The wireless segment has been heavily impacted by the current global component shortages and all vendors are experiencing longer lead times, not only for access points but also for the Wi-Fi chips and components included in other products, such as firewalls. We expect this situation to continue to be challenging over the coming months.
With less than a year to go until the legacy AP Series end-of-life (EOL) date on March 31, 2023, we want to provide you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to help you and your customers plan your next Wi-Fi upgrade.
This EOL information refers to all AP 15, AP 55, and AP 100 models, all older AP Series have already reached their EOL date. Please check the retirement calendar for further details.
Will my AP Series stop working on the EOL date?
You can rest assured that we will not flick a switch on March 31, 2023, which stops all AP Series from working. However, at some point after the EOL date, we will do a software release for each platform which will remove management support for these products. The behavior of the products after those software releases will differ by platform.
Our plans as to what happens on which platform and when are dependent upon a few things, which prevent us from providing exact dates at this time:
- The supply chain situation can impact the schedule for any hardware project.
- The release of our future Wi-Fi 6 access points, for which a project is currently underway.
- Software release dates on each platform are dependent upon multiple factors.
We fully understand that you and your customers need advance notice to be able to ensure that critical Wi-Fi infrastructure is not interrupted, and we will contact you and any affected customers in advance with further details and date estimates as soon as they are available and will also publish that information on the Partner News blog.
Please note: Should you continue to use a product after the EOL date, you do so at your own risk. Every effort should be made to migrate to a supported access point.
How will my AP Series be impacted after the EOL date?
Our plans for each platform once we remove support are as follows:
Sophos Central (Sophos Wireless – cloud-managed)
Some of the information below may still be subject to change, but we plan to use a phased approach to help you transition.
- A few months before the EOL date: a banner will be shown under Wireless in Sophos Central to alert admins to the upcoming EOL date.
- At the EOL date: access points will continue to function for some time but changes to the configuration will no longer be possible and the AP will not be visible in Sophos Central. Usage data, alerts, or other communication from the AP will not be provided or will not be shown in the user interface. Access points will no longer receive software updates.
- After the EOL date: customers who continue to use their access points do so at their own risk, as EOL products are not supported and the uninterrupted operation is not guaranteed.
Sophos Firewall OS (XG Series only)
The current expectation is that the latest maintenance release (MR) as of March 2023 will be the last firmware version to include management of the EOL access points, however, this is subject to change.
- A few months before the EOL date: a banner will be shown under Wireless Protection in the user interface to alert admins to the upcoming EOL date.
- After the final software release: access points managed in SFOS will no longer be visible and can no longer be managed.
AP Series access points are not supported on XGS Series hardware.
Sophos UTM (SG Series)
There is currently no schedule for any changes to AP Series support in Sophos UTM.
When is Sophos going to introduce Wi-Fi 6 access points?
A project is currently underway to develop our next generation of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points. The new model line-up will include four indoor models and one outdoor model.
As these new access points will come with several changes, such as different management options to the current models, we will provide further information in a dedicated post in the coming months.
Based on the current schedule, we expect the early access program to begin in the latter part of 2022 to start shipping the first models by early next year.
While we want to provide you with as much information as possible, all date estimates are subject to change at this early stage in the project and further updates will be provided.
Our plans for the AP Series end-of-life changes on any platform will be carefully considered to ensure the maximum amount of notice and minimal disruption for you and your customers. We also aim to have an alternative product in good supply available before we make any changes.