|Wireless Type||802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11g|
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Zyxel NWA1123-NI Dual-Band 802.11N Ceiling Mount PoE Access Point,White
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|Wireless Type||802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11g|
|Data Transfer Rate||600 Megabits Per Second|
About this item
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- Wireless LAN standard- IEEE 802.11N
- Form Factor- ceiling mountable
- Features- MIMO technology
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Superior Coverage from Multifunction Ceiling Mount Access Point
The ZyXEL NWA1120 Series is a standard-based, SNMP-managed PoE Access Point (AP) that includes two models: the 2.4 GHz NWA1121-NI and the newly introduced NWA1123-AC featuring the advanced 802.11ac technology. The smoke detector look exterior makes the NWA1120 Series perfect for indoor ceiling-mount installation; with the optimized antennas built-in, its design solves the common interference issue in ceiling-mount deployments. The NWA1120 Series supports multiple operating modes, such as wireless client and repeater, which make it an ideal, flexible solution for small business, hotels and school nvironments.
Ceiling-mount design with best interior wireless performance
Different from traditional business wireless APs struggling between performance and environment cohesion, the ZyXEL NWA1120 Series of PoE AP features embedded antennas and ceiling-mount capability without sacrificing wireless performance. In typical ceiling-mount installations, the access points with external antennas are mostly hidden in the plenum area; to prevent performance degradation, the antennas usually stick out of the ceiling—messy for indoor deployments. The smoke detector-style exterior of ZyXEL NWA1120 Series is suitable for ceiling installation that prevents equipment theft. Although the NWA1120 Series uses built-in antennas, it outperforms APs with internal antennas and blends into the interior better as well.
In addition, the ZyXEL NWA1120 Series adopts non-toxic casing material, since it’s usually placed in plenum areas, to prevent hazardous vapor emission in case of fire; this is especially important to public venues such as offices, hotels and schools.
ZyXEL ONE Network experience
Aiming for relieving our customers from repetitive operations of deploying and managing a network, ZyXEL ONE Network is designed to simplify the configuration, management, and troubleshooting, allowing our customers to focus on the business priorities. ZyXEL ONE Network presents an easy-to-use tool, ZyXEL ONE Network Utility (ZON Utility), to realize speed network setup. ZyXEL Smart Connect allows ZyXEL networking equipment to be aware and recognize each other and further facilitating the network maintenance via one-click remote functions such as factory reset or power cycling. ZyXEL ONE Network redefines the network integration across multiple networking products from switch to Wi-Fi AP and to Gateway.
High-density with high-quality user experience
It’s now common for a user to carry two or more devices that use different Wi-Fi bands; this challenges many places that still use legacy Wi-Fi AP with insufficient capability to serve the high-bandwidth devices. NWA1123-AC is compatible with concurrent 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands to support more users at the same time. Featuring the latest IEEE 802.11ac technology, including the expanded channel binding of 80 MHz and the highest 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), the new NWA1123-AC delivers data speeds of up to 3 times faster. This brings the best user experience through higher number of parallel video data streams for minimized latency on the network.
Easy RF planning with same 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal coverage (NWA1123-AC)
Most Wi-Fi devices around us operate in the crowded 2.4 GHz band where only three non-overlapping channels can be used for deployments, and complaints for the unsatisfactory network performance are not uncommon. As many recent mobile or laptop devices support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, users tend to choose the 5 GHz band as their first priority; as a result, serving the 5 GHz devices becomes more important than before. However, the coverage of the higher-frequency 5 GHz band is inherently smaller comparing to the 2.4 GHz band, given the same output power. With a fine-tuned 5 GHz radio mechanism that boosts performance at the frequency, the coverage of NWA1123-AC becomes comparable to which at the 2.4 GHz band to reduce the complexity of deployments considerably.
Multi-operation flexibility and practical business features
The NWA1120 Series of PoE Access Points supports multiple operating modes including stand-alone access point, wireless client and repeater/root-AP mode. The wireless client mode enables office peripherals like printers or fax machines to connect to the network in case they are located in places difficult for cabling. The NWA1120 Series also extends Wi-Fi services utilizing the repeater or root-AP mode to prevent excessive cable constructions. The NWA1120 Series is the best choice for small businesses for its practical features designed for business deployments: multiple SSID, solid Wi-Fi security of WPA2 Enterprise, Layer-2 isolation and 802.1 x radius authentication. All these practical features along with the high-performance RF design make the ZyXEL NWA1120 Series the best solution for building flexible Wi-Fi networks in small businesses.
