Connect and Protect gives SMBs added flexibility

Connect and Protect gives SMBs added flexibility

For cafés, bars, retail outlets and small businesses of all kinds, the new release of Zyxel’s Nebula cloud management system delivers added protection from digital threats and a simple way to manage LTE connections, as Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager at Zyxel, explains.

Most of our customers now manage all of their Zyxel devices through our Nebula cloud management system and the arrival of the latest major release, Nebula 13, is big news. It adds two major features that could benefit every SMB customer – Connect and Protect and support for LTE connections.

The Connect and Protect functionality provides advanced security features at the access point level. It enables the Nebula administrator to block access to dangerous or suspicious websites and potentially malicious content. That means better protection for the business and for everyone who logs onto the WiFi network.

Connect and Protect also provides the ability to manage bandwidth allocations, so room on the connection can be reserved for specific applications or types of traffic. A café or shop, for example, could prioritise point-of-sale transactions over guest web surfing. In an office, you could give more bandwidth to key applications and less to visitors.

An extra layer of protection

This gives smaller businesses added flexibility and control of security on the WiFi network. It also means that there is never any need to update the protection – that will happen through Nebula, automatically.

Connect and Protect is perfect for cafés and bars, restaurants, small guest houses, and smaller companies that want to provide secure WiFi access to staff and customers. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting smaller companies and while most would love to have an added level of protection, they probably do not have the budget for – and perhaps don’t really need – a dedicated security gateway.

The additional layer of security that Connect and Protect provides on the access point will safeguard them against the possibility of a user inadvertently connecting to a website through which cybercriminals might find a way into the network – or steal personal information. It provides extra protection against threats like ransomware, and gives users, guests, and customers added peace of mind.

Initially, Connect and Protect will be available on selected wireless access points. You should also be aware that there will be an additional cost for the Connect and Protect license. Talk to your partner supplier for details.

Making 5G/LTE easier

With Nebula 13 we are also introducing support for the management and monitoring of 5G/LTE routers. Versions of three of our routers are available that can now be managed through Nebula – two that support 5G (indoor and outdoor versions) and one 4G device. Administrators will be able to set-up and monitor 5G/LTE through Nebula on these devices.

Our LTE routers are really popular. Customers buy them for one of two reasons; as the main connection where there is limited or no broadband coverage (and for temporary set-ups or projects); or to provide a failover for a fixed-line connection.

In both scenarios, being able to set-up and then to monitor 5G/LTE connections remotely is extremely useful. This is especially true where 5G or 4G is being used as the primary connection instead of fixed-line broadband. The impressive speed of 5G and increased network coverage is making this a much more viable option now. But in many situations – on a holiday park or a farm, for example – the router may be somewhere that’s difficult to reach, such as high up on an outdoor wall or mounted on a pole.

Take control

Also, even smaller companies can’t afford to lose their connection for too long, and 5G/LTE provides an excellent failover option. Here again, it’s extremely useful to have remote control over the router. It means there is no need to have anyone technical on-site to set it up or monitor the backup connection. Administrators or service providers can do that from just about anywhere.

While there are a number of other additions and enhancements to Nebula 13, Connect and Protect and support for 5G/LTE are the ones we expect to have the most impact for customers. If you’d like more information on either of these features, or you’d just like to hear more about how Nebula can help you monitor and manage of all your Zyxel network devices, please get in touch with your nearest Zyxel office or partner.