IgniteNet SunSpot AC2600 Wave2 review: Light up your WiFi network

An IP55-rated AP with plenty of business-grade features and a highly scalable cloud portal that’s great value

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£269
  • Highly scalable; Detailed and highly customisable dashboards; Good security and guest network features
  • Somewhat expensive

SMBs that want an affordable cloud wireless management solution that can grow with them at no extra cost will be very tempted by IgniteNet's proposal. The service is free for life for the first two devices, while a yearly fee of around 75 allows you to add an unlimited number of sites as well as IgniteNet SunSpot and Spark wireless APs.

On review is IgniteNet's top-dog SunSpot AC2600 Wave2 model, which delivers dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz operations teamed up with 4x4 MU-MIMO technology. At 269, it's comparatively expensive but value gets a boost as its IP55 rating means you can deploy it indoors or outdoors.

From the cloud portal, you can create sites for each office location, add email addresses for receiving alerts and enter the site address so it appears in the portal's Google map. Zero-touch provisioning is supported as you create site SSIDs, add each AP's serial number plus MAC address and send them to the location where they'll receive the configuration as soon as they have internet access.

IgniteNet's cloud service is immensely scalable - each site can support up to 500 APs. Be careful when you create a site though, as the process automatically adds a default SSID using the site name but doesn't apply security.

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The top-level cloud portal presents an informative dashboard showing the status of sites and devices, a list of the latest activities and charts of clients and traffic for each site. The Google map shows all site locations and clicking on one takes you to its own dashboard.

You can create multiple custom dashboards for each site and choose from a selection of widgets to show performance, inventory, utilisation and client activity. The latter is very detailed; you can click on the pie chart and drill down to see graphs of throughput and signal strength along with a connection history chart for individual clients.

Site wireless networks are swiftly created; just choose a name, decide which radios to broadcast the SSID on and apply an encryption scheme. For each SSID, we selected the 'Bridge to Internet' option so clients received IP addresses from our LAN DHCP server, but the AP can supply them itself if you enable the 'Route to Internet' option.

The SunSpot delivers good real world performance, with close-range file copies from a Windows 10 Pro desktop equipped with a Linksys WUSB6400 USB 3 adapter averaging 55MB/sec and falling slightly to 51MB/sec at 10 metres. Coverage is equally good, as the SweetSpots app on our iPad registered a connection dropout after we got 42 metres down the main building corridor.

IgniteNet offers plenty of guest network features and the hotspot service can redirect users to an external third-party captive portal, present a simple splash page with a global password or use external Radius authentication. The captive portal can be customised with logos or background colours and can present users with an AUP (acceptable use policy) created from the portal's editor.

Hotspot security is good too. IgniteNet's Smart Isolation feature permits internet or LAN only access, while the 'internet-only strict' setting also blocks them from accessing networks with private IP address ranges. For simpler guest networks, you can select a routing option that doesn't use the hotspot service and only allows internet access.

IgniteNet's cloud-managed wireless solution is well suited to SMBs with big growth plans as subscription costs remain pegged no matter how many sites or APs you add. The SunSpot AC2600 Wave2 is pricey but what you get in return are plenty of business features, good overall performance and the option to deploy it indoors or outdoors.

Verdict

IgniteNet's cloud-managed wireless solution is well suited to SMBs with big growth plans. The SunSpot AC2600 Wave2 is pricey but what you get in return are plenty of business features, good overall performance and the option to deploy it indoors or outdoors.

Wave 2 AC2600 dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac 4x4 MU-MIMO Internal aerials 2 x Gigabit (LAN and PoE+) External power adapter included Ceiling/wall mounting plate 219 x 224 x 35mm (WDH) 850g 2yr hardware warranty

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