New 60GHz PTP/PTMP Aiming Mode & App – Linq Assist™

With the release of firmware version v1.1.4 for IgniteNet’s MetroLinq™ platform, we are pleased to announce the introduction of a new and improved web GUI based Aiming Mode along with support for our new Linq Assist™ app for iOS and Android mobile devices. This new Aiming Mode provides faster initialization, more precise results, improved responsiveness, and a more intuitive operational process than previous implementations. This, in conjunction with the ease of use of the Linq Assist app, will greatly improve your link alignment and installation experience.

Aiming Mode – PTP

When you first update from an older firmware version to v1.1.4, you will find that on the 60Ghz Point-to-Point Auto operation mode has been replaced with two options, Point-to-Point Master and Point-to-Point Client as seen below.

When you update from an older version which began in Point-to-Point Auto mode, each radio will then default to Point-to-Point Master. Don’t worry! The Point-to-Point mode does not matter for link operation, and having both sides on this same mode will not cause link problems. It only matters when using the Aiming Mode. For Aiming Mode to operate normally, one side has to be the Master, and the other side has to be the Client. The Client side is the side that starts the internal Aiming Mode process, and while the Master side will display the relevant signal information when the Aiming Mode is started on that side, the Client side is what drives the operation.

Before beginning alignment, configure the radios and make sure the channels on both sides are the same, the SSIDs are the same, leave encryption off for now, set the date rate to MCS1, and ensure the ACK settings are set for the appropriate distance.

To use the Aiming Mode, set one side to Point-to-Point Client and the other side to Point-to-Point Master. On the Client side, click on the Open Aiming Tool button as shown below.

Once the Aiming Mode page pops up, press Start and it will start scanning for Master units as shown below.

NOTE: Once you start the Aiming Mode from the Client side, the link will drop (if previous associated) and you won’t be able to reach the other side via the link. If you are aiming one side at a time, you can set the timer on the Client side (while adjusting Master Side) to run for X minutes at a time. This will allow for the link to re-establish to you can reach the other side again once the timer expires.

Once the Client sees a Master unit, it will display the MAC of the Master, the Local and Remote RSSI and SNR values, and a signal bar that shows the current signal strength and the highest level seen as seen below.

NOTE: The MAC shown is the MAC address of the 60Ghz interface of the other side, and not its main system MAC. You can find the 60Ghz MAC address of a device in question by looking at the Wireless Status section of the Dashboard as seen below. We suggest noting all MAC’s used for a link during initial updating and configuration to keep in your records. If the Client sees two Master units in the scan, both will be displayed with corresponding MAC addresses and signal bars.

When logged into the GUI on the Master, you can also see this alignment information. Please note again that the Aiming Mode on the Master will not display any information until the Aiming Mode on the Client unit has been started. It looks quite similar to the Client info, but this time showing the MAC of the Client radio as seen below.

When the Aiming Mode is operational, begin making your alignment adjustments. Be sure to make small adjustments, and mark or remember the positioning when you first start to see link numbers reported so you can always return to that point if you lose alignment.

Aiming Mode – PTMP

The Aiming Mode usage in PTMP modes is quite similar to PTP modes. The PTMP Client is identical to the PTP Client. The PTMP Master is slightly different however, in that instead of displaying a signal bar for a single Client, it can show multiple Aiming Peers at one time as seen below. This is done so that you can monitor multiple Client devices being aimed at the Master from the Master side at once. The signal bars are not used because of a slightly different internal operational topology with regards to how the Aiming Peers reporting mechanism operates, and also because you normally aren’t making adjustments on the Master (typically one of the sector antenna units) for a single client.

Linq Assist

The new Linq Assist™ app puts the power of this new Aiming Mode in the palm of your hand. Available for iOS and Android operating systems, Linq Assist allows you to use your mobile device to quickly and easily see alignment information while directly making alignment adjustments without handling a bulky laptop or relaying signal levels back and forth from someone on the ground. Utilizing a bluetooth USB dongle that you insert into the MetroLinq radio you’d like to aim, Linq Assist is able to communicate with the MetroLinq radio itself to poll and display local and remote signals in real time.

