NETGEAR, a global networking company that delivers innovative products to businesses, consumers, and service providers, is launching two new quad-mode business-class 802.11ac wireless Access Points (AP) that support four different modes of management. The new ProSAFE WAC730 Business 3x3 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point and ProSAFE WAC720 Business 2x2 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point for small to mid-sized organizations (SMBs) are on view in Stand 20 of the IP EXPO Europe running today and tomorrow in the ExCeL London exhibition center.
The new ProSAFE Access Points currently operate in standalone mode or the new NETGEAR Ensemble Mode Management. Ensemble enables centralized configuration and management by the AP of up to 10 APs as a single group, without requiring additional hardware, licenses or support fees. This capability makes them a perfect solution for demanding, high-throughput environments, offering ultra-superior performance and extensive coverage in SMB, K-12, and hospitality deployments.
When used in larger deployments, these APs are also ready to support controller management as well as cloud management through NETGEAR Business Central, a cloud-based IT service platform. Support for both NETGEAR ProSAFE WC7600 and WC9500 Controllers and for Business Central is scheduled to become available in the first quarter of 2016, with requisite licenses and controllers sold separately.
The two 802.11AC wireless Access Points launching today are:
- ProSAFE WAC720 Business 2x2 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point
- ProSAFE WAC730 Business 3x3 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point
The NETGEAR ProSAFE WAC730 is a high performance 3x3 business class dual band 802.11ac wireless Access Point that can support an aggregated throughput of up to 1.7Gbps (450Mbps for 2.4GHz band and 1.3Gbps 802.11ac for 5GHz band). The NETGEAR ProSAFE WAC720 is a high value 2x2 business class dual band 802.11ac wireless Access Point that can support an aggregated throughput of up to 1.2Gbps* (300Mbps for 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps 802.11ac for 5GHz band).
"For most businesses, standalone access points are no longer feasible as configuration changes become routine rather than occasional. Meanwhile, the jump to a managed wireless LAN controller can be costly and demanding on both IT budgets and resources," said Peter Newton, senior director of product management for the NETGEAR Commercial Business Unit. "Our new 802.11ac Access Points supporting quad-mode operation bridge the gap, offering flexibility, scalability and ease-of-use as standard features. These products represent the broadest and most flexible wireless management choice at price points designed with SMBs in mind."
Quad-mode operation offers significant investment protection. In the NETGEAR Ensemble Mode, these ProSAFE Access Points act as a stepping-stone for growing organizations that are deploying more APs to support an increasing number of devices on their wireless networks - a small business headquarters operations with APs on several floors; shopping centers offering wireless access to tenants and visitors; churches; community centers; or small schools. Ensemble enables these types of organizations to migrate from standalone APs to a managed solution without incurring a heavy IT cost, and at a pay-as-you-grow pace that suits their needs. As their networks grow and need to manage even larger groups of access points, they can simply add additional Ensemble groups, a NETGEAR ProSAFE Wireless Controller, or the cloud-based NETGEAR Business Central Wireless Manager. Being able to deploy the APs in all management modes offers investment protection for years to come.
"We have deployed NETGEAR products for more than 10 years, and the range, throughput, and reliability of the ProSAFE WAC730 and WAC720 Access Points are the best I have seen. NETGEAR continues to create solutions that demonstrate their focus on simplicity, reliability, and cost-effectiveness for their customer base," said Eric Gorman, COO of Integrated Enterprise Solutions, Inc. of New York. "The Ensemble Mode Management of the new Wireless-AC Access Points delivers a perfect solution for customers that put investment and ease-of-use at the top of their selection criteria."
Said James Bricknell, technical director of ATG-IT Ltd. in the U.K., "I really put the new ProSAFE Wireless-AC Access Point through its paces in our production environment. The sturdiness of the new design and chassis was comparable to competitors at a much higher price point, and the ultra-high performance achieved by the dual band 802.11ac did not struggle with anything we threw at it. The improved and simplified user interface was a very welcome addition, making configuration of the AP a breeze. The new Ensemble Mode Management makes this a very attractive proposition when considering APs for a distributed installation."
Key Product Features and Benefits
The new Access Points build on the proven and award-winning NETGEAR design footprint used for existing APs such as the ProSAFE WNDAP660 and WNDAP360 models. The new WAC730 and WAC720 Access Points are 40 percent smaller and include additional capabilities such as Bonjour Gateway to support Apple devices across multiple subnets in a given network.
NETGEAR has included Ensemble Mode Management capability in the new Access Points at zero cost to customers. Ensemble puts intelligence control right in the APs, enabling the business to initiate common firmware updates as well as monitor client connectivity and share of traffic across APs, all through a centralized dashboard. As the management function is hosted on the AP, operational administrative tasks that are relevant to traditional controller architectures are eliminated - the purchase, update, support renewal, and hardware maintenance of a separate controller is not required. In the event of an AP failure, Ensemble will make adjustments to ensure that the group works cooperatively - sharing and updating appropriate settings to provide a smooth and seamless wireless network with no downtime.
Key product points include:
- Business class with superior 802.11ac performance - up to 1.7Gbps for WAC730 Access Point and up to 1.2Gbps for WAC720 Access Point
- Reliable data delivery:
o 3 x 3 (Transmit x Receive) with 3 streams of data for 2.4GHz (450Mbps) and 5GHz (1.3Gbps) for WAC730 Access Point
o 2 x 2 (Transmit x Receive) with 2 streams of data for 2.4GHz (300 Mbps) and 5GHz (867Mbps) for WAC720 Access Point
Dual Band concurrent operation with backward compatibility to 802.11n
- Power over Ethernet (802.3af) for ease of deployment
- Ease of use with simple and intuitive graphical user interface
- Free Ensemble management for groups of up to 10 APs
- Comprehensive security with WPA and WPA2 and MAC address Access List
- Compatible-ready for NETGEAR Business Central Wireless Manager and ProSAFE WC7600 Wireless Controller and ProSAFE WC9500 Wireless Controller, for businesses needing to manage larger groups of APs
Pricing and Availability
The new ProSAFE access points will become generally available this month through authorized NETGEAR partners and other reseller channels and ecommerce sites in North America, Europe and China. Regional variance may apply to the final pricing for end customers, depending on the reseller and bundled offerings.
In the U.S., the MSRP for the ProSAFE WAC730 Business 3x3 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point is $689. The ProSAFE WAC720 Business 2x2 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point is $449.
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