Networks

Netgear Looks To SMBs With Dual-Band Access Point

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Netgear is offering a new dual band access point for companies dealing with remote offices and a mobile workforce

Netgear has launched dual band wireless-N access point for the SMB sector, designed to help them to cope with a mobile workspace.

Like other units in the ProSafe range, the ProSafe WNDAP350 looks to deliver the performance required for applications that require additional bandwidth, such as voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing and cloud-based applications.

The metal case is plenum-rated for placement above drop-down ceilings and includes an anti-theft Kensington lock slot. Factory-optimised, internal 6 dBi antennas covered by the enclosure offer both a cleaner look and enhance RF performance. Its antenna take-offs also enable an optional accessory antenna attachment for 2.4GHz operation and integrated 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) eliminates extra cables.

With support for industry standard Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), the ProSafe access point offers comprehensive network management by any standards-based network management software. It can also be managed and configured using the ProSafe Control Center browser-based interface. Additionally, the product secures the wireless network with a broad set of features, including WPA, WPA2, rogue AP detection and 802.1x with RADIUS support.

“It is a very well built and extremely stable unit that has been easy to configure and use,” said Chris Hemmings, managing director of Penguin Internet Ltd, a web hosting specialist. “We have not had a single lock up or needed to restart it at any time. We’ve also experienced excellent range, speed and throughput. In fact, this Netgear access point has by far the best range we have tested on any unit. It truly is excellent value.”

Netgear said the ProSafe Wireless-N Dual-Band Access Point is optimal for deployment of wireless over large areas with support for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint bridging with Wireless Distribution System (WDS). With concurrent operation in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands, this dual-band access point is capable of delivering up to 15 times the speed and 10 times the coverage of 802.11a- and 802.11g-based networks, the company said, and avoids interference from 802.11b and 802.11g network devices while operating in the 5GHz radio band.

Netgear argues this makes the access point ideal for maximum wireless throughput, supporting bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming video and VoIP. The appliance is also backwards compatible with existing legacy 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g network devices.

“In order to drive greater efficiency and reduce operating expenses, businesses are increasingly enabling mobility, cloud services and virtualisation within their networks,” said Salah Nassar, Netgear’s product line manager for wireless and accessories. “These new applications, including VoIP, outsourced applications like Salesforce.com and even video conferencing require more powerful wireless LAN technology in order to support them.”

“These applications need more bandwidth, and the wireless networks need to have greater range so users remain connected within the office environment,” Nassar said. “The WNDAP350 delivers this support as well as the enterprise-class features necessary for a true business environment. This means top-of-the-line performance, longer reach, full security and robust design at an exceptional price/performance for the SMB.”

The product is available for $429 (£258) through Netgear resellers and is backed by a lifetime warranty.