Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pepwave 300M review


Intro
Features
Setup
Wireless configuration
Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
Closing Notes


Intro: The Pepwave 300Mis a enterprise level wireless access point that is affordable for small to medium businesses, has a standard amount of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that enterprises require.


Features: The Pepwave 300Mfeatures the following:


Dual band 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz operation with 2 x 2 MIMO connectivity at up to 300Mbps
2 wired Gigabit LAN ports
2 2x2 mimo  x 5dBi  dual band  SMA antennas
SSIDs with configurable VLANs for each one providing more security then standard guest networks
Traffic shaping (QoS)
Client connectivity details and monitoring.
Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
And lots more


Setup:
Setup is very awkward and you have to manually connect with a static IP to the very different 192.168.0.3 address and you can’t remotely provision it from a wired desktop like other access points like the xirrus arrays.
The peplink did not like having its IP address changed. I set to a static IP so I can remotely provision and it did not like it and required a reset. Also placing it into “router mode” freaked it out.
I reconfigured it and it still will not provide “internet access” status even with new SSID/VLAN/DHCP settings.
Support has been engaged
Support issue resolved, however unsatisfactory. The Valuepoint Networks 12-p PoE switch does not work with this. Had to use an injector and direct to router.


Let's take a look at the dashboard.




Wireless Configuration:


Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings:


AP Main Settings:


The Pepwave 300Msupports WPA/WPA2 and supports PSK and Enterprise authentication types that can be different for each SSID. Selecting “Enterprise” allows you to use RADIUS, which allows you to define a username and password rather then a static key, allowing for more fine control over your wireless network.


Traffic Shaping:
You can do traffic shaping to make sure each client has equal bandwidth and also to make sure certain clients that are more important have more bandwidth then other clients like important servers, mission critical workstations, etc. Very useful. Not as robust as Aruba, Meraki, Xirrus, etc, however.


Throughput Tests: (Wireless)


I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.


Test environment: (Set 1)


Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.


Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as thePepwave 300): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC


Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Amped Wireless ACA1 USB WLAN connection:USB3 via a PCI-Express addon card.


5Ghz 802.11ac mode: Channel 44+ -56dBm


LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 11Mbytes/sec or 88Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 6 -51dBm


LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec



Test environment: (Set 2)


Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the Pepwave 300Mis located.


Specs of server (my machine in the same room as thePepwave 300): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC


Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/500GB SSHD /AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN


2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -59dBm


LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 3Mbytes/sec or 24Mbits/sec


UNABLE TO START TEST DUE TO ADAPTER  DIFFICULTIES AT 2.4GHZ


Same system WLAN USB (Edimax AC600)


5.0Ghz 802.11an mode channel 161+ -64dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec


2.4Ghz 802.11n mode channel 1 -62dBm
UNABLE TO START TEST DUE TO ACCESS POINT DIFFICULTIES AT 2.4GHZ


Conclusion:


The Pepwave 300MWireless Access Point is a decent cloud managed wireless access point. It has good 5Ghz connectivity, lots of features, and a nice cloud managed UI.
Pros:
Decent management software
Decent interface
Upgradeable antennas


Cons:
Unstable connectivity
Does not like certain PoE switches
5 Ghz OR 2.4Ghz, non concurrent dual band


Rating:  4/10
Recommended: no










Saturday, August 1, 2015

Aerohive AP230 review


1)Intro
2)Features
3)Setup
4)Wireless configuration
5)Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
6)Closing Notes
Intro: The Aerohive AP230 is a enterprise level wireless access point that is somewhat affordable for small to medium businesses, has lots of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that enterprises require.
Review Note: I have been provided three APs  to test the really cool roaming features.
Features: The AP230 features the following:
1) Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation with 3 x 3 MIMO connectivity at up to 1200Mbps
2) Remote mgmt with HiveManager
3) 2 wired Gigabit LAN port (PoE/ ETH)
4) 4 3x3 mimo  x 6dBi  dual band internal antennas with 20dBm output power for great wireless coverage
5) SSIDs with configurable VLANs for each one providing more security then standard guest networks
6) Full VLAN configuration
7) Full and extremely detailed traffic shaping (QoS) and firewall controls
8) Full client connectivity details and monitoring.
9) Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
10) Fully customizable user/group policies
11) Full Intrusion Protection Services
12) SNMP
13) And lots more
Setup:
1) Power brick was a POE injector. Allows for just one cable into the AP.
2) Instant setup was done with the cloud management system and was easy as the Meraki one was. Took a bit longer to configure itself, however.
3) Also These are known for thier VLAN issues, however none of mine had that issue :)
Let's take a look at the really helpful status page that tells us all our status. (Hive MGr Cloud)

Wireless Configuration:
Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings (HiveMgr Cloud):

The AP230 supports WPA/WPA2 and supports PSK and Enterprise authentication types that can be different for each SSID. Selecting “Enterprise” allows you to use RADIUS Authentication, which allows you to define a username and password rather then a static key, allowing for more fine control over your wireless network. User based controls allow you to define limits PER USER so that if let’s say, they get fired, you just delete thier user account and not have to change the ENTIRE NETWORK’S encryption key.

