Netgear are the market leader for networking technology in the small to medium business market and they continue to innovate and expand their product lineup.

While my home office doesn't particularly need business grade hardware I have slowly migrated to business class hardware due to being obsessed with networking performance across the home. I have reviewed the Netgear Insight system and it has been a fantastic solution, perfect for smaller business on a tight budget that wants more control over their network than consumer hardware (or the option to allow someone to manage it remotely).

At CES Netgear have expanded their SMB lineup with several new devices including:

NETGEAR Business Orbi Pro Mesh Wi-Fi Ceiling Satellite

NETGEAR Business’ Orbi Pro Mesh Wi-Fi Ceiling Satellite connects with the Orbi Pro Router or any other Orbi Pro satellite via the patented FastLane3 technology with a dedicated wireless backhaul for environments where wiring is challenging or impossible. Alternatively, in new builds or office expansions where power outlets are unavailable or new AC wiring is cost prohibitive, the Orbi Pro Ceiling can be powered by using ethernet cables with (PoE) utilising 4×4 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi to cover denser environments. Automatic power and channel management between satellites enable superior roaming, coverage and performance making Orbi Pro the ideal solution for large areas. 

The POE solution is particularly interesting to me as you could then use the Netgear Insight POE switches to manage and diagnose issues with power and connectivity.

Netgear Insight WAC540 4x4 AP, Orbi Pro Ceiling with POE and new Insight Cloud Management features announced 1

NETGEAR Insight Managed Smart Cloud Tri-band 4×4 Wireless Access Point (WAC540)

Expanding the Insight line-up the new WAC540 exceeds the specifications of what is needed for dense high-traffic environments, which require reliable high-performance Wi-Fi for mission critical business and IoT connectivity. With 3 separate radios (a single 2.4GHz and two 5GHz channels), the WAC540 brings a total of 3Gbps throughput, broad coverage and commercial-grade security. Providing superior self-managing Wi-Fi with advanced features such as band-steering, beamforming, load balancing, airtime fairness and advanced roaming, the WAC540 can support hundreds of Wi-Fi clients for businesses requiring maximum Wi-Fi performance and coverage.

Netgear Insight WAC540 4x4 AP, Orbi Pro Ceiling with POE and new Insight Cloud Management features announced 2

NETGEAR Insight Cloud Management new features

While I love Netgear Insight, it was lacking some of the features that are available for Ubiquiti and Zyxel Nebula. It looks like Netgear hope to fix this and are now rolling out many more Insight Pro features, which will help justify the extra cost compared to the basic service.

Insight will enable remote management and full monitoring of both the new WAC540 and the Orbi Pro Ceiling satellite as well as the entire network. Small Businesses will now benefit from the new Insight core management functions which include:

  • Instant Wi-Fi – Insight using Radio Resource Management (AutoRRM+) immediately optimises all access points at the location either automatically, on-demand, scheduled or event-based for instant Wi-Fi setup.
  • RADIUS authentication on Insight Switches (Insight Premium subscription only) for enhanced security and privacy
  • Device Backup and Restore
    • ​Device level backup/restore of a device setting in case of a factory reset, device RMA
    • Maintain multiple backup versions and the ability to restore to any backed version on the device
    • Add additional devices and set them up in a hurry using the copy and paste feature of a saved device configuration

The newly enhanced Insight Pro is designed to allow VARs to add or expand their recurring services revenue quickly with little-to-no out of pocket expense. NETGEAR Insight Pro management solution, with an industry leading lowest Total Cost of Ownership, enables VAR partners to augment their existing business through managed services while staying competitive with the larger MSPs.

VARs, MSPs and Integrators will benefit from Insight Pro core feature enhancements which include:

  • Insight Pro Custom Reports
    • Troubleshooting – client devices, client signal strength, AP usage, switch load,
    • Health Trends – devices added, data consumption, client added, clients properties
    • Change Logs – reports with details of each change made in each organisation, network location by device, identifying who made each change with a date/time stamp
    • Inventory – location specific device list for each organisation with 24 to 30-day data usage filters
  • Network Location Configurations (Insight and Insight Pro) – for rapid deployment and scaling
    • Wired settings include: VLAN Settings, LAGs, PoE Schedules, STP, QoS settings.
    • Wireless includes:  SSID, ACLs, Associated VLANs, Security, Captive Portal and LED Controls
  • Device Backup and Restore: New capabilities include:
    • Device level backup/restore of a device setting in case of a factory reset, device RMA
    • Maintain multiple backup versions and the ability to restore to any backed version on the device
    • Add additional devices and set them up in a hurry using the copy and paste feature of a saved device configuration

All NETGEAR Insight Managed products are fully-integrated and cloud-manageable devices, requiring no additional hardware or VPN tunneling to connect directly to the Insight cloud and can be managed remotely.

Netgear Insight WAC540 4x4 AP, Orbi Pro Ceiling with POE and new Insight Cloud Management features announced 3
Netgear Insight WAC540 4x4 AP, Orbi Pro Ceiling with POE and new Insight Cloud Management features announced 4

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