Netgear Gears Wireless Switch to SMBs

The company claims its ProSafe Smart Wireless Switch meets the wireless infrastructure needs of a small to midsize enterprise.

LAS VEGAS—Netgear is announcing at Interop here a fully featured wireless controller thats designed to meet the wireless infrastructure needs of a small to midsize enterprise.

The ProSafe Smart Wireless Switch supports up to 48 wireless access points and allows managers to control, manage and configure those access points. It includes power over Ethernet, an embedded RF planning tool, and a tool that automatically configures power levels, load balancing, channel assignments and interference avoidance. The switch supports Radius and AAA servers to enable integration of a companys wired and wireless infrastructure. The Smart Wireless Switch works with Netgears WAGL102 and WGL102 access points.

"Our plan is to announce the arrival of Netgear in the wireless controller or wireless switch space," said Vivek Chugh, the companys senior product line manager. "The Netgear ProSafe Smart Wireless Switch is our first introduction into the wireless switching space focused on the small and midsized business space."

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"The switch has a built-in RF planning tool," Chugh said. "You enter in the building dimensions or upload the map. You deploy the access points according to what the tool computes, and you can tell areas where you dont want coverage and areas where you do.

"The second thing is that it provides centralized management off of your switch," Chugh said. "You have the ability to stack these in master local configurations, up to three, and can support up to 48 access points. The access points can be anywhere on the network, and theres a discovery tool."

Chugh said that the switch can also discover rogue access points or access points that cause interference. "It has support for RF management dynamically. It can set power levels automatically. If an AP goes down, it can perform self-healing. Or it can adjust power levels of interfering access points," he said.

"The ProSafe Wireless Switch has Layer 2 and 3 functionality, and support of VOIP [voice over IP] with fast roaming," Chugh said. "Its essentially support for voice over Wi-Fi. The plan is for the switch availability in Q3 with an MSRP of $2,900."

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Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...