SMC hands enterprise wireless to SMBs

SMC hands enterprise wireless to SMBs

SMC Networks this week added a few high-end features to two new mid-range EliteConnect wireless access points, including support for multiple SSIDs, the WPA2 security standard and quality of service for IP telephony.

The company also announced plans to incorporate MIMO in a new line of 802.11g access points starting in December. MIMO is the technology expected to be used in the 802.11n standard, once it's eventually ratified.

The company announced two new access points, the SMC2555W-AG2, which will cost US$350 in the US and supports 802.11a/b/g, and the less costly SMC2552W-G2, which will cost US$300 in the US and lacks 802.11g support. Both will be available next month, SMC said. Prices for other countries are not yet available.

Both access points support features such as virtual SSIDs, which allows multiple virtual networks with different settings to be controlled by the same access point - unusual in products aimed at medium-sized businesses, according to industry observers.

"Couple (virtual SSIDs) with individual security settings for each virtual SSID and a VLAN... and a small business could have top-level security for its own network and open access for guests," noted Glenn Fleishman in the Wi-Fi Net News blog. VLAN tagging allows data traffic to be partitioned on the device as well as over the wired network.

Other features include QoS support, necessary for prioritizing voice-over-IP traffic; SNMP v3; 802.3af-compliant power over Ethernet, which makes it easier to install; security features such as 152-bit WEP encryption, AES encryption, 802.1x authentication and dynamic key management; and MAC address authentication. Each device can handle up to 64 users.

SMC said it would begin selling MIMO-based products in December with three products built on Ralink chipsets: the Barricade g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router (SMCWBR14-GM), the EZ Connect g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cardbus Adapter (SMCWCB-GM), and the EZ Connect g 802.11g MIMO Wireless PCI Adapter (SMCWPCI-GM).

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