5 New SMB Networking Products From Netgear, Linksys And More

The hybrid work trend turned the networking industry on its ear and shined a light on SMB networking solutions that can be used in smaller offices and in the home. Here’s five of the latest products that should be on solution providers’ radars.

Enterprise-Grade Features In A SMB Package

The last couple of years have changed the networking landscape significantly, sparking a multitude of new requirements from the world’s largest enterprises to some of the smallest businesses.

For many end users, the biggest change was the work from home trend started by the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend has given way to a new way of working that won’t be changing any time soon: hybrid work. This means that many employees will continue to work either full-time or part-time from home. The shift has even changed the landscape of the commercial real estate market as some enterprises have moved away from their large campus environments in favor of geographically distributed smaller office settings that accommodate less employees.

As the channel well knows, change means opportunity. A recent study from research firm IDC found that by 2023, 50 percent of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will reorganize their company structure, deploying remote and virtual distributed structures through technology. By 2024, 70 percent of SMBs will invest in enhanced connectivity and communications services. But SMB networking solutions aren’t just for the smaller companies anymore. These offerings can be a great fit for home workers and employees working out of smaller branch locations. Another thing that both enterprises and small businesses have in common? They are relying on their partners to help them find the best, right-sized solutions for their environments.

With so many offerings on the market to choose from, here are five of the newest SMB networking products that channel partners should know about.

Integrated Cradlepoint NetCloud Platform And Ericsson IoT Accelerator

Wireless edge networking specialist Cradlepoint in 2020 was scooped up by Swedish telecom equipment giant Ericsson for $1.1 billion and luckily, the purchase hasn’t stopped Cradlepoint from innovating under Ericsson’s wing.

In fact, the two companies earlier this year revealed that Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform and Ericsson IoT Accelerator are now integrated to further support customers managing their connected enterprise -- the first product integration between the two companies since the acquisition. The combined solution gives IT teams the ability to view, activate and manage routers, SIMs and cellular data plans from one interface.

EnGenius Technologies' Wi-Fi 6E Access Point

Small business networking specialist EnGenius in July began shipping its first Wi-Fi 6E access point designed for the SMB market -- the cloud-managed ECW336 access point.

The new indoor ceiling mount tri-band access point operates in the 6 GHz spectrum, as well as the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. It boasts seven wide 160 MHz channels to increase network capacity and reduce bandwidth congestion. The company said that there are twice as many channels on the newly opened 6GHz band that do not overlap with each other to significantly cut down network bottlenecks and allow for Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. The ECW336 also supports WPA3 Enterprise security and “enhanced open” for stronger encryption and authentication.

Linksys/Belkin Hydra Pro 6

Longtime SMB networking player Linksys in May introduced a very cost-effective Wi-Fi 6 router: the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 with Intelligent Mesh.

The new dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router offers up what the company calls “next-level” streaming and gaming to the home network. It’s built on the Qualcomm Immersive Home 216 Platform and boasts easy set-up and management through the Linksys app.

Netgear WAX628 and WAX638E Access Points

Introduced this month, Netgear launched two new access points for home use -- the WAX628 and WAX638E -- that are bundled with four years of both Netgear Insight and the company’s ProSupport services. The new access points join Netgear’s product family of Pro AV switches.

The dual-band WAX628 and Tri-band WAX638E Wi-Fi 6 and 6E access points offer speeds up to 5.4Gbps for the WAX628 and up to 7.8 Gbps for the WAX638E. They include enterprise-grade security features and secure sub-networks with SSIDs and VLANs, which are configured and managed via Netgear Insight.

These new offerings are tailored specifically for the residential custom integration market and are sold exclusively through authorized integrators and custom installers, according to Netgear.

NWN Carousel At-Home Essentials

NWN Carousel upping its hybrid work game this year and launched a new bundled solution for both home workers and those returning to the office.

The NWN Carousel At-Home Essentials kit offers business-grade connectivity—including bandwidth and Cisco Meraki wireless access points—as well as visual collaboration tools, including high-resolution desktop cameras, face lighting and advanced speakers, microphones and headsets. The kit also includes end-user service desk support. Users have a choice between third-party collaboration device vendor products, including Cisco Webex and Poly hardware for video meetings. The At-Home Essentials kit can integrate with existing solutions customers may already have in their environments, like Microsoft Teams.

NWN Carousel is selling this kit through its channel of partners and directly to end users via a flexible, consumption-based selling model.