Netgear Business - the SMB-/SME-focused arm of Netgear - has been delivering mesh Wi-Fi systems to small businesses under the Orbi Pro lineup since 2017. The 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) version was followed up by the flagship AX6000 (Wi-Fi 6) Orbi Pro SXK80 models in late 2020. Last year, a cut-down dual-band AX1800 version - the Orbi Pro SXK30 - was introduced at $300. As part of the 2022 CES announcements, the company is introducing the mid-range Orbi Pro model - the SXK50 series.

The SXK50 series consists of AX5400 models, with both routers and satellites carrying four wired ports. Netgear is segmenting the models solely based on the hardware, and is keeping business features such as multiple networks, VLAN SSIDs and network isolation / segmentation, etc. consistent across the lineup.

The SXK50 (one router and one satellite) is priced at $450 - However, a 5-year Insight Remote Management subscription is included in the price. This tilts the value proposition in its favor despite the absence of the tri-band capabilities seen in the SXK80 series.

The Orbi Pro lineup is also getting a new software feature in the form of Insight Business VPN that allows multiple units to form a multi-site VPN connection complete with a common SSID. This allows seamless roaming across both office and home locations for employee devices.

In other new hardware announcements, Netgear is also introducing a fanless 2.5Gbps PoE++ switch - the MS108EUP - at $440. This Ultra60 PoE++ Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch accommodates a power budget of up to 60W/port (PoE++) for four ports, and 30W/port (PoE+) for the other four, with the total budget not exceeding 230W. PoE++ switches with NBASE-T support are becoming increasingly popular in business circles, thanks to the new 802.11ax access points that have both high power usage and bandwidth capabilities. The recent uptick in PoE-powered business equipment such as IP cameras, speakers, and LED lights has also contributed to this demand.

The new MS108EUP switch complements the flagship WAX630 AX6000 access point introduced in mid-2021, enabling full-speed (2.5Gbps) operation with a single uplink cable. The Plus switches come with a simple web-page for configuration, allowing per-port PoE control.

Netgear's business arm has been on a roll lately, expanding their portfolio well beyond the switches they had been traditionally known for. Their business mesh systems, in-house access points, and complementary switch models, coupled with a unified cloud-based remote management product (Insight) are presenting SMBs with compelling choices in the market.

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