ZyXEL Launches Hotspot Gateway for Small Businesses

Different billing terms can be set based on access time per minute, hour or day, offering business owners full control over their WiFi networks.

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ZyXEL announced its 3-in-1 unified access gateway, the UAG50, which functions as an integrated hotspot gateway router, wireless access point and point of sale thermal printer.

Access control features allow network owners to service guest accounts as well as block unauthorized users. With advanced billing, businesses are given the flexibility to offer WiFi either for free with a terms of service redirect page; when a purchase is made, or as a paid service.

Different billing terms can also be set based on access time per minute, hour or day, offering business owners full control over their WiFi networks.

"WiFi is prevalent in daily life for everyone; whether at home, on the road or within businesses," Steven Joe, executive vice president for channel business for Americas at ZyXEL, told eWEEK. "Products like the UAG50 allow users to utilize today's common social hubs to easily access a common service like WiFi today."

Businesses today require more complex security and processing than home users, but ease of use and ease of access for customers are a necessity, Joe explained.

"With all of the potential hacks evident in the industry over the last few years, UTM firewalls are now a requirement for all businesses," Joe said. "Merge this with ease of access and social media authentication, and now you have a high business standard that ZyXEL security and access products can support."

ZyXEL also is releasing new UAG security licenses for the UAG5100 in its latest free firmware, 4.10 (AAPN.0)C0. The licenses can be accessed on ZyXEL’s website download page or FTP site at no cost. Users can access a 30-day free trial of the application management & P2P blocking and Web content filtering services by registering and activating the service and device through the company’s licensing portal.

Additional one- or two-year licenses can be purchased separately to continue each service’s support, and the new firmware also supports "Free Time,” which enables users to grant complimentary WiFi access for a duration of time ranging from five minutes to 30 days.

After the specified time, owners can require a purchase or activation of a username and password for continued access.

The option to reset this daily, weekly, or monthly is ideal for coffee shops wanting to grant free WiFi initially, then later requiring paid access, or obtaining a printed username/password ticket from the barista.

Additionally, the firmware update adds support for the company’s ZON Utility and Smart Connect, allowing for detection of other ZON enabled devices for increased network management visibility.