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End of Sale - AP 100X Outdoor Access Point
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End of Sale - AP 100X Outdoor Access Point

Patrizio - 23. Juli 2021

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 limitations". In our view, this is a somewhat special reason to discontinue a 7-year-old access point. In this article, we will take a closer look at Sophos' 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 Sophos' first outdoor access point and is now compatible with UTM OS, SFOS and Central. At the same time, it is the last survivor of the AP series. In fact, the indoor access points were discontinued from the product line 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. However, in September 2020, the APX 320X was launched as a new outdoor access point, but the AP 100X remained on sale, for which there was a legitimate reason, which I will resolve a little later in this article.

For now, here's the important data on what's next for the AP 100X:

  • End-of-Sale: 1st August 2021 (only remaining stocks)
  • Final Renewal (Sophos Central): March 31, 2022
  • End-of-Support: September 30, 2022
  • End-of-Life: March 31, 2023
  • Nachfolgeprodukt: 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 supply as many additional access points as possible. However, the remaining access points may be sold out in some regions as early as August."

The justification for taking the AP 100X out of the range due to "supply bottlenecks" sounds a bit ironic. So, if there were no supply bottlenecks, they would continue to produce a 7-year-old access point from 2014? 😅 If you take a closer look at the data on the APX 320X, there was actually still a decisive reason to resell the AP 100X until now.

The big drawback 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

Unfortunately, there is one major drawback to the APX 320X that calls Sophos's access point strategy into question. The APX 320X is still 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 in the end-of-sale notice of the AP 100X about this as follows:

"Any plans to add support for the APX 320X in Sophos Firewall or Sophos UTM (SG) are currently suspended."

Conclusion

With the firewall, Sophos has a product on the market that is clearly the heart of every network. With the switches, which will come at the end of the year, the portfolio in the network segment is expanded. 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 is a bit weak in my opinion, and it feels like the wireless space is just a hobby project. Here are a few reasons why I come to this conclusion:

  • For over 6 months, the APX 320X has not received any support for the SFOS or UTM. However, here you already have to consider that the APX 310X outdoor access point is not sold regularly.
  • Since the end of 2019, new notebooks and smartphones support Wi-Fi 6, and other manufacturers already offer Wi-Fi 6 access points.
  • There have been no new wireless features for Central Wireless or the 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 fit with the Sophos Firewall and are also wonderfully manageable behind a RED. However, there are more than a few customers who would need to replace all of their AP series access points regarding the XGS Firewall. This is because the new XGS firewalls only support the APX access points. Unfortunately, it is 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 topic in the future and, as always, will keep you up to date.

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