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Intel PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN Access Point

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 Author: Tim Higgins
 Review Date: 3/21/2001

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Model: WEAP2011NA
Pros:

- Good range
- You can configure just about everything
- Supports wireless AP to AP

 
Cons :

- Expensive
- Difficult to configure
- Throughput decreases with WEP enabled

 


Review Updates

Check out the step-by-step setup guide for the Intel PRO/2011, put together by Doug Rollins.

 

The Basics

 
Indicators
  • Power

  • Wireless LAN Link/Activity

  • WAN Ethernet Link/Activity

Comes with
  • printed Quick Installation Guide

  • Driver, documentation CD

  • Wall mounting bracket

  • 115-230VAC Power supply

  • Power cord

Other
  • Two external, removable dipole antennas (BNC connector)

   

Introduction


The Intel Wireless PRO/2011 Access Point is an 802.11b Access point that is not intended for the networking novice. (Intel's consumer wireless offering is their AnyPoint HomeRF based wireless products).  But if you're looking for an "enterprise" grade product and can handle the cost, then the 2011AP is definitely worth a look.

 

Basic Features & Setup


The 2011AP is essentially the same product as the 3Com AirConnect AP that I reviewed last year.  Both products are sourced from Symbol Technologies, and have the same cast aluminum box under a snap-on plastic cover.  Intel went for the "rabbit-ear" dual-dipole look, which gives you more options for antenna positioning.  The antennas connect via BNC type RF connectors, making it easy to connect up different antenna systems.

The chassis houses a circuit board for the AP electronics, with the radio on a removable PC card that plugs into a PCMCIA connector.  The radio can be removed by snapping off the plastic cover, removing a retaining bracket and pulling out the card.

The power supply attaches to the box via a not very robust looking two pin connector (no strain relief for the wires).  Like the 3Com product, the 2011AP has a way to get power to the AP via a UTP CAT5 cable, via their optional "BiasT" module.  So if you're planning to deploy these in a "campus" environment, you won't need AC outlets next to wherever you're going to put the APs!

The 2011AP can be managed via serial "console" connection, Telnet, and Web browser, and even comes with a printed "Quick Installation Guide".  The unit comes set up as a DHCP client, so if you have a hardware router on your network, you should be good to go as soon as it grabs its DHCP lease... at least that's the theory.

The AP's Ethernet light doesn't steadily light to indicate a good "link". You need to watch it while you transfer a file on the Ethernet LAN and see if it flickers.

I couldn't get it to reliably pull a DHCP lease. I suspect that there was something funky going on between the 2011AP's Ethernet interface and my SMC Barricade router's ports.  I only could get a link light on one router port!

It took awhile, but with no thanks to the Quick Installation Guide or CD based Reference Guide, and with the help of the "Late-Breaking News" sheet and AP Discovery utility that I installed from the CD, I managed to bring up the browser interface and get to work.  The two screen shots below are typical of what you'll find in the interface.

Intel PRO/Wireless 2011AP - Easy Setup screen

Intel PRO/Wireless 2011AP - Security Setup screen

Tip: If you find you can't get a connection with your 802.11b clients, see this info about the "Short RF preamble" setting.

These screens are just the start! 

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