? (assuming I'm using same number of AP's of both models). Regarding client MIMO, I'm don't really know which our clients support but obviousely we will want the best future readiness and users upgrade devices often...
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John D, AlphaDog

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Too many AP's: If you are getting to the point where you're putting 5+ AP's into a single open space (which you're not), you will start running into co-channel interference scenarios, where AP's cannot find unique channels for themselves and hence you have more situations where two APs have performance degradation from trying to use the same channel.... I don't think you are getting close to that yet.

But mainly the downside would be cost and disappointment. Load balancing is not 100% bulletproof, and if you are looking at 10 clients in a room, they will almost never balance themselves exactly 5 and 5. As long as you are okay with that and won't feel bothered or misled into thinking that 2 APs have more benefits than realized.... there's no downside :)


Same with R600 vs R500. The R600 is superior to the R500, but its benefits may not be realized in all scenarios even with capable clients. But still, if you are okay with the cost of the R600, it's definitely a better option.


The reason I went into the details above is that I've seen from personal experience many situations where people invested a ton of money into a single super-awesome AP and then ended up being disappointed that it didn't deliver the benefits the expected over the less costly options, and in reality they would have been better off getting two AP's. As a concrete example, being told that R710 offers "more range" and buying one R710 mounted in the center of a large open area, but in retrospect 2 R600's at opposite ends of the open area would've provided more consistent coverage and higher data rates because now the AP's are closer to clients...


I don't think it sounds like you are making this mistake, but it's something to keep in mind.
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Yuval Ben Ari

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Hi all,
I did choose the R600 for that office.
I have another project now and I see that R610 is available.
Can someone point out the difference between them?
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Big Dog

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Wave2 in R610 and not in R600
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Yuval Ben Ari

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How relevant is this technology? Does it require any client support? Any downsides to R610 vs R600 except price?
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Big Dog

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And also around 300$ of difference Lol