2700 vs 2800: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

2700 vs 2800: Should You Stay or Should You Go?
By Nate Hock, Product Engineer
The Clash asked the question in their 80s classic, Should I Stay or Should I Go?  How often do we ask ourselves that same questions when it comes to wireless equipment? Upgrade? Stick it out? Let me ask you this, Clash vocalist Joe Strummer, if I should go then how far should that be?
In Cisco wireless, we have options. N, AC, Waves, Antennae, Multigig. Which way is the right way? Well that really depends on you.
Rather than boil this down to AC wave 1 versus wave 2, let’s talk more about the Cisco 2702 versus the 2802. Certainly wave 1 and wave 2 come into the argument but let’s talk specs.

The bottom line

For starters? 5ghz physical data rate. Marketing specs tell us 1.3Gbps for the 2702, but the 2802 has a whopping 5Gbps as its number. Sheesh. That’s a spicy meatball. However, bear in mind that the 2802 only has two 1gb ports on it. So, you wouldn't even see half of that speed. If you want to get technical, with overhead and environment you wouldn’t see it anyway – but, I digress.
Bottom line? The 2802 has more bandwidth. Thank you AC Wave 2.
The 2702 is also 3x4:3 standard MIMO (single-user), while the 2802 is 4x4:3 with multiuser MIMO. Again, thank you AC Wave 2. Remember though that for multiuser MIMO to work, both the AP and the client device have to be capable of it. That aside, the 2802 is potentially better at the crowded wireless space you may be up against.
Long ago coverage was king. It was what we planned for. Now? Its almost always about saturation. Too many clients. – which is not a SNEAKERS reference, unfortunately. You know what? This is my blog post. Let it be so. 


Equal ghz for all

Lastly, the smart antenna connector is something available on the 2802E, not on the 2802I. This gives the 2802E more capability over the 2702. So what?
The 4 antennas on the AP will no longer have to be split between the 2.4 and 5ghz bands. Instead, this allows a smart connector antenna to be connected, making for an even 5ghz for all. This smart connector antenna can now be another 5ghz radio cell, OR be the 2.4ghz radio cell.
Cheers to more install flexibility with a variety of design considerations. However, I encourage you to read up on that before leveraging it.

With great power, comes great responsibility

So where does that leave us? Which is better? The 2802. Which is right for you? That depends on things like environment, budget, and whether you've been naughty or nice.
I’m fond of the expression "hunting with a howitzer is fun but it doesn't leave any meat." While it’s nice to have a super powerful wireless network it’s better to have one sized right for you. Besides, with great power…well you know the rest.