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Why public entities are becoming more supportive of the Open Source approach

Why public entities are becoming more supportive of the Open Source approach

Why public entities are becoming more supportive of open source?

Nowadays, public bodies such as international, federal and state entities are becoming more and more supportive of the open source movement and in general of “open” approaches.

In many countries, such as the US, the UK and France, governments have recommended adopting open-source software in their administrations. Indeed, benefits from open source are particularly well aligned with the objectives pursued by any government:

  • Keeping the IT budget under control: although open-source software is a commercial product and therefore not free of charge, it has a total cost of ownership that is generally lower than proprietary software;
  • Ensuring security and reliability, because the open code allows for complete audits to check for vulnerabilities;
  • Enhancing transparency and innovating to serve citizens better.

Government bodies such as FCC are also recognizing its value by actively contributing back to open source software: indeed, it became the first .gov to contribute to WordPress, the most used content management system.


Public entities are also encouraging wireless hardware vendors to allow interoperability with third-party systems based on open source in order to benefit end consumers: indeed, open source firmware can make wireless devices more powerful and more useful, allowing users to implement functions that have been disabled or omitted by manufacturers and ultimately giving them the freedom to customize their hardware. This concept empowers the idea of disaggregation, which means offering the option to select software from one vendor and run it on hardware from a different manufacturer.

In 2016, for example, the FCC required networking hardware vendor TP-Link to support open source firmware on its routers. In a settlement with the FCC, TP-Link agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to be compliant with the rules for the 5GHz band and to allow users to install open source firmware on its routers.

FCC’s rules for the 5GHz band, indeed, require router makers to prevent third-party firmware from changing radio frequency parameters in ways that could cause harmful interference with other devices and services. Router makers could be compliant with these FCC rules by placing limits on what third-party firmware are allowed to do or, alternatively, they could comply by entirely preventing the loading of open source firmware, and this is what TP-Link chose to do. Indeed, TP-Link’s software updates “precluded customer installation of third-party software, including open-source software,” to meet the new 5GHz requirements, the settlement said. In order to avoid further penalties, the settlement required TP-Link to “work with the open-source community and Wi-Fi chipset manufacturers to enable consumers to install third-party firmware on their Wi-Fi routers,” FCC stated.

“While manufacturers of Wi-Fi routers must ensure reasonable safeguards to protect radio parameters, users are otherwise free to customise their routers,” said Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “We support TP-Link’s commitment to work with the open-source community and Wi-Fi chipset manufacturers to enable third-party firmware on TP-Link routers.”  


At Tanaza, we believe that disaggregation is imminent on the WiFi networking industry and that, considering the new market conditions, the unbundling of hardware and software is the future for WiFi professionals. For this reason, we developed full compatibility with many wireless devices from different vendors, allowing WiFi professionals to choose the hardware they want to work with and therefore to save on infrastructure costs and hardware while avoiding vendor lock-in. Tanaza’s firmware is based on OpenWRT, a Linux-based open-source firmware for embedded devices that enables the customization of wireless access points, as a result of its fully writable filesystem with package management. For more information about Tanaza and its wide range wide of supported access points, click here.

Related articles:

Update 2019: The list of supported OpenWRT Wireless Access Points Vendors

FCC proposes rules for unlicensed use of the 6GHz band


What is WiFi 6 – The next generation of WiFi

What is WiFi 6 – The next generation of WiFi

WiFi 6: the next generation of WiFi

Wifi 6 – The next standard for wireless LANs, IEEE 802.11ax, has been conceived to transmit data faster, to better allocate bandwidth among several devices connected to a WiFi network and to more reliably deliver high-bandwidth applications (such as video streaming) than its predecessor, 802.11ac, also known as WiFi 5.



The new naming standard


The 802.11ax specification, also known as ‘high-efficiency wireless’, will be commonly referred to and marketed as WiFi 6.

This is a new naming standard set by the Wi-Fi Alliance®, with previous generations now being retroactively labelled as WiFi 5 (802.11ac) and WiFi 4 (802.11n). This new labelling convention will appear on devices as shown in the image below.

WiFi new naming convention by the Wi-Fi Alliance: WiFi 6, WiFi 5 and WiFi 4

This naming scheme is aimed at making it simpler for final consumers to recognize which of the IEEE 802.11 standards each WiFi device supports.

