Zyxel Cuts Wi-Fi Cost By Ditching Controllers


APs that double as controllers make Wi-Fi cheaper for smaller firms

Network vendor Zyxel has taken an axe to the cost of Wi-Fi by launching an 802.11n access point that can double as a Wi-Fi controller. 

Wi-Fi has been gaining popularity as a replacement for wired connections in offices, but the controller appliances used by companies like Cisco and Aruba have made it expensive in larger spaces where multiple access points have to be configured and managed.

Aruba cut the cost of that type of installation earlier this week, with a low-cost access point aimed at enterprises. Zyxel has launched a £226 access point aimed at small businesses, which effectively does away with the need for a controller at all.

The product – which eWEEK Europe has reviewed – does not provide all the functions of a fully managed controller-based system, but the individual access points are cheaper than thin APs from enterprise-class vendors.

Zyxel will continue to sell its existing controller-based system, the NXC-8160, which is made by Extricom, and uses a “channel blanket”. That is a distinct product with its own benefits, said Hugh Simpson, Zyxel’s technical director for the UK.

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