Wireless network services have now become a must for almost all businesses. Whether it is a coffee shop, a book store or large corporation, having wireless access gives employees and customers access to the Internet or company networks right away.
Depending on the kind of setup you choose to deploy, it can be expensive and for small businesses, a cost effective solution that is secure, reliable, and scalable is always the way to go.
The new clustering feature from Linksys will configure and secure up to 16 access points (APs) from a single point of control — for free. It goes without saying you have to have a Linksys access point to make this possible.
Wireless Network Services
A wireless access point allows devices with wireless capability to connect between devices and the Internet or a network using WiFi. The technology has been simplified to the point where almost anyone can have a WiFi network deployed in any location. But as more APs are added, it can get complicated.
Linksys has simplified the clustering of multiple APs by making it readily available to more of its product line. Originally, the clustering feature was only available in the company’s pro series APs. But Linksys now says it is expanding the clustering feature to the entire line of business-class wireless APs. And those with a Linkys access point already can get this new feature by downloading the firmware upgrade at no additional cost.
For the vast majority of businesses, the addition of WLAN controllers using cloud services to carry out this type of expansion in their wireless network, can be expensive. According to Linksys, this clustering feature will allow users to easily manage their core AP functionality without additional investment in hardware or services.
Linksys said the clustering feature has been designed for small businesses that want to manage multiple access points simply and efficiently. A single cluster lets users administer up to 16 APs with the ability to view, deploy, configure and secure the wireless network as a single deployment instead of as separate wireless devices.
Some of the clustering and management features Linksys offers include, automatic synchronized configuration, single view of access point status, dynamic channel management and consolidated view of wireless user sessions.
One of the company’s claims is that the new clustering upgrade will be cost effective. And depending what you are looking for, it may be.
“Our customer focus guides product development, helping to ensure that we continue to deliver quality products purpose-built for small businesses,” said Nandan Kalle, director of commercial networking for Linksys in an official release on the company’s website. “WLAN controllers are expensive and over-engineered with unnecessary functionality that small businesses don’t need. The Linksys portfolio of APs provides the right feature set that small businesses need to run a productive business environment at an affordable price point.”
You can buy the Linksys AC1200 Dual Band Access Point from Amazon for less than $150, and with the firmware upgrade available for free, you are basically getting a fee-based service from vendors additional cost. If you take a look at a cloud public access service, it can go for less than $200 annually depending on the vendor, but that is something you have to pay for until you decide you don’t want the service.
The clustering feature is available now on all Linksys Business Wireless-AC Dual Band Access Points at the company’s site.