Firetide Routers Automatically Form Mesh LANs

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2004-05-10 Print this article Print

Firetide's HotPoint 1000S routers enable wireless mesh networks, side-stepping costly cable.

Firetides HotPoint 1000S wireless mesh routers provide a cost-effective, efficient solution for enterprises looking to unwire their LANs.

When deployed, Firetides HotPoint wireless mesh routers ($799 each) automatically form a mesh network, enabling an enterprise to avoid costly standard LAN cabling.

Each HotPoint router includes three standard 10/100M-bps Ethernet ports for connecting access points and other devices. My test network consisted of five HotPoint wireless mesh routers, a NetGear WG602 wireless access point and a Panasonic WV-NM100 network camera.

The routers operate at 802.11b speed and form an IP network supporting multihop, point-to-point and multicast routing. Like the Internet, the wireless mesh network offers multiple redundant communications paths throughout the network. When I pulled one router off my network of five routers, for example, there was no discernible degradation.

I used the products management console to configure my mesh network for private operation with AES encryption. The network also supports third-party VPN and security platforms.

However, the management console doesnt offer the ability to take a router off the network remotely. Thats fine if youre wiring one floor, but if youve wired an entire campus, you probably have better things to do than look for a router thats gone AWOL.

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As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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