Best wireless AP/WLC combo for someone on a budget?

Cat5Cat5 Member Posts: 297 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm currently studying for the NA:W, and I plan on moving on to the NP:W afterward, and I'd like to get some equipment now to familiarize myself with the GUI interfaces if nothing else. I'm having to start small, because I'm on a very limited budget. I thought I could start with an affordable AP and WLC off eBay to start with, then add another AP and a server later.

What are some recommendations/models for this? What kind of cost am I looking at, also? (And on a side note, I totally agree with another poster elsewhere that an employer who needs a wireless engineer isn't going to settle for someone who just dabbles in wireless for his company's needs, and an NA:W just won't cut it. There *is* a demand for higher-level wireless knowledge out there.)


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    JollycorkJollycork Member Posts: 149
    Wireless in business is more than just the equipment being used and how to configure it. I would first start with a businesses security and access needs, then the equipment to meet those needs. Example, a small business might only want wireless for in house equipment that includes their tablets and BYODs. The business might also have wired/wirless desktops/laptops they use with sensitive information on them. The business has no plans for offering customers wireless internet access. The small business is basic network infrastructure with no enterprise class equipment. The business has no on premise IT workers.

    Another business might have the same needs, but anticipate providing customers wireless internet access. That business might have some enterprise class equipment. The business has no on premise IT, but has contract IT.

    With those design requirements, determining what equipment is needed with what capabilities can determine what equipment a lab should have.

    How does one secure the network from intrusion from wireless network, provide customers with easy access to internet without compromising the internal network, provide workers with easy access to internal network with BYOD without compromising internal network security.

    Then there's the full up business with enterprise equipment, on premise IT department, uses Directory Services, has multiple sites.

    Further consideration is the reporting and logs to determine if an intrusion was made.

    Since this is Cisco, one could recommend a cheap AP1241 with a WLC 2006 controller to play around with, or even use a SMB class wireless router such as the 881/891 routers....

    But if your going to stick a bunch of APs around for access, with a controller to control all the APs and also have more than one SSIDs an AP and WLC is a good bet. One could also use a stand alone AP with 2 radios.
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    Cat5Cat5 Member Posts: 297 ■■■□□□□□□□
    True, the different businesses will definitely have varying needs, depending on their size. Something to think about when job-hunting. But I think I'll need the extra equipment to get the practice and knowledge in order to pass the NP:W.
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