With the home entertainment market transitioning from physical media to streaming services, the network is more important than ever. Further increasing the burden on home networks is the use of automation, security and many other products that now offer connected functionality.
Over the past several years, Charlotte,N.C.-based SnapAV has grown quickly by entering a number of categories with quality, affordable products that provide dealers with margin. So following that success, enter SnapAV into the home network fray.
Designed to provide dealers with a line of products delivering enterprise-grade features and residential-friendly packages, the Araknis Networks brand of products has been developed by SnapAV to meet the residential market’s growing appetite— and necessity — for robust, high-performance network solutions.
Features & Installation
Araknis sent me a Medium Kit that includes its 300-series Dual-WAN Gigabit VPN Router, a couple of 300-series indoor wireless access points (WAPs), and a 300-series eight-port managed PoE+ Switch.
The router offers the ability to connect to two different ISPs, and on its LAN side it provides four gigabit ports. The 1U product is rack mountable; it incorporates an easy-to-navigate GUI; and particularly noteworthy is implementation of SnapAV’s cloud-based remote management OvrC platform.
Araknis’ 300-series indoor WAP features a built-in antenna that delivers concurrent2.4GHz/5GHz wireless spectrum connectivity with 10/100/1000 gigabit uplink capabilities. The WAP also offers PoE through standard 802.af/at power-over-Ethernet standards, and like the router, the 300-series WAP includes SnapAV’s OvrC remote management platform.
The eight-port 300-series managed switch’s list of features includes PoE on all ports, multi-speed variable fans, gigabit throughput on all ports, and OvrC remote management options.
Digging into the setup of the system,I started by replacing my home’s WAPs with the Araknis products. Plugging the first WAP into an existing switch with PoE downstairs in my home I followed Araknis’Quick Start instructions. Per the instructions I scanned my network to find the WAP’s address and typed that address into my web browser. After entering the WAP’s GUI, I input the unit’s SSID number, activated the security settings, renamed the SSID, and set up an automatic reboot time.
I later followed the same procedure for the placement of a WAP in the upstairs level of my home. While upstairs I also replaced my existing PoE switch with the Araknis PoE+ switch. This product hooked up within minutes. In the switch’s GUI I could see port status and operational parameters.
Finishing up the components’ installation, I disconnected my old router and inserted the Araknis router into my network.I plugged a Cat-6 cable from my modem to WAN port one, and I plugged my network cables into two of the router’s LAN ports.Connecting my MacBook Pro to the router via Ethernet, I typed the router’s IP address into my browser and entered the setup GUI.After clicking the Quick Start button, the GUI walked me through the setup of the router.
Upon completion of the setup, however,I could not get online, and I noticed the WAN input didn’t have an IP address. After failing to get the unit running I called customer support. After a very brief wait the service representative hopped on the line and verified my setup. He then told me to reboot my modem. That was it … I was up and running on the Internet after missing that simple step, which admittedly I forgot to try.
One last step was initiating the OvrC remote management functionality and access. After setting up an account with SnapAV I registered as a customer. I input each Araknis device and information such as SSID numbers on a web portal page,and proceeded to download the OvrC app from the iTunes App store onto my iPhone 6. That completed my remote capabilities. Inow had access to my home network from anywhere I could connect to a network.
I would estimate it took me a couple of hours to fully install the system with everything set up and running. I think experienced technicians could easily shave some time off my results.
Performance & Conclusion
Simply put the system runs great. I see an improvement in network speeds of more than 15 percent on average, and the system has not gone down other than when we have suffered a power outage.
Having experienced a couple of power outages, though, I knew exactly when we lost power and when power was restored because the OvrC app notified me of those events. Utilizing the automatic reboot scheduling options has been a key to the system’s reliability. I also appreciate how the app has notified me of available firmware updates for the devices when Araknis issued them, which took less than 30 minutes to implement.
Another option I really like is the ability to setup a guest network. Hosting family events and having family members hop on the network has put a burden on my network in the past. By setting up the guest network option I have been able to better manage activity to minimize any performance slowdowns my network may experience.
SnapAV tells me it is committing its sources to the Araknis brand to enable it to keep pace with the rapidly evolving home network market. It’s clear that assembling a strong engineering team, experienced product managers, and other important staff members has enabled SnapAV and its Araknis brand to jump into the network category at full speed, seemingly without any hiccup or glitches. All I can say is that dealers need to try the products for themselves