Draytek Wireless LAN Management
Introducing DrayTek Wireless Management
Wireless LAN or "WiFi", as it's commonly known, is ubiquitous - it's used every day for smartphones, laptops, tablets and even home multimedia such as smart TVs, audio systems and games consoles. Wireless LAN provides convenience, flexibility and freedom but with today's widespread and sheer volume of use, it has become ever more important to control, monitor and maintain their efficiency, performance and security.
DrayTek's wireless management solutions allow you to provide reliable and efficient site-wide wireless LAN coverage. Management ensures that you also keep control of your wireless access points and clients (users/devices) to ensure best performance, coverage and security across a home office, building or whole campus. At a glance you can see what's going on. DrayTek's solutions are scalable, affordable and intuitive.
Benefits of Wireless Management
1. Coverage, Performance & Flexibility.
Mobility across a larger office, building or campus is important to so many users. Being able to take use your laptop, tablet or other device around the building or site and be sure of reliable coverage throughout makes your working life easier.
With that site-wide coverage, your device can switch from one DrayTek access point to another automatically. To ensure the best performance in high traffic areas, load balancing can spread your wireless traffic across multiple access points in the same location.
2. Monitoring & Reporting.
With any larger deployment of wireless or shared Internet access, it becomes ever more important to know about the users and traffic on your wireless LAN.
DrayTek's reporting logs user activity and traffic levels as well as real-time at-a-glance status reports, helping you to identify bottlenecks, high traffic areas or unacceptable traffic levels for specific users.
3. Control & Security.
Wireless makes it very easy to connect to your network but also easy for unwelcome users.
DrayTek's control and security facility ensure that only users you want to have access can get access, and only to the parts of the network they need to, at the times they need to.
Private and guest networks can be fully isolated and access points can be automatically configured.
As you'll learn later, DrayTek wireless management doesn't need any special hardware or dedicated controller so it's affordable and scalable even for very small or modest requirements as well as larger ones.
Wireless Management Features
- No Specialist Controller - Wireless Management is built into DrayTek's standard routers (Vigor 2860 and 2925); no specialised controller or additional hardware, software or licencing is needed. For the access points (the wireless base stations which you install around your office or home), again, these are standard DrayTek products (which can also be used standalone). This means that you might already own suitable DrayTek products, or if you buy these standard products now but have only modest or simple wireless requirements initially, you can make use of wireless management later once your requirements grow.
- Mobility - With a larger office, building or estate, if you move around, you're soon out of range of a single wireless access point (base station). As well as distance, walls, floors and other obstructions will reduce your signal strength and thus your connection reliability and speed. By installing DrayTek access points at the optimum locations around your site and managing them centrally, you can create coverage across your whole site so that you can move from one area of your building to another and be sure of reliable coverage, and when your device moves out of coverage of one access point, it automatically and transparently reconnects to another. With the optional use of 802.1x authentication, this process is made even more seamless.
- Load-Balancing - Any type of wireless LAN provides finite bandwidth (maximum throughout); that capacity has to be shared by all devices using that access point and wireless channel. As more devices connect and transfer data, the speed available to each client becomes less. The solution to this is to have more than one access point in each location and to spread the clients across them. DrayTek's wireless LAN management allows you to 'load balance' your wireless traffic by setting maximum capacities for each access point (AP), either by the number of active clients or current traffic levels. When any AP is at capacity, it will force any new clients to connect to a different access point. Alternatively, the AP can be set to disconnect any idle device or a device which would be better served by a nearer AP.
- Traffic Graph - Graphs showing the traffic flowing through each of your access points, and which clients are using the most can be viewed showing real-time and historical activity over the last period. This makes it easy to detect bottlenecks or traffic types which need to be reduced or extra provision allowed for.
- AP Status - Within the management screens, you can, at a glance, see how many clients are connected to each of your access points, the traffic throughput and many other vital statistics of your complete wireless estate. This includes APs connected directly to your LAN and also those set up in WDS/Repeater mode (extending your Wireless LAN wirelessly). You always know what's going on.
- Station list - You can also see a list of all connected clients/stations and what their own individual usage looks like. This also helps to determine bottlenecks, usage patterns and WLAN efficiency.
- AP Map - (Feature due later in 2014) A visual map of your site can be uploaded into the management interface in order to accurately plot the location of your access points on the site plan. You can select between multiple floor plans (for different floors or outbuildings).
- Auto-Provisioning - For ease of deployment, a pre-set configuration can be set up within the controller so that when any new access point is added, it can automatically provision itself, downloading its setup from the controller - true zero touch configuration.
- AP Maintenance - From within the management interface, you can also initiate backing up or restoring configurations to any or all access points, upgrade their firmware or reboot any access point.
- Rogue AP Detection - The management system will show you any access points which are trying to connect to your LAN in order that you can locate and/or stop them from doing so (they would already fail authentication of course so would not have LAN/WAN access).
- Temperature Monitoring & Alarm - DrayTek AP-900 wireless access points allow connection of an optional temperature sensor. Through the management system, you can therefore see the temperature around your building at a glance, pinpointing areas which may be overheated or underheated, allowing you to save heating costs and therefore energy consumption.
DrayTek Vigor 2860 and 2925 Routers
The central component, the management interface of the DrayTek wireless management system, is built into our Vigor 2860 and 2925 series routers. It comes as standard, so you don't need to pay for any service activation or per-node licencing and it supports up to 16 compatible DrayTek Access Points. If you already have an existing Vigor 2860 or 2925 router, you can upgrade its firmware, free of charge, to get the wireless management capability.
The Vigor 2860 and 2925 can just be used as the wireless management device, but of course, they are fully featured router/firewalls in their own right, so likely will form the key component of your border network protection. The Vigor 2860 includes support for ADSL and VDSL, whereas the Vigor 2925 series has twin Ethernet WAN Ports. For full details and specification of these products, click for the Vigor 2860 series or Vigor 2925 Series.
DrayTek Vigor AP-900 Access Point
DrayTek's new Vigor AP-900 is the ideal access point component of a DrayTek managed wireless system. It can be powered by PoE, negating the use or provision of local power and supports simultaneous dual band (2.4 & 5Ghz) easing congestion on the most congested 2.4Ghz band (for devices which can support 5Ghz). Its Ethernet uplink is full speed Gigabit, ensuring that the wireless LANs are fed at its maximum speed. The AP-900 also features two wired LAN interfaces and a 4-port switch meaning that it can be used for wireless LAN bridging applications.
For full details and specification of the Vigor AP-900 click here.
Also available is the Vigor AP-810. The AP-810 supports all of the wireless management features of the AP-900 but does not support dual-band wireless, temperature sensors or Gigabit wired ports. For details of the AP-810, click here.
Unique to DrayTek, the wireless management features are built into several of our business class routers - you do not need to purchase an additional separate wireless controller, nor specific 'managed' wireless access points.
The management interface is available on all Vigor 2860 and 2925 series routers and it supports management of our AP-900 and AP-810wireless access points. These are standard products within our range and there are no subscription fees, activation fees or node-based licencing. This means that it costs no more than the cost of the products and with no ongoing fees, the TCO (total cost of ownership) is vastly lower than most other wireless management solutions.