Top reviews from the United States
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This AP has most of the features you'd need in a small-scale business environment: multiple SSIDs, VLAN tagging, RADIUS client for WPA/EAP authentication, NTP. It can get its management IP from either DHCP or static configuration. It also seems to have a function to email its internal log files automatically but I haven't tested this yet. The housing is basically the same size and shape as a typical smoke detector and uses a bayonet-type mounting bracket to attach to the ceiling. The cables can be run either out the side along the surface or through the center of the bracket if you cut a hole in the ceiling. In the configuration system, there are 32 SSID profiles that can each use one of 8 security profiles and one of 4 RADIUS profiles. Each radio can have up to 8 active SSID profiles enabled at a time. This way you can keep a number of configurations available and switch between them quickly, and share security options between different SSIDs or bands without reentering information in different places.
I have run into a couple bugs with the original firmware. The first one I noticed (which was fixed when I upgraded to the V2.00 version) involved setting the subnet mask from DHCP. Could be because my subnet length isn't on an 8-bit boundary or might be a more general issue. This made it impossible to access the management interface over a VPN (since it wouldn't realize the VPN addresses are outside its subnet and need to be routed through a gateway) and caused problems with NTP too. The other problem I've found, while trying to configure a multi-SSID system with 2 VLANs, involves using RADIUS with VLAN tagging enabled. It seems like you can't specify which VLAN is used for RADIUS requests (I think they always get sent as untagged) even with a management VLAN configured. You also can't assign one of the wireless networks to use untagged frames (they have to have a VLAN ID from 0-4094). So if the RADIUS server is on the same network segment as one of the wireless networks there appears to be no way to configure it so both of them can be accessed correctly! There might be a way around this by using some bridging or routing on another device or relocating the management interface to a completely separate network, but I haven't had time to figure it out yet.
There is a telnet server on the AP but you can't really do anything with it: it only runs a special simplified shell when you log in with admin account that lets you reboot the device and change a few other settings but nothing really useful. I did find a way to get a full root shell though; all you need is a screwdriver and a 3.3V TTL serial port. There's a 4-pin header on the board with UART signals; the thermal ground plane connection is easily visible on one pin and you can measure voltages on the others to find the rest of the signals. Connect at 115200 baud and log in with the same admin user and password used for the web interface. This actually gives you a root shell since both admin and root are listed in /etc/passwd with uid 0, but the real root doesn't have a known password by default. However, since you're really uid 0 as admin you can just reset root's password, then log in through telnet. Then the script that gets run for the telnet session will give you a standard shell instead of the simpleCLI menu when you connect as root instead of admin.
The firmware is Linux-based and you can actually request the source code for most of it from ZyXEL. It's not directly downloadable from their website though like most companies, so you have to fill out a form and they'll email you a link to an FTP site within a couple days. But unlike many other products, the package you do get includes a full toolchain, build scripts, and all files needed to make the rootfs image, not just the sources for the kernel and BusyBox and other things they're forced to release under the GPL. There are a couple of binary blobs used to implement things like the web interface and device drivers but most of the control is done through shell scripts that look like they're easy to modify. I haven't tried uploading a custom firmware build to the device yet though it should be possible. The upgrade binaries are actually just a .tar.bz2 in disguise containing the kernel and a JFFS2 image (built for a big-endian MIPS CPU so you have to run it through jffs2dump -e to mount it on a little-endian machine). I had no idea this thing was so easy to hack.
My minor gripe is this:
In order to setup the device through a browser, Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is required, which possesses too many security holes to count...and new holes are identified within JVM weekly. Alternative methods exist, which ZyXEL is able to select and implement--in order to more safely manage the device through a 'Web Smart' interface. Unfortunately, however, ZyXEL has not chosen this path. Therefore, I use a virtual machine with JVM to manage these devices--reducing my susceptibility to JVM attacks within my standard laptop's day-to-day web browser.
Of course, the second alternative I used in the past--more often than now--is the Command Line Interface (CLI)--which works quite well. Keep in mind that the CLI commands are quite different than Cisco's CLI commands.
My minor gripe does not sufficiently warrant the removal of a star, or even half of a star--more likely, one third of a star; therefore, I give this product 4 and 2/3 stars!!
The reason it is only a 4 out of 5 is that this usually involves me doing the setup since it is decidedly not plug and play. You can get it running following the manual but it helps a lot if you understand APs and their various configurations.
Performance wise it is the best of all the Netgears, D-Links and Cisco's I have used. Compares well with some of the commercial units - Like Ruckus.