I have been a big fan of the Zyxel Nebula over the past year or so, the Nebula web management is one of the nicest interfaces I have used for cloud-managed networking and offered a huge amount of data and management features.
They have now done a full redesign of the system to improve it further claiming improved usability and an array of intelligent management tools.
Wi-Fi 6 802.11AX Access Points
While they are keen to highlight the new design, it is the new hardware that is more exciting. In particular, they have launched three new Wi-Fi 6 access points WAX650S, NWA110AX, and WAX510D. Wi-Fi 6 is starting to gain a lot of traction in the consumer market but things have been slower in the business space. Currently Meraki, Cisco and Engenius are the only companies I am aware of with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11AX) options on the market, and Engenius is the only one with something that is semi-affordable for small businesses or home users. So I hope the new Zebula access points will provide another semi-affordable solution.
The base model doesn’t offer much more in terms of performance compared to Wi-Fi 5, and the gigabit port will hold it back, however, the WAX610D and WAX650S offer 2.5gbps and 5gbps respectively with both having a theoretical 2400mbps peak performance. With one of these, you should be able to achieve multi-gig Wi-Fi speeds assuming you have ethernet that compliments it.
Full Press Release
Zyxel announces a major redesign of the Nebula Cloud Networking Solution. To support its stylish new user interface, with aesthetic and usability enhancements, Nebula now features an array of intelligent management tools and even more device compatibility to maximise the potential of users’ cloud networks.
The improvements are not merely aesthetic. Inspired by feedback from Nebula users, the next-generation dashboard enhances usability by enabling virtually limitless customisation, such as card-style widgets and What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get captive portal design for WiFi and gateways. With many more front-end additions, Nebula boasts better overall performance and a user experience that is peerless.
Smart, simple, and secure network connectivity
Nebula also has several new key features that are guaranteed to improve cloud management and save precious time. The startup wizard, which now supports gateway settings, ensures quick, complete, and easy network setup. Nebula’s smart engine makes it even easier to correlate settings and events across the entire network. If a user wants to create a VLAN network with a guest SSID, Nebula will automatically guide the user through the gateway’s VLAN interface settings. Additionally, when the scheduled PoE shutdown function is enabled on a switch to conserve energy, Nebula will know not to report an access point offline event for all APs connected to that switch.
A growing Nebula family for a faster, better future
The range of Nebula-supported devices has expanded to include the powerful WAX650S, NWA110AX, and WAX510D access points. All feature WiFi 6 (802.11ax) as well as beefed-up security, including MAC filtering for each SSID, the latest WPA3 WiFi standard, and dynamic VLAN assignment. The latter is perfect for larger school or business networks as it can separate users into multiple VLANs, insulating them for stronger security and also allowing easier management.
This release also welcomes the XS3800-28 switch to the cloud family. It is a full 10G aggregation switch that can serve as the core of a Nebula network. With the added convenience of cloud management, the switch is fully ready to deliver top-rate power and performance. For smaller networks, a 10G switch with fewer ports is scheduled to be rolled out in the coming months.
Enhanced dashboard to empower users
Nebula devotees will immediately notice the update’s focal point: a visually pleasing dashboard for the Nebula Control Centre. The pristine, ivory backdrop lines up with the existing aesthetics of the Nebula app, achieving a consistent look and feel across devices.
Also being introduced is a dark mode for the entire Nebula interface. This will literally be a sight for sore eyes, providing a more comfortable user experience in environments where overly bright light from a monitor can cause undue strain on the eyes. Users will be able to switch between the bright and dark themes with a single click.
“Seeing its tremendous business potential, more and more vendors have been entering the market of cloud networking management, but only providing limited features and offerings,” said Crowley Wu, Vice President of Zyxel’s Networking SBU. “As a full-stack solution leader in SMB cloud networking management, Zyxel has already made great strides with the next-gen interface offered by our latest release of Nebula. By revamping the UI in a way that excites and empowers, all users can now get the most out of the Nebula experience.”
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