Cisco Aironet 3800 Series are reliable and powerful wireless solution
April 30, 2021

Cisco Aironet 3800 Series are reliable and powerful wireless solution

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points

We use Cisco Aironet Access Points since a while for all our and customer' sites all around the world.
We moved little by little on the 3800 model for the office / Campus as well as the factories and industrial buildings.
This model is more robust and provide a very good coverage and reliable connection with the support of the last radio standards.
A very good point also is to be able to have 2* 5GHz antennas instead of 1*2.4GHz and 1*5GHz
  • provide a large choice of antennas for all the needs (3802E version)
  • provide a good flexibility with the XOR antennas and the DART port
  • provide a very good and reliable connection
  • The APs require more and more power. POE (15W) was enough for the previous models and now this model need POE+ (30W). It should be reduced
  • We use mesh technology in the plants with 3700 Series and it works perfectly. Unfortunately this mode is not available anymore on the 3800.
  • Too expensive and less and less trust on Cisco when they propose a new update that looks to create sometimes more bugs that it fix
  • more reliable and faster connection and a better user experience with the support of the last Wifi standards
  • better throughput in adequacy with the data needs that are bigger and bigger
  • the removal of options like the mesh mode is a step back in comparison with the previous models
The performances of the Cisco Aironet 3800 are quite good. This is an reliable and robust access point. It is "wave 2" compatible and has a m-Gig port. It is also possible to configure 2* 5 GHz antennas instead of 1* 2.4 GHz and 1* 5 GHz so we can use the access point at the maximum of its capacity and reduce the interferences we can have with the 2.4 Ghz frequencies
Contrary to a solution like the Cisco Meraki access points, the Aironet access points like the 3800 are linked to the Controler. And depending on the version of the controller, it will support only some models of access points.
For big sites, it may be difficult to upgrade the controler to support new ap models like 3800 because we still have old access points.
And it is also the same between new access points and old client devices so it is always a bit tricky.
After that, if the access point model is supported by the controller, it is really simple to install a new one
Even if we can have access points in stock, we can consider that we purchase access points after a site survey. And as the time to receive them is quite long generally (up to 2 months), we have time to order the cabling. After that the configuration is done quickly and then the AP are provided to be mounted
In real we have 5508 and 5520 Wireless LAN controller in production.
We have WLCs clusters on each of the big sites with betwwen 100 and 1000 access points on each of them.
And for lower sites we have a centralized WLC cluster with all the APs in FlexConnect mode.
The wireless controllers are really reliable and allow us to manage access points all around the world very easily.
Compare to the Cisco Aironet 2800 serie there is not a really big difference. The 3800 is more powerful.
Regarding the Meraki access points the solution is really different than the Cisco Aironet 3800.
Both are good but are maybe better in some situations.
For office only or when there are a lot a small sites with not technical contact, I would recommand Cisco Meraki.
For bigger sites or more complex environement, I would prefer a more customizable solution like Aironet which is more powerful.
For sure, it is really better to have only one solution and not a mix so a choice may be done.
As any Cisco Aironet Access Points, the 3800 model is more for power users than beginners. It is for sure very more complex to maintain and trouble shoot than solutions like Cisco Meraki APs.
By the way, there are a lot of settings that can be customized and it is really interesting for difficult environments like industrial factories.
The 3800 model is also robust so it should stay durable and reliable.
But if you want to use the mesh mode or make a wireless bridge, this model is not appropriate as it is not supported for now.