Dell introduced the SonicPoint AC Series of wireless access points (WAPs), which supports the high-performance IEEE 802.11ac wireless standard.
SonicPoint combines with deep packet inspection security from Dell SonicWall next-generation firewalls to provide small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with a comprehensive wireless network security solution, the company said.
SonicWall firewalls are designed to automatically detect and provision SonicPoint, push appropriate security updates and policies, and assist with set-up; integrated into every SonicWall firewall is a wireless controller that auto-detects and auto-provisions SonicPoint across the network.
"Secure, high-performance wireless access is no longer a 'nice to have'—it's a key differentiator for businesses of every size, and something employees have come to expect," Scott Grebe, product marketing manager for Dell Security, told eWEEK. "The bandwidth needed to support bandwidth-intensive applications and an increasing number of WiFi-enabled devices will only continue to grow, and as new, faster wireless standards like 802.11ac emerge, companies of every size will need to evolve to further increase productivity."
The ability for WAPs to provide high-speed wireless that automatically integrates with leading next-generation security firewalls is critical for SMBs, and the combination of comprehensive security, easy set-up, and simple centralized management vastly lowers total cost of ownership and increases time to value for smaller companies, Grebe said.
In addition, for organizations that have a long-term investment in the 802.11n wireless standard, the SonicPoint N2 features high-speed 802.11n wireless connectivity, dual radios, six external antennas and other features offered by Dell SonicWall Wireless Network Security solutions.
The AC Series includes the SonicPoint ACe—which features dual radio functionality, six removable external antennas, dimmable LEDs and the flexibility to receive power over an AC adapter or 802.3at Power over Ethernet (PoE) Injector—and the SonicPoint ACi, which has dual radios, internally housed antennas, dimmable LEDs and receives power through an 802.3at PoE Injector.
Ongoing management and monitoring of SonicPoint and security are handled centrally through the SonicWall firewall, providing network administrators with a single pane of glass from which to manage both wired and wireless aspects of the network.
"The biggest challenges facing SMBs when it comes to wireless networking is finding a solution that balances affordability and ease of management, while still providing the highest level of performance and security," Grebe said. "It's key that small businesses take advantage of wireless networking solutions that are designed specifically for their needs, rather than under-investing in a home networking solution or trying to manage multiple point solutions to address wireless networking and security."
A host of performance features included with the WAPs enable WiFi-ready devices to connect from greater distances, and use bandwidth-intensive mobile apps, such as video and voice, in higher-density environments with minimal signal degradation.
In addition to intrusion prevention, Secure sockets Layer (SSL) decryption and inspection, content filtering and application control technologies that provide protection against the latest threats, the SonicWall Wireless Network Security solution integrates other security features, such as wireless intrusion detection and prevention, virtual access points (VAPs), wireless guest services and cloud access control.
Sales of 802.11ac WiFi access points accounted for 8 percent of worldwide consumer WiFi shipments in 2013, but ABI Research predicts that figure will hit 45 percent by the end of this year.