IT Infrastructure

The Top 7 Enterprise Access Point Solutions

Discover the Top Enterprise Access Point Solutions designed to ensure reliable and secure wireless network connectivity. Explore features such as speed, scalability, in-built security, and efficient management functionality.

The Top 7 Enterprise Access Point Solutions include:
  • 1. Cisco Meraki MR Cloud-Managed Wireless Access Points
  • 2. Extreme Networks ExtremeCloud IQ
  • 3. Fortinet FortiAP
  • 4. HPE Aruba Networking Wireless Access Points
  • 5. Juniper Mist Wireless Access Points
  • 6. RUCKUS Wireless Access Points
  • 7. Ubiquiti UniFi

Enterprise Access Point solutions enable businesses to provide their users with robust and reliable wireless network access. They do this by creating a wireless local area network, or “WLAN”, which allows users to connect their Wi-Fi-enabled devices—such as laptop, tablets, and smartphones—to the network without using wires or cables. Enterprise access point solutions typically support a variety of Wi-Fi standards to establish connections, but some also offer Bluetooth and Thread support. This can be particularly useful for connecting IoT devices to the network.

Enterprise access point solutions allow hundreds and even thousands of devices to connect to a network at once, even when those devices are spread across a large physical location such as an office building or campus. They provide a cost-effective, convenient way to provision user access, help maintain high levels of network performance, and boost network security with features such as encryption, access controls, and intruder prevention. From an end-user’s perspective, they offer the convenience of being able to roam around the workplace without losing your connection.

In this article, we’ll explore the top enterprise access point solutions designed to help you provide secure and reliable network access to your users. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including wireless connectivity, in-built security capabilities, scalability, interoperability, and speed.

Cisco Logo

Cisco Meraki MR is a series of high-performance, cloud-managed wireless access points. Created by Cisco, these access points offer enterprise connectivity, without the need for on-site wireless controllers.

Meraki MR wireless access points are equipped with self-healing, zero-configuration mesh, advanced security, integral intrusion detection and prevention systems (WIDS/WIPS), and AI-driven analytics. With Meraki Health’s AI-driven data, admins can monitor network performance and easily identify then remediate any issues. The Meraki access points themselves also continually monitor their surroundings—measuring channel utilization, throughput, and interference —to optimize Wi-Fi performance. They also offer an integral state-of-the-art security system, including firewalls, virus scanning, and integration with Cisco Umbrella. When it comes to provisioning, adding new sites is a simple and quick process, reducing setup times significantly. The access points even provide built-in guest access, enabling admins to customize and seamlessly integrate splash pages.

Overall, the Meraki MR access point series is suitable for a range of demanding enterprise deployments. The plug-and-play deployment, zero-touch provisioning, as well as automated and intelligent firmware upgrades make Meraki MR an ideal solution for large campuses and multi-site operations that need to provide quick, reliable, and secure access to large numbers of devices.

Cisco Logo
Extreme Logo

Extreme Networks’ ExtremeCloud IQ is a cloud-driven networking solution that makes it easier for organizations to manage their access points, switches, and SD-WAN. It utilizes machine learning to analyze various data points, from the edge to the data center, delivering actionable insights for both business and IT.

ExtremeCloud IQ offers a broad spectrum of networking functionalities. These include native cloud management for access points, switches, and SD-WAN, real-time and historical views of client and device health, and visibility as well as control of application usage. The platform also offers guest engagement monitoring, WLAN network protection, in addition to workflow and asset monitoring.

ExtremeCloud IQ supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure hosting services. The platform is available via three cloud deployment options—Public, Private, or ExtremeCloud Edge—to cater for varying organizational needs in terms of flexibility and data privacy.

Finally, all cloud services components are hosted in secure, constantly monitored SOC Type 1 data centers. These are equipped with scheduled backups and disaster recovery capabilities. Overall, we recommend ExtremeCloud IQ as a strong enterprise access point solution for organizations that would benefit from network automation and intelligent insights.

Extreme Logo
Fortinet Logo

Fortinet FortiAP is a secure WLAN solution that integrates with the Fortinet Security Fabric to offer built-in security, expansive network visibility, and automated threat response. The platform gives companies control over their wireless networks and security through a single, easy-to-use administrative console.

Admins can configure FortiAP’s wireless network through the integrated WLAN controller of any Fortinet FortiGate security appliance or via the FortiLAN Cloud management portal. FortiAP access points facilitate end-to-end network visibility, enhancing overall LAN edge security, and admins can take advantage of unified management for concurrent policy enforcement and compliance. The platform offers the flexibility of indoor and outdoor deployment, along with scalability, robust security features, and wireless presence analytics.

In addition to the solution itself, Fortinet offers strong customer support options through the FortiCare service. This offers per-device and per-account services, multi-vendor expertise, and deployment of best practice-based solutions. They also provide expedited premium RMA options across their product range for prompt replacement of defective hardware. With diverse models offering internal or external antennae, Fortinet FortiAP is adaptable to specific requirements and price points. The solution is suitable for various environments, from sprawling campus structures to smaller, branch locations.

