Networking & Wireless

Netgear Beefs up WAC730, WAC720 Access Points with Controller Management

Netgear has updated its new ProSAFE WAC730 and WAC720 802.11ac wireless access points (APs) to support controller management through the ProSAFE WC7600 and WC9500 controllers.

The company first launched the WAC730 and WAC720 APs in October 2015. The WAC730 is a business-class 3x3 dual band wireless AP, and the WAC720 is a business-class 2x2 dual band wireless AP. Both APs feature quad-mode operation, which offers four different management modes: standalone, ensemble, controller and cloud-managed. Netgear has released a firmware update for the ProSAFE WC7600 and WC9500 controllers, so they now support centralized management of the WAC730 and WAC720 APs.

According to Netgear, combining quad-mode operation with controller management offers significant benefits. "For most in the education sector, standalone access points are not feasible as configuration changes become routine," said Peter Newton, senior director of product management for Netgear, in a prepared statement. "Quad mode allows customers to decide their chosen mode of management. Through these APs, customers can select from Standalone, Ensemble and now Controller Management. This additional deployment flexibility allows the network to evolve without needing to rip and replace APs to support different management options."

Controller management lets educational institutions manage the APs centrally, while ensemble mode lets them migrate from standalone APs to a managed solution at a "pay-as-you-grow pace," so schools can scale up the number of APs on their network to support increasing device density as needed.

Key features of the ProSAFE WAC730 and WAC720 APs include:

  • Aggregate throughput of up to 1.7 Gbps for the WAC730 and 1.2 Gbps for the WAC720;
  • 3x3 (transmit x receive) with 3 streams of data for the WAC730 and 2x2 (transmit x receive) with 2 streams of data for the WAC720;
  • Dual-band concurrent operation with backward compatibility to 802.11n;
  • Power over Ethernet (802.2af);
  • Free ensemble management for groups of up to 10 APs of the same model; and
  • WPA, WPA2 and MAC address access list.

The ProSAFE WAC730 and WAC720 APs are compatible with the ProSAFE WC7600 and WC9500 wireless controllers. The WC7600 can manage up to 50 APs in a single unit and up to 150 APs in a management cluster of 3 controllers, and the WC9500 can manage up to 200 APs in a single unit and up to 600 APs in a management cluster of three controllers.

Further information about the WAC730 and WAC720 APs and the ProSAFE WC7600 and WC9500 wireless controllers can be found on Netgear's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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