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FortiAP U421EV 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 U421EV. The “U” stands for “Universal,” because they are universally manageable, as mentioned. The FAP-U421EV could be considered a high-end 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) access point.

The FortiAP U421EV, from $667, is a 4×4:4 MU-MIMO device, with 8 internal antennas. It also has 1 internal one, as well as an internal BLE radio to go with its’ 2 other radios. The radios are 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHz, and peak out at 600 Mbps and 3.46 Gbps, respectively. The FAP-U423EV is the same, except that it has external antennas, rather than internal ones.

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.

Plus, the availability of Wi-Fi 6 means top-end Wi-Fi 5 hardware like the FAP-U421EV 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.

The FortiAP U421EV is affordable

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 FortiAP U421EV is flexible

The FortiAP U421EV 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-U421EV 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-U421EV has a superb price-to-performance ratio and ease of set-up. Recommending the FAP-U421EV is a no brainer. If you would like to know more about the FortiAP U421EV or any other Fortinet product, please email us or call Corporate Armor at 877-449-0458. Thanks for reading!

But since we’re premier Fortinet specialists, Corporate Armor is your best bet if you want to find out more about this slick, inexpensive little access point. Our advice will be all about your unique needs, nothing more.

FortiAP U421EV At-A-Glance

Three radio, 4×4:4 MU-MIMO
3.46 Gbps data rate on the 5GHz radio
600 Mbps data rate on the 2.4GHz radio
Supports a wide variety of deployments