|At a glance||All Wireless Performance|
|Product||TP-LINK AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Ceiling Mount Access Point (EAP225) [Website]|
|Summary||Qualcomm-based AC1200 class 2x2 PoE-powered access point.|
• Great performance
|Cons||• No roaming assistance|
• No client bandwidth controls
TP-Link's EAP225 was a surprising find. It's the lowest cost product in our roundup group and the best performer. It's the entry-level 802.11ac member of TP-Link's Auranet family, which includes four 802.11n and four 802.11ac APs. At just over 7" square, it's one of the larger APs, but not overly so. Its single gigabit Ethernet ports accepts 802.3af to power the AP, but it can also be powered by an included wall-wart.
The Qualcomm-based platform uses a QCA9563 3x3 802.11bgn wireless SoC as the processor and 2.4 GHz radio and QCA9882 for 5 GHz. However, if you examine the board shot below closely, you'll see unloaded components for a third 2.4 GHz RF chain.
TP-Link EAP225 board
The rest of the components are summarized in the table.
|CPU||Qualcomm QCA9563 3x3 802.11bgn wireless SoC|
|Ethernet||Atheros AR8033 Gigabit Ethernet PHY|
|2.4 GHz Radio||- in QCA9563
- SiGE SE2565T 2.4 GHz power amp (x2)
|5 GHz radio||- QCA9882 11abgnac 2x2 radio SoC
- Skyworks SKY85717-21 5 GHz front end (x2)
|Firmware tested||1.2.0 build 20170828|
The EAP225 can be managed via its HTTPS web interface. Or you can install TP-Link's free EAP Controller on a Windows or Ubuntu, CentOS or Fedora Linux system. Auranet also has a cluster controller option using an AP-turned-controller to run up to 24 APs. But the only AP that can be used as a controller is the N300 class EAP115. Still, at only around $44, it might be an option worth exploring if you have a lot of APs to manage and don't want to run a software controller.
TP-Link EAP225 web GUI
The EAP225 is the only product in the roundup to support automatic transmit power control and supports AP load balancing by limiting the number of associated devices. But on the downside, it band-steers 2.4 to 5 GHz only and has no roaming assistance features. Wireless backhaul is also not supported. So the only way to connect EAP225's is via Ethernet,.
TP-Link EAP225 WMM QoS
The feature table says the EAP225 has no QoS features, but that's not 100% accurate. What is does provide is control of arcane WMM QoS parameters that will be of little use to many of us. If you're looking for simple ways to control client access priority or bandwidth use, the EAP 225 doesn't have them.