[Official] Aruba IAP-207 AC access point review and setup

Thanks to RhinoTech for providing a review sample.
I was not paid or otherwise incentivized to make a positive review.


Overview

The Aruba IAP-207 is a 2x2:2 AC access point that has dual power capability, from either a POE (AF) or 12V 1A power adapter.

  • If you need a 12V power adapter, you can find one at Amazon or on ebay.
  • If you’d rather use POE, here is an 8 port switch with 4 POE ports at Amazon.

Full specifications available here from Aruba’s website.

This unit ships from RhinoTech brand new in OEM box, with wall mounting brackets included.

The unit itself has a heavy metal base plate, which is not something you would find on Ubiquiti Access Points.

Speaking of Ubiquiti Access Points, their competing model is the AC-Lite which comes in at around $26 (47%) more expensive than the IAP-207.

Note: If you’re looking to use this on a desk, it won’t lay flat due to the positioning of the ethernet and/or power supply cables. You can use the included mounting brackets to lift it up so it lays flat when on a desk. Other than that, it’s a really nice looking, compact unit. It doesn’t look like a “UFO” like Ubiquiti’s APs, more like a household device such as a smoke detector or thermostat.


Package Contents

Not much is included besides the access point.
Two mounting brackets, a manual, and a quick start guide.
No power adapter is included, but a power adapter and POE switch are linked above if you don’t have those already.


Setup

Setup was a breeze. It’s much easier than Ubiquiti models, as there is no dedicated controller needed. Simply power up the access point, plug it into your network, and connect to the “SetMeUP-xx:xx:xx” network.

This window will pop up on your device. Press “Continue”!

Type the default username “admin” and the password “admin”. Press “Log In”.

The first screen it’ll take you to is the dashboard.

Navigate to the networks tab. Add a new network. Type the network name, and press “Next”.

For a basic setup, you won’t need to change anything here. Press “Next”.

Create a secure password for your network. Press “Next”.

Again, for a basic setup, you won’t need to change anything here. Press “Next”.

Now, you’ll be kicked off the “SetMeUp” network and you’ll have to reconnect to the access point via the network you just set up. You’re done at this point!

If you want to access the dashboard again, simply type the IP address of your access point into your web browser, and log in with admin/admin again.

There’s a ton more you can configure here, but that’s all I’m going to cover in this mini-guide/review.


Testing

Using my 2019 16" Macbook Pro, I was able to achieve the following speeds using the “out of the box” default settings of the access point. This is from the other side of the apartment, which is 3 rooms away.

This is a great result, especially for this price. I’m sure this throughput can be increased by messing around with the settings, but considering my extremely dense airspace (apartment complex) I’m really happy with the capability of the IAP-207.


Conclusion

The Aruba IAP-207 is a no-nonsense, easy to use, and solid-performing access point.
When used in conjunction with a pfSense/Opensense or other prosumer/enterprise router, a few IAP-207 would make for an extremely robust home network.

For the low price of $55 each (including shipping)…
I wholeheartedly recommend the Aruba IAP-207.

1 Like

Great review! Do you have any insight on how these handle roaming and/or mesh networks?

Roaming is a client thing, so long as all of the APs have the same network SSID and credentials, clients will be able to roam between APs.

The IAP-207 also supports meshing, it’s pretty easy to configure from the dashboard. More info here.

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Does this unit allow multiple ssid through vlan tagging?

Yes, it does! You can see the VLAN assignment in this network setup screenshot above.

Nice, this might be my next addition!

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Apparently the new Ubiquiti wifi 6 APs have metal bases but they’re still early access

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I have been looking for a good AP, this seems to fit the bill perfectly. I have (free) Luxul router and switches, I guess Ill find out if there are any weird compatibility issues.

You should be fine!

Roaming is a client thing, so long as all of the APs have the same network SSID and credentials, clients will be able to roam between APs.

Aruba IAPs follow Aruba’s controller model, so all APs are assignable to a group. They will elect one AP as the Master between themselves once configuration is complete.

If changes are made to the Default group then all APs added (which come up in the default group) will have the same SSID as assigned to that group. Roaming is still handled by the client. If you wanted to have different APs with different SSIDs, you would need to add another group.

You would add a second AP to the network, it would autodiscover the aruba-master and then you can log into the controller and add the new AP (which will be named by MAC) to the new group.

I have 3000+ Aruba APs running in standard CAP mode right now at work, about 40 RAPs and 4 IAP’s for point to point applications. If you have questions let me know.

2 Likes

Sounds like a perfect fit for my house. Current AP is an ASUS 1900 that I got for free from T-Mobile. Plan to to mount a new AP and link it up w/ OPNSense for 2 VLANS. Now the question is to wait, and ride out my Asus or wait until WiFi6 AP start to come down.

Keep in mind that a lot of 802.11ax (WiFi6, good lord, whatever) is a lot of additions to the 5GHz spectrum with respect to MU-MIMO (multiuser-multi-in-multi-out) from whence we get things like 2x2 and 3x3 (or also 2x2x2 or 3x3x3). Adding upstream is a big plus but less important than most.

Realistically these are 2x2 AC AP’s with a max throughput of 867Mbps, realistically around 500 at close distance and both antennas used. I get 250 at distance through my house on 3x3 AC. If 250 wireless is good enough, you should be good to go.

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Good point. All of my streaming devices are hard wired and the other thing that use wifi are a few IoT devices, our phones/tablet, and and guests that visit. So anything that needs dedicated bandwidth is already on ethernet.

I think $55 is the right answer to my wifi.

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Usually people find better results with more access points covering a larger amount of area than they do with fewer (read: 1) access points with higher throughput.

Keep in mind Wi-Fi 6 is far from ubiquitous, and yes it’s fast - but most likely 95% or more of your devices do not support it.

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Thanks. In for 2 for under $95 with an Ebay coupon. Thanks again!

Can you have multiple SSIDs with Vlan Tagging while using the mesh functionality?

@darcseed would be a good person to ask about this.

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Should be able to, but it will annihilate your throughput - mesh on a device without a dedicated backhaul radio will halve your throughput, and then adding additional SSIDs on a given radio splits your remaining usable airtime.

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Does this mean that Aruba IAP is cloud based configuration or is it local/offline configuration? Thanks !

What Riggi said. Yeah, but you’re going to tank throughput. If you want to go this route with multiple SSIDs and dot1q you’re gonna want to hardwire and/or go with a real controller and convert these to CAP.

edit: keeping in mind I don’t know exactly what happens to user traffic on IAPs, normal Aruba behavior is the AP tunnels traffic back the controller. IAPs may default to ‘local handoff’ meaning you wind up on the wired network. Tunneling is part of the potential issue because you increase the IPSEC overhead on the radio as well. I just know that’s how they work in non-Instant deployments.