3Com introduces branch office wireless

3Com has introduced a wireless LAN switch targeted at branch and remote offices. Shipping this week, the 2-port WXR100 also includes updated systems software.

The WXR100, based on Trapeze Networks hardware, is intended to be very simple to install, configure, and run, by connecting over a WAN link to one of 3Com's higher end WLAN switches at a regional or headquarters site. The parent switch downloads configuration data.

Locally, the wireless access points in the branch automatically link up with the WXR100 to create the WLAN. The remaining configuration details are handled locally via a set of simple Web screens instead of, as in the past, a command line interface.

The branch switch works not only with companion 3Com access points, but also includes software to work with existing older access points from 3Com, Cisco and Proxim.

The new version of the systems software includes Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) 2, which packages such features as Advanced Encryption System (AES) and 802.11i authentication mechanisms.

Rival WLAN switches for these kinds of sites are available also from Cisco, Aruba and Symbol. 3Com is competing on price, and by including features such as detection and containment of rogue access points that are either missing in rival products or available for an additional cost.

List price for the WXR100 is US$999; the companion 3Com 3750 Managed Access Point is US$499.

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