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Autonomous vs LWAPP access point

I am new to these 2 terms.

What's the main difference between autonomous and LWAPP access point?

Autonomous AP can work on it's own, while LWAPP need to be used with WNC?

If I need to deploy an wireless enironment, I should use LWAPP, right?


Re: Autonomous vs LWAPP access point

The main difference is autonomous do not require a controller to control the AP and it use WLSE for management software; the LWAPP require a WLC wireless controller to control all of the AP but provide ease of management for the communication / setting between APs, it use another management software call WCS.

If you will deploy many APs, LWAPP will be better for easier management. If only a few APs, autonomous is fine because do not require additional WLC.

LWAPP info. :

Hope this helps.

Community Member

Re: Autonomous vs LWAPP access point

Thanks for your advise.

My last question is, if I use autonomous AP instead of LWAPP, would that be issue if all AP has the same SSID, encryption,etc? Also, is there any roaming by using autonomous AP? Or WLSE can take care about these?


Re: Autonomous vs LWAPP access point

If you use autonomous APs, you can have the same SSID, encryption, security policies, etc. on all the APs but you will have to manage the configuration on each AP. The WLSE can be used to do this, but you're still configuring each end-point.

The WLSE has nothing to do with roaming. It's totally out of the data/control path; it's strictly a management tool.

With autonomous APs, you can have roaming but it is limited to a single subnet

Community Member

Re: Autonomous vs LWAPP access point

Hi chow,

you are litle rigth. the LWAPP is used together WLC. The main advantage of this technology is dynamic management, pushing policies and qos profiles to yours APs.

Cisco had a grate equipament called WLC 4200.

Look at this link:

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