Netgear WFS709TP ProSafe Smart Wireless Controller Review - Netgear WFS709TP ProSafe Wireless Controller Review

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A wizard locates and initialises the APs, after which you provision them using the actual location code assigned to each AP, which must be changed to match the suggested location code from the planning guide. We found this tedious as we had to match up the IP address of each AP with the correct MAC address and then manually position them individually in our map.


When a new AP is detected it is tested to see whether it has a wired connection to your network. If it does it is deemed a rogue AP and if not then it is considered just to be interfering. We connected a 3Com AP to the network whereupon it was identified immediately as a rogue. However, despite the manual stating clearly that the Protect setting causes the light APs to initiate a DoS (denial of service) attack on rogue APs to stop clients associating with them, this didn’t work. After discussing this with Netgear it transpired that this feature is not active in the current firmware version.
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”’The WFS709TP works in conjunction with Netgear’s ProSafe WGL102 80211g Light Wireless Access Point AP

– £80.36 (inc 17.5% VAT).”’(/centre)—-

The monitoring option provides an overview of Netgear APs and controllers, while the section to the right shows a count of all rogue APs and their classification. This was reasonably forthcoming as nineteen APs in the vicinity were detected and correctly classed as interfering. Using RF signal strength measurement Netgear employs triangulation to locate the APs on the map but again this isn’t sophisticated. You have to select one from the monitoring window, manually copy its MAC address and paste it into the Locate window accessed from the Plan menu. However, it did reveal the position of our rogue AP to within a few feet.


A key feature of this solution is seamless client roaming and to test this we declared our rogue AP as valid and linked a wireless laptop to it. We set up a continuous ping of our Windows domain controller and then took a stroll through the building. We watched signal strength drop to around twenty per cent after which we were automatically swapped to the next AP. Network access was virtually uninterrupted as the ping only timed out twice.


”’Verdict”’


A sophisticated looking wireless network management solution based on an Aruba Networks MC-800 controller but it is complex and difficult to set up thanks to the indifferent documentation. It may be comparatively good value and when configured correctly it worked well during testing but rogue AP containment is not supported and we would only recommend this solution to businesses if it’s being installed by a trained reseller.

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