Cisco 1300 series wireless access point/bridge Vs Linksys WAP54GPE Access Point Anyone know the

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by Nate Goulet, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Nate Goulet

    Nate Goulet Guest

    Cisco 1300 series wireless access point/bridge Vs Linksys WAP54GPE
    Access Point Anyone know the basic pros & cons?

    Our small company is looking to replace a fiber optic connection going
    to a building across the street.

    We currently have a fiber optic connection using a Media Converter
    outputting to our Switch. We'd like a backup solution as we have
    problems with the connection from time to time, and there is also a
    bottleneck issue in the wire too.

    I've been Quoted on a Cisco 1300 device, around $3000 or so including
    configuration.

    My specialist recently mentioned we could consider a Linksys WAP54GPE
    Access Point instead, but he hasn't had any experience with it.

    Linksys is owned by Cisco, so I assume they aren't competing.

    What the Pros & Cons of one vs the other? They seem like either would
    do the job. What does the Cisco do that makes it cost so much more?
    It's mostly for backup for us.

    Are there security issues with the Linksys?

    Thanks for any help.
     
    Nate Goulet, Nov 28, 2007
    #1
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  2. Are you using 10Mb media converters? If so, switch to 100Mb ones. Bam,
    faster and more reliable than wireless, and cheaper than real access
    points (cisco etc) and better than $30 chinese specials (linksys, netgear
    etc).

    fiber to wireless is a serious downgrade.
     
    Cydrome Leader, Nov 28, 2007
    #2
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  3. Nate Goulet

    Thrill5 Guest

    The Linksys is a consumer product, while the Cisco is a made for business
    users. The Cisco is going to do SNMP (with traps and alerts), better
    diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities, more flexible and have much,
    much better technical support. If you run into a problem on the linksys and
    there isn't a scripted solution with the tech support people, your going to
    be SOL. The other is issue is throughput, I don't remember the numbers off
    the top of my head, but I did see a test somewhere that showed that consumer
    wireless products (linksys included) get anywhere from 10% to 30% less
    throughput. I haven't looked at the specs of the Linksys, but I would also
    suspect that it also doesn't support the frequencies that are reserved for
    wireless bridges (and therefore less apt to interference). Basically one
    is professional grade, the other isn't. Remember, you always get what you
    pay for.

    Your max bandwidth from any 802.1a/g wireless solution is only going to be
    around 24Mb/s, if you need more bandwidth than that there are laser products
    and unlicensed microwave that can give you significantly more bandwidth
    (100Mb/s to 1Gb/s) and significantly higher reliability.
     
    Thrill5, Nov 29, 2007
    #3
  4. Nate Goulet

    stephen Guest

    then fix the fibre - it is going to be faster and more reliable than
    wireless.
    media convertors can be reliable, but they seem in general to be designed
    down to a price, not up to a spec.

    there are often problems with speed negotiation esp after a power cycle of
    the convertor or attached equipment.

    find out if you have switches with support for gigabit fibre, and if not
    get some. Ideally a switch that uses GBICs or SFPs so you can get the
    correct fibre interface to drive the link.

    the wireless can be used as a backup link - but you will be disapointed if
    you are expecting more than 20 Mbps throughput best case.

    And best case means with a short distance, the right antennas and setup,
    good line of sight, not too much metal around for reflecting signals and
    little or no wireless interference. Most people dont tent to be that lucky.

    Finally if there is a road across the beam line allow for the silly stuff -
    like get high enough so someone parking a high sided lorry in the way cannot
    block the beam.......
    Linksys is designed for home use, small numbers of users, indoor equipment.

    1300 is designed to be mounted outside the building and provide point to
    point or area coverage for businesses, so lots of users / traffic streams,
    built in management and so on. And you can get good support on the 1300.....

    So 1300 is much more expensive, but those extras are worth the money in some
    setups.

    Note you will need to design the network both ends so you understand how the
    backup works, and so that you know it is working before you get a fibre
    fault (which implies some sort of management).

    Resilience needs to be checked or by the time you need it it may well not
    work.
    most wireless security issues are because it is wireless, not who makes it.

    But yes wireless security needs setting up correctly.

    Given you are aksing such Qs - i strongly suggest you need some outside
    expertise to sort out the link and the interconnect to your LANs.

    Finally - once it is installed, dont forget to unplug the fibre and check
    the wireless really does what you expect, and how good or bad it will be
    before you need it.......
     
    stephen, Nov 29, 2007
    #4
  5. Nate Goulet

    Nate Goulet Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions, and keep them coming so I can make a
    decision.

    I think i'm mostly concerned with security issues of using a Linksys
    Vs Cisco, but from what some have said, it doesn't seem to be too much
    of an issue.

    Our fiber connection is running very slow. Compared to that, I can't
    picture the Linksys being slower. It's running faster than dial-up
    internet bandwidth, but not much faster. Takes a half hour to copy 50
    megs across the street. I can do that in seconds on the other side of
    the street. I can copy files between the machines on the slow side
    at full speed. It's only when they go across the wire that it's slow.
    I've tested everything for bottleneck issues, and so far they are all
    pointing to the wire itself or the connectors for the fiber. I even
    tested the media converters hooked together, and no slow downs when
    hooked up across the street. The cat5 cables are fine, the fiber
    patch cables have been replaced. Our entire network is 10/100.
    We have about 10 computers on the slow side of the street.

