The APX 320X has already been available since September 2020, yet the AP 100X was still available for purchase. Sophos has now announced the end of sale date due to “supply shortages”. In our view, this is a somewhat special reason to discontinue a 7-year-old access point. In this article, we take a closer look at Sophos’s explanation and find out whether the APX 320X can really completely convince as a successor.
AP 100X – The first outdoor access point from Sophos
The AP 100X was introduced in August 2014 as the first outdoor access point from Sophos and is now compatible with the UTM OS, SFOS and Central. At the same time, he is the last survivor of the AP series. This is because the indoor access points were discontinued on March 31, 2020.
The reason why the AP 100X did not also go end-of-sale with the indoor access points was because there was no successor at that time. Only in September 2020 the APX 320X was launched as a new outdoor access point, but the AP 100X remained on offer, for which there was a legitimate reason, which I will resolve a little later in this article.
For now, however, here is the important data on how things are going with the AP 100X:
- End-of-Sale: August 1, 2021 (only remaining stocks)
- Final Renewal (Sophos Central): March 31, 2022
- End of support: September 30, 2022
- End-of-life: March 31, 2023
- Successor product: APX 320X
Strange end-of-sale justification
Regarding the discontinuation of the AP 100X, Sophos writes the following statement:
“Our Outdoor Access Point AP 100X, which has been available for several years, is now affected by the current supply bottlenecks – reliable availability of individual components that meet our requirements can no longer be guaranteed. We are therefore forced to announce the end-of-sale for the AP 100X and will only sell the model while stocks last. We are trying our best to deliver as many additional access points as possible. Still, the access points still available in some regions may sell out as early as August.”
The reason for taking the AP 100X out of the product range due to “supply shortages” sounds a bit ironic. So if there were no supply bottlenecks, do you continue to produce a 7-year-old access point from 2014? 😅 If you take a closer look at the data for the APX 320X, there was actually still a decisive reason to resell the AP 100X so far.
The big disadvantage of the APX 320X
At first glance, the APX 320X offers some advantages over the AP 100X:
- 40 % cheaper
- 802.11 ac Wave 2
- Wide range of accessories
Looking a bit closer, there is unfortunately one major drawback to the APX 320X, which calls Sophos’s access point strategy into question a bit. The APX 320X is only compatible with Central and cannot be used with the SFOS or UTM operating system!
Anyone who thinks that Sophos will soon support the APX 320X on the SFOS or UTM via a software update is very much mistaken. Sophos writes the following in the AP 100X end-of-sale announcement:
“Any plans to add support for APX 320X in Sophos Firewall or Sophos UTM (SG) are currently suspended.”
Sophos has a product on the market, the firewall, which is clearly the heart of any network. The switches, which will be available at the end of the year, will expand the portfolio in the network segment. The switches are an absolutely logical step.
However, if you look at today’s networks, more and more devices are connected via WLAN. On this front, Sophos weakens a lot in my opinion and it feels like the wireless division is just a hobby project. Here are a few reasons why I come to this conclusion:
- For over 6 months, the APX 320 X has not received support for the SFOS or UTM. However, you have to take into account that the APX 310X Outdoor Access Point is not sold very often.
- New notebooks and smartphones have supported Wi-Fi 6 since the end of 2019, and other manufacturers already offer Wi-Fi 6 access points.
- There have been no new wireless features for Central Wireless or Sophos Firewall for months.
One thing is clear, many of our customers love the simplicity and integration of the Sophos Wireless solution. The APX indoor access points are a perfect match for the Sophos firewall and are also wonderfully manageable behind the RED. Nevertheless, there are quite a few customers who, in view of the XGS Firewall would have to replace all access points of the AP series. The new XGS firewalls only support APX access points. Unfortunately, it is also no longer possible to use Sophos Central to manage the AP series, as the licenses are EoS. An extra firewall for WLAN management is probably not a viable solution either.
In any case, we are very curious to see how Sophos will tackle the wireless issue in the future and will keep you up to date as always.