Aerohive also has a “PPSK” where you can have different PSK keys for the same SSID without having to deploy a RADIUS server, however the feature did not work on my network no matter what I tried. Support has been engaged and I will update when I hear back.

UPDATE!!!
Aerohive support has resolved the PPSK issue. It was related to having multiple (hive manager) profiles on one SSID and since they have two attribute numbers the SSID profile and hive manager were confused.

Also there seems to be an issue with Realtek based clients where the stability is not very good and the speeds jump around a lot more than Meraki, Aruba, or Xirrus on the same channel, frequency, and channel width.
Roaming:
The roaming works ok, however, the band steering does not work very well. I have several devices I have struggled to get to force to 5ghz and they do not unless I hit the “deauthenticate” button a few times. Very annoying.
I do have sticky client issues with a media device.
I have presented my config to let you know:

Throughput Tests: (Wireless)
I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.
Test environment: (Set 1)
Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.
Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as theAP230): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Asus AC53 USB WLAN (note: The Amped ACA1 does not work in that machine anymore and is unfit for tests till further notice and is no longer a recommended adapter)
5Ghz 802.11ac mode: Channel 149 -72dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 15Mbytes/sec or 120Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -59dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 9Mbytes/sec or 72Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 2)
Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the AP230 is located.
Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theAP230): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -48dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 5Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 2a)
Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theAP230): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/Edimax AC600
5 GHz 802.11anac mode: Channel 36+ -64dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 10Mbytes/sec or 80Mbits/sec

Conclusion:
Pros:
Ø Excellent management software with lots of options
Ø Lots of RF tools to configure the WLAN radios to your needs
Ø Powerful coverage and throughput
Ø Very robust security controls and options
Cons:
Ø Pricey
Ø No external antennas
Ø Sticky client issues
Ø Band steering issues
Ø PPSKs have issues (Note: corrected, however happens with multiple profiles on one ssid)
Ø Unstable 2.4Ghz performance
Rating:  7/10
Recommended: yes

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Luxul XWR-1750 review


Intro
Features
Setup
Wireless configuration
Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
Firmware notes
Closing Notes


Intro: The Luxul XWR-1750 is a wireless router that is  Targeted at pro-sumers market  has an average amount  of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that pro-sumers require.


Features: The Luxul XWR-1750 features the following:

Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation with 3 x 3 MIMO connectivity at up to 1750Mbps
4 wired Gigabit LAN ports
3 3x3mimo dual band external high gain SMA antennas with 30dBm output power for great wireless coverage.
Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
QoS controls
Guest networks
USB sharing
Firewall
VPN
And lots more

Setup:


Setup was very easy and it connected pretty fast and got an IP quickly.


Let's take a look at the really helpful status page that tells us all our status.


Wireless Configuration:


Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings:


Security Settings:

The Luxul XWR-1750 supports WPA/WPA2 security.

Throughput Tests: (Wireless)


I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.


Test environment: (Set 1)


Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.


Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as theLuxul XWR-1750): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC


Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Amped Wireless ACA1 USB WLAN connection:USB3 via a PCI-Express addon card.

5Ghz 802.11n mode: Channel 44+ -56dBm


LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 30Mbytes/sec or 240Mbits/sec


2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 1 -53dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 8Mbytes/sec or 64Mbits/sec


Test environment: (Set 2)


Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the Luxul XWR-1750 is located.


Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theLuxul XWR-1750): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC


Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -38dBm


LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: Note: adapter had issues with the test.

Same system WLAN USB (Edimax AC600)


5.0Ghz 802.11ac mode channel 44+ -58dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 8Mbytes/sec or 64Mbits/sec

2.4Ghz 802.11n mode channel 1 -62dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 3Mbytes/sec or 24Mbits/sec


Conclusion:


Pros:
Easy controls and options
Decent throughput
Guest networks
QoS controls
High signal strength


Cons:
Lacks some options for configuration
No RADIUS authentication support
USB not implemented or ready yet
Not so great 2.4Ghz performance

Rating:  8/10
Recommended: Yes