FortiAP U321EV 802.11ac access point

The FortiAP U Series offers a wide range of access points. They can be managed by any of Fortinet’s controller and management options: Cloud, FortiOS, or WLAN Controller. There are models available right across the performance spectrum, and today we’re looking at the FortiAP U321EV. The “U” stands for “Universal,” because they are universally manageable, as mentioned.

From just $584 at Corporate Armor, the FortiAP U321EV is a 3×3:3 MU-MIMO device, with 6 internal antennas. It also has 1 internal BLE antenna. The radios are 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHz, and peak out at 450 Mbps and 1.6 Gbps, respectively. The FortiAP U323EV (from $629) is the same, except that it has external antennas, rather than internal ones. Additionally, the FAP-U321EV includes 802.11ac explicit transmit beamforming (TxBF), and built in BLE radio for location services and more.

Why buy a Wi-Fi 5 access point now?

We hear you; Wi-Fi 6 is off and running, and you want to be “future-proof.” It is becoming more and more mainstream all the time, so why not spend a little more and get a Wi-Fi 6 access point? Well, for the same reason that vendors still bother to build so many Wi-Fi 5 access points; it still makes sense to buy a Wi-Fi 5 device for a lot of people. The fact is, there are still many applications out there where Wi-Fi 6 offers no advantages over the older standard. And it will be that way for a while.

It’s been almost a decade since the first Wi-Fi 5 access point was released, the standard has now fully matured. Hardware has few if any bugs, resulting in fast and reliable performance.

The FAP-U321EV is affordable

Plus, the availability of Wi-Fi 6 means top-end Wi-Fi 5 hardware like the FAP-U321EV is now more affordable. And even today, more mobile devices with Wi-Fi 5 are being released than those that use Wi-Fi 6. The standard is still the mainstream.

It just depends on your situation. If you have a lot of legacy clients, it’s a good idea to stay with a Wi-Fi 5 solution until you replace them all. That’s because a legacy client will likely perform better and faster with a legacy AP than with a Wi-Fi 6 one.

However, due to the fact that the advent of Wi-Fi 6 has lowered the prices of good, new Wi-Fi 5 hardware, now is definitely a good time to at least think about upgrading to a newer Wi-Fi 5 AP. So, if you’re still using a cheap, low-end, or even a mid-tier Wi-Fi 5 device (or especially a Wi-Fi 4 router), it’s time to ditch it and get a top-tier Wi-Fi 5 one. Not necessarily because you have to, but rather because it’s now an excellent time for this kind of upgrade.

The FAP U321EV is flexible

The FAP-U321EV is great for everything from a large campus to hundreds of branch locations. It’s great for anything from from branches, to large offices, schools, universities, hospitals, hotels, and retail. The U-series can definitely serve a wide range of applications. That’s because they can be managed by any of Fortinet’s control and management offerings: FortiGate, FortiWLC, and FortiAP Cloud.

The FAP-U321EV is great for Education, since its’ integrated secure wireless controller (FortiGate) ensures secure student access to learning resources while FortiGuard services provides cybersecurity protection.

It’s also perfect for the Healthcare sector, because FAPs enable hospitals to improve patient safety by driving life-critical applications such as telemetry requiring low bandwidth but exceptionally high reliability. Wireless controllers (FortiWLC) connected to Universal access points ensures patient safety remains paramount. At the same time, they provide improved performance for wireless enabled medical devices.

The FAP-U321EV has a superb price-to-performance ratio and ease of set-up. Recommending the FAP-U321EV is a no brainer. If you would like to know more about the FortiAP U321EV or any other Fortinet product, please email us or call Corporate Armor at 877-449-0458. Thanks for reading!

FortiAP U321EV At-A-Glance

Three radio, 3×3:3 MU-MIMO
1.7 Gbps data rate on the 5GHz radio
450 Mbps data rate on the 2.4GHz radio
Supports a wide variety of deployments