I am considering acquiring several NetGear WNDAP360 units, to replace the failing APs in our warehouse, for the portable scanners.
Does anyone have any experience with this device?
Main reasons for choosing this device are its availability on eBay, the low price, and the 2 rSMA connectors so that I can reuse existing external antennas.
From looking through the toh page, I will need to compile the image. I have never done that, but not afraid to try, and the documentation looks clear enough to attempt.
Any input of good or bad experiences will be greatly appreciated.
The initramfs image you need can be obtained with compiling with default settings, so that shouldn't be too difficult. Support wise, there's two things at play here:
- The WNDAP360 is supported in present stable (19.07), but the architecture (ar71xx) is EOL (next release won't have it).
- 21.02 uses the more modern ath79 architecture but the device has not been ported to it (yet).
You can still use 19.07, but it will be phased out pretty quickly after 21.02 gets released (last projection I read was 6 months after; 21.02 might still be a few months out, but I suppose not much more). That doesn't buy you much time.
Hmm, valid point. Back to the toh for me.
If I want to ask about another one, should I do that as a reply here, or start a new post?
Any future question will inevitably not be about the WNDAP360 anymore, which would imply a different thread.
Just as a suggestion, don't even consider 802.11n devices anymore - there's no point in not going with 802.11ac (or newer) in 2021.
slh, While I understand your reasoning for ac over n, if this were for the office area, or general use, I would agree. The purpose of these devices is strictly for the portable scanners in our warehouse, and my experience is that 5ghz does not like having a lot of obstacles between the AP and the device. In our warehouse, there are numerous metal pallet racks and large pieces of cargo, that is constantly changing arrangement as stuff moves in and out. Our existing (but dying) Motorola Symbol APs, operating on 2.4, have done a good job of reaching all the areas with the big external antennas on them. Those are what I am trying to replace, and also get away from proprietary software.
Now, having said all that, I am in no way trying to say you are wrong, quite the opposite, I am now thinking of finding a unit with both ac on the 5ghz AND n on the 2.4 to accommodate both the scanners and my phone when I am out there.
Anyway, thank you both for the input, my search continues with new parameters.
You're correct, I missed the warehouse/ portable scanner aspect of it. The above was meant to be targeted at more conventional wireless usage, where you can really feel the difference between 802.11n and 802.11ac (and using the 5 GHz band).
There's still something to be said about the better range of 802.11ac/ 802.11ax vs 802.11n, but that again mainly improves the 5 GHz side - and real advancements for 2.4 GHz radios only happens with 802.11ax (many 802.11ac devices still resort to old 802.11n 2.4 GHz radios).
As far as something that is in current production, uses external antennas, and full OpenWrt compatible look at the Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-AC-Mesh. TP-Link also has a device that is basically a knock-off of the AC Mesh, I don't remember the model number.
These days, external antennas aren't necessarily better than internal. If this setup is based on directional coverage, I'd use a CPE rather than an external antenna.
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