2009 Channel Contenders: Wireless Networking3:00 PM EST Tue. Jul. 28, 2009
Solution providers chose Linksys and Cisco Systems as their top leading vendors in the wireless networking space, but there are plenty of alternatives for VARs to consider as well, according to findings in the 2009 CRN Channel Contenders survey. The research sought to identify the top vendors that solution providers choose as alternatives to market leaders. Here's a look at the top contenders chosen by VARs.
It's not easy living in the shadow of more entrenched competitors, but D-Link is taking a creative approach to the challenge. At CES, D-Link unveiled its DIR-685 router, which mixes the features of an SMB Wi-Fi router with the convenience of a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, and adds the personal touch of a photo frame. This broad feature set grabbed conference attendees' attention and looks like a good model for future products.
Netgear has been working to cement its place in the SMB market, broadening its solution set to target the evolving needs of smaller companies. As part of this effort, Netgear recently rolled out two new ProSafe Advanced Gigabit Smart Switches, the GS724TPS and GS748TPS, in an effort to make it easier for SMBs to migrate to converged networks with VoIP, data and wireless.
Belkin sees opportunity in the wireless home office. Its recently unveiled Wireless USB Hub connects USB devices such as printers, scanners, hard drives and digital cameras and comes with an adapter that plugs directly into the client to enable it to speak wirelessly to the connected USB devices. Belkin's Wireless USB Hub has achieved "Certified Wireless USB" status from the USB Implementers Forum and is priced at $199.
In a bid to compete more effectively with Cisco and other networking giants, 3Com in May brought its Chinese H3C onto the global stage. 3Com will use H3C to target the enterprise market, while keeping its 3Com brand for small and medium businesses. With the H3C brand of networking equipment, which includes wireless access points, 3Com will be able to cover the full range of the market.
HP ProCurve last October acquired wireless vendor Colubris Networks and quickly integrated its wireless portfolio. ProCruve's first-ever acquisition, and the subsequent integration, was seen by industry analysts as the key to its future ability to challenge Cisco for market share in the wireless space. ProCurve absorbed Colubris' channel partners and now presents a united front that can teach customers about the compelling wireless total cost of ownership story it brings to the table.
SonicWall has captured the SMB market by bundling together multiple functions within a single appliance. This holds true for wireless networking and is seen in the company's latest offering, the SonicWall Clean Wireless Solution. The product integrates 802.11n and 802.11a/b/g wireless with unified threat management, an application firewall and application-based policy control, and is priced within reach of SMBs.
Nortel Networks filed for bankruptcy in January and in June agreed to sell its wireless infrastructure assets to Nokia Siemens for $650 million.
Buffalo Technology was embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit that has kept it from selling wireless gear in the U.S. from 2007 until early 2009. At CES 2009, Buffalo unveiled its Wireless-N Nfinity High Power Router & Access Point (WZR-HP-G300NH), which includes a built-in amplifier that boosts performance and range. It can act as a router or an access point, and features an external switch to jump between the two modes.