WNDAP360 is one of the latest models from Netgear in the enterprise access point market. It combines amazing technical features with a very attractive and sleek look. Installing this device in the office could add to the overall aesthetics of the office space rather than it sticking out as a sore in the eye. As a dual band wireless access point it supports all the wireless standards within a good range of 500 feet up to a maximum of 64 simultaneous devices. It is priced attractively at $209.
Wireless Specification: This device is a dual band wireless n router that supports 802.11n standard on the 5GHz and the 2.4GHz frequency range. Theoretically, with 802.11n the device can support a maximum throughput of nearly 300Mbps providing ample bandwidth for a busy office floor. This device is also backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g standards allowing all kinds of wireless devices to connect to the network seamlessly.
Deployment Details: The most striking feature of WNDAP360 as compared to most other wireless access points is its pleasant design and structure. The smooth and shiny feel with a rounded edge design makes it aesthetically appealing and fitting for placement anywhere on the office floor. For ease of deployment the device comes with 802.3af or Power over Ethernet support which means the device can be powered by Ethernet port directly, without and dedicated power supply. This allows the floor planner a lot more flexibility in placement of the access point to maximize the wireless network performance rather than being constrained by need for a power supply outlet close by.
The device comes with an easy mounting mechanism that allows it to be installed on the wall or the ceiling in simple and easy fashion. The internal antennas allow the device to be oriented with a lot of ease than models with antennas sticking out of the device. However, the device also comes with detachable antennas for areas and environments where enhanced coverage becomes mandatory.
Wireless Security Features: The WNDAP360 supports the standard enterprise grade wireless authentication and encryption standards. Compatibility with 802.1x and RADIUS servers allows the device to ensure secure authorization for all devices accessing the enterprise network over the wireless local area network. The wireless channels are secured by the latest Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) standards. WPA is by far the most secure wireless encryption solution in the market today. The device also supports rogue AP detection which prevents unauthorized access points from becoming a part of the wireless network. This is very important in offices where multiple access points are added to the network to create a floor wide or building wide wireless network to allow mobile workers seamless access to the enterprise resources.
The device also supports 802.1Q VLAN tagging. This allows the device to segregate the wireless devices based on the VLAN tags and ensure that within the same wireless coverage, devices in different VLANs cannot access information from other VLANs.
Wireless Distribution System (WDS): The WNDAP360 wireless access point supports wireless distribution system structure through multiple operating modes. The table below gives a short description of various operating modes for the access point.
|Wireless Access Point||Acts a standard wireless a/n access point in 5GHz range and as wireless b/g/n access point in 2.4GHz range|
|Point to Point Bridge||Acts as a wireless bridge communicating with one other access point or wireless station configured in bridge mode|
|Point to Multipoint Bridge||Acts as the master in wireless network communicating with other bridged access points in point to point mode.|
|Repeater||Acts as a repeater in the network enhancing the range and coverage of the root access point; it does not serve any wireless devices directly|
Given the design considerations and security concerns, WNDAP360 if configured in any bridged or repeater mode must be protected by network authentication.
Configuring the Access Point
The steps below describe how the WNDAP360 can be configured to be deployed in the enterprise wireless network.
- Power up the wireless access point (WNDAP360)
- Update the computer’s IP address manually to a static address of 192.168.0.210 with subnet mask of 255.255.255.0
- Connect the WNDAP360 access point to the computer
- In the computer browser enter the following URL: http://192.168.0.100/
- Enter Username as admin and password as password
- The Wireless web management page is displayed.
The table below shows the important configuration tabs in the browser with a short description of their functionalities.
|System||Set up the access point name and time zone settings|
|IP||Set up the access point IP address and enable/ disable the DHCP client|
|Wireless||Configuring the access point in the dual bands and the standards to support|
|Security||Define the encryption standard to be used and configure the encryption and authentication details|
|Wireless Bridge||Configure the access point in one of the WDS modes|