I recently sat down with Mike Grubb, VP of Marketing at Luxul, to talk about the release of two new Wi-Fi kits, an explanation of the technology, and the benefits for integrators and their customers.
Maureen Jenson: Tell us about the new Wi-Fi kits and what makes them unique in the integration channel?
Mike Grubb: In today’s custom integration world the most important thing that’s requested from the paying customer is reliable connectivity, whether that is wired or wireless. Typically, Wi-Fi is the focus today as most client devices connecting to the network are wireless. The issue that most integrators have in todays connected world is concerning the wireless handshake or roam or also known as the transition of a connected device between two Access Points (APs). All-in-one Wireless Routers have been the standard for years but have been a single Wi-Fi solution that isn’t scalable and has coverage limitations. Simply adding more APs will not solve the roaming issues that exist. These new routers and kits make adding more Wi-Fi for broader coverage simple. These provide the customer with that reliable connectivity that they are expecting and paying for.
MJ: How do these products address this “roaming” issue?
MG: In 2015 Luxul introduced the Wireless Controller or XWC-1000 with Roam Assist™ technology. Roam Assist™ solves a major issue that almost every network with multiple Wi-Fi broadcasts experiences; which is a device not transitioning to a stronger signal before it loses its data connection. Most connected devices will not roam on their own until they lose every bit of the Wi-Fi signal they are connected to. The problem with this scenario is that a data connection is lost when the Wi-Fi RSSI reaches lower than desired signal strength (-78dBm to -80dBm), most devices show two bars of Wi-Fi at this level. Roam Assist™ helps the connected device move to a stronger signal before it starts to lose its data connection, thus eliminating buffering as devices seamlessly roam while using real-time apps. The two routers included in the WS100 & WS200 kits have a version of the XWC-1000 Wireless Controller embedded that allows for up to two additional Luxul Access Points to be installed if needed to extend the Wi-Fi coverage.
MJ: Can you explain the main differences between the WS-100 and WS-200 and application examples for both?
MG: Both kits contain high Tx (transmit) power Routers and Access Points, meaning they will provide maximum Wi-Fi coverage. The biggest differentiator is going to be regarding the throughput of each device. The WS-100 includes our XWS-1200 2×2 AC Router and XAP-1410 2×2 AC Access Point. The 1200/1410 combination will provide exceptional coverage and great Wi-Fi speeds accommodating most customers who are looking for high performance at a budget friendly price. The WS-200 comes with the XWR-3100 4×4 Wave2 AC Router and XAP-1510 3×3 AC Access Point. The 3100 has MU-MIMO (Multiuser MIMO) AC technology and offers the most wireless bandwidth that Luxul offers today. The pairing of the XAP-1510 allows for additional Wi-Fi coverage along with fast transmission rates. This kit is geared for the customer that is expecting high performance and is very demanding of their network.
MJ: Is there a reason to buy the kits versus individual pieces?
MG: The hardware has the same performance obviously, regardless of packaging. However, integrators will save a few margin points just by purchasing the kits vs a-la-carte pieces. For Luxul, the WS100 & WS200 kits continue the message of “Simply Connected” for our dealers. Whether it’s simplified, easy to program interfaces or lifetime technical support, Luxul is focused on making networking as easy as possible in all aspects. Having items that are often paired together in one box makes the selection process easier for the integrator and eliminates a lot of the confusion when deciding what products to use.
MJ: How do your wireless routers compare to your rack-mount wired routers?
MG: The software features are virtually identical between Luxul wired and wireless routers. They are all capable of handling basic-to-complicated network configurations, anything from VLANs to QoS. The biggest difference is in the actual hardware itself; the hardwired routers have the ability to connect more than one ISP if needed where the XWR-1200 & XWR-3100 are for single internet connections only. The good news is we have a solution for most any application need the integrator might come across!