To use Linq Assist, open the app and look for the 60Ghz interface MAC address of the MetroLinq device into which you’ve installed the bluetooth USB dongle. You can see this in the picture below, where the bluetooth USB dongle is installed into the PTP-Client radio from before which has a 60Ghz MAC of 28:76:10:06:F6:17.


Click on the desired radio and the connection will establish and the app will display alignment info from the radio. Please note that Aiming Mode on the unit/link in question must be enabled in the GUI before it will report data to the app.  If Aiming Mode is not enabled, or if it is enabled and there are no signals seen because of the alignment, you will see the screen below.


Slowly begin making alignment adjustments, and once the local end sees signal info from the other side then it will display on the app as seen below.


The app will display the local signal, remote signal, and a combined signal strength. It will also sound an audio tone (the faster the tone interval, the stronger the signal) which can be muted if desired from the volume button on the top right hand corner. Once alignment is finished, leave the app, turn off Aiming Mode in the GUI, and your link will establish and you can pass data across it.

Below are a few additional notes about using Linq Assist:

  • The bluetooth USB dongle used is a standard bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle you can purchase from a number of sources. Most units tested from common sources such as this one from Amazon have worked well. We will also make known compatible dongles available through the distribution chain. The USB port on the MetroLinq unit is to the right of the ETH0/POE port.
  • As pointed out above, Aiming Mode from the GUI must be launched before the app will report any data. However once launched, it doesn’t need further interaction until you are done aligning. So you can start it from the ground or other remote location as long as you have GUI access.
  • As the app and Aiming Mode both reference the 60Ghz radio MAC address, be sure to take note of the MAC’s in use during initial configuration so you have it on hand when aligning.
  • The app will display signal info from radios in either of the 4 modes: PTP-Client, PTP-Master, PTMP-Client, or PTMP-Master. The only main difference is that when using it with a PTMP-Master, the app will only show a single Aiming Peer that has the strongest current signal (whereas the GUI will show all Aiming Peers). This isn’t usually a problem as you typically aren’t making aiming adjustments on a Master that is serving multiple clients. This is mainly pointed out here for reference purposes.
  • If you are using the app on a Client that sees multiple Masters on the same channel, the GUI will display all Masters but the app will only display a single Master that has the strongest signal.
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IgniteNet SunSpot SS-AC1200, SkyFire SF-AC1200-UK, Cloud Controller review

IgniteNet SunSpot SS-AC1200, SkyFire SF-AC1200-UK, Cloud Controller review

 

IgniteNet provides cloud-managed access points at extremely competitive prices

Overall Score
5
Pros
Hardware and cloud subscription are inexpensive; Clear interface for both local device and cloud configuration; Relatively low cost per access point unit
Cons
No local alternative for multi-device/site management
Verdict
While cloud management won’t suit everyone, IgniteNet’s management interface is among the best we’ve used and the company’s access point hardware is great value.
Price
IgniteNet SunSpot SS-AC1200, £115 ex VAT IgniteNet SkyFire SF-AC1200-UK, £115 ex VAT IgniteNet Cloud Controller, $99 (£75) per year

IgniteNet’s range of indoor and outdoor wireless access points can be managed via a single cloud-based interface or operated as stand-alone units. They’re built for business users who wish to securely extend their wireless networks across one or more worksites and are priced extremely competitively for their feature set.

We tested the IgniteNetS SunSpot SS-AC1200 and the weather-resistant IgniteNet SkyFire SF-AC12000-UK, which each cost £115 (ex VAT). This is far cheaper than most managed access point solutions, such as those from rivals Ruckus, Ubiquiti and Zyxel, but bear in mind that IgniteNet’s access point management gateway is only available as a cloud-based service and that you’ll need to pay an annual subscription of $99 (£75) if you want to control more than two devices this way.

That’s not very expensive and the access points still work and can be fully controlled via your local network, even without the cloud management interface. However, if you want full multi-unit online control and monitoring, then you’re dependent on IgniteNet’s continued support and your regular subscription.

IgniteNet’s access points can each handle up to 64 clients via an encrypted connection and up to 128 without, and each manageable site can have up to 500 access points.

