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Much More for less

Ert1900acsIf you liked the Linksys WRT1900AC router, you’ll love its follow-on WRT1900ACS router. It looks just like the original, but the WRT1900 ACS has a faster processor and more memory while eliminating the noisy fan. It can move up to a theoretical 600Mbps in the 2.4GHz band and 1.3Gbps in the 5GHz band, making for one of the hottest routers around. But, for those watching every networking penny, the WRT1900ACS sells for $230, $20 less than the original.


A New Home for Data

ReadyNAS 212 214If your file servers are getting overloaded with the flotsam and jetsam of school work, Netgear has a new way to save and serve up all your files. The ReadyNAS 212 and can hold a pair or four 2.5-inch drives and top out nearly 12TB of storage space. The enclosures can be set up using RAID techniques, allow mobile access and with the right router can use a pair of Ethernet connections to boost throughput.

Netgear nighthawk x8 Speaking of the right router, Netgear’s Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router pushes not only WiFi speed and range but can get the most out of the ReadyNAS family. The tri-band router hits a theoretical peak of 5.3Gbps thanks to individually amplified antennas that glow when they’re in use and MuMimo techniques, although it will need a software update to take advantage of this technology. Rather than four LAN ports, the X8 has six, a pair of which can use link aggregation to push throughput. This makes the $400 router perfect for locations with lots of network appliances.

Network Booster

Gal-01Looking to fill in a few WiFi dead zones? Amped Wireless’s Titan-Ex Wi-Fi Range Extender can boost any wireless signal. It works with both 2.4- and 5GHz channels and has more than a dozen amplifiers and four high-gain antennas to spread the data throughout a school. It’s capable of 1.9Gbps throughput and uses Amped signal-sensing software to help set up the extender in exactly  he right place. It costs $190.



Here, There, Everywhere

Hivemanager NGIf you like Aerohive Network’s HiveManager monitoring service, but want to keep the entire network’s data onsite, the company’s HiveManager NG keeps everything local. It all revolves around HiveManager’s NG Virtual Appliance, which monitors and gathers data from each access point and produces detailed peroformance reports. It’s available now and will cost $95 a year to use.

Press to Connect

02_TAP-R3_main_front_stand_3000Tired of trying to figure out a router’s details with a less-than-intuitive Web page? Amped Wireless’s TAP-R3 router has a 4-inch touch screen that shows a variety of details and lets you change them by tapping on its colorful icons. Inside, the TAP-R3 has a dozen high-gain amplifiers and its three antennas can help fill in a school’s WiFi dead zones. Based on the 802.11ac WiFi standard, it is capable of moving up to 1.75Gbps of data. Plus, while it’s idle, the screen shows the time and date.

Safe and Secure

Xoware aXO Ware is changing the calculus of Virtual Private Networking (VPN) with an inexpensive control box that can encrypt all communications into and out of a network, making for secure remote communications. At $70, it costs an order of magnitude less than others, but is tiny, easier to set up and provides a way to enable secure remote log-ins by teachers and staff. The box creates a VPN from any connected remote location and encrypts all traffic using the 256-bit AES protocol so that nothing can get hacked or listened in on.

Xoware bAt the other end, the user needs to use a hardware encryption key that plugs into a PC or Mac; the company is working on software for iOS and Android systems. Perfect for a small- to mid-sized school, the VPN machine can support up to about 10 clients at once. You can get the set for $100 starting in August, with additional client keys costing $40 each.

Seeing Really is Believing

Tap ex2Forget about cryptic messages delivered with a connected client because Amped Wireless’s TAP-EX2 range extender has its own 3.5-inch touch screen for telling you what's going on with your network. Working with icons and a tap-to-enter interface can not only help set it up, but deliver key configuration and performance information, like who’s connected and how much data is moving through the device. Just tap the screen to make changes with the 802.11ac wireless extender, it’s as easy as that. A big bonus is that when the system is idle, it becomes a clock. 


WiFi That Means Business

01_REB175P_stand_left_3000Tired of the fact that consumer LAN equipment, while cheap, doesn’t seem to last or have the top security you’re looking for. Amped Wireless’s REB175 can extend an 802.11ac signal throughout an area of up to 8,000 square feet. It has three high-gain antennas, but inside is a dozen powerful amplifiers that boost the outgoing signal and increase sensitivity for the incoming beam. The device can use power over Ethernet and be magnetically attached to a wall. A versatile piece of gear, the REB175 can run as a range extender, bridge, WDS bridge or traditional bridge and can extend up to 30 different networks.

WiFi: Indoors and Out

DAP-3662-Side2-1664x936Ever wanted to add wireless access at the football stadium, the bus line up or any outdoor area where students, teachers and administrators congregate? D-Link’s DAP-3662 outdoor access point lets you put WiFi anywhere. The weather-proofed Access point can use the latest dual-band 802.11ac protocol for delivering upwards of 1.2Gbps of bandwidth and can be powered by its data cabling using the power over Ethernet protocol. The white access point is easy to hide, costs about $350 and has an unparalleled lifetime warranty.

Small Access Point, Big Range

02_APR175P_stand_front_3000Don’t let the small size of Amped Wireless’s ProSeries High Power AC1750 Access Point fool you. It is a potent WiFi device that uses the latest 802.11ac protocol, yet remains compatible with older systems. With its array of 12 signal amplifiers and three high-output antennas the dual-band transmitter can cover as much as 8,000 square feet, allowing IT staff to use fewer access points to cover the territory. Able to connect with up to 100 clients at a time, the AC1750 device is perfect for placing in a school’s hallway for covering several rooms. It can be plugged into an AC outlet or run with Power over Ethernet electricity.      





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