Cisco, Ruckus Deliver Painless, Bulletproof Wi-Fi Ideal For SMBs: My Experiences

It has long been clear that the days of wired Ethernet networks were numbered as an endpoint connection and while most homes long ago ditched switches and CAT5 cables for an all-in-one Wi-Fi router, however building a business-class WLANs still takes planning and skill. WLAN configuration and management is still something of a black art that often leaves the IT generalists that generally operate SMB infrastructure overwhelmed.

As I detail in this column, that’s changing as exemplified by new products by Cisco and Ruckus that deliver on the promise of 10-minute provisioning and feature a beautifully designed Web management interfaces exposing a plethora of network data and configuration settings. I share my experiences with both products and explain how SMBs or organizations with remote locations lacking IT personnel have plenty of great choices for building a bulletproof WLAN without the setup pain and management frustration typical of traditional enterprise network gear.

The products have a similarly simple setup process requiring just a few steps:

  1. Power up the AP (using power over Ethernet for a single cable to a switch is preferred)
  2. Connect to a default and conspicuously-named SSID (“CiscoAirProvision” for the Aironet and “ConfigureMe-xxxxx” for the Ruckus)
  3. Connect to the management portal on a default IP address (typically the gateway address on the temporary wireless network you’ve just connected to)
  4. Run a setup wizard (which will require few if any changes, other than names and addresses, from the default configuration)
  5. Save the configuration and reboot the AP

Once setup, as the full column explains, the management interfaces are both easy to use and beautifully designed.

Originally published at on January 14, 2016.

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