SunSpot SS-AC1200 

IgniteNet’s SunSpot SS-AC1200 802.11ac simultaneous dual-band wireless access point is equipped with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios with a theoretical maximum 2.4GHz throughput of 300Mbit/s and 5GHz throughput of 866Mbit/s. The SS-AC1200 has two 2.4GHz antennas and two 5GHz antennas. These are all internal, and the unit lacks support for optional external antennas.

It comes with a neatly designed plastic ceiling-mount, which allows the access point to be easily slid into place on suspended ceiling rails, as well as the expected wall-mount points. It runs off a standard power adaptor but also supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), allowing you to dispense with extra power cabling if your network supports the standard.

It can take PoE via its Gigabit WAN port, which is also what you’ll use to connect it to your network. Beyond that, the access point is equipped with a pair of 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN ports, which you can use to connect other devices to your network is necessary. It’s also equipped with a USB port, which is intended to supply 5V power, for example to IP cameras. A plastic lip above the ports helps to protect your cables from being accidentally unplugged, but also makes it hard to unclip Ethernet cables.

Status lights and a recessed reset switch are alongside the ports, and the front of the unit bears the IgniteNet logo surrounded by a glowing LED strip that changes colour to indicate cloud management connection status. The SunSpot actually has most of the features of a fully-fledged router, with NAT, a DHCP server and a basic firewall, so if necessary you can just directly connect a WAN interface.

We tested the access point’s wireless using our reference TrendNet TWD-804UB AC600 wireless adapter – not the fastest on the market by any means, but with capabilities and throughput that are typical of standard laptop and tablet 802.11ac performance.

We were pleased with the AP’s performance on both bands: we got 2.4GHz speeds of 49.29Mbit/s at 5m, 50.37Mbit/s at 10m and 47.52Mbit/s at 25m. On the 5GHz band, we saw speeds of up to 181.75Mbit/s at 5m, 93.21Mbit/s at 10 and 44.59Mbit/s at 25m. However, 5GHz signal strength was somewhat variable at our further 25 metre test distance.

SkyFire SF-AC1200-UK

The SkyFire SF-AC1200-UK is a simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac wireless access point, certified IP55  again intrusion and moisture, which means that it can withstand both water spray (but not concentrated jets) and entry by solid items larger than 1mm (but not resist fine dust particles). It’s suitable to mount where it might get splashed by rain, but don’t expect it to stand up to immersion or regular prolonged downpours. We recommend mounting it in sheltered outdoor locations, such as beneath the eaves of a building.

The unit’s generally built to be resistant to precipitation, heat, cold and humidity: it’s solidly made, with a metal backplate, mostly-metal chassis and plastic fascia and port covers. It’s designed to be mounted upright and comes with a pair of metal cable ties to secure it to a post or similar upright.

On the front, beneath a plastic cover bearing the IgniteNet logo, you’ll find a pair of connectors for optional external 2.4GHz antennas – the access point has both 2.4GH and 5GHz radios, but only has internal antennas for the 5GHz radio. The same panel houses a recessed reset switch, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a 10/100 Ethernet port. The SF-AC-1200-UK takes Power over Ethernet (PoE) via the Gigabit port and can supply PoE Out via its 10/100 port.

If you don’t have a full PoE network, the SkyFire comes with a passive PoE injector that you can use to power it, although it’s worth noting that the injector itself isn’t a particularly weatherproof item, so shouldn’t be mounted anywhere that’s exposed to the elements. However, it’s great to see injectors supplied as standard.

While there are a number variants of the SkyFire, this model is equipped with two 2×2 MIMO radios, one 2.4GHz and one 5GHz, with an internal 5GHz antenna power of 18dBi. Like the SunSpot, the SkyFire can work either as a stand-alone wireless access point or as part of a managed network of IgniteNet access points, and has basic router capabilities as well as serving as an access point.

Other versions of the SkyFire are equipped with both sets of integrated antennas, but this model number is primarily designed for point-to-point 5GHz networking at range. Even our typically modest USB wireless adaptor saw speeds of 181.75Mbit/s at 10m and 93.21Mbit/s at 25m.

Access Point Management

You can configure IgniteNet’s access points as either stand-alone units, which must each be managed individually, or as part of the IgniteNet cloud management system. When you first connect to an access point, an initial setup wizard prompts you to choose how you’d like to use your device. Should you change your mind later ,you can activate and deactivate this option via the device’s System Settings screen.

