This month sees the launch of the new DrayTek AP900, the third in their range of wireless access points.
When used alongside the DrayTek Vigor 2860 or 2925 series routers this allows users to provide reliable and efficient site-wide wireless LAN coverage. Management ensures that you also keep control of your wireless access points and clients (users/devices) to ensure best performance, coverage and security across a home office, building or whole campus. At a glance you can see what’s going on. DrayTek’s solutions are scalable, affordable and intuitive.
For users looking for a cost effective wireless solution, it means that there is no longer the need to buy expensive wireless controller hardware.
DrayTek 2860 / 2925 Routers
The central component, the management interface of the DrayTek wireless management system, is built into our Vigor 2860 and 2925 series routers. It comes as standard, so you don’t need to pay for any service activation or per-node licencing and it supports up to 16 compatible DrayTek Access Points. If you already have an existing Vigor 2860 or 2925 router, you can upgrade its firmware, free of charge, to get the wireless management capability.
The Vigor 2860 and 2925 can just be used as the wireless management device, but of course, they are fully featured router/firewalls in their own right, so likely will form the key component of your border network protection. The Vigor 2860 includes support for ADSL and VDSL, whereas the Vigor 2925 series has twin Ethernet WAN Ports.
DrayTek Vigor AP900 Access Point
DrayTek’s new Vigor AP-900 is the ideal access point component of a DrayTek managed wireless system. It can be powered by PoE, negating the use or provision of local power and supports simultaneous dual band (2.4 & 5Ghz) easing congestion on the most congested 2.4Ghz band (for devices which can support 5Ghz). Its Ethernet uplink is full speed Gigabit, ensuring that the wireless LANs are fed at its maximum speed. The AP-900 also features two wired LAN interfaces and a 4-port switch meaning that it can be used for wireless LAN bridging applications.
Wireless Management Features
No Specialist Controller – Wireless Management is built into DrayTek’s standard routers (Vigor 2860 and 2925 series); no specialised controller or additional hardware, software or licencing is needed. For the access points (the wireless base stations which you install around your office or home), again, these are standard DrayTek products (which can also be used standalone). This means that you might already own suitable DrayTek products, or if you buy these standard products now but have only modest or simple wireless requirements initially, you can make use of wireless management later once your requirements grow.
Mobility – With a larger office, building or estate, if you move around, you’re soon out of range of a single wireless access point (base station). As well as distance, walls, floors and other obstructions will reduce your signal strength and thus your connection reliability and speed. By installing DrayTek access points at the optimum locations around your site and managing them centrally, you can create coverage across your whole site so that you can move from one area of your building to another and be sure of reliable coverage, and when your device moves out of coverage of one access point, it automatically and transparently reconnects to another. With the optional use of 802.1x authentication, this process is made even more seamless.
Load-Balancing – Any type of wireless LAN provides finite bandwidth (maximum throughout); that capacity has to be shared by all devices using that access point and wireless channel. As more devices connect and transfer data, the speed available to each client becomes less. The solution to this is to have more than one access point in each location and to spread the clients across them. DrayTek’s wireless LAN management allows you to ‘load balance’ your wireless traffic by setting maximum capacities for each access point (AP), either by the number of active clients or current traffic levels. When any AP is at capacity, it will force any new clients to connect to a different access point. Alternatively, the AP can be set to disconnect any idle device or a device which would be better served by a nearer AP.
Traffic Graph – Graphs showing the traffic flowing through each of your access points, and which clients are using the most can be viewed showing real-time and historical activity over the last period. This makes it easy to detect bottlenecks or traffic types which need to be reduced or extra provision allowed for.
AP Status – Within the management screens, you can, at a glance, see how many clients are connected to each of your access points, the traffic throughput and many other vital statistics of your complete wireless estate. This includes APs connected directly to your LAN and also those set up in WDS/Repeater mode (extending your Wireless LAN wirelessly). You always know what’s going on.
Station list – You can also see a list of all connected clients/stations and what their own individual usage looks like. This also helps to determine bottlenecks, usage patterns and WLAN efficiency.
AP Map – A visual map of your site can be uploaded into the management interface in order to accurately plot the location of your access points on the site plan. You can select between multiple floor plans (for different floors or outbuildings).
Auto-Provisioning – For ease of deployment, a pre-set configuration can be set up within the controller so that when any new access point is added, it can automatically provision itself, downloading its setup from the controller – true zero touch configuration.
AP Maintenance – From within the management interface, you can also initiate backing up or restoring configurations to any or all access points, upgrade their firmware or reboot any access point.
Rogue AP Detection – The management system will show you any access points which are trying to connect to your LAN in order that you can locate and/or stop them from doing so (they would already fail authentication of course so would not have LAN/WAN access).
Temperature Monitoring & Alarm – (Feature due later in 2014) – DrayTek AP-900 wireless access points allow connection of an optional temperature sensor. Through the management system, you can therefore see the temperature around your building at a glance, pinpointing areas which may be overheated or underheated, allowing you to save heating costs and therefore energy consumption.
For information on how to buy the 2860 series, 2925 series routers or the new Draytek AP900 then see the following links below: