Are you having wifi problems? Do you plan to extend your wifi network using access points? When considering price, performance, and features TP-Link’s EAP225 and EAP245 access points (APs) are hard to beat. Read on to learn more about what makes these access points a smart buy.
|Interface||1 Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) Port (Supports IEEE802.3at PoE）||1 Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) Port (Supports IEEE802.3at PoE）|
|Dimensions||8.1 × 7.1 × 1.5 in.||7.1 x 7.1 x 1.9 in.|
|Antenna Type||Internal Omni|
2.4GHz: 2 x 4dBi
5GHz: 2 x 5dBi
2.4GHz: 3 x 4dBi
5GHz: 3 x 4dBi
|Wireless Standards||IEEE 802.11ac/n/g/b/a||IEEE 802.11ac/n/g/b/a|
|Speeds||5GHz: Up to 867Mbps|
2.4GHz: Up to 450Mbps
|5GHz: Up to 1300Mbps|
2.4GHz: Up to 450Mbps
|SSIDs||Up to 16 SSIDs, 8 for each band||Up to 16 SSIDs, 8 for each band|
|Power Supply||802.3af PoE and passive PoE||802.3af PoE and passive PoE|
The key spec differences are highlighted above. The extra antennas of EAP245 give it faster wifi speeds. Other than that all features of these access points are the same. Let’s walk through the key features that make these APs great.
First and foremost let’s talk about the Omada controller. This is a software controller that you can install on a Windows or Linux OS to centrally manage multiple access points. Even if you don’t have multiple controllers, this software is worth installing because it adds the capabilities for your APs to do customizable guest authentication with a captive portal. You can have a guest wifi but your options are much more limited if you just use the AP’s web interface. The controller also allows for central management and configuration of access points, batch firmware updates, load balancing, and many more features. To ensure you can use all the features discussed in this article you should install the controller.
This product has a thorough manual and video configuration and installation instructions.
Band steering is a great feature that makes sure wireless clients are using the highest speed wifi protocol available to them. With band steering, if a device connects to a slower 2.4Ghz signal but supports a faster 5Ghz symbol the AP will automatically “nudge” it over to the faster 5Ghz protocol. The other nice thing about band steering is that you don’t have to think about which network your device is connecting to as it will automatically be moved to the appropriate network.
“Corporate” Guest Wifi
Having guest wifi is important. Without a guest network, you have to give out your password and you allow devices you haven’t vetted access to all your network resources, which may contain sensitive information. You can have a guest wifi where you can control how long they have access, create a custom captive portal screen for guests to log in, and establish a voucher system (like at many coffee shops). You can also easily secure the rest of your network from guest users and you can isolate guest users from each other.
Security has to be of paramount concern to anyone who connects to the Internet. In addition to standard wireless authentication security protocols (e.g. WPA2) and MAC address filtering these APs allow you to create access control lists (ACLs) that allow you block or allow machines connected to different SSIDs from connecting to specific machines that you specify. How would you use this? One example I use in my house is isolating IOT devices like smart speakers and security cameras from most of the rest of my network. These devices are more vulnerable to hackers for quite a few reasons. I isolate them from the rest of my network for added protection in case they are hacked. I do this by connecting those devices to a separate wifi SSID and using the ACLs in these APs.
The price for the EAP225 hovers around $50. The features and stability make this a great price. You can pay a lot more for APs with many fewer features.
Other features of these APs come with that you may be interested in:
- Traffic usage and client statistics.
- Ability to create coverage maps of your house.
- You can schedule reboots.
- They are wall and ceiling mountable.
- They can detect and notify you of rogue APs on your network.
If you are trying to improve your wifi you can look for a new wireless router and/or add wireless access points. I own both an EAP225 (v2) and an EAP245 and they have made the wifi in my house rock solid. I have over 25 wireless clients, including security cameras, that flood my network. In day to day use, I don’t notice any difference when my devices are connected to the EAP225 or EAP245. I often have guests who want access to wifi and this allows me to provide them with guest wifi that looks professional while protecting the security and speed of my network clients. Bottom line, these APs give you business performance at consumer prices. If you need an access point I’d go ahead and purchase the EAP225 v2, and if you have a lot of wireless clients you might want to look into the EAP 225 v3. The v3 adds MU-MIMO, an extra antenna which bumps up the 2.4Ghz speed from 300Mbps to 450Mbps. See my EAP 225 v3 review here. Both are great buys, and that’s why I recommend them in my buyer’s guide.
Remember, strong wifi is essential to the modern the modern smarthome. An investment in good wifi access points is a smart investment for your home.
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