The access points’ local web interface gives you a clear dashboard where you can view the status of your AP’s network status, wireless status and traffic going across each of your wireless radios and Ethernet ports. A network tab allows you to configure the access point’s connection to your primary router; define the behaviour of each Ethernet port, for example by automatically sending any connection to a port to the guest network rather than your main network; configure wireless hotspot leases and also includes a range of features you’d expect from a standard router, including a firewall.

Your Wireless options give you control of the each wireless radio’s settings, from SSIDs, channels and bands to network behaviour such as automatically directing users to a guest network. VLANs can also be configured here, as can options such as bonding both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks into single SSID and leaving it to the access point to automatically determine which band client devices should be connected to.

By default, the access points’ 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks are both open, so you’ll want to add a password to those promptly if you’ll be using them in stand-alone mode. You can also set up guest networks with restricted access, just as you can via the cloud management suite.

In the Clouds

If you want to take advantage of the access points’ cloud management capabilities, you’ll first have to sign up for an IgniteNet Cloud account at https://cloud.ignitenet.com/welcome/login. You’ll be directed there via the user interface if you opt for cloud management, although we’d have liked to have seen more information about it in the standard quickstart guides.

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be prompted to name your first cloud. IgniteNet provides a free Trial tier that allows you to manage up to two access points for free, with the only other limitation being that data is stored for two weeks rather than the 30 days of paid-for plans.

However, if your enterprise opts for cloud control of a large number of IgniteNet devices across one or more sites, you’ll probably want to upgrade to the $99 (£75) a year Core Cloud tier, which supports an unlimited number of devices across an unlimited number of sites, although all IgniteNet cloud tiers are limited to a maximum of 500 devices per site. Larger enterprises may instead want to opt for the $5,000 Virtual Private Cloud, which provides the same features but also gets you a custom domain, design and branding.

The first step in setting up your cloud managed infrastructure is to create a site. Helpful options allow you to have IgniteNet automatically update the firmware of any device registered with the site’s cloud, set an email contact and time thresholds for alerts, after which the specified contact will be warned that one of the access points is offline.

You can also configure a single password that can be used to log into any of the access points locally, set their wireless password and SSID, and set up a guest network that’ll only have access to the internet, rather than the rest of your network. All of this is made easy by simple forms that prompt you to make relevant choices.

The next step to add your devices. You can choose to retain their current local configuration settings or have the site-wide settings applied to all devices in Enterprise mode, which we recommend for most businesses.  If necessary, individual access points can be configured with their own unique settings via the cloud interface.

You’ll need to type in each device’s name and MAC address – easily located on the access points themselves – to add it. While this is simple enough, it’s easy to make errors while typing in long strings and the process is likely to become tedious if you have multiple access points to add.

With your devices added, the IgniteNet cloud becomes an extremely useful monitoring tool, giving you an at-a-glace dashboard that lets you quickly check the status of devices and warns you of any malfunctions, detailed alert monitoring, individual device management and monitoring, and full control over your wireless networks.

As well as providing wireless networks in router or bridge mode, you can also fully isolate networks on their own subnets, which we recommend for guest networks in particular. Assuming you have a RADIUS server to handle authentication, or subscribe to a compatible out-of-the-box hotspot service such as HotSpotSystem, the IgniteNet system can also act as a wireless hotspot provider, ideal for public areas such as coffee shops and hotels.

Verdict

IgniteNet’s wireless access points are capable, powerful, solidly built and remarkably cheap for business grade hardware. Both cloud and local management interfaces are well designed, with a surprisingly comprehensive range of features.

The cloud-based nature of the management console means that, if you want to monitor and control multiple access points, then a subscription to the IgniteNet Cloud Controller service and a permanent, reliable internet connection will be required at all times. Fortunately, in case of outages, the network doesn’t lose previously configured settings and you can always manage units individually in an emergency.

While cloud management won’t suit everyone, IgniteNet’s management interface is among the best we’ve used and the company’s access point hardware is great value.