    I have a specialist coming hopefully tonight to replace the fiber
    jacks on both sides of the street. He will also cut the last few
    inches of the wire just to make sure we don't have a short.
    Assuming this doesn't correct it, the only thing left is the wire
    itself, but that would be a big deal to replace.

    Regardless, the wifi is a backup for us, and we have another method
    if it goes down.

    From the comments i've heard so far, the security of the Linksys is
    about the same as long as it's configured properly. My networking
    specialist will take care of that for me. I've seen him on TV about
    network security, so I think he can handle the job. Your comments
    have said it could be up to 30% slower than the Cisco, but that is
    probably 10 times faster than we're running now, and this would be for
    backup mostly.

    What I was hoping to hear from some that have used both the Cisco &
    Linksys to hear the feedback. Enormous difference in the cost.

    So far the Linksys sounds like the product for us, but I certainly
    want to hear about any good reasons why would should spent many times
    the price for a Cisco product.
     
    Nate Goulet, Nov 30, 2007
    #5
  6. Nate Goulet

    stephen Guest

    fix the fibre link.

    this sounds like a duplex mismatch, and possibly the link is dropping down
    to 10 Mbps.

    if you have managed switches, then connect to them and see what they log as
    errors.
    If you dont have managed switches, then you just found out why people buy
    them....

    personally i would go and buy a couple of switches with built in fibre
    support.
    if you like linksys then they do a 24 port 10/100 switch with 4 GigE, 2
    ofwhich can be fibre.
    google claims these are $350 - 400 each, so 2 of those will do it - but
    plenty of others.

    if you want cisco then Catalyst express 500s - $750 ea for a 500-24LC
    try the media convertors between PCs.
     
    stephen, Nov 30, 2007
    #6
  7. Nate Goulet

    Nate Goulet Guest

    fix the fibre link.

    Still working on that. My support company whcih I use for networking
    issues i'm not able to solve myself, subcontracted the fiber line to
    someone else, and doesn't know a lot about it either. I contacted
    the other company, and they are working with me to find out where the
    bottleneck problems are. It's been a slow process. Weeks. They
    were supposed to come today to change the connectors, but due to more
    urgent problems today with another customer, probably won't be. This
    is one more reason I need a backup for the line. If the support
    companies take a long time to resolve the issues, I need another
    connection method in the mean time. Even if I get the fiber line
    working as it should, I still suspect when the weather is very severe,
    the line will completely fail as it often does until we replace it.
    That's a big project.
    Seems like I contacted the manufacter of the media converts about
    that, and they told me they are in the correct positions.

    I can't rule that out however, and i'm glad you pointed it out. I
    better double check again. It's been a while.

    Read my comments I wrote regarding duplex issue below, and see if you
    agree.
    We don't have managed switches. We have an HP Procurve 10/100 switch
    in each building. They were purchased around the fall of 2001 when we
    bought our old server, which was replaced with a new one in Aug.
    I doubt the bottle neck issue is due to a switch problem. And here's
    why. No issues in building #1

    If I were to copy large files/folders from the pcs in building #2 to
    another pc in building #2, they would copy very quickly. The switch
    in building #2 is needed for this task. If it had a bottleneck issue,
    it would be slow for this task too. The bottleneck is only when using
    the fiber line going across the street.
    I tested both media convertors in building #1, and they both run full
    speed. I even connected them together using a fiber patch cable, with
    a laptop on the other end copying files to the network. Still worked
    full speed. If there were a duplex issue, I would expect i'd have had
    the same problem using the laptop for this. I would think it's
    esentially the same type of connection using a laptop as if it were
    the switch, unless you can tell me otherwise.
    Again, I appreciate your help trying to help out.

    Thanks, and i'm grateful to hear any additional comments people post
    here.
     
    Nate Goulet, Nov 30, 2007
    #7
  8. Nate Goulet

    stephen Guest

    you may have 1 (or both) fibre cores with a fault - managed switches would
    give you recieve error stats.

    any diags lights on those convertors for the fibre ports?
    any spare cores?
    it is pretty hard to buy a fixed fibre cable with less than 8 cores or so.
    The spares might be spooled up in the splice tray and unterminated (in which
    case not so easy for you to test), but if so get the engineers to leave the
    existing ones alone and terminate other cores, as at least 1 may be OK

    You can get SFPs that work on a single fibre, so 1 broken core doesnt mean
    you have to replace the cable.
     
    stephen, Nov 30, 2007
    #8
  9. Hello Nate,
    Nope, I have not worked with Linksys as they are in the consumer marked.
    But I love the Cisco wireless product range. You can do lot's with it if
    you know what you do.
    I would not recommend downgrading from fiber to wireless.

    If you want to have a wireless backup solution you can look into Motorola
    Canopy point-to-point solutions. They have low latency and high bandwidth.
     
    Helge Olav Helgesen, Dec 2, 2007
    #9
  10. Nate Goulet

    Nate Goulet Guest

    How does that compared to the Linksys, and what does it cost?

    It seems another customer of mine is using a Linksys WAP54GPE.
    They seem to be common, and tech people like me are probably more
    experienced with them than a product from someone besides Cisco,
    Linksys or Netgear.
     
    Nate Goulet, Dec 7, 2007
    #10
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