Faster data transfer speeds

WiFi 6 will have a single-user data rate that is about 40% faster than 802.11ac by virtue of a more efficient data encoding, resulting in a higher throughput: more data is packed into the same radio waves, and the chips that encode and decode the signals will increasingly get more powerful and will be able to handle the additional work.

The new standard also improves the performance on 2.4GHz networks that, despite the large investments of the industry on the 5GHz band to reduce interferences, is still better at penetrating physical obstacles.

WiFi 6’s predecessor, 802.11ac, only uses bands in the 5GHz spectrum; the new standard operates across both frequencies and will eventually expand this spectrum to include bands in 1GHz and 6GHz when they become available.


Better performance in dense environments

WiFi performance tends to get worse in crowded locations, such as stadiums, airports, malls and offices, where many WiFi enabled devices are connected to the network at the same time.

The new WiFi 6 incorporates many new technologies to overcome this issue, and according to Intel, it will improve each user’s average speed by at least four times in congested areas.

WiFi 6 can divide a wireless channel into a large number of subchannels, and each of these subchannels can carry data intended for a different device. This is achieved through the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), a modulation scheme which allows for resource unit allocation and will boost capacity, reduce latency and improve efficiency by allowing as many as 30 users at once to share the same channel. This technology is not a part of WiFi 5, which has regular OFDM; OFDMA is compared as a multi-user version of OFDM.

The new wireless standard has also an improved version of multi-user or MU-MIMO. Wi-Fi 5 Wave 2 introduced Multi-User MIMO, but it only supports four simultaneous connections on downstream (one on upstream). Wi-Fi 6 will instead be able to handle eight streams of data in either uplink or downlink, offering four times the maximum theoretical throughput of Wi-Fi 5 and supporting more users at once.

Wifi 6 Technologies MuMiMo and OFDMA

Image Source: Qualcomm

Extended battery life for client devices

The new Target Wake Time (TWT) feature enables access points to tell to connected devices when and how frequently they have to “wake up” to send or receive data, reducing power consumption and improving spectral efficiency. This technology will be very useful for both mobile and IoT devices, allowing them to effectively increase their sleep time and consequently extend their battery life.

Target Wake Time, in addition to saving power on the client device side, also enables wireless access points and devices to define and negotiate specific times to access the medium, reducing contention and overlap between users.

Target Wake Time (TWT) Feature

Image source: Qualcomm

When will we get WiFi 6?

While some routers already advertise “802.11ax technology” and many products supporting WiFi 6 were presented during CES 2019, 802.11ax WiFi won’t be finalized until the end of 2019. There also aren’t any WiFi 6 client devices available yet, so so these routers won’t bring any benefits to consumers before the transition is done: indeed, both the sender and the receiver need to support the latest generation of WiFi to gain the advantages.

The 4 most requested features for WiFi professionals

The 4 most requested features for WiFi professionals

The 4 more requested features for WiFi professionals

The WiFi technology is evolving fast (WiFi 5, also known as 802.11ac, and soon WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax) and so are the needs of our partners. We at Tanaza are focused on our customers’ development and are thus choosing new features to develop according to their needs and the market.

In this article, we list the 4 most requested feature ideas under consideration to develop in the near future.
We strongly encourage you to upvote these features on our community website, success.tanaza.com.


Making our WiFi software compatible with 3G/4G devices


Supporting 3G and 4G devices with Tanaza software is one of the most requested features by our customers.

Many of our customers already use the workaround that suggests connecting the Tanaza powered access point to their 3G/4G device using an ethernet cable. Consider that this is only possible if both devices have an Ethernet port. Also, either for lack of fiber/DSL internet connection or for mobility requirements, an ethernet connection is sometimes not available.

By supporting 3G/4G devices, Tanaza customers could directly set up a captive portal on a SIM card, and manage networks remotely in many locations. This feature is particularly useful when working in the public transportation sector such as buses and trains.
For example, a travel company could equip their buses with 3G/4G devices and provide WiFi to their customers en route. The company could decide to offer the service for free or to create a paid WiFi hotspot.

To help its customers develop their project in the public transportation sector, Tanaza is considering to support medium-priced 3G/4G devices like the DLINK DWR 953 and DWR 921 that both use a sim card.

