Wireless connectivity is fast becoming the ideal medium through which internet service providers deploy internet services to clients, and Mikrotik is at the heart of this. Mikrotik provides high-powered, yet cost-effective 5GHz out-door wireless radios to ISPs and individuals needing connectivity between two or more locations as well as to the internet. Two of the mostly used router boards for point to point or point to multi-point are the RB411 and RB433. In this post, we will look at what set them apart.
While both router boards can be used for wireless connectivity, the type of link being deployed will, to some extent, depend on the board in use. Lets look at the router boards and their capabilities:
Router board four hundred series with one wireless interface and an ethernet interface is designed with a powerful Atheros CPU capable of running your wireless link. It is designed with cost and and size in mind; small enough to fit into a small CPE casing.
The RB411 router board is licensed for level 3, making it unsuitable for Point to Multi-point configuration. For a wireless radio to be used as access point to broadcast to multiple stations, the mode has to be set to AP and this unfortunately, is not possible for a level 3 licensed router board. However, it can be used for point to point links by setting the wireless mode to bridge and enabling wireless distribution system (WDS) and as station.
Another thing to look out for when using RB411 is the number of supported hotspot users. If you intend setting up user authentication via hotspot on the router board, then RB411 is obviously not the device for you since it only supports 1 hotspot user at a time. Users can get around this by quickly upgrading their license level to 4 and above but with a RAM of 32MB is it a wise move?
Router board four hundred series with three wireless interfaces and three ethernet interfaces, is a rugged yet small device that can conveniently fit into a CPE case, making it easy for deployment.
The device is licensed at level 4, making it convenient for point to point and point to multi-point configurations. The license level also qualifies it for up to 200 hotspot users at a time with a RAM size of 64MB. Using the RB433 router board with an omini-directional antenna, network engineers can deploy multiple access points in one CPE case, each with its unique SSID and frequency. Unlike virtual APs, this setup gives higher throughput since each wireless link operates on its own frequency.
In conclusion, apart from the license level, number of supported wireless and ethernet interfaces, and RAM size, both devices have the same storage size (64MB), same number of processor cores (1), same CPU (AR7130), and same CPU nominal frequency (300 MHz) but different price tags. While the RB411 costs about $49, the RB433 can be purchased for $99
Ashioma Michael, a BSc (Computer Science)., MTCNA, CCNA, and CCNP holder with many years of industry-proven experience in network design, implementation and optimization. He has tutored and guided many professionals towards obtaining their Cisco certifications. Mike works as a senior network engineer with one of the leading internet service providers in West Africa.