Source from: http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/iaas/6429/ignitenet-sunspot-ss-ac1200-skyfire-sf-ac1200-uk-cloud-controller-review

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wireless mag: IgniteNet launches cloud-enabled enterprise Wi-Fi system in UK

IgniteNet launches cloud-enabled enterprise Wi-Fi system in UK

New cost-effective indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi APs and 60GHz point-to-point radio antennas introduced to the UK

IgniteNet launches cloud-enabled enterprise Wi-Fi system in UK

A new cloud-enabled enterprise Wi-Fi brand was announced this week (29 June 2016) in the UK by IgniteNet. The company is already an established and growing supplier of indoor/outdoor hardware and cloud services in the US & Asia, IgniteNet is now bringing competitively price cloud-enabled networking to the UK market.

The range comprises business-grade indoor access points and outdoor products with wireless AC starting from just £54 plus VAT; and includes robust point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio antennas for connecting buildings up to 1.5kms away. Plus, launching later this year will be cloud managed layer 2 POE and fibre switches.

The IgniteNet range is described as highly flexible to appeal to a range of private and public sector organisations – from small businesses, up to schools and enterprises. In addition, Plug n Play makes installation and management simple.

IgniteNet Cloud
IgniteNet Cloud is an easy, powerful and affordable cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution, which enables control from any device. Full configuration, diagnostics, alerts and monitoring are included, with secure hosting provided by IgniteNet.

IgniteNet is offering the first two devices for free and then at only £69 per year for virtually unlimited number of managed devices (500 devices per site/unlimited sites). As well as supporting third party applications such as Purple WiFi and Hotspot System, the IgniteNet cloud has its own captive portal and hotspot functionality.

Low cost Gigabit point-to-point solutions
IgniteNet MetroLinq is an outdoor 60GHz point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, license-free radio antenna providing robust sharing of networks over distances of up to 1.5kms, including a 5GHz radio for automatic ac backup/failover. Requiring less maintenance, it is an alternative to laser installations. Prices start from under £1,000 for a link.

The IgniteNet range includes:
Indoor Wi-Fi
• SunSpot – single & Dual-radio enterprise APs
• Spark – our most cost-effective enterprise AP
Outdoor Wi-Fi
• SkyFire – Outdoor single and dual-radio Aps
• MetroLinq – 60GHz Outdoor PTP radio with 5GHz backup.

The IgniteNet range is available from ZComax in the UK.

Source: http://www.wireless-mag.com/News/41658/ignitenet-launches-cloud-enabled-enterprise-wi-fi-system-in-uk-.aspx#.V4X-M-78LDQ.twitter

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IgniteNet Releases Metrolinq 60 GHz PTP

Announcing IgniteNet MetroLinq – world’s first low-cost 60GHz PTP

Metrolinq-300x188metrolinq

 

Ignitenet MetroLinq –World’s first low-cost option for 60 GHz Point-to-Point

IgniteNet is excited to announce the latest product in its outdoor wireless product portfolio: MetroLinq!

Operating in the worldwide 60GHz and 5GHz unlicensed bands, MetroLinq ushers in a new era of urban fixed wireless service, hybrid fiber-wireless networks, and other types of high capacity, short-range networks.

MetroLinq is capable of 1Gbps+ of throughput, low latency, and virtually interference-free links in almost any environment.  Link distances of up to 1-2km are made possible through high output power, high antenna gain, and excellent receive sensitivity.  Availability is further enhanced through a second, built-in 5GHz radio which can be used as a parallel backup link.  This 5GHz radio can also be used as a multi-tenant 802.11ac access point, providing unparalleled flexibility.

Available models

Model 5Ghz radio 60Ghz antenna 5Ghz antenna
MetroLinq™ 60-30-18 Sector or Mini PTP up to 150m YES  

18dBi  30° Angle
 

14dBi 30° Angle
MetroLinq™ 60-35 PTP/Client YES  

42dBi 1° Angle
 

22dBi  6°
MetroLinq™ 60-35-1 PTP/Client  YES  

42dBi 1° Angle
 

2 x RPSMA
MetroLinq™ 60-19 PTP/Client YES  

38dBi 1° Angle
 

16dBi 6°
MetroLinq™ 60-19-1 PTP/Client YES  

38dBi 1° Angle
 

2 x RPSMA
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