For many business professionals, the company’s network hardware isn’t something that requires any thought or attention―unless, of course, the network goes down. An in-house or third-party technician sets the network up, configures access restrictions, and users are off and running. As long as the network is working, everyone is happy and no one really thinks about it.
Despite this impression, network hardware is worth a closer look. The capabilities and features of network hardware have literally exploded in recent years, and business decision makers will be doing their companies and themselves a service by learning more about their options.
Why is this, you may wonder? Selecting the most appropriate network hardware opens up a world of possibilities, expanding range, increasing security, fostering greater productivity, and more. In some cases, the right network hardware can literally enable a firm to conduct business in new ways.
We’ll talk about a variety of network hardware in this blog, but we’ll start by focusing on access points (APs). An AP is a device that connects to a wired network and provides wireless connectivity via radio frequency links. It differs from a router, which provides a primary (wired and/or wireless) connection to the Internet as well as the network, and a hub or switch, both of which connect devices to each other, but not to the Internet.
While in a home environment, an AP may be a simple device used to increase signal range, at the enterprise level, APs can become star performers. As an example, let’s consider the AP130, an AP offering uncompromising performance for high-capacity environments that is manufactured by one of our technology partners, Aerohive. A few of the advanced features of the Aerohive AP130 include:
- Ultra-high density AP supports up to 512 network clients per device.
- Dual, concurrent connections over two different radio frequencies―2.4GHz and 5GHz―increasing Wi-Fi connectivity options and supporting devices that use either.
- A multiple-antenna system (MIMO) that reduces signal errors and enhances data speed.
- Prioritizes mission and business-critical traffic in real-time.
- Wi-Fi CERTIFIED privacy and authentication, with hardware-based key storage and encryption¬—AES:CCMP and TKIP (as well as RC4 for WEP only).
- Simplified network management with Aerohive HiveManager, including auto-discovery and auto-provisioning of each AP, flexible network policies and AP-specific configurations.
- Granular, user-profile-based access management that simplifies onboarding and control of employee, guest, contractor, student and other network guest access for BYOD.
- Specialized insulation that is smoke and flame resistant (plenum rated).
For companies where network reliability, security, speed and capacity are paramount, selecting the right access points is essential. The Aerohive AP130 is the newest star performer to take its place among the many enterprise-grade APs that LMI Systems, Inc. recommends and installs for its customers. To explore the topic further, or inquire about assistance with your next network installation or upgrade project, please give us a call at (770) 491-0343 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.