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Cisco Systems Inc.’s Aironet 36021 AP and Ubiquiti Network Inc.’s AP are part of the so-called “wave 1” phase of 802.11ac standard.

These access points (APs) are theoretically capable of reaching data rate of up to 1. 3 Gigabits per second but actual maximum throughput speeds achieved during a test conducted by technology publication Computerworld.com just reached the 360 to 380 Megabits per second range.

Here is how the two access points fared against each other in terms of speed, features and performance:

Cisco Aironet 36021 AP – This access point came with an 802.1ac module. A Cisco 2504 Wireless LAN controller was use for the test.

The Aironet 36021 comes with two integrated 2.Ghz/5GHz dual radios. The 802.1ac module adds ass a 5-GHz radio supporting three spatial streams.

The AP supports the standard Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points Protocol (CAPWAP) and broadcasting up to 16 SSIDs. The maximum transmit power for both integrated dual band radios is 23 dBm and 22dBm for the 802.11ac module.

The Aironet 36021 AP is worth $1,495. Its accompanying 802.11ac model is $500.

Ubiquiti UniFi AC- The $299 Ubiquiti AP came with UniFi Controller software to manage the AP.

This access point has a 2.4GHz radio and 5GHz radio with three spatial streams that support up to four BSSIDs per radio. The radios maximum transmit power is 28 dBm.

This AP has a similar physical dimension as the Cisco unit but weighs about a pound more. It is straightforward to setup and configure just like the Aironet. The Ubiquiti AP has a user-friendly interface.

While the unit does not allow user to configure many settings it allows application of general wireless, network and guest settings across multiple UniFi Aps. User can also place access points on an uploaded map and view stats information on AP and client usage.

Testers found the Cisco AP performed four per cent to 22 per cent better than the Ubiquiti AP in the throughput test. The Cisco AP is recommended for larger enterprise networks.

They concluded that the Ubiquiti AP lacked advanced enterprise settings but is easier to setup and more ideal for small to midsize networks

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