U4EA's WLAN gear targets SMBs

U4EA offers low-cost, full-featured, simplified access point and controller

U4EA Technologies has released a low-priced wireless-LAN controller and access point that can be up and running securely in 15 minutes.

The Fusion 300 WLAN controller and Fusion 50 802.11b/g access point are designed specifically for small-to-midsize businesses (SMB), which often lack wireless expertise. Enterprise features, such as fast roaming and rogue-access-point detection and mitigation, have been bundled with a simple Web-based user interface and wizards for fast deployment.

The company is targeting businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Typical U4EA deployments will have six to nine access points and about 80 users, the company says. Many of the enterprise-class WLAN products from such companies as Cisco and Aruba Networks can be pricey; others, from companies targeting the price-sensitive home and SMB market, can lack features that larger companies need, according to Chris Richardson, U4EA director of product management.

"Our metric [for this product] was for someone to take this out of the box and deploy a Wi-Fi network that's secure and managed in under 15 minutes," Richardson says.

There are a range of products that target this same space or segments of it. SMC Networks recently unveiled a kind of Wi-Fi "hot spot in a box" that provides an easy-to-deploy hot-spot gateway rather than a full WLAN. It's designed for hotel lobbies or cafes or similar venues.

U4EA's new Fusion line is based on the WLAN controller and access point code it acquired last March from NextHop Technologies.

The Fusion 50 access point uses Atheros Communications silicon, supporting the 54Mbps WLAN standard in the 2.4GHz band, 802.11b/g (actual throughput will be in the 20M to 25Mbps range). That's a far cry from the 100+Mbps throughput of Draft 2 802.11n WLAN gear, but U4EA deliberately chose to hold down costs, Richardson says. "We're still seeing that 11g is far and away what most people are deploying today," he says. The company plans a future release of 11n access points. The new Fusion 300 controller will support 11n via a software upgrade, according to the company.

The access points can be managed as Layer 3 devices over a LAN or WAN. They support Power over Ethernet to simplify installation.

Tags WLAN

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?