review

Zyxel NWA1123-AC High Density WiFi AC Wave 2 Access Point (NebulaFlex Integration)

Monday, April 30, 2018

Wireless access points are useful devices to have that help you solve WiFi dead spots and extend the wireless coverage of a network. Access points come in all shapes and sizes, and different prices too as some access points are more expensive than others.
When buying an access point, the main things to look for are the access point hardware and its features. Broadly speaking, the pricing of an access point is determined by how many simultaneous connections (clients) the access point can handle.
Other factors that make an access point more or less expensive are high density or low density coverage and the design of the access point which can be standalone, managed or both such as in the case of Zyxel NWA1123-AC access point.
3x3 MU-MIMO 1.6 Gbps (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Being both a standalone (controllerless) and controller-managed means you can manually configure the Zyxel NWA1123-AC access point for a couple of users/devices and/or automatically configure the NWA1123-AC access point for two dozen users/devices (or as many as you network can handle).
dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz wireless
The NWA1123-AC is also a high density access point, meaning it can handle a high volume (50+ users/devices) without choking. The NWA1123-AC is a high density and high performing access point so it's perfect for scenarios where you want users to have access to social media web browsing or live video/VoIP streams without degrading the wireless quality.
you can mount the NWA1123-AC access point to walls and ceilings
Another advantage you get with the NWA1123-AC wireless access point solution from Zyxel is 3x3 access point that integrates "Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology and the second generation Wave 2 802.11ac which utilizes multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology that boosts your wireless network to super fast speeds.
single LED light
Thanks to MU-MIMO technology, you can have WiFi 1x1 AC devices with single antennas such as smartphones and tablets enjoy the same fast performance as 2x2, 3x3 devices with multiple antennas. 

Talking about antennas, the NWA1123-AC high density access point has a 2x2 MIMO (2.4Ghz) antenna and a 3x3 MIMO (5Ghz) antenna. Beamforming technology basically allows the NWA1123-AC HD to learn how much radio power signal to send in the direction of the connected devices which helps to create a stronger, faster and more reliable wireless connection.
NWA1123-AC weighs 750 grams
The integrated MU-MIMO and "beamforming" technologies are possible thanks to the NWA1123-AC internal hardware which features a high power amplifier, noise isolation shielding, a 3G/4G interference filter and a digital cross connect switch (DCS or DXC), which works similarly to a telephone switchboard. The digital cross connect system is the bit of circuitry that lets you connect multiple devices.

NWA1123-AC dimensions 211mm wide x 223mm deep x 39mm high 
The NWA1123-AC HD access point is a worthy investment as it's "future proof" as it can function in repeater AP mode, and features IPv6 host, DHCP client and Mesh AP for multiple SSID (16 SSID) with VLAN support.
padlock symbol with K letter is the Kensington lock 
As far as the security of the wireless LAN, it's solid! The Zyxel NWA1123-AC access point features WEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, WLAN access control list, EAP type (EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS, EAP-PEAP, EAP-FAST, EAP-AKA and EAP-SIM)., IEEE 802.1X, Web authentication, MAC filtering, Layer-2 Isolation, RADIUS authentication, Microsoft AD authentication, LDAP authentication, MAC authentication, and Rogue AP detection.

The Mean time between failures (MTBF) of the NWA1123-AC HD access point is predicted at  1,306,790 hours which is roughly 6 months. The MTBF value is the time, Zyxel predicts the NWA1123-AC HD access point may fail.

The NWA1123-AC HD wireless access point lets you communicate faster and more efficiently with multiple devices simultaneously. Thanks to dual 2Ghz and 5Ghz bandwidth and data rate speed of up to 1.6Gbp, you don't experience low network bandwidth; hence Internet quality doesn't go down so you are able to stream HD video onto your computer, as well as stream online video gameplay to a console over your home WiFi network fast and with stable performance.

The NWA1123-AC HD access point not only makes your router more efficient by delivering a more stable Wi-Fi connection, but also lets you add more devices on to your network at once. This makes the NWA1123-AC HD the perfect solution for environments with a dense number of users such as offices, public Wi-Fi hotspots and private homes.

While the NWA1123-AC HD is a standalone access point, it incorporates a feature called NebulaFlex that lets you manage it from anywhere via Zyxel’s Nebula Cloud Network without having to pay any monthly or annual fees.
The Nebula Cloud Networking system can be accessed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; all the time via the Nebula Control Center (NCC) dashboard which lets you monitor each access point from anywhere in the world from your mobile phone via the Nebula app.
Zyxel's Nebula mobile app works very much like Cisco's Meraki app but the interface is much easier to use and faster to deploy as you simply use the built-in QR scanner to add multiple access points on the Nebula Control Center all at once.
What's really neat about NebulaFlex is that it's flexible so you can switch back-and-forth from managing multiple standalone access points to a cloud-managed network infrastructure without the need to replace existing equipment or purchase additional hardware controllers or software. This is perfect for start-ups using just a few access points who then go on to require more access points as their business grows.

NebulaFlex integrates also Zero touch provisioning (ZTP), which is a switch feature that allows you to configure multiple devices onto the network automatically so you won't have to add each device individually one by one (this is useful particularly if you don't have an IT person working for you).
Zyxel’s Nebula Cloud also allows you to separate public and private networks from the same device so you can keep your private stuff private from guest users while guest users get to enjoy high speed internet.

The NWA1123-AC HD can also be managed via the Web Configurator using an Internet browser, command line interface (CLI) and file transfer protocol (FTP).
As far as battery life, the NWA1123-AC HD can be powered via direct DC power adapter (included) or via a 802.3at Power over Ethernet (PoE) injector (not included). The advantage of using a PoE injector is that it lets you pretty much place the NWA1123-AC HD anywhere you can get an Ethernet cable so you don't have to worry about AC power because both power and data are carried by the RJ45 Ethernet cable.
Power consumption is pretty even with DC power consuming 17 watts and the PoE injector consuming 15.5 watts, but minimal overall thanks to WMM-Power Save (aka uAPSD)
Another feature worth mentioning is Root AP, meaning the NWA1123-AC can be set to root access point (Root AP) to act as a root access point in your wireless network to allow devices to access the wired network via the root access point. Better still, the NWA1123-AC HD can function as a wireless repeater so you can extend a root access point's wireless network range.
To get started you want to register the device and the service by creating an account at https://portal.myzyxel.com/
While the Zyxel NWA1123-AC access point is not a plug-and-play solution, a user with average computer/wireless networking understanding can set up the NWA1123-AC access point very easily by following the online tutorials and/or using the free Zyxel 90-day basic technical support.

When buying a solution like this, you should keep in mind that a wireless router is basically a router and access point all in one. The Zyxel NWA1123-AC access point is useful for adding wireless capability to an existing network to project over 50+ simultaneous WiFi connections to a designated area.
You can deploy several Zyxel NWA1123-AC access points to increase the WiFi coverage, making it an ideal solution for an office, church congregation, exhibition center, or small business type environment where you want users to be able to roam freely from room to room without experiencing network interruptions.
Included accessories with the Zyxel NWA1123-AC wave 2 WIFI access point include a wall/ceiling mount plate, a 12V 2A adapter and mounting screws.

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