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WLAN product blitz shows 802.11n more affordable, useable

WLAN product blitz shows 802.11n more affordable, useable

New 802.11n products on tap from AirMagnet, D-Link, Enterasys, Meraki and Motorola’s AirDefense unit

The access point can be configured to bridge with other 2553 devices, while still supporting their directly attached clients. Each one supports up to four VLANs to segment users. A group of access points will automatically load balance wireless traffic. It supports the usual range of security protocols and standards, including support for back-end RADIUS servers. The company's AP Manager II software manages the new DAP-2553 and can handle a group of different D-Link models.

The new access point is available now.

Meraki's market tends to be quite different: Its innovative, low-cost wireless access points and routers are aimed at schools, hotels, apartment blocks, municipal hot zones and the like. Meraki wireless products are intended to plug into an available broadband service, and then share that service with users via a wireless mesh. The company-run data center hosts such functions as network management, security configurations, billing and customer service.

The new outdoor MR58 supports three 802.11n radios, one of the few triple-radio 11n products currently on the market, and the first 11n product from Meraki. Yet the list price is US$1,500, which Meraki says is well below comparable outdoor 11abg offerings from rivals.

All three radios can run at the same time, and the MR58 will still work with an 802.3af PoE infrastructure.

The software load includes Meraki's wireless mesh protocol, running with all three radios, the fruit of Meraki's roots in the MIT RoofNet] project. Meraki has a technique for creating full-duplex connections between its radios, sidestepping the performance degradation that can occur when Wi-Fi traffic hops through multiple radio nodes. The MR58 is intended to be mounted on roofs, with one or more of them plugged into a broadband Internet connection, distributing the high-bandwidth radio signals over several kilometers. The signals are then picked up by window- or indoor-mounted Meraki access points in residences or offices.

There are a range of power and directional antenna options available. The MR58 is available now.

Simplifying WLAN management

Motorola's AirDefense group has unveiled a new optional application, AirDefense Advanced TroubleShooting, along with a new radio frequency management feature, Smart RF, that's now part of the standard software load on Motorola wireless controllers.

The new troubleshooting tool works with the AirDefense server software, and a network of dedicated wireless RF sensors (or a dedicated radio on a multi-radio Motorola WLAN access point). It can monitor any brand of WLAN access point. The sensors blanket a site, monitoring radio activity between wireless clients and access points. The data can be used to detect rogue access points, radio interferers, and a variety of RF performance issues.

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