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PCR’s guide to the latest consumer, SOHO and SMB networking gear

Whether you’re looking to provide home-users with more Wi-Fi coverage, or offer cloud-managed solutions to SMBs, take a look at our roundup of the best networking gear on the market.

Tenda Nova MW3 Mesh Wi-Fi System

(pictured above)

Specs: AC1200 dual-band router (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Gigabit speed for smooth 4K videos, plug and play with pre-configuration out of the box, up to 300 square metre coverage, Tenda app, three year warranty.

“The Tenda Nova MW3 is a 1200 Mbps dual-band distribution mesh Wi-Fi system designed to extend the reach of Wi-Fi in homes. The MW3 provides a fast and stable internet connection for smart home devices and eliminates dead spots, buffering and drop offs. Designed for small and medium-sized homes – the pack of three delivers up to 300 square metre Wi-Fi range; while the pack of two delivers up to 200 square metre Wi-Fi range. With MU-MIMO technology, the MW3 offers data rates up to 1200 Mbps and prioritises 5GHz network access for lag-free 4K HD video and game streaming. The network comprises of two or three stylish nodes (depending on pack size), which are pre-configured for plug and play setup.”

Contact: VIP UK

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Specs: 1.8GHz quad-core CPU, 2.5GBase-T port, front-line network security, compatible with ASUS AiMesh Wi-Fi system for seamless whole-home coverage.

“Futureproofed with the newest Wi-Fi standard, Wi-Fi 6, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the perfect router for your gaming needs. Helping your performance with the ROG Gaming Centre, dedicated Wi-Fi bands for gaming and with fast performance, gamers can expect and get the best Wi-Fi gaming solution. There’s also ASUS’s Aura Sync RGB lighting to give you that personal touch.”

Contact: VIP UK, Spire Technology

LMS DATA Pocket-Sized Cable Tester

Specs: Pocket-sized, instant LED cable verifier, verifies wiring for RJ45 and RJ11, easy- view LED verification panel.

“An essential tool for both pre and post-networking installation or maintenance, the Tool-Cabtester is a very effective cable tester designed to check that your Cat5/Ca6 UTP or STP cables are made correctly. This pocket-sized device provides LED-displayed verification info, perfect for installers, IT managers and telecom engineers when they are troubleshooting network issues or installations.”

Contact: Meroncourt

Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud Key Hybrid Controller

Specs: 2GB DDR memory, 110g in weight, 21.7 x 43.4 x 121.9mm dimensions.

“Manage your entire UniFi system from anywhere in the world – simply connect to an Ethernet port and the Cloud Key will run the UniFi Controller software and allow access from anywhere.”

Contact: Target Components

D-Link COVR-2202 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

Specs: 989g in weight, 9x10x20cm dimensions, 801.11 AC, two Covr Points, covers 550 square metres.

“Welcome to the next generation of Wi-Fi in your home. Covr blankets every square inch of your home with seamless, reliable, super-fast Wi-Fi. With two Covr Points, you can bring Wi-Fi access to a massive 550 square metres. Covr keeps you seamlessly connected automatically as you move around your home. No connection drop-offs, no interruptions, just one seamless network.”

Contact: Exertis, Ingram Micro, Tech Data

TP-Link Archer C5400X Gaming Router

Specs: GE WAN, 8x GE LAN and 2x USB3.0 ports, 8x external and detachable antennas, LED panel.

“TP-Link’s first gaming router, Archer C5400X, conquers lag, immediately eradicating it from your gaming experience. With a 1.8GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU, three co-processors and 1GB RAM, the Archer C5400X delivers the raw power required to perfectly execute every service, thread and application to eradicate latency and deliver smooth gameplay.”

Contact: Exertis, Tech Data, Spire Technology, CMS Distribution

DrayTek Vigor 2862Ln 4G Router

Specs: Load-balancing VPN Firewall, simultaneous 4 WAN: VDSL/ ADSL, Ethernet and 2x 4G, compatible with all UK/IE ISPs, SMS- initiated reboot, reports and alerts, 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch, centrally managed by VigorACS.

“This fantastic product has received numerous industry awards and is DrayTek’s flagship router. Packed with an excellent range of security features and a versatile firewall. The single embedded 4G/LTE SIM slot provides a self-contained solution as opposed to having to add external/USB modems. Full SMS message operation provides additional functionality and control.”

Contact: CMS Distribution

ASUS Lyra Trio Wi-Fi System

Specs: Dual band, tri-hub mesh Wi-Fi system, 3×3 MIMO technology, free cloud-based security powered by Trend Micro, parental controls, mix and match Lyra Trio with AiMesh-compatible routers to form a powerful and flexible whole-home Wi-Fi system.

“ASUS Lyra Trio is the perfect solution for your smart home. Whatever your needs, whatever your living situation, the ASUS Lyra Trio Wi-Fi system will deliver a superfast, reliable and secure wireless signal to every corner of your home.”

