Linksys Adds Clustering, Improves Small Business Network Hardware

Running a small company often means everyone has a few shared roles that are outside of the regular scope of their work and experience. One day you might be playing office assistant instead of developing, the other day you might need to play technical support rather than creating a marketing strategy. For such an environment, an office may need to wifi for 8-10 different team members, and that means wireless access points that can support everyone without slowing down.

Typically that means managing additional hardware and devices and time spent configuring each. However, through a system called clustering, networks can all be configured in unison. On top of this, a person can roam throughout the office on a continuous connection without disconnecting and reconnecting. Yesterday, Linksys added clustering as a standard feature to each of their business class wireless access points.

Clustering is not a new technology, but it also isn’t the most readily available feature unless using more advanced or enterprise-level hardware. That could mean using various wireless local area network (WLAN) controllers with manual configurations of each, or a cloud-based management solution with subscription fees.

Specific to Linksys, clustering will bring automatic synchronized configurations (shared configuration to access points), a single location to view for all access points, and dynamic channel management (automatically adjusts channels to improve performance).

“Our customer focus guides product development, helping to ensure that we continue to deliver quality products purpose-built for small businesses,” said Nandan Kalle, Linksys Director of Commercial Networking. “WLAN controllers are expensive and over-engineered with unnecessary functionality that small businesses don’t need. The Linksys portfolio of APs provides the right feature set that small businesses need to run a productive business environment at an affordable price point.”

Linksys clustering will also include the added benefit of white labeling of their login landing page. As a user accesses the network, network guests will be redirected to a branded environment that is also separated from the core company network, which adds an additional layer of security.

“We’re committed to delivering value to small businesses and continuing to invest and improve our existing products in order to solve important unmet customer needs, and adding clustering and captive portal across our entire AP line delivers on that promise,” said Kalle.

Clustering is immediately available through a free firmware update for the Linksys LAPAC1750, LAPAC1200, and LAPAC1750PRO. The company plans to support Business Wireless-N Access Points later this Spring.

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Written by:
Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@) or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.
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