Solwise NET-WL-KWG6080E review
Solwise’s latest wireless access point is one of the cleverest pieces of kit we’ve come across in a while. Not because the technology is bleeding edge, but because of the design: the KWG6080E fits into a standard double-socket wall box, which makes it ideal for use in hotels, boardrooms and public areas where you don’t want your technology on show.
The access point (AP) itself is a compact unit that slides into the fascia plate, and can be moved 10mm forward to accommodate different wall-box depths. The unit has a network port in a recess at the back and must use Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), so you’ll need a network cable run in the wall and a PoE provider.
We had no problems powering it from an HP ProCurve 2626-PWR switch, and it also worked with a PoE injector. The Gigabit port at the front is initially for management access, but can also be used to connect a wired client.
From the AP’s web interface you can set its LAN port to receive an IP address via DHCP, or give it a fixed address and use its DHCP server for servicing clients. It supports mixed wireless 802.11bgn clients or 802.11n only, and channel bonding for improved 802.11n speeds.
It can present up to four SSIDs, each one with its own encryption scheme, and each can be placed on its own VLAN. The SSIDs can be hidden, and an isolation feature stops clients on one SSID from seeing users on any of the others. It can also ping an address on the LAN periodically and, if it loses the wired connection, can be set to drop all associated wireless clients.
Performance is uninspiring: a close-range link with an Acer D255E netbook returned average speeds of only 5.7MB/sec for file copies. Range is good considering the AP has only embedded antennae; at the other end of a 12m office we saw full connection strength, which dropped to 50% when we moved to the floor below.
The KWG6080E is worth considering if you want a discrete AP and have structured network cabling, along with PoE. Performance isn’t great, but range is more than adequate, and it includes plenty of wireless security measures.
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