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Gateway unveils WLAN and switching gear

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April 06, 2004 02:13 PM ET - Gateway this week unveiled a line of WLAN access points and Ethernet switches specifically designed and priced for small and medium businesses.

The company, best known for its PCs and servers, has been extending its reach into business accounts with its own branded, enterprise network gear that's aggressively priced and easy to install.

The Gateway 7000 Series Access Point has two models: one with a single 54M bit/sec 802.11g radio, or one with two radios, 11g and 11a. Both models use Atheros' WLAN chipsets and an Intel network processor.

Unusually, the 7000 has two 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet ports, which can be used to set up various configurations, including bridging WLAN signals between buildings. The 7000 has power-over-Ethernet and the latest security standards such as Advanced Encryption Standard and Wi-Fi Protected Access. It also includes a built-in RADIUS server, which can authenticate up to 100 WLAN users.

A Web-based graphical management tool, created by Instant802 specifically for Gateway, is intended to simplify the work of setting up a complete WLAN of up to eight of the Gateway access points. Customers can use the software to create VPNs. With a VPN, for example, a visitor or guest can be given Internet access but kept apart from a company's application servers.

The 11g model is $300; the 11g/11a model is $400.

Also new are three models of Ethernet switches, ranging from unmanaged boxes to managed Gigabit Ethernet switches.

The 7200 switches have 16 or 24 ports of 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet; the high-end model adds two 10/100/1000M bit/sec ports. The 7600 series offers five or eight 10/100/1000M bit/sec ports on desktop models, and 16 or 24 on rack-mounted boxes. Prices range from $80-400.

The 7600 switches are aimed at mid-range enterprise and government users. These are managed, rack-mounted boxes that can support up to 8,000 MAC addresses, with 24 to 48 ports. Initial models will support 10/100M bit/sec ports with Gigabit Ethernet boxes due out later in 2004. Prices start at $400. The high-end Gigabit Ethernet switch will be $3,000.

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