Anyone want to chime in on using aironet versus Linksys wireless adapters connecting to an Aironet 1231G AP? The cost difference is significant between the two. The application does not require significant bandwidth for this installation.
Coverage should be ok with both cards, not a big difference.
I suggest you, if you decide to go with the linksys cards, to at least get 1 cisco card for the site survey on WCS, it may be something that will come very useful later on, when you start using network monitoring and management for your wireless cloud.
You may want to think about support problems. Given your usage model, support for the cards if not likely to be a big problem, however, calling Linksys for support will be a pain. If you have all your Cisco gear on a support contract, then if you have a problem specific to the Cisco WLAN cards, it will be easy to get support.
If you're going to make a major purchase, I would strongly recommend that you investigate 802.11n-capable cards. You may not have 802.11n access points, but you might in the future. If you think you're going to have to keep supporting the wireless cards for a few years, I'd recommend going with an 802.11n card (Linksys is good).
I would make sure roaming is what you want. I have tested some of the linksys cards myself and they were not ideal for roaming. These cards are designed for soho enviroments not enterprise.
"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin
Linksys cards by their nature were designed for consumer(home) use and are parent sticky. They were designed to attach to your linksys router or AP and not your neighbors. They roam horribly and often will only leave the last AP associated with only after it is no longer seen. In a manufacturing facility this will kill you. Also, in a manufacturing facility multipath is almost always an issue. MiMO based APs are the best to use here along with .11n client adapters.
Thanks to everyone who responded. 98% of the PC's that will require wireless access will be desktop PC's and will not be mobile. I realize that Linksys is more for home use but they are almost 4 times less expensive than the Aironet cards. Any mobile devices will use Aironet cards.
For desktops, please get a card that has some way of mounting the antenna somewhere besides the back of the PC. Too often we get complaints of poor wireless speeds on desktops, only to discover that the desktop is tucked into a corner under a metal desk where it's a bit hard to get good wireless coverage.
If you have the opportunity to pilot, then buy just a few cards and pilot them before you make a large investment in a particular card.