I've played with a load of WiFi access points; from my very first Zyxel 802.11b access point, with its dorky associated PCMCIA card, to the latest/greatest Apple base station, most AP's haven't really differentiated themselves. Off hand, I can think of Proxim, Cisco, Orinoco, Xirrus, Colubris, Ruckus, Linksys, Netgear, Billion, D-Link, TP-Link & Belkin to name a few brands I've had the (dis)pleasure of directly configuring.
Only four stand out, for different reasons.
- Proxim, for having the most awesome WiFi meshing, going back more than 8 years. Although you had to connect to each one to configure them, wired or wireless was irrelevant; they would discover each other and backhaul over 5GHz and serve clients over 2GHz, with a single unified SSID. They were almost perfect, except for the price, which was about R5k at the time
- Linksys, for having the most long-range device, the WAG54G. Solid, dependable, boring as sin but rock solid and worked well in almost any environment
- Billion, for unarguably having the most rubbish radios and range, and being so unreliable that they're as good as useless
- Apple, for having the most expensive and least functional devices on the planet. Other than that you can configure them from an iOS device, there is absolutely nothing redeeming about these AP's. Repeat, there is nothing redeeming about Apple AP's as WiFi devices
- Do you want to allow guests (i.e. an open network), and if so, what do you want to limit their traffic to ?
- Do you want to allow guests to have a premium service ? If so, what are your Paypal details and what rate limit would you like them to have ?
- Do you want to run a 2nd "private" SSID and bridge it to your LAN ?