One of the great things about being affiliated with the press is all of the cool new toys I get to play with! Last month SnapAV sent me some of its newer Araknis networking hardware to try out: a router, an eight-port Websmart PoE switch, and two AC WAPs. I spent some time playing around with the gear and was pretty impressed.
First of all, the price points are pretty enticing: $300 MSRP for the router, $400 each WAP, and $360 for the switch. The switch is what I found the most interesting—it is “Websmart,” which means it offers much of the functionality of a managed switch, but at a fraction of the cost. Many of the very customizable features are not included, but things such as VLANs, partial PoE (at a lower power budget), QoS, and port configurations are all there. For many installs, a Websmart switch will be plenty, giving integrators a solid offering for more price-sensitive customers.
SnapAV’s new Araknis 210-Series eight-port Websmart switch
The routers are pretty standard in that they support VLANs, VPN, and all of the features you are used to. Again, they are at an attractive price point. Same with the WAPs. The 500 series, which is the AC version, has a very slim housing, making them more aesthetically pleasing and at $400 each, you can have a router and WAP in the budget for $700, with a nice profit margin. Granted, that is more than an Airport Extreme, but you get so much more with it and your installs will go much smoother.
But the best thing about the Araknis line is the integration with OvrC, SnapAV’s remote management platform. OvrC is free for the customer and the integrator; there are no upfront or recurring charges. With the Araknis gear, you can configure WAN/LAN settings and port forwarding rules on a router; reboot outlets on a PoE switch; measure traffic on the network; add, change, or remote SSIDs; enable or disable band-steering, change IP addresses; set reboot schedules; and access the local GUI to do everything else, all remotely from anywhere in the world with a computer, tablet, or phone (functionality is limited from a phone).
So when customers call because their wireless reception isn’t good, you can check to make sure all of the WAPs are online and broadcasting or you can change the channels. Not only that, but SnapAV has IP power conditioners, IP cameras, and IP amps all accessible via OvrC—a great way to see everything in one place, at no cost.
I can definitely see Araknis becoming a part of our product offering alongside Pakedge.