Sometimes to run a strong business you need a strong network to back it up. Something that used to be a little complicated to pull off until Wi-Fi 7 finally came around. Building on the technology behind Wi-Fi 6 and turning it into a huge achievement. The result is a massive amount of throughput, heavy processing power, and multi-gigabit devices like you’ve never seen them. Like the Zyxel BE22000 Wi-Fi 7 Triple-Radio NebulaFlex Pro Access Point.
Before now, things like 5Gbps and 10Gbps were limited to only a small handful of devices out there. We ourselves have been running at these speeds internally for a few years now, but its only now that they have become what will be seen as “common” to small business world or even consumers.
With Wi-Fi 7 comes multi-gigabit everything, including a multitude of routers, access points (APs), and mesh solutions. Many of these devices supporting 10Gb Ethernet, SFP+ (fiber), or both. It’s exciting times that we can all share in now. Especially, as internet speeds continue to rise thanks to fiber-driven internet service providers.
Although this access point (AP) is definitely not for consumers, it opens new chapters for small to mid-size businesses. It brings everything Wi-Fi 7 was meant to be to the table, with a total throughput of up to 22,000 Mbps (up to 1,376 Mbps via 2.4 GHz, 8,646 Mbps via 5 GHz, and 11,530 Mbps via 6GHz). You can almost imagine a pulsating energy emanating from the box as you open it. Just purring as it waits to be connected to your network.
All metaphors aside, this is a tool for someone looking to bring as much speed and connectivity to their building as possible. While keeping in mind that you’ll more than likely need to buy more than one in order to get the most out of the 6 GHz range.
It’s installation is quite easy to work with and it comes with everything you need outside of the power cable or Ethernet. The former because there are different ways of powering it and you will likely go with PoE to keep the cable mess down and not have to run power to each AP. The latter because an AP like this is for installs and you are going to want to be in control of what kind of Ethernet you will be using, likely have already bought into your runs, or are re-using the runs that are already there.
What it does come with (besides the AP itself) is a bracket and some screws.
The screws are for your wall or ceiling as the bracket easily slides and clicks right into place on the back of the AP. It can then easily be slide back off of the bracket by releasing the little lock switch (blue). So once you have screwed the mount to the surface you want this mounted to, you simply slide the AP onto it and you are done outside of plugging things in.
And before I move on, let’s take a moment to take in the quality of aluminum heat spreaders and overall construction of the AP in general. Very nicely done by Zyxel, and should lead to some good temperatures when it is really put to use.
For connectivity, you have the uplink connection (which offers 1, 2.5, 5, or 10Gbps connectivity), it also has a single 1Gbps Ethernet LAN port for anything nearby. That is just a regular LAN port and PoE does not apply there.
For power, you can make use of Ethernet if using PoE bt (PoE++). Else, a regular Ethernet cable and USB-C to wall power adapter. Again, you will likely want to go with PoE as power and data can pass through the same cable keeping clutter down.
During our setup of the AP, we made use of the Zyxel 5G PoE++ Injector accessory. It runs just $99 or less on Amazon or anywhere else that sells Zyxel products.
But not everyone will be looking to spend the few extra bucks to make that happen, which is understandable. PoE adapters and switches do come at a small cost. But that cost does give way to better quality equipment a lot of the time and having the ability to