21st February 2024

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Technology and Computer

5 New SMB Networking Tools That Hit The Market This Fall

The last four months have seen a boom in new networking solutions that can be used in smaller offices and for remote workers. Here are five of the latest SMB networking products that should be on solution providers’ radars.

Enterprise-Grade Networking In An SMB Wrapper

Networking vendors big and small are focusing on, or ratcheting up, their focus on smaller operations with small- to medium-sized business (SMB) networking offerings. These products and tools have been designed with the needs of SMBs in mind, such as greater deployment and management flexibility, different power requirements, and sustainability.

Networking heavyweight HPE Aruba Networking, for one, this autumn launched a new access point and switch to join its Instant On product family, which targets businesses under 500 users. Around the same time, networking specialists EnGenius Technologies and Zyxel Networks introduced a gateway and its first Wi-Fi 7-enabled access point targeting small business users, respectively.

With so many networking players coming to the market with more offerings geared specifically toward smaller operations, there were plenty of new SMB networking tools and products that joined the market this Fall alone.

Here are five of the new SMB networking tools and products that were introduced since September.

And check out 10 of the hottest networking products of 2023.

Cradlepoint 5G Outdoor Wideband Adapter

Ericsson-owned Cradlepoint in September launched its re-designed 5G wideband adapter to help businesses, especially those with lean IT teams, future-proof their connectivity while prioritizing sustainability goals.

The newly reintroduced W1855-5GC Wideband Adapter is half the size and weight of previous outdoor adapters. The device can be managed via Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager. Compared to its predecessor, the newly reintroduced W1855-5GC Wideband Adapter is 78 percent smaller and 74 percent lighter, requiring 30 percent less energy when under load. The device is securely packaged with 84 percent less packaging, which is 100 percent plastic-free, according to the Boise, Idaho-based wireless specialist.

Cradlepoint and its parent company Ericsson, have set an ambition to be net zero across its value chain by 2040.

EnGenius XG60-FIT gateway

Targeting small businesses’ unique needs, EnGenius Technologies in October launched its XG60-FIT gateway, an offering that smaller operations can use to efficiently manage remote worker networks and branch locations, while ensuring secure communication and data protection without a dedicated IT team, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company said.

The XG60-FIT gateway gives small businesses a robust connectivity product with high throughput performance and real-time protection for businesses’ networks, allowing for collaboration and secure data sharing. To enhance network reliability, the gateway offers dual-WAN ports for load balancing and failover support, with cellular WAN serving as a backup connection in case of WAN failures. The gateway can be managed by end users through the company’s network management system, the FitXpress platform.

HPE Aruba Instant On AP22D AP and 1960 smart managed Switch

HPE Aruba Networking in September unveiled a new access point and switch to join its Instant On product family. The latest AP22D is a Wi-Fi 6 certified, all in one wireless access point, switch and a gateway function in a single box. It features a 2.5 gigabit uplink port to support end user devices, such as printers, phones, and security cameras. The latest access point includes HPE Aruba’s security features. Also unveiled was a new switch joining the 1960 smart managed and stackable switch series. The new switch offers 2.5GbEW ports for high bandwidth needs and to help power high performance workstations of IoT devices, the company said.

Unlike HPE Aruba’s enterprise portfolio, which uses Aruba Central for cloud management, the Instant On portfolio can be managed via the Instant On mobile app and cloud-based web portal.

HPE Aruba, which does 100 percent of its SMB business through the channel, has been quietly working on its Instant On sub brand, a portfolio of products targeting small to midsized businesses, the company told CRN in the Fall.

NETGEAR S3600 Series Smart Switches

Networking specialist NETGEAR this month rolled out its cloud managed NETGEAR S3600 Series Smart Switches. The new series joining the rest of the company’s switch portfolio was designed to meet the growing demands for faster networking for business users, NETGEAR said.

The S3600 Series includes the 8-Port 10G/multi-gigabit (XS508TM) and 16-Port 10G/multi-gigabit (XS516TM) for flexible and auto-adaptive wired connectivity of high-bandwidth devices. Business owners can connect devices and instantly give each device the speed it needs – either 1G, 2.5G, 5G, or 10G. The S3600 includes cloud management for business users and one-year subscription of NETGEAR Insight Cloud Management is included with purchase, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

Zyxel Wi-Fi 7 Access Point

Zyxel Networks, a company focused on AI and cloud-powered business and home networking solutions this month announced the availability of its WBE660S Wi-Fi 7 BE22000 Triple-Radio NebulaFlex Pro Access Point, the company’s first Wi-Fi 7-capable access point for managed service providers and SMBs.

While geared towards SMBs, the enterprise-grade WBE660S AP offers a triple radio BE22000 architecture and a wider 320MHz channel to deliver speeds up to five times faster than WiFi 6/6E solutions. The new AP offers latency-free connectivity to optimize high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming, broadcasting, online gaming, and VR/AR.

Zyxel’s latest AP is available through its distributor partners D&H, IngramMicro and TD Synnex.