WiFi Design Q&A

Planning your Aruba Instant On network

How to setup your Aruba Instant On Access Points?

What do I need before I start?

  • An internet connection – you need this to register and onboard your Instant On devices via the cloud-based Instant On mobile app or web-based portal, or from the web-based GUI.
  • Your router
  • Power for your APs

What is an Access Point?

What is an AP?

Do the Access Points (APs) need power?

Yes. There are different ways you would provide power to each AP:

  • via Power Adapter plugged into a power point; or
  • via PoE [Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that enables Ethernet cables to function as power cords, at the same time as they are functioning as Ethernet cables] which means you’d use either:
    • a midspan (PoE) injector; or
    • you have a PoE switch and you are connecting the AP to the switch. The power is provided over the ethernet cable.

Do I need a Switch or do I just need Access Points?

You can plug the Access Point directly into your existing router and get started.

You would need a switch if your router doesn’t have enough ports for shared devices that you want to plug in and be able to access over your WiFi network e.g. Printers, Scanners, TVs, IP cameras, VoIP phones.

You need a PoE Switch if you want to power your devices over ethernet.

Why would I use a PoE Switch?

Power over Ethernet. Allows a single ethernet cable to provide both data connection and electric power to devices such as access points, IP cameras or VoIP phones. This means that you don’t need to have an additional power plug for each device.

Less need for plug points = More flexibility when you are deciding where to place your Access Points for optimised signal.

Which Switch do I need?

This will depend on a few factors:

  • Your Port Needs (number of ports): the number of access points and wired devices (printer, cameras, televisions etc.) that you will need to connect to the switch now and in the foreseeable future
  • Your Performance Requirements: consider the applications being used, the amount of traffic each device will generate, peak network usage requirements and the quality of service you would like the users to experience. Some apps are more bandwidth intensive and/or latency sensitive than others and when you have many users connecting this can matter.

Pop us an email at sales@greatwifi.co.za with an idea of what you need your WiFi to do and we will happily help you sift through the options.

Do I need to run ethernet cables between APs or my Switch and APs?

Ideally yes. Where you can, install as much of your network with cables running between your APs and or/APs and Switch. Why? This will reduce the signal interference that emanates from various sources in all environments, thus making your Wifi network more efficient.

There are many scenarios where you won’t be able to run cables. This is why Aruba developed Smart Mesh. All that absolutely needs to be connected is your original Access Point to your router (this can be done with the ethernet cable that comes in your box). From there if you have more to add, you can connect via Smart Mesh.

How to Set up your network

  • If you are using a switch: Connect your Switch to your router using an ethernet cable. Then connect (at least) one AP to your switch via an ethernet cable. Depending on where your switch is located relative to where you would like your AP situated, you may need a longer ethernet cable for this purpose.
  • If you are using only APs: Connect one AP to your router using the ethernet cable supplied in the box. This is now your Base AP. Depending on where your router is located relative to where you would like your AP situated, you may need a longer ethernet cable for this purpose.
  • Place your other APs where coverage is needed .
    The APs come with various mounting options in the box, choose what works for you.
  • Where possible, hard-wire your APs, i.e. run cables between the APs and/or your switch.
    This eliminates interference over the network, giving you better signal strength.
  • Plug in your APs
  • If you have a PoE switch, then running the ethernet cable to the AP will provide the power;
  • If you aren’t using a PoE switch, then power using a power supply plugged into a power point
  • Download the mobile app
  • Create password, set up your network
  • To add more APs, select “Add new device” – APs detected by Bluetooth
  • Extend the network to other APs – with or without wires
  • With mobile app, click “extend over-the-air or using a cable”

Unboxing Video

What security is built in?

