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










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