If you run a small business such as a shop, a restaurant, a small hotel or simply a regular office, having a reliable Wi-Fi network that employees and customers can access is essential. And if your business has branch offices or more than one outlet, then having a reliable wireless network for all those premises can cost a lot of money and may even require the support of an IT department.
EnGenius is a manufacturer of networking solutions that is aiming its products at small and medium-sized businesses that need reliable Internet access and networking but who don’t necessarily have the staff and budget to maintain a full-blown corporate network. However, where EnGenius scores is that its new cloud managed system means a small business can grow into a large business and scale up its wireless network into something that can grow to serve up 100,000 devices per account.
This scalability means that the IT manager of a larger company can keep an eye on, troubleshoot and take care of network issues in various locations around the world. Likewise, owners of small businesses can use the EnGenius cloud management platform to administer their network and add extra units as the company grows. There’s no need to create different accounts, buy different equipment, create separate logins, etc. It’s this scalability that makes the EnGenius Cloud system ideal for all sizes of business.
To address these wide range of markets, EnGenius has introduced two brand new cloud-managed Wi-Fi 6 security access points, the ECW230S and ECW220S. Both devices are compatible with the EnGenius AirGuard system.
As remote network access and a growing number of Bluetooth/IoT devices introduce more vulnerabilities into our networks, workplace wireless networks are increasingly open to data breaches and under the threat of cyberattacks. To counter this, EnGenius has expanded the security features to include its new Wi-Fi 6 cloud-managed security access points that are ideal for businesses handling sensitive information such as financial or medical records.
Unlike other Wi-Fi security solutions that scan outside peak times, the EnGenius Cloud security APs come equipped with EnGenius PRO. This includes AirGuard, a comprehensive network security protection. EnGenius APs come with the a year’s subscription to EnGenius PRO which includes cloud management of the AP as well as AirGuard. The annual charge for the PRO level is $50 per year per device and all the AirGuard features are included in the PRO subscription.
AirGuarg is an intelligent wireless security system that identifies and neutralizes threats around the clock. Using dedicated scanning radios, AirGuard security APs scan the environment continuously, looking for attacks like evil twins, rogue APs, flood detection, man-in-the-middle attacks, plus radio frequency jammers. The units do this without impacting on network performance.
The new APs also feature professional-grade RF spectrum analysis that visualizes radio frequencies on the fly to ensure that all SSIDs are authorized and that the most efficient channels are being used. Zero-wait DFS avoids disruption from radar detection and provides an uninterrupted change of channels whenever needed. In addition to identifying unauthorized devices, the security APs also detect all Bluetooth devices nearby.
For smaller businesses, keeping networks secure is challenging and getting harder by the day. According to recent statistics, phishing is responsible for 90% of enterprise data breaches and it costs billions of dollars in lost revenue and downtime every year. Rogue devices are often the gateway to such attacks. EnGenius has moved aggressively into the Wi-Fi network security space, offering its users a seamless, all-in-one, cloud-managed security solution without the need to purchase multiple off-the-shelf solutions to handle costly cyberattacks.
To give the new system a test, I tried out the EnGenius ECW220S wireless access point. This small unit can be wall or ceiling-mounted. It can be powered using Power-of-Ethernet or by using a small power supply if Ethernet isn’t possible. The unit connects to the network by Ethernet, or it can form part of a wireless mesh network where every access point in the building uses the same SSID so that users can roam anywhere and the device they are using will log onto the nearest access point seamlessly and switch APs automatically.
The major benefit of the EnGenius system is that all the wireless access points and Ethernet switches can be monitored centrally in the cloud using the EnGenius Cloud-to-App. It’s possible to manage and adjust any of the devices on the network no matter where they are. Better still, the system monitors the devices and reports any problems. For instance, if an AP goes down, a notification will be sent to whoever is responsible for the network.
The beauty of a well-designed network is that once set up they largely manage themselves and this cuts down considerably on running costs. The affordable ECW220S that I tested is a neat dual-band WiFi 6 access point that offers easy management and excellent wireless coverage. A series of the EnGenius APs can be located all around an office giving very fast Wi-Fi coverage almost everywhere.
The EnGenius APs come with the first-year subscription to the EnGenius PRO which includes cloud management and AirGuard. The annual charge for the PRO level is $50 per year and all the AirGuard features are included in the PRO subscription.
Pricing & Availability: The EnGenius PRO AP and switches come with the first-year subscription to EnGenius PRO which includes cloud management and AirGuard. The annual charge for PRO is $50 per year, per device, and the AirGuard features are included. The EnGenius ECW220S wireless access point is shipping now and costs $499 / £600 / €499.
- Dual concurrent 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 architecture and backward-compatible speeds up to 1,200 Mbps (5 GHz) and up to 600 Mbps (2.4 GHz).
- 1 GbE offers greater throughput and supports 802.3af and 48V PoE input for flexible installation over 100 meters (328 feet).
- Wireless security detection and protection by WIDS/WIPS radio.
- WPA3 & WPA2-AES authentication support.
- Cloud Managed with AP and Mesh mode.
- Quick-scan device register & configuration and remote monitoring and troubleshooting.
- Cloud manages an unlimited number of APs from anywhere with the EnGenius Cloud App.
- Mesh Wireless Support simplifies setup, optimizes signals and self-heals.