WiFi is one of those services that people simply expect to see these days. When you walk into just about any public building you are going to start looking for the “free” WiFi that they have. Most people do not stop to think about that that looks like behind the scenes especially when you are in a smaller business. In a large business you have multiple wireless access points (WAPs) that are run by a central controller. This centralized control system makes it relatively simple to control both the business side and the guest side of the wireless network. These tools can be very expensive and out of the budget range for most small companies. Instead a small business will end up with either an edge device with built in wireless (and really bad service), a single WAP or multiple individual WAPs that need to be managed independently and have their own problems.
NETGEAR has come up with a solution to that annoying issue. They call is Ensemble and it allows up to 10 WAPs to act as a single unit without the extra cost of a controller. They are pushing this new feature out with their WAP720 and 730 wireless access points. These are 802.11ac wireless with 1.2Gb/s and 1.7Gb/s combined data rates respectively. We have had a couple of the WAP720s in the lab and are ready to tell you how they work.