CCNA:W For standalone AP

hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
We have a number of standalone AP's at work - 1100 and 1200 series. We have never understood what these things are capable of or how to use them. We pretty much just give them an IP and put them somewhere. Open authentication.

My question is, if we wanted to use these to their potential...would the CCNA:W be a good place to start? Or is it too theoretical? Or does it focus on controllers too much? I have a good understanding of RF but we just don't know how to effectively use these APs.

Opinions?

Comments

  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,232 ■■■■■■■■■□
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    We have a number of standalone AP's at work - 1100 and 1200 series. We have never understood what these things are capable of or how to use them. We pretty much just give them an IP and put them somewhere. Open authentication.

    My question is, if we wanted to use these to their potential...would the CCNA:W be a good place to start? Or is it too theoretical? Or does it focus on controllers too much? I have a good understanding of RF but we just don't know how to effectively use these APs.

    Opinions?

    Before i go running my mouth off i will try not to overstep my knowledge of wireless since i do NOT have a wireless cert. All i have to offer you is a couple years of wireless experience.

    I would say the best way to effectively use wireless AP's, and especially if you have many of them at your site, would be to use controllers. That is all i have hahaha GLicon_thumright.gif
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  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    This all depends on how large your work network environment is (both physically and logically) as well as your authentication / security requirements. The CCNA Wireless is geared more towards LWAPP / controller-based networks since that's what the large enterprise / ISP model is like now. Cisco also has a small line of products for the small business which has LWAPP-like technology. The CCNA Wireless doesn't really cover standalone / autonomous APs like the old 1200 series much though.

    That said, however, you can still use a standalone 1200 for 802.1X authentication. Using 802.1X is a highly recommended option in today's enterprise environment, although if you have to cover a wide physical area, managing dozens of the newer APs centrally via a controller would be the preferred route. However, if you want to set up a prototype environment to see how you can use one or few of the 1200 series to serve both guest and secure employee access (multiple SSIDs on each AP being mapped to different VLANs), then it's certainly usable for that. I use a single 1200 AP at home simultaneously for .1X and several test lab networks.

    Here's an article I wrote which uses a Cisco 1230 as an example:

    http://www.kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/enterprise_wi-fi_security/
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Member Posts: 658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you want Theoretical and analytical look at CWNA. I have looked over a good portion of the CCNA:W and it is missing a lot of the theoretical wireless information.
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  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Chris:/* wrote: »
    If you want Theoretical and analytical look at CWNA. I have looked over a good portion of the CCNA:W and it is missing a lot of the theoretical wireless information.

    I have to second that, the CCNA:W focuses mostly on their equipment more so in a controller LWAP environment, it also covers some WCS, and 802.1X topics.

    If you want to know about wireless in general (RF, standards, etc) then definitely go with the CWNA/CWTS.. the CCNA:W lacks generic Wi-Fi fundamental topics in my opinion.
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  • NetwurkNetwurk Member Posts: 1,155 ■■■■■□□□□□
    There are Cisco access points that will work either as standalones or with a WLAN controller. Might be a good upgrade path for you. You can set them up as standalones for now and then down the road they will still be useful as lightweight APs.

    Some of the 1100 and 1200's can do both, so some research on the models you already have might help. You might be able to add a controller to your network without upgrading the AP's.
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