Linksys, back in the small and midsize network business with much more urgency now as a part of Belkin than when the company languished as part of Cisco, has released a new wireless access point. Called the LAPAC1750PRO (seems Linksys kept Cisco's penchant for clunky names), this new wireless extender does everything a small business, retail shop, restaurant, or any other business with lots of wireless users could want.
All the 802.11 standards are covered, from the early .11b along to the newest .11ac blazing onto the scene. Both frequency ranges (2.4GHz and 5GHz) are supported concurrently. IPv6 support is included for whenever we finally break down and start using that protocol. 16 SSIDs can look like 16 different networks to users. Linksys promises up to 1750Mbps throughput, a claim we don't have the test gear to verify. This wireless horsepower runs without an AC power connection if you leverage PoE (Power over Ethernet) and do away with the wall wart.
Need any feature from the wireless network world? It's probably in here. QoS of course in case you need Quality of Service support for any wireless VoIP phones. If you did, a wireless access point like this one, with all the protocols covered and two radios (one for each frequency) would be a good support tool to keep your voice calls high quality. MAC filtering, either to accept or block? Yes. Rogue AP Detection? Yes. Bandwidth utilization controls? Yes. Radius server support? Of course. Have a Policy Map ready to use to control access? Load it up with a single button click.
Installation and Configuration
Another wall or ceiling mounted unit, the LAPAC1759PRO comes with an installation template just like the new mini-dome security camera from Linksys. That said, the Boss of the Lab (wife) has rules against bad carpenters (your humble reviewer) inflicting home damage with tools. However, the bracket and washers and everything else you need for ceiling or wall mounting is included.
Configuration for basic open-access wireless support has one easy step: connect this wireless access point to a network. Once the LED on the body stops blinking green and goes steady, it's ready for clients. When the first client makes connection, the LED turns blue. One click of a PoE Ethernet plug and we were rolling.
Of course, a high-throughput AP should be flexible, and this one certainly is. Each radio frequency includes eight virtual access points, and each can have its own SSID and security settings. Open for Guest, WPA Personal for contractors, and WPA Enterprise for employees already listed in the RADIUS server are all easily configured. This would be a good option for an incubator so each small company could have a secure wireless connection and not be able to access anyone else's wireless bandwidth.
Like to catch the vice presidents who bring their own wireless routers and plug them in so they don't have to ask again for their system wireless password? You'll like the Rogue Access Detection. It tracks a wider range then the typical client, and lists all APs on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz in the same report.
Clients connect quickly with excellent throughput. Range seemed excellent based on walking around tracking client throughput. Smartphones are welcome, of course, and with BYOD the law of the land suddenly, companies may find they need far more wireless network support than in the past. If so, check out the badly named but well-designed LAPAC1750PRO wireless access point. If your wireless network needs are less demanding, Linksys has several access points in this family, and one is certain to fit your network needs.
MSRP: $499.99, Street: $285 - $425