Cisco access point for work from home and hotel rooms

Last updated on July 22nd, 2021

Cisco access point models with entry level (2×2) radios for work from home employees, hotel room WiFi, small branch office, SOHO, dormitories, multi-dwelling units and other such room-type light use cases will be discussed in this article.

About Cisco Systems, Inc

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is a global leader in wired and wireless networking products and was founded in 1984 in San Francisco, USA. Cisco is the current market leader in the Enterprise WLAN market with about 44.4% revenue share in 1st quarter of 2021 as per IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker 1Q21.

Cisco acquired WiFi startup Meraki in 2012 in an all-cash deal. Meraki was involved in producing cloud-managed networking devices, targeted at small and medium enterprises. Cisco has retained the Meraki brand though the Access Points are now branded only as Cisco.

Cisco Systems has a wide range of reliable WLAN solutions. They have built a solid portfolio of indoor Enterprise WiFi access point models in WiFi 6 standard on top of their existing indoor and outdoor WiFi 5 line that are renowned for their performance and stability. They have solutions from entry level 2-stream radios that are useful for single rooms and small enterprise WiFi, upto heavy-duty 12-stream 9130AX for very dense Enterprise usage. They have also launched their outdoor WiFi 6 access point models with rugged features.

Features of Cisco Access Point Models For Rooms

Wall Plate and Desktop Form Factor

The room access point should be designed to be placed on a desktop or to be easily mounted on a wall. This is important because remote workers at home can not be expected to ceiling mount the access point as it will be an added inconvenience to them. Employees with any level technical knowledge should be able to quickly unbox and place the Wifi access point at a convenient location.


Cisco access point 1815t desktop
Cisco 1815t Desktop AP image (Courtesy of Cisco Systems,Inc. Unauthorized use not permitted)

Wall mounting option will be needed for hotel room and dormitory use cases. Placing the WiFi access point on the desk will not be advisable, especially in hotel rooms. It will not be safe for the device as there could be liquid spillages. Kids may also play with the AP if it will easily accessible on the table. Guests may also try to handle the AP and use the available LAN ports for their other devices. To avoid such issues, wall mounting becomes important as the access point can remain at a safe distance on the wall but also provide access to LAN ports for the hotel staff or users to safely connect Ethernet devices.

Cisco access point models comes in both desktop and wall plate form factors. Ceiling mount options are also available if users don’t need access to LAN ports.

Easy to install at home

For work from home cases, an employee without any advanced technical knowledge should be able to  install the WiFi access point. Anyone should be able to easily unbox and connect the AP to their existing home broadband connection and finish the installation. If unavoidable, there should only be some basic typing and clicking on their computer to finish the set-up.

This is important because people from different age groups with varying degrees of technical knowledge will be working from home. And the IT team cannot guide potentially hundreds of workers for installing their WiFi access points.

Most Cisco access point room WAP models come with OEAP (OfficeExtend Access Point) feature that allows for easy and secure connection of the remote access points with the main corporate office servers. This feature helps remote employees to get office WiFi SSID at home and also get secure access to corporate resources without the hassle of complex network set-up.

>Related Post< Aruba Work From Home Remote Access Points

Multiple Ethernet ports

For work-from-home, dormitories and other residential type users, there should be enough ports in the WiFi access point to connect other electronic devices like IP phones, IPTVs, Desktop Computers, IP Monitors, CCTVs etc. In hotel rooms there will be requirements to connect analog/ IP Phones, IPTVs etc.

For handling these additional devices it will be useful if the access point itself has inbuilt LAN ports so that the end-users need not have to buy any additional switching equipment. It will be easy for network maintenance as well since there will be only 1 device for connecting all the cables to. Troubleshooting will also be quick. An additional switching device will just add to the inventory and administration overheads.

Wall plate and desktop models of Cisco Access Point come equipped with multiple Ethernet ports for connecting additional devices.

Entry-level radios

Hospitality room APs may have to serve 5 or 6 devices at the most. A simple radio configuration like a 2×2:2 dual band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz concurrent) will be more than enough to service this requirement. Low-end radio configuration also keeps the costs down. SU-MIMO radios will be more than enough. MU-MIMO access points will cost more.

For a single user, a 2×2 radio AP will suffice as most laptops, tablets and mobiles come fitted with 1×1 or 2×2 WiFi radios. MU-MIMO may not be needed for home enterprise users but will be handy if more devices are connected by power users.

