The Sophos APX 320 is the next step up in the Sophos family of Wave 2, 802.11ac access points. The APX series are do-it-all cloud managed access points. The APX 320 is a 2×2 MIMO, dual radio device with internal antennas. And please note that all Sophos access points require a wireless protection subscription. This can be done through Sophos Wireless Central, or through an XGS series firewall. The APX Series enables basic Synchronized Security with Sophos Endpoint, Sophos Mobile and Sophos Server when managed through Sophos Central. Sophos Central Wireless Standard (for APX) is available in 1, 2, and 3-year options.
On the other hand, Sophos XG Firewall offers advanced Synchronized Security with Sophos Endpoint and Sophos Server independent of the use of the Wireless Protection features.
Sophos APX 320 – How’s it different than the APX 120?
Speeds and performance between the two are basically identical. And they both have 1x RJ45 10/100/1000 Ethernet w/PoE. But the APX 320 has 1x RJ45 connector console serial port, as well. Plus, it has 2 internal 5 GHz antennas for Radio-2 and 1 internal 2.4 GHz antenna for BLE.
Why does Wave 2 matter?
Good question. Even now, in 2021, Wave 1 isn’t bad. It suits most people’s purposes admirably, just like Wi-Fi 5 does (as opposed to the newer Wi-Fi 6). And unless you’re using your Wi-Fi network for streaming and the processing of large files, Wave 1 is perfectly fine. However, as more devices begin joining wireless networks, the need for more power will increase.
Speed and the APX 320
Wave 2 Wireless is definitely much faster than Wave 1. Wave 2 access points like the APX 320 have speeds up to 6 Gbps, far outpacing Wave 1’s 1.3 Gbps. Additionally, Wave 2 has four spatial streams compared to Wave 1’s three. Speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams they have, meaning Wave 2 is much faster. So users can process large files and access data more quickly.
Bandwidth is the rate at which data passes between two devices. The larger your bandwidth, the faster you can ‘digest’ larger files. Wave 1 Wireless uses 20, 40, and 80-MHz bonded channels in 5-GHz bandwidth. Wave 2 Wireless uses 160-MHz on the same bandwidth. For large organizations, larger bandwidth means better device support with better overall Wi-Fi performance. Adding bandwidth is sort of like adding extra lanes on a highway. The more lanes (channels) there are, the more people can get where they need to go.
Wave 1 Wireless was created largely with laptops in mind. It uses SU-MIMO, meaning multiple streams of data can only be sent between one device at a time.
Wave 2, on the other hand, has multi-user MIMO capabilities. This makes it more suitable for the demands of mobile devices. That’s because a wireless connection can be used to support dozens of devices. Even if they all need a high-bandwidth connection. These devices will also be able to get on and off of the wireless network more easily. Such advantages are especially useful in a business or university setting. In summary, Wave 2 offers faster speeds, increased bandwidth, the ability to use more devices on a single network.
Specs and capabilities of the APX 320
The APX 320 is much faster than its predecessor, the AP 55. Max Throughput is 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
The inter-connectedness of the Sophos APX 320 gives you excellent visibility into wireless health, not to mention synchronized security. And it has rogue AP detection for additional security. This is an excellent access point for budget-sensitive projects with basic connectivity requirements.
Who’s the APX 320 a good fit for?
It is well suited for small to medium sized businesses. A single APX 320 would be very good for a two story home or a small cafe.