BYOD, one-to-one initiatives, and state testing. Whether it's officially mandated, or just something your boss dropped by to ask you to take care of, wireless is booming. The ability to access information from wherever we happen to be standing is no longer just the purview of Star Trek.
No longer is it all about coverage, now saturation has become one of our biggest hurdles. With that comes the need for more APs and usually an upgrade or replacement of the wireless controller.
That means more money. Less budget. Potentially a visit from Boba Fett. Jabba doesn't like smugglers that dump their spice shipments at the first sign of an Imperial inspection. So what do you do?
Do your homework.
In many cases newer wireless is adding bells and whistles you might not need. Or in the case of wireless AC over N, how many AC devices do you have currently in your environment? Can you take advantage of that added speed now? Or, will waiting on that upgrade make more sense if you stick with N?
Stretch your budget dollars.
Consider quality pre-owned wireless equipment. But there's that disembodied voice whispering, "Can I trust 'used' wireless?"
Good question. Quality is the key. With proper testing and quality processes and standards, you can get a lot of life out of pre-owned and with the right warranty and cost savings it's a no-brainer.
And remember... pre-owned doesn't always mean old! In the case of wireless there are many features that even older products still do very well. Controller-based advantages, for example, are still advantages to many networks that currently don't have them. Then there's central management, roaming, and security, to name a few. Consider saving money while still gaining these advantages even if it would lead to an upgrade in the next few years.
Here's the bottom line.
Anyone willing to look at less than cutting-edge and save some money will be a good fit for pre-owned wireless. Consult with a trusted advisor to help make choices and even describe differences between newer options and former generations. Make informed choices and reap the rewards of technologies that were perhaps once out of reach!
If you are interested in learning more about wireless networking, check out these resources:
Video: Wireless Controllers
Video: Wireless N Technology
Video: Wireless Radio Patterns
Video: Wireless Antennae Diversity