Possible scenario: a bus company equips their buses with 3G/4G devices and sets up a captive portal with coupon authentication. The first coupon offered is configured with a limited number of devices and a limited time session, but the service is offered free-of-charge.
WiFi users can decide to buy a second coupon to enjoy unlimited bandwidth and an unlimited time session on the WiFi network.

Integration of a self-service payment system (like PayPal) into the Tanaza splash page


Integrate a self-service payment system into the Tanaza splash page would simplify and expedite the process for WiFi solution providers of setting up a paid WiFi network.

Indeed, Tanaza already features a couponing system that allows online payment for WiFi users.

The current experience for the WiFi user is the following:

  1. The user clicks on the external link on the Tanaza splash page
  2. The user redirected to a payment webpage created by the WiFi network administrator
  3. The user purchases the coupon on this webpage and receives a code
  4. Once authenticated, the user must click on a link to get back to the Tanaza splash page.
  5. Finally, the user enters the coupon code on the Tanaza splash page to access to the internet.

On the other hand, by integrating a self-service payment system, like Paypal, directly into the Tanaza splash page, the WiFi network administrator would just have to add it to the splash page editor, configure the process coupon purchase process and deliver the password to the WiFi user. In this scenario, the experience of WiFi users would be simpler.

This feature is particularly useful for satellite providers, internet solution providers and wireless internet solution providers to monetize their WiFi infrastructures. For example, an integrated self-service payment system could allow satellite providers to easily sell internet access to WiFi solution providers and distribute WiFi in many places worldwide.

Integrate Tanaza WiFi with property management systems (PMS)


Tanaza has many customers working in the  hospitality sector where a couponing system is particularly needed. Tanaza features a couponing system that facilitates network deployment for hotel managers, especially when setting up different SSIDs and configuring bandwidth control per SSID, number of connected devices per person, number of concurrent users per SSID, customised password, time session and so on.

Nevertheless, hotel managers could further utilize their guest management system if they had the possibility to integrate Tanaza together with a property management system.

A property management system (or PMS) is a software application used to coordinate front office operational functions like sales and planning, guest bookings, guest information, online booking, room numbers, added services and so on.

By integrating a PMS together with Tanaza, hotel managers could check on a single platform details about individual guests together with the SSID they are connected to, the number of devices connected, the amount of bandwidth consumed etc. From a monitoring and management point of view, PMS and Tanaza could bring a real added-value to managers working in the hospitality sector.

Tanaza Hotspot system available without flashing on top of Ruckus and Aerohive devices


Tanaza recently developed the Tanaza hotspot system for Meraki Cisco users and is now thinking about developing the Tanaza hotspot system without flashing for Ruckus and Aerohive. The aim is to offer WiFi solution providers the possibility to work with enterprise-level hardware vendors, like Ruckus or Aerohive, and enjoy a full set of hotspot management features.

Moreover, compared to other WiFi hotspot software on the market, Tanaza does not set a limit per concurrent users of splash page views on a WiFi network, allowing WiFi professionals to fully leverage their public networks.

By integrating the Tanaza hotspot system without flashing, WiFi professionals could keep using their devices with the original network management system while configuring the hotspot part on the Tanaza cloud-based platform. Tanaza’s hotspot features include the splash page editor, the couponing system, the captive portal with different authentication methods, and the advertising tool, to name a few.

Related articles:

Users can now see their WiFi voucher usage data

Collect more WiFi user data through social login and custom forms


Tanaza for Wifi assurance and centralized consolidated management of wireless networks

Tanaza for Wifi assurance and centralized consolidated management of wireless networks


Tanaza is a platform allowing you to ensure your wireless equipment is working correctly at any point in time. Tanaza helps you maintain WIFI Assurance and identify mistakes in your configuration, which might result in disconnections, degraded performance, and WLAN outages.


Centralization of wireless networks management


Thanks to Tanaza, managing wireless networks and ensuring high-quality services to customers is a child’s play. No more fragmented wireless assurance tools: network administrators will be able to consolidate their networking infrastructure monitoring, using one single centralised dashboard, and receive automated alerts in case of problems.