Contact: VIP UK, Spire Technology

Tenda TEF1118P 16 port Gigabit PoE switch

Specs: 16 10/100 Mbps Base-TX RJ45 port, 135W PoE power supply with each port offering a maximum power output of 30W, 13-inch desktop size, rack mountable.

“The TEF1118P-16-150W Tenda 16 port Gigabit uplink unmanaged PoE switch offers impeccable security power supply transmission and 6KV lightning protection. Designed for maximum versatility with 16 10/100 Mbps Base-TX RJ45 ports, 1 10/100/1000 Mbps Base-T RJ45 ports, and 1 1000 Mbps Base-X SFP port. Ports 1-16 comply with the IEEE 802.3af standard (maximum PoE power output: 15.4 W) and 802.3at standard (maximum PoE power output: 30W). The network switch offers a maximum PoE power output of 135W and can supply power to and exchange data with APs, IP cameras, and IP phones through CAT5 cables. It also provides simple management modes such as CCTV, VLAN, and Extend to help reduce the cabling costs of IP terminals for APs and IP cameras.”

Contact: VIP UK

DYNAMODE Wireless Dual-Band USB Adapter

Specs: Dual-band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi, super-speed 600Mbps Wi-Fi performance, Plug ‘n’ Play USB 2.0 interface, wireless encryption, compatible with Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1/10 and Mac OS X or Higher.

“For a fast and fluid online experience we need a wireless adapter that will deliver high-quality wireless performance at home, in the office or wherever we connect our device. The WL-AC-600M is a stylish, nano-sized dual-band wireless adapter that will automatically select 5GHz to enjoy premium multimedia experience when connecting to a compatible wireless router or AP.”

Contact: Meroncourt

Tenda A9 Wireless N300 Universal Range Extender

Specs: 111 x 56 x 47.7mm dimensions, operating temperature: 0oC~40oC, DHCP Server support, 2x 3dBi external non-detachable antennas.

“A9 is a wireless N300 universal range extender, specially designed to extend the existing Wi-Fi coverage and improve the signal strength. With one button extension, smart signal LED, wall-mount design and universal compatibility, it is easy for users to boost wireless networking. A9 is an ideal choice for you to eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones and optimise your networking.”

Contact: Target Components

DrayTek Vigor AP-910c Access Point

Specs: Dual Band 802.11ac, ceiling or wall installation, 4 SSIDs (for VLANs) for each frequency band, 802.3af PoE or powered using supplied 12V PSU, centrally managed by VigorACS or DrayTek router.

“The Vigor AP-910c is a high specification professional access point that ensures reliable and flexible coverage to all manner of applications. A vast array of security and management features helps the AP-910c improve and protect the integrity of your wireless LAN and VLAN support allows isolation of guest Wi-Fi. The VigorAP-910c provides unobstructed coverage and blends aesthetically into any home or office environment thanks to its shape, size and hidden cable entry. It is ideal for adding wireless connectivity to an existing LAN, or for expanding the range of an existing wireless LAN by using the WDS repeater features.”

Contact: CMS Distribution

NETGEAR BR500 Business Router

Specs: 1 WAN and 4 LAN gigabit Ethernet ports, 924Mbps LAN-to-WAN throughput, remote/cloud management and monitoring, one-step VPN through mobile app and web portal, Firewall capabilities.

“NETGEAR’s first Insight Managed Security router, the Insight Instant VPN Business Router (BR500), enables small businesses or remote office/branch office (ROBO) installations to offer instant access to their office intranet through a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) from anywhere in the world.”

Contact: NETGEAR

NUCLIAS by D-Link

Specs: Designed for SMBs, dedicated app, Intuitive web-based interface with multilingual support, role-based administration, advanced traffic report and data analysis, over-the-web firmware upgrades.

“The complete cloud-managed networking solution for small to medium-sized organisations with one or more sites. Resellers can now enjoy a new source of revenue. Our Nuclias cloud solution allows you to quickly and easily set up, configure, monitor, troubleshoot, and manage network deployments remotely through a single web browser interface, or the dedicated Nuclias iPad app.”

Contact: Exteris, Ingram Micro, Tech Data

Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC- LITE WLAN Access Point

Specs: 168g in weight, 16 x 16 x 3.1cm dimensions, ARM processor, DDR3 SDRAM, Ethernet.

“A highly configurable and reliable wireless access point, suitable for home and office environments. Part of the UniFi ecosystem, allowing operation, management and configuration from anywhere in the world (requires Cloud Key or Device running UniFi Controller).”

Contact: Target Components

TP-Link Deco P7 Hybrid Mesh Wi-Fi System

Specs: 2 LAN/WAN Gigabit Ethernet Ports, 1 USB Type-C Port, 32MB flash, 256MB SDRAM, 4x internal antennas per Deco unit.

“Deco P7 is a mesh router that supports powerline networking – the hybrid network boosts bandwidth effectively. It combines dual-band Wi-Fi and powerline connections to transmit data between Deco units, which work together to form one unified Wi-Fi network with faster speed and seamless coverage throughout the home.”

Contact: Exertis, Tech Data, Spire Technology, CMS Distribution

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