Cisco Access Point models for room usage come aptly equipped with 2×2 radios. SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO features are both available in different models and customers can choose their AP based on their specific need.

Pass through port

Pass through port is not switched by the device. The AP just simply passes the electric signals through this port without any processing . It is just like a cable passing through the access point from back to the front or vice-versa. This pass-through port is handy when any external network needs to pass through the access point for convenience sake.

For example, an analog phone cable can terminate behind the access point into the rear pass-through port. And another patch cable can terminate to the bottom pass-through port and connect to the analog phone on the table. In this case, the analog telephone cable and ethernet cable can be conveniently run through the same conduit and terminate at the rear of the access point.

Another use case is when the access point needs to be powered through an easily accessible Ethernet port. In this case, the PoE cable can terminate at the bottom pass-through port that will be easily accessible to the end-user. The rear pass-through port and Ethernet port should be bridged for passing the power to the rear Ethernet port and powering the AP.

Wall plate Cisco Access Point models that are specifically designed for hotel room usage comes equipped with pass-through ports.

Multiple powering options of room Cisco access point

For hotel rooms, the access points should have the ability to be powered through Ethernet ports using PoE switches. This helps to streamline the AP management as individual power adapters will not be required to power the access points from electric sockets in the rooms. This will also help to save up an electric socket for room users.

For work from home users, the WiFi access point MUST have powering option through direct AC/DC port as PoE powering cannot be expected in many homes. AC/DC port will help the home users to easily  power-up the WiFi access point from their regular electric sockets.

Cisco access point desktop model for home users have AC/DC powering option. All other models have PoE powering options. An additional power injector will be required in case they are used at home.

IoT/USB ports and modules

The access point need not have USB ports/ IoT modules etc unless the hotel has plans for IoT applications like guest room management systems. If there are no such current or future plans, then IoT modules with BLE/Zigbee radios may not be required in the access points. Such access points can be avoided as IoT based AP models will cost more than non-IoT types.

Though most of the Cisco access point models have BLE radios, some select low cost models do not have them.

Security of Cisco access point models

Authentication of employees should be quick, simple and seamless. Secure VPN tunnel should be easily established from a corporate wireless controller to the remote access point. AP control and data traffic will flow between the controller and remote access point through this IPSec tunnel. This will help the employee to use all the Enterprise services including VoIP, just like an user sitting in the office.

Internet bound traffic can be directed to the local ISP of the user so that VPN throughputs can be maintained. Any other integrated IP traffic monitoring and filtering solutions like firewalls and intrusion prevention solutions would help to further secure the data.

Cisco access point 1815i
Cisco 1815i with OEAP image (Courtesy of Cisco Systems,Inc. Unauthorized use not permitted)

Cisco access point models for teleworker and work-from-home usage comes equipped with OEAP feature that quickly secures the remote connectivity. OEAP (OfficeExtend Access Point) feature transports the office WLAN to employee homes where they can use their office WiFi SSID and other corporate resources, just like being in office. “The user’s experience at the home office is exactly the same as it would be at the corporate office”. An employee just has to plug a pre-configured OEAP access point to home broadband connection.

Central control of WiFi access points

The APs should have a central management center like a controller which can be used to monitor and manage the access points. This is important because a big hotel may have many hundreds of room access points. Managing them from a central console through a single pane of glass will be much easier and quicker, especially during AP deployment and also for troubleshooting purposes.

Cisco access point models designed for room usage can be managed through many different types of centralized controllers, including special mobile apps, virtual controllers and hardware controllers. Cisco Meraki WiFi access point models can be controlled using their cloud controllers.

Cost effective

A large organization could be spending on hundreds or thousands of access points for their work from home employees. Similarly, in the case of hotels there could be hundreds of rooms where WiFi access would be needed. With entry level radios and light features, the room access points cannot carry a high price tag.

Cisco room access point models provide value for money with their budget prices and world class features and security.

Cisco access point room AP comparison table

Cisco has a number of options for room AP in ceiling, wall mounting and desktop form factors. The below table showcases all the options that are available in WiFi 5 and the latest feature-rich WiFi 6 standard.

The below Cisco access point models should be short-listed for light, room type indoor use cases. They should not be chosen for user-dense offices or for outdoor locations.