Digital enterprises and companies are increasingly allowing employees to use their personal devices at work, but BYOD – Bring your own device – policies are not easy to implement, and devices can quickly get out of control. With its couponing feature, Tanaza allows creating temporary and permanent credentials for internet access, so that each employee has their own password to access the network.

For example, in the picture below, you see three types of coupons created:

  • the green wifi voucher, valid for 1 year for up to three devices, will be given to employees
  • the purple wifi voucher, valid for 30 days for up to three devices, will be given to temporary workers/freelancers/consultants
  • the red wifi voucher, valid for 1 day, will be given to guests




Furthermore, the network administrator can easily invalidate existing coupons to deny further access to unwanted clients. When a voucher is deactivated, access to the internet will be automatically prohibited to any device using that voucher to connect. 


coupon wifi


Security, Krack and IoT


In enterprises environments, you will probably have many users and devices connecting to your wireless networks: employees, guests, but also printers, shared laptops, smart TVs, etc.

Thanks to Tanaza, you can easily isolate WLAN clients between each other and also isolate them from LAN resources. For example, guests should not be able to see the printers in the building in the network resources.

Given that employees use critical applications and business services and companies implement policies for work in mobility, security is a primary concern for all network administrators. Tanaza has created a secure cloud infrastructure that separates instances of each customer and isolates the access points’ management traffic and connection to the cloud from the clients’ traffic, as well.

Tanaza is at the forefront in providing security updates for all its devices promptly. For example, the patch for the WPA2 breach known as “Krack” was released in less than 24 hours from the hack’s discovery, allowing all Tanaza Firwmare’s users to secure the wireless connection of all their clients connecting to the wireless LAN in no time.

In the case your enterprise uses wirelessly-connected devices, such as point-of-sale system (used in retail) and sensors (smart cities, hospitals, etc.), Tanaza makes your Wireless LAN secure and provides you with reliable management software. IoT initiatives launched by enterprises pose unprecedented security issues to wireless networks. Tanaza is creating tools to solve this problem, including the newly released Rogue Access Point detection system, which allows identifying devices broadcasting and SSID named as yours, trying to steal your clients’ data and in the worst cases, to sniff their traffic.

Tanaza allows you to detect and analyse these WiFi faults and problems.


Improving the network performance and avoiding interference


Network administrators need to deliver coverage and performance, ensuring to their users WIFI assurace, health and performance. Tanaza provides tools to improve your network performance, such as the automated channel selection avoiding interference. You can use Tanaza to scan beacons around your Access points and choose the channel accordingly. Also, you can let Tanaza do the job on your behalf and select automatically the channel with less interference any time the device reboots.

Reboots can be done manually through a command in the cloud interface, and they can also be scheduled so they happen during the night, without service outages for users and applications.

Tanaza’s intuitive monitoring tool also allows you to check in real-time the quality of the signal for each connected client so that you can identify coverage and interference problems within your network in no time.

Furthermore, this and other data is also available through APIs, so that you can build your own alerting system and troubleshoot the network before problems are noticed by other people. Tanaza allows you to be proactive in building a reliable and solid network, even if you’re using low-cost devices. For example, you might create your own web service which sends you push notifications on your phone in the case the MAC address of the CEO has bad signal, or when an access point has more than 20 people connected, when an access point has an excessive load, etc.

WiFi troubles won’t keep you up at night, as everything will be under control.


Unlimited scalability and reduced costs


With wirelessly-connected devices increasing at a rapid rate, and mobile devices becoming the most used ones to connect to the internet and work, WLAN is expected to transmit most of the internet traffic in the future.

The application layer, providing guest authentication, WiFi location-tracking services, and many other services, should run on reliable networking infrastructure. However, the costs of creating it are usually very high.

We understand that the increasing expectations of users conflict with the lack of budget and resources troubling network administrators. Users have very low tolerance for problems and performance issue, and solutions’ prices increase each year. Also, most solutions in the market lock you to a vendor’s brand, therefore preventing you from switching to another provider.

Tanaza provides a multi-vendor software that runs on top of low-cost to high-end access points, allowing any business, from SMBs to large enterprises, to benefit from a reliable networking infrastructure. Businesses using Tanaza reduce their CAPEX and are free to switch from one vendor to another, with no switching costs, when they need to. Furthermore, Tanaza’s management and monitoring platform work in the exact same way with all devices, stores the device configuration in the cloud for quick replacement of access points, is offered with a pay-as-you-go formula and is affordable for businesses of any size. Tanaza reduces OPEX and provides the flexibility you need in your fast-paced role.

