Earlier this year I became one of the first to deploy Aruba Network?s replacement for the AP85, the AP175. Similar to the AP85, the Ap175 has two radios and two N-type antenna connections per radio. Other similarities include Poe, DC, and AC models. The AP175 is a great improvement over the AP85. I will give you some reasons why. I will also give you a few downfalls I have about the AP175.
The AP175 is 802.11n certified. Capabilities of the AP175 with 802.11n far exceed the AP85 with 802.11a/g. The AP175 takes full advantage of the multiple spatial streams, 40 MHz channel, and short guard interval capabilities of 802.11n. I designed a bridge link between two AP175s about a football field apart with the ANT-2x2-5614 antennas. I was able to get connection data rates of 300/300 mb/s between the two Aps. This is far greater than the 54 mb/s max of the AP85s.
The AP175 is a great access point but is does have a few design flaws. The LED lights are on the top of the AP. This is an absolute ridiculous design. The AP85s had the LEDs on the front so you could view them from the ground. When trying to view the AP175s from the ground, you cannot tell if they are on or off. Another design feature that can be annoying if you are trying to replace AP85s with AP175s is the fact that two of the antenna connections are on the top and two are on the bottom of the AP175. This means that you have to be very cautious where you mount the devices. You must mount them while leaving enough room for antennas on the bottom and top. If using direct mount dipole antennas, the AP175 needs almost twice as much vertical mounting space as the AP85.
For now, the AP175 is Aruba Network?s only 802.11n outdoor controller compatible access point. I would like to see a better design in the future.
P.S. Do not forget that when deploying AP175s that POE+ is needed. The AP175s will work with regular POE until it becomes cold outside and the heating coil needs to be used. Regular POE will not suffice when heating is needed. AP transmit power will diminish.
Have you had any interaction with the AP175s? If so, let me know your experience.