  • Secure by design. Aruba Instant On uses the HPE Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chipset on all AP hardware to ensure that no one can compromise the access point, change its boot-up software, or impersonate or disable the AP. The TPM secure chipset is used to strongly authenticate the APs and the cloud before they communicate with each other. If any security vulnerabilities are discovered, the APs will automatically update their own firmware.
  • Secure cloud communications. APs establish a secure connection with the Aruba Instant On cloud platform, and all communication is encrypted using SSL/TLS. The mobile app and web browser used for management also communicate securely with the cloud management platform using HTTPS, protected by account credentials provided by the user.
  • Strong authentication. Aruba Instant On uses WPA3, the latest security available. It supports a secured open, robust encryption key exchange and the highest grade encryption. That means you can be confident that all users and devices on your Wi-Fi are legitimately there, and communications remain private.
  • Block unsolicited traffic from the Internet. Aruba Instant On APs come with a built-in firewall that can block any unwanted or unsolicited traffic coming in from the Internet to keep malicious hackers at bay.
  • Disallow undesired traffic categories. Aruba Instant On APs have a built-in deep packet inspection (DPI) engine and firewall to offer you visibility into the different application and website categories that users on each of the networks are accessing. Not only this, you have the ability to block one or more traffic types. For example, a primary school may decide to block access to adult content from within the school premises.
  • Quickly block malicious activity. Wireless devices can be blacklisted, so that a user device can be kicked off the network and will be blocked if it tries to rejoin.
  • Simple, secure guest access. You can easily set up guest access, providing legal coverage for your business about the proper usage of the network. Guest traffic stays separate from employee or business traffic. Aruba Instant On automatically sets up different virtual LANs, ensuring that guest and employee traffic are completely isolated. You can even set up different employee networks, so for instance, payment transactions or confidential departmental traffic is isolated.
  • Control Wi-Fi usage. You can control when employees and guests use the network too, so you can prevent people from using the Wi-Fi outside of business hours. It’s easy to limit usage (and your business liability) based on time of day.
  • Great user experience. Many Wi-Fi products struggle when it comes to phone calls and video chats, and that’s frustrating for everyone. With Instant On, Wi-Fi voice applications are automatically prioritized, so that people have a good experience on conference calls and video chats. In addition, you can also set bandwidth limits to restrict usage of streaming video, for example, or prevent criminals from flooding your network with unwanted traffic.

Do I pay for security updates?

N.O. spells No.

What support is available?

Aruba Instant On Limited Lifetime Support provides 24X7 phone support for the first 90 days and chat support for the entire warranty period. Community support is included for the life of the product.

How is the Aruba Instant On solution configured and managed?

To quickly configure, monitor and manage Aruba Instant On access points and 1930 switches you can use either the cloud-based Aruba Instant On mobile app and web-based portal (https://portal.ArubaInstantOn.com), or manage locally through the web-based GUI. These tools allow configuration, monitoring and management of multiple sites, multiple networks, distributed deployments and multi-tenant deployments. The site inventory feature on the Instant On mobile app shows all connected Instant On switches and access points on a single screen, allowing identification of non functioning devices for quick troubleshooting.

What are the advantages of cloud-based management mode?

  • Simplified switch setup for most network environments
  • Same management for both Instant On switches and for Instant On wireless (access points)
  • Remote management from cloud-based administration

When might a locally-managed web GUI management interface be preferred?

You might prefer this if:

  • you have experience with configuring OfficeConnect smart managed switches in the past; or
  • you would like to access to some advanced management features unavailable with cloud-based management; or
  • you require replication of configurations for larger networks or multi-site networks

Can HPE OfficeConnect switches be managed by the Instant On management platform?

HPE OfficeConnect switches are managed by HPE OfficeConnect local web GUI only and cannot be managed by Aruba Instant On management modes (cloud-based Instant On mobile app and web-based portal or local web GUI).

Can Instant On 1930 Switch Series and HPE OfficeConnect switches be combined within a single deployment?

Yes. Both will still work but will have separate management dashboards. Instant On switches will be managed by Instant On management portals whereas OfficeConnect switches will be managed by OfficeConnect local web GUI. If you are going this route, drop us a line and we will put you in touch with our partners. They can assist you in developing your network solution.