Networking solutions company Netgear announced the release of the ProSafe Wireless-N Dual Band Access Point, the ProSafe WNDAP350, aimed at helping small and midsize businesses implement a mobile workplace while delivering the performance required for applications that require additional bandwidth, such as voice over IP, video conferencing and cloud-based applications. The product is available for $429 through Netgear resellers and backed by a lifetime warranty.
The metal case is plenum-rated for placement above drop-down ceilings and includes an anti-theft Kensington lock slot. Factory-optimized, 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.
Chris Hemmings, managing director of Penguin Internet Ltd, a Web hosting specialist, said the product has proven to be an excellent access point for their needs. "It is a very well built and extremely stable unit that has been easy to configure and use," he said. "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 an 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 avoides 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 virtualization within their networks. 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," said Salah Nassar, Netgear's product line manager for wireless and accessories. "These applications need more bandwidth, and the wireless networks need to have greater range so users remain connected within the office environment. 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."