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Wireless Reviews

AC1750 Pro Dual-Band Access Point
At a glance
ProductLinksys AC1750 Pro Dual-Band Access Point (LAPAC1750PRO)   [Website]
SummaryAC1750 class access point with PoE and cluster management features.
Pros• Many features
• Dual Aggregatable Gigabit Ethernet ports
• Central management without dedicating an AP
Cons• Meh range
• Proprietary WDS
• No CLI

Typical Price: $300  Buy From Amazon

Overview

Updated 10/13/14: Miscellaneous corrections from Linksys

Linksys has been building up its small business product line over the past year or so. We've looked at its LGS552P Managed PoE+ switch and its LRT214 and LRT224 VPN Routers. Although Linksys has also been shipping an assortment of N and AC access points for awhile, we're jumping right to the top of the line with this look at its LAPAC1750PRO.

The LAPAC1750PRO is an business-grade access point with a broad feature set. It is primarily managed through a browser interface via HTTPS / HTTP, but can also be managed via SNMP. CLI (command line interface) jockeys, however, will be disappointed that there is no telnet or SSH option. Instead, there is a Cluster Management System that provides a single management interface to control an unspecified number of APs.

The LAPAC1750PRO is meant to be installed on a wall or ceiling and includes a mounting bracket and also a backer plate to use when mounting on ceiling tiles. Even though the AP would normally be powered via 802.3at PoE, Linksys thoughtfully also includes a 12VDC power wart.

The callout diagram below decodes the states and colors of the single tri-colored indicator. Note in the back panel description that the dual Gigabit Ethernet ports can be aggregated for higher bandwidth. I was unable to find controls to set up aggregation, so checked with Linksys. They said the two ports come configured for static LAG (not 802.3ad LACP). Note this means the ports aren't switched, so the second port can't be used to connect to other devices or APs.

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO front and rear panel callouts

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO front and rear panel callouts

Inside

Updated 10/13/14: Component corrections

Linksys requested short-term confidentiality for the inside photos, so I had to open up the review sample after testing. The inside of the AP is very tidy, with generous use of RF shields. I noticed during testing that higher throughput was produced with the front of the AP aimed at the chamber antennas. Now that I see the antenna placement, mystery is solved.

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO inside

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO inside

I had to carefully pry everything off to get a look at what makes the AP tick. Turns out it's a fairly standard Broadcom-based design, with the main twist being the Broadcom BCM53016A dual core Cortex-A9 CPU @ 1 GHz serving as the main CPU. The BCM4331 BCM43431 2.4 GHz and BCM4360 BCM43460 5 GHz radios are outside the RF cans that house their associated power amplifiers. The thermal tape hiding the radios provides some heat sinking via the RF can tops. (The BCM43431 and BCM43460 are enterprise-grade equivalents of the BCM4331 and BCM4360 found in Broadcom-based AC1750 consumer routers.)

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO board

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO board

The key components are summarized in Table 1 along with the first AC1750 AP we got our hands on over a year ago, Ubiquiti's UAP-AC.

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO Ubiquiti UAP-AC
CPU Broadcom BCM53016A dual core Cortex-A9 CPU @ 1 GHz Broadcom BCM4706
Switch N/A Broadcom BCM53125
RAM 256 MB Samsung K4B2G1646E 256 MB Hynix H5PS1G63JFR (x2)
Flash 128 MB Macronix MX30LF1G08AA 16 MB Winbond 25Q128FVFG
2.4 GHz Radio - Broadcom BCM43431
- Microsemi MSC5518 2.4 GHz power amp (x3)
- BCM4331KMLG
- SiGe 2605L (x3) 2.4 GHz Hi Power WLAN power amp
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM43460
- Skyworks SE5003L1 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp w/ Power Detector (x3)
- Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp w/ Power Detector (x3)
Table 1: Access Point component summary and comparison

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