Nov 17 2022

Review: Juniper Mist AP61 Delivers Powerful Wi-Fi Access Under All Conditions

A strong internet connection is crucial to modern business, but outdoor locations can create problems. This access point offers a solution.

Modern businesses have an obligation to deliver high-quality wireless services for their workers and, depending on the business, their customers.

At first blush, delivering the kind of reliable access that customers and employees expect seems fairly simple for IT administrators: Just set up some Wi-Fi access points, connect devices to it, and you’re good to go.

Depending on the work environment, though, that’s not always the case. Outdoor wireless networks are a particular challenge. They must contend with weather conditions that can get in the way of a strong reliable signal, and administrators typically are limited in the number of outdoor locations where they can set up their Wi-Fi APs, creating the possibility of dead zones.

For organizations that have a need for outdoor wireless access, such as auto dealerships, outdoor shopping malls, and sports and entertainment venues, rugged, strong APs are a must.

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Building Better Wi-Fi With Juniper Mist

I recently reviewed the Juniper Mist AP61 and was impressed by its ability to facilitate outdoor Wi-Fi access and its simple cloud-based management.

The AP61 works with the Juniper Mist cloud architecture to collect and analyze metadata in nearly real time from all wireless clients, then provides the best possible wireless experience to each one.

For system administrators, Juniper Mist makes managing the wireless network a breeze. Its data analysis capabilities enable rapid problem detection and root cause identification with predictive suggestions and proactive correction.

Another valuable feature is its ability to work without the need for battery-powered Bluetooth low energy beacons and manual calibration. The BLE feature I reviewed is part of the AP61’s high-accuracy location capability, which includes a 16-element virtual BLE antenna array controlled from the Juniper Mist cloud architecture.

In my test, it was able to provide a signal more than 100 feet away from the base station.

With solutions such as the Juniper Mist AP61, businesses can ensure that their customers and workers have access to the fastest and most reliable Wi-Fi signal under practically all conditions.

RELATED: Find out how a modern network architecture can support digital transformation.

3 Indicators of Good Outdoor Wi-Fi

One of the most complex challenges of achieving properly functioning outdoor internet is trying to create a layered approach that delivers high-performance wireless access from several 802.11ac Wave 2 radios. Ideally, the ideal outdoor Wi-Fi infrastructure lever-ages about 1730 megabits per second in the 5-gigahertz band and up to 800 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band.

This provides the coverage and bandwidth to extend your customers’ sessions outside of your store or business and to set up a robust and secure outdoor wireless network using a mesh framework.

Creating such a wireless setup requires three key elements.

  1. A network that’s easy to find and follow. Bluetooth location services such as the one used by the Juniper Mist AP61 drive coverage and are compatible with framework elements including the Juniper Mist Cloud Architecture, which ensures a high level of accuracy with Bluetooth low energy location services.
  2. Speed, speed and more speed. Top Wi-Fi performance comes from access points like the AP61, which uses 802.11ac Wave 2 radios. The Wave 2 radios empower clients with more than 1730Mbps of speed in the 5GHz band and up to 800Mbps in the 2.4Ghz band. This makes for smooth checkouts and payments and quick access to product and sales descriptions, which can lead to an uptick in sales. Most important, it leads to happy customers.
  3. Accurate data. Good accuracy from indoor location features, like a 16-element virtual Bluetooth low energy antenna array unit, helps retail stores understand how their customers are using the provided wireless signal. The AP61 also offers additional insights from a dedicated dual-band radio. This radio collects data for Juniper’s patent pending Proactive Analytics and Correlation Engine.

This engine delivers insights about customer wireless usage, and is particularly valuable to retail stores, which can use it to tailor shopping experiences directly to customer preferences. That’s a lot more powerful than simply providing free Wi-Fi access.



WIRELESS: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 5
FREQUENCY: 2.4GHz and 5GHz
SERVICE: Cloud-managed with three-year subscription
DIMENSIONS: 12.2x12.2x4.2-inches
WEIGHT: 10 pounds


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