Fortinet Logo
HPE Aruba

HPE Aruba Networking Wireless Access Points is an enterprise connectivity solution that delivers fast and secure network access for user endpoints and IoT devices. With a high-performance portfolio of access points, the solution addresses diverse use cases at various price points, simplifies network operations, and ensures optimal security.

HPE Aruba Networking’s solution comes with a comprehensive selection of access points, including enterprise, branch, plug-and-play for remote workers, outdoor, and hardened versions, all supporting Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. These access points offer built-in network intelligence, AI-powered radio frequency optimization, dynamic segmentation, service assurance, and smart management options, all improving IT operations and user experiences.

On the security front, HPE Aruba uses WPA3 and Enhanced Open encryption. Additionally, its policy enforcement firewall employs role-based access control and deep packet inspection to isolate and segment traffic.

HPE Aruba Networking’s Wireless Access Points can be configured via the cloud or on-premises. The solution’s indoor access points support AI functionalities, the latest Wi-Fi 6 standards, varied deployment form factors, and extreme temperature or humid conditions. Outdoor access points ensure seamless connectivity for large public venues, pop-up sites, and loading docks. The remote access points offer hassle-free deployment and management, requiring employees to simply plug them into any existing internet connection. Overall, we recommend this as a highly flexible solution that’s able to provide secure connectivity across diverse physical environments.

HPE Aruba
juniper logo

Juniper Mist provides wireless access points backed by artificial intelligence and microservices cloud technology. The platform’s access points provide a comprehensive view across wired, wireless, and NAC domains using AI-guided insights and advanced analytics, and they work hand-in-hand with the Juniper Mist Cloud and Mist AI to deliver excellent wireless access capabilities.

Juniper Mist optimizes user, device, and IoT experiences using streaming telemetry data from wireless access points. The platform continuously monitors coverage and capacity, enabling optimal service delivery at all times. The integrated Mist AI engine analyzes real-time performance levels of mobile users and devices, as well as auto-correcting potential network issues. When it comes to security, Juniper Mist Access Assurance ensures only authorized users and devices can join the network in a straightforward, yet comprehensive authorization framework. This includes strategic location usage via integrated virtual Bluetooth LE beaconing, machine learning, and IoT technologies.

Juniper’s unified wireless and wired access solutions deliver unbroken, end-to-end connectivity, security, and operations. Overall, we recommend this solution for organizations looking for secure network access, complemented by cross-domain event correlation and integrated network insights.

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Ruckus Logo

RUCKUS’ Wireless Access Points are designed to offer secure and reliable access in demanding environments, such as areas with high client density, buildings with Wi-Fi-interfering materials, and challenging outdoor conditions.

RUCKUS offers a broad range of indoor and outdoor access points with integrated IoT connectivity, switches, and a variety of control and management tools. To help improve network efficiency, RUCKUS leverages AI- and ML-driven network assurance across the network. It also offers network analytics, business intelligence, and service assurance via RUCKUS AI. To ensure a secure connection, RUCKUS utilizes the Cloudpath Enrollment System, which offers multiple identity provider authentication options and role-based access control. The platform also offers patented RF technologies, such as BeamFlex+ and AI-driven radio resource management, as well as zero-trust network access through the RUCKUS WAN Gateway.

RUCKUS’ Wireless Access Points offer reliable network performance, simplified deployment and management, adaptability to support LAN, WLAN and IoT users, and seamless integration with third-party IoT products. RUCKUS also provides IoT connectivity, enabling customers to connect Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi IoT endpoints to a single multi-standards wireless access network.

Overall, we recommend RUCKUS to organizations—and particularly those with challenging or complex environments—that want to provide their users and IoT devices with secure, reliable network connections.

Ruckus Logo
Ubiquiti Logo

Ubiquiti UniFi enables organizations to seamlessly deploy and manage over 100 access points in a professional setting. With the UniFi Cloud Gateway, UniFi provides enhanced network security and traffic analytics, built-in VPN access, and intuitive policy-based routing. This is combined with enterprise-quality hardware that’s available in diverse form factors to suit a variety of applications.

Ubiquiti UniFi offers an array of access points suitable for diverse environments. These include their flagship ceiling-mounted access points, sleek in-wall access points for mesh connectivity, weatherproof outdoor access points, and mega capacity access points that are ideal for highly crowded places like stadiums.

They also offer “building bridge” access points that function as a high-performance network bridge. Most UniFi access points can typically cover between 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, although this can vary depending on obstacles that may interfere with signal strength. All UniFi access points form an automatic network, ensuring consistent connectivity as users move among access points. They also support wireless meshing for coverage in network blind spots without extra cabling. In addition to the access points themselves, Ubiquiti offers the WiFiman mobile app, which provides speed testing, latency measurements, and real-world signal mapping to help optimize the access point network.

UniFi access points are very easy to set up; admins simply connect an access point to a UniFi Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter within range of an existing access point. This straightforward process, combined with UniFi’s wide-range signal strength and numerous access point options, makes the platform well-suited to organizations that need to provide network access across a large environment.

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The Top 7 Enterprise Access Point Solutions