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WAP321 vs AP541N

I was looking for some clarification on the capabilities of these devices to allow roaming of clients between AP's.  Take a basic scenario of 3 AP's and a single SSID. 

I know the AP541N has clustering which uses the Fast Client Roaming Protocol, which basically does a quick re-connect to the new AP.  Not quite as seamless as using aironet and a controller, but still pretty good. 

Question 1

How does the WAP321 handle roaming?  Obviously without the clustering feature you would have to configure each AP independently.  But after setting them up, would it support roaming in a similiar way to the AP541N??

Question 2

Last question.  Would running three standalone Aironet 1141's operate any differently in terms of roaming?

In summary I like the roaming capability of the AP541N but hate the large clunky form factor.  I need something that can be mounted in an office environment (ceilings) that will handle easy client roaming.  A short disconnect isn't a concern as long as it reconnects on it's own.   Wireless controllers are a little out of the price range for this setup.

  • Small Business Wireless
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3 REPLIES

WAP321 vs AP541N

Hi, My name is Eric Moyers. I am a Network Support Engineer in the Cisco Small Business Support Center. Thank you for using the Cisco Community Post Forums.

Great questions!

As you stated, with small business devices you will not be able to get true seamless roaming. That is only available with devices that use a wireless LAN controller (WLC).

Without a WLC any wireless clients would have to disconnect from one signal completely in order to connect to another. To minimize that disconnection time, it is best to configure any wireless client to have both SSID profiles listed as preferred networks and to automatically connect when in range. That way the wireless client when it disconnects from one will automatically see the other and initiate a connect.

With that said something else that you can do within the WAP321 itself is 1) use WPA Enterprise. There is an option for pre-authentication within that portion of the setup. Again not the same as seamless in an Enterprise environment but close.

But those are really the only true options.

As far as the 1141s in standalone. Not being an Enterprise Engineer, my opinion would be without the WLC they are just simple AP's and I don't think seamless roaming would be available.

Thanks

Eric Moyers

Cisco Network Support Engineer

SBSC Wireless and Surveillance SME

CCNA, CCNA-Wireless

1-866-606-1866

New Member

WAP321 vs AP541N

So with the WAP321 the client disconnects/reconnects as you explained.  Kinda like having two different wifi networks they just happen to have the same SSID and password.

How does the AP541N compare to that?  Does it do the same thing or is it viewed by the client as a single network?  In other words, is it any better at roaming than the WAP321?

Thanks for the great info..

WAP321 vs AP541N

Sorry for the late reply. I dont get to check in on these forums as much as I would like. (Spend more time on the phones with customer than reading and sending emails)

In regards to roaming the AP541N may be a little faster in reconnecting a dropped network. However to the naked eye, I feel we wopuld be hard pressed to see the difference.

Just my humble opinion.

Eric Moyers

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