by July 5, 2008 0 comments

As more and more Access Points are added to an organization’s network,
managing and monitoring them individually becomes a difficult task for a network administrator. This product acts as a single point control for network
administrators to take care of all issues related to a wireless local area
network, starting from planning the position of APs to monitoring and managing
wireless networks. WFS709TP can support up to 16 Access Points (APs), 256 users
and has PoE (Power over Ethernet) on all eight 10/100 interfaces. An additional
Gigabyte Ethernet port is provided for connection to the organization’s wired
network. WFS709TP supports NETGEAR ProSafe 802.11a/g dual band light wireless AP
and 802.11g light wireless AP; WG102 APs are also supported but with upgraded
firmware. Organizations using APs from multiple vendors will face difficulty in
using this product as non NETGEAR APs are not supported by this controller.
IntelliFi RF Management is another interesting feature of WFS709TP that provides
automatic self-configuration of all the radio parameters (channel, load
balancing of traffic, etc). WFS709TP also supports low latency applications such
as VOIP. Security features of WFS709TP include EAP-PEAP, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS,
802.1x, 802.11i, WPA, WPA-PSK, WPA2, WPA2-PSK, MAC address based filtering, and
location based authentication. Another interesting feature of the device is the
F planning tool where one can input building dimensions, number of floors and
the coverage desired. This tool then recommends locations where APs can be
placed for maximum coverage. One more security feature of this device is that it
can detect rogue and interfering APs. We used this controller with two NETGEAR
WG102 APs. The device we received didn’t come with any manual or user guide, and
while searching on the Net we didn’t find any documentation about the product
either. And as the device is packed with lots of features, which are manageable
through a single web based interface, it is pretty difficult for a novice to
understand and configure it for the first time. So our advice is that pls don’t
try to configure it on your own if you are not an expert on wireless networks.

Price: 1,25,000 (lifetime warranty)
Meant For: IT managers
Key Specs: Single interface for managing
all aspects of a WiFi network
Pros: Rogue AP detection
Cons: Difficult to configure
Contact: Netgear Technologies India
Pvt.Ltd, New Delhi, Tel: 011-26207270

SMS Buy 130798 to 56677

The configuration and management of web interface can be accessed with a
default address of with ‘admin’ as user name and ‘password’ as
password. We started the configuration of the device by first planning the WiFi
layout with the help of the ‘Plan’ tab, where we entered the dimensions of our
building. In return it gave us the locations where APs can be optimally placed.

There are two ways of connecting your APs to the network, either use a PoE or
the AP with the standard power adapter and non PoE, Ethernet connection. We were
able to use both without any trouble. Then we moved to the Configuration option
which has two categories ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced,’ the former for creating entry
to new access points and latter for configuration of controller itself. Click on
‘New’ to create a new SSID. All you have to do is select the APs you want to
connect with that SSID and you are done.

We used a single SSID for both APs for checking seamless migration. The
results were very good and we were able to move freely between APs without a
drop in connection. The range of APs was not affected by the controller.
WFS709TP also acts as a monitoring tool and information about APs, both
authentic and rogue can be seen in the ‘Monitoring’ tab. We tested for the
interfering AP using the rogue AP detection feature. We created an AP with the
same SSID as that of the authentic AP and configured it for the same channel;
the controller was able to detect the interfering AP. Then we went one step
ahead and created a rogue AP with the help of ‘Airsnarf,’ and the controller was
again able to detect it. There were options to tag this interfering AP as rogue
on the interface. We tagged interfering AP as rogue, then it started showing up
in rogue list. There was one more option of disabling this rogue AP, we tried
that option but the controller was not able to stop rogue AP and when we tried
connecting again to the same SSID, it connected to the rogue one. Finally, we
tested the performance of the device; it gave us 19Mbps of throughput which
includes wired network delays and it took 44 seconds to transfer a 50 MB file.

Bottomline: A power-packed single device that has all the features to
effectively support wireless networks of a small workgroup.

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