NetGear (NTGR) is looking to make installing and deploying centralized Wi-Fi easier than ever with the release of its new ProSAFE WC7600 centralized management console and the ProSAFE WN370 access points. The company is aiming its new products at small and midsized businesses (SMBs) as well as the healthcare, hospitality and education verticals to enable admins who have a limited knowledge of IT to set up and manage their wireless services.
With the need for powerful Wi-Fi becoming more important in schools, hospitals and hotel chains, NetGear said its customers need an affordable and easy-to-use solution that can be deployed quickly and that fits within the budgets of many of its smaller VARs and end users. Thomas Cheng, NetGear’s senior product line manager, noted these users need the convenience of centralized Wi-Fi with a level of cost-conscious pricing that won’t break educational and small-business owners’ budgets. And for many schools, this type of reliable Wi-Fi is a requirement that is not necessarily attainable because of budgetary restraints.
“Another challenge that schools face is that they want to have these great technology advances but the IT budgets is shrinking on a year-to-year basis, said Cheng in an interview with The VAR Guy. “We think that what we are providing here as part of the new launch will really help address the centralized management challenges as well as budget challenges that the customer is facing.”
The ProSAFE WC7600 wireless controller and the WN370 access point can help K-12 schools, colleges, senior centers and assisted living centers leverage wider BYOD adoption while giving small hotels and motels the opportunity to provide their customers with new wireless connectivity applications, the company noted. The WN370 access points will function via Power over Ethernet (PoE), meaning users will be able to power them remotely over a wireless Ethernet connection.
“Most of our success is carried out where the user is someone who wears many different hats, either in the hotel industry or in education,” said Cheng. In our solutions, our usability is extremely [user] friendly. We leverage all of the intelligence that we have built with our residential business group that do a lot of usability studies to figure out what is the best and most intuitive user interface that we should build such that a non-technical business person can set up the network in less than 10 minutes.”
The ProSAFE WC7600 Premium Wireless Controller was designed to give users a centralized method for managing their various access points without having to adjust each individual AP. The wireless controller gives users the ability to control access point signal strength, frequency and other permissions remotely while giving IT admins access to all of their remote locations from a single pane of glass. Both of the company’s existing ProSAFE WNDAP660 and WNDA620 Premium Wireless-N Dual Band Access Points can use the centralized management controls as part of the new release.
Both the ProSAFE WC7600 wireless controller and WN370 access points are available now, with the WC7600 with two basic access point licenses retailing for $3,079 and the WN370 retailing for $219. NetGear is also offering a 10 access point-license bundle for $1,056, which will give users 10 access points for the price of nine.
“We see wireless adoption happening everywhere from education to hospitality to health care, but everybody is looking for simple solutions. We really think this is going to make a difference in the target segment that we are trying to address,” Cheng said.