Tolly recently spoke with Ryan Orsi, director of Product Management, Wi-Fi at WatchGuard Technologies regarding the company’s recent announcement of the AP322, which is a new-high performance cloud-ready outdoor access point (AP).
Tolly has worked with WatchGuard over the years on a number of third-party tests related to their UTM products, which have been hitting the market since 1996. The company began offering wireless Access Points (APs) for indoor locations like hospitality and retail organizations in 2014 as part of their mission to bring widely deployable, enterprise-grade security to small and midsize organizations and distributed enterprises. With wireless being an extension of an organization’s wired network, the move was a logical one for a company looking to deliver enterprise-class network security solutions and services.
As an extension of their indoor wireless APs, WatchGuard announced the AP322 secure outdoor AP in April 2017. The unit is enclosed in an IP67 enclosure with 3×3 MIMO and 802.11ac support, which is perfect for environments such as stadiums, schools and hospitality. It’s also managed by WatchGuard’s Wi-Fi Cloud, a secure, scalable and feature-rich Wi-Fi management platform that delivers powerful wireless intrusion prevention (WIPS), in-depth guest and airspace analytics, and great marketing and guest engagement tools.
Here is a complete list of specs on the AP322:
Given that WatchGuard has focused on network security for more than 20 years, the integration of WIPS (through WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud) is a key feature for the new APs. Wi-Fi can be an important tool to improve operations and reduce friction with customers. It can also be paramount for securing intellectual property and employee data, and ensuring the privacy of partners, guests and shoppers for compliance mandates like PCI, HIPAA and SOX.
Some other additional features Ryan noted included managed guest experiences and analytics. Wi-Fi Cloud users can create custom splash pages videos, surveys, and offer their customers targeted promotions or company news to keep them engaged with their brand during and after they leave a retail location. Wi-Fi Cloud also tracks when, where and how people connect to Wi-Fi, which is valuable information for marketers interested in seeing where people are spending time in brick and mortar stores. See an example of WatchGuard’s managed analytics below
For more information on the WatchGuard AP322, visit https://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-products/access-points or follow them on Twitter at @WatchGuard.