Tanaza offers unlimited scalability in the number of access points and immediate provisioning and deployment. You will not need hardware controllers anymore, as the controlling layer will be in the cloud. Tanaza Cloud grows with your business and its features and compatibility list are continuously improving.

5 tips to design high-density Wi-Fi networks in schools

5 tips to design high-density Wi-Fi networks in schools

Design a wifi network for schools
In this article, we will provide you with the basic practices to design and implement WLAN deployments in high-density environments, such as schools and universities.

When planning a WLAN in schools, you should consider that a large number of concurrent users are connected to your Wi-Fi. Also, given the increasing number of Wi-Fi-enabled device users use – tablets, laptops and mobiles – a high amount of data traffic across your network is generated. In this scenario, IT admins are challenged to find effective ways to ensure both coverage and capacity. Indeed, providing good quality wireless signal strength and propagation (coverage) that satisfies the higher bandwidth needs of people accessing the network simultaneously in a delimited area (capacity) is key for a well-performing WLAN. To deliver a successful high-density Wi-Fi solution in educational institutions, such as schools, training institutes, colleges and universities, you should consider the following 5 basic recommendations:


1. Understand your bandwidth needs


In order to calculate the bandwidth required for your deployment, you first need to determine the types of applications users will use while connected to your network. In a school setting, students and  faculty will most likely use common applications, such as WhatsApp and Facetime (for VoiP calls), Spotify (for music), YouTube and Netflix (for video streaming), and other such applications for things like printing, browsing internet and file sharing. The next step is to determine the applications’ requirements in terms of bandwidth and throughput. For instance, web-browsing requires approximately 500 Kbps (Kilobits per second) and does not consume much bandwidth. Conversely, video streaming has different throughput requirements depending on the video resolution: SD videos require 1 Mbps (Megabit per second), HD videos require 3 Mbps, full HD videos require 5 Mbps, and 4K videos require up to 20 Mbps. Read this article to know in detail how much bandwidth and throughput the most common web applications need. By multiplying the minimum required bandwidth per application by the expected number of connections, you can determine the amount of bandwidth you need for your Wi-Fi network. Check out this article to see a practical example of how to calculate your Wi-Fi bandwidth need. Consider that the higher the number of concurrent users accessing your network, the slower the data transmission will be.


2. Opt for dual radio APs


It is recommendable to install a dual-band access point for your Wi-Fi deployment. Compared to single-band devices operating only on the 2.4 GHz band, dual radio access points support both the 2.4 and 5GHz band. This is a relevant aspect to consider, as high-density Wi-Fi networks work better on the 5GHz band. The reason for this is that 5 GHz provides a higher number of frequency channels, of which 23 do not overlap. On the contrary, 2.4 GHz only has 3 channels where signals don’t overlap. As a result, because the 5 GHz band is less congested than 2.4 GHz, it is often the to be preferred band setting for networks deployed in educational institutes. That being said, remember that, even if you adopt a dual radio solution that works on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, users might not divide themselves properly between the two bands and might still use the 2.4 GHz band. Your network performance not only depends on the characteristics of the access point deployed, but it is also related to the way users behave.


3. Know where to position your AP


When adding access points to your new deployment, it is crucial to position them where your wireless signal is the strongest. In order to find the best spot for your access point’s location, you need to be conscious of possible physical obstacles that create interference limiting the signal propagation, such as construction materials, i.e. concrete and brick. Also, you should consider the number of floors of the building, their ceiling height, and identify the areas where a wireless connection isn’t needed. Furthermore, high-density environments such as schools are affected by co-channel interference: when many access point use the same radio frequency channel, data transmissions can shift from one access point to another one, causing a delay in signal reception. We recommend conducting a thorough site survey using Wi-Fi analyser tools to detect the best area in terms of signal strength. For instance, you can rely on a Wi-Fi network stumbler to examine and survey your Wi-Fi network in order to better plan, optimise and troubleshoot it.


