Access Point Puts Security First

Proxim is easing smaller customers into wireless LAN deployments with the rollout of a new entry-level access point and new management tools. Aimed at customers with as few as 25 users, Proxim's Orinoco AP-700 brings enterprise-class features such as security and Quality of Service (QoS) downstream, said Ben Gibson, vice president of corporate marketing at Proxim, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"Security problems are the most important issue for small businesses," Gibson said.

The AP-700 includes security features such as advanced rogue AP and client detection on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It also adds support for 802.11i, a wireless security standard recently ratified by the IEEE that includes the Advanced Encryption Standard.

The features are available as part of Proxim's Release 2.5, a software upgrade that will be offered across the vendor's family of Orinoco APs by mid-October.

AP-700 also includes support for the draft IEEE 802.11e standard, which provides wireless QoS and fast roaming capabilities for voice, data and video applications.

With its $599 price tag, the AP is priced low enough to show a quick ROI compared with the cost of two CAT 5 cables (averaging $125 per drop) for each user for PCs and phones, said Al Pheltz, vice president of Sun Wireless, a solution provider in San Diego. "If it's supporting more than three people, it's cheaper to buy the AP-700 than to run cable," he said.

Proxim also introduced the Orinoco Smart Wireless Suite, a trio of management, software distribution and site-survey tools from Wavelink and Ekahau.

In addition, Proxim changed its Wireless Wizard partner program to add a top-level Platinum tier, which has a revenue requirement of $2 million in the United States.