Cisco Access Point Room WAP Models

 Business 140AC/ 145ACMeraki MR30H1815t / 1815w1815i / 1815m9105 AXI / 9105AXW
WiFi StandardWiFi 5WiFi 5WiFi 5WiFi 5WiFi 6
Mounting140AC: Ceiling;

145AC: Wall
Wall1815t - Desktop
1815w - Wall
Ceiling9105 AXI -Ceiling
9105 AXW - Wall
5 GHz: 2x2:2
2.4GHz: 2x2:2
5 GHz: 2x2:2
2.4GHz: 2x2:2
5 GHz: 2x2:2
2.4GHz: 2x2:2
5 GHz: 2x2:2
2.4GHz: 2x2:2
5 GHz: 2x2:2
2.4GHz: 2x2:2
Dual 5GNoNoNoNoNo
Dedicated RF
Analytics Radio
No1x Dual BandNoNoNo
MU-MIMO radios,
WPA-3, 4xGE Ports
Dedicated RF
radio, Integrated
OEAP(1815w)/ Real-time service extender(1815t)/ Cisco User Defined
Network(Through Cisco DNA)
User Defined
Network(Through Cisco DNA)
Fast Lane(Apple) /
Intelligent Capture/
Container support (IoT)
Cisco DNA support
Antennas2 x Internal
2 x Internal
2 x Internal
2 x Internal
2 x Internal
2.4 GHz
2 dBi3.7 dBi224 dBi (AXI)
3 dBi (AXW)
5 GHz
140AC: 4 dBi ;

145AC: 3 dBi
4.8 dBi345
2.4 GHz Max
Data Rate
in Mbps
300 (2SSHT40)
400 (2SSVHT40)
300 (2SSHT40)300 (2SSHT40)287 (2SSHE20)
5 GHz Max
Data Rate
in Mbps
867 (2SSVHT80)
866 (2SSVHT80)
867 (2SSVHT80)867 (2SSVHT80)1200 (2SSHE80)
WPA3, 802.1xL7 Firewall,
(Air Marshal)
WPA2, 802.1x
WPA3, 802.1xWPA3, 802.1xWPA3, 802.1x
Ethernet Ports140AC: 1xGE ;

4xGE (Includes 1xPSE-PoE(af)
1xGE Uplink
4xGE LAN Ports
(1 with PoE Out)
4xGE [1x PSE-PoE(af) out] ;
(LAN1-PSE-PoEaf out)
1xGE9105 AXI: 1xGE ;
9104 AXW:
3xGE LAN (LAN1-PSE-PoEaf out)
1x Console PortNo1815w:
1x4Pin Console
1xRJ45 Console
1x48V DC Port
(with power on/off button)
1xRJ45 Console9105 AXI:
1xRJ45 Console ;
9105 AXW:
1xRJ-45 Console
Power Input140AC: 802.3af ;

802.3af- No PSE-PoE out, 802.3at- Fully functional
802.3at-PoE out
802.3af- No PoE out
802.3af- No PSE Out
802.3at-Fully Functional ;
802.3af - DC Input only
802.3af9105 AXI: 802.3af ;
9105 AXW:
802.3af- No USB & No PSE out,
802.3at- No USB OR No PSE out
AP ManagementCisco Business Mobile AppMeraki CloudCisco Mobility Express
HW Controllers ;
HW Controllers
Cisco Mobility Express
HW Controllers
Virtual WC
Hardware controllers
Operational Temperature32-104°F32-104°F32-104°F32-104°F32-122°F
Non condensing
Non condensing
brings a full slate of Cisco high-performance functionality to in-room or office deploymentsDesigned for next-generation deployments in hotel rooms, university residences, and other multi-dwelling unit1815w:
With a sleek design and small form factor, the Cisco Aironet 1815w Access Point brings a full slate of Cisco high-performance functionality to multiple-dwelling-unit deployments ;
The 1815t supports highly secure access to corporate data and personal connectivity for teleworkers’ home devices, with segmented home traffic
Ideal for small and medium-sized networks,1815i Access Point brings a full slate of Cisco high-performance functionality ;
the 1815m can penetrate walls and doors, making it ideal for deployment in hotels, dorm rooms etc.
perfect for networks of all sizes, the Catalyst 9105 Access Points scale to meet the growing demands of IoT while fully supporting the latest innovations and new technologies.


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