4. Install the right number of APs


In general, schools are characterised by classrooms with a small number of Wi-Fi devices deployed per user. In this kind of environment, the number of access point you need to cover the area depends on the bandwidth at your disposal and on the number of users expected to use your Wi-Fi connection. On average, one access point can support and ensure a good Wi-Fi experience to approximately 15 concurrent users. Accordingly, you can install one access point per classroom, assuming that each classroom hosts on average 20-30 students. If you are not sure what model of access points best suits your WLAN deployment, check our extensive list of supported access points: Tanaza is vendor-agnostic and supports a broad range of access points from different brands, depending on your needs.  


5. Create different SSIDs


Different users will access and connect to your school’s Wi-Fi network: students, the faculty, and guests. Accordingly, it is recommendable to create different SSIDs for each user group. With Tanaza, IT admins can choose among a variety of authentication methods for each user segment: access through a password, login through email or phone, registration through forms and social login. For instance, you can create a WPA2 password-protected SSID for the staff members, a SSID for students access through captive portal, and a SSID for visitors requiring social login, email address or phone number to access it.  

Do you want to know how to offer a secure browsing experience to all users in your school Wi-Fi deployment? Check out our content filtering tool!

Try the Tanaza Content Filtering

Related articles:

Maximum number of concurrent users per Wi-Fi access point

The positive impact of WiFi at schools


Maximum number of concurrent users per Wi-Fi access point

Maximum number of concurrent users per Wi-Fi access point

Max number of concurrent users per AP

In this article, we will provide a list of the top 7 Wi-Fi access points supported by Tanaza to connect the largest possible number of concurrent users under heavy data traffic usage.

When designing your Wi-Fi network, you need to consider client coverage carefully. Indeed, different factors can affect the number of concurrent users a wireless access point can support. Here are the main variables to consider:

  • AP model: the first thing to keep in mind is that single radio devices handle a smaller number of connected users compared to dual radio access points. Look for the right dual radio Wi-Fi device for your installation with Tanaza: being multi-vendor, you can choose from a wide range of access point models from different vendors.
  • Bandwidth and throughput: depending on the internet usage of your customers your access point handles a different number of concurrent users. For instance, web browsing and instant messaging require a light bandwidth usage; social media medium/light usage; Skype voice calling medium/heavy usage; video calls and video streaming (Netflix, Youtube) require heavy usage. So, if the majority of guests are uploading pictures on Instagram, a limited number of users will be supported. Conversely, if all customers are sending emails, a larger number of clients will be simultaneously connected. Read this article to know how to calculate your Wi-Fi bandwidth need. Different web application requires different throughput requirements. For instance, web browsing requires approximately 500 Kbps, whereas high throughput apps such as HD video streaming up to about 3 Mbps. Read this article to know the throughput requirements for your Wi-Fi network.
  • Coverage and interference: independently of the access point performance, if users are not reached by  a powerful wireless signal, the number of simultaneously connected clients in a location will be limited. At the same time, interference due to multiple Wi-Fi SSIDs operating on the same channels could affect the propagation of the signal, which would result in less supported concurrent users. Remember to perform a site survey to assess the environment and potential interference affecting your Wi-Fi network: for instance, by relying on a network stumbler or survey tool able to detect coverage and capacity.

Given these parameters, let’s now see the top 7 access points you can deploy with Tanaza when you need to provide your Wi-Fi connection to a large number of concurrent users. The list below shows the maximum number of concurrent users the selected access point support when customers engage with a very low, low, medium, high or very high data usage. As you can see, data is expressed in Mbit/s, the unit of measure used for Wi-Fi speed.

Please note that the following data has been calculated by our tech team based on average results of our lab tests, and it is not precisely indicating how many clients you can connect in a real deployment.



Wi-Fi speed (Mbit/s) Max Clients Very low usage
Max Clients Low usage
Max Clients Medium usage
Max Clients High usage
Max Clients Very high usage
OpenMesh MR1750 1.750 150 150 150 150 131
TP-Link TL-RE450 1.750 150 150 150 150 131

EnGenius ECB1750

1.750 150 150 150 150 131
EnGenius ESR1750 1.750 400 400 400 219 131

EnGenius EPG5000

1.750 400 400 400 219 131

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO

1.750 150 150 150 150 131
TP-Link AC1750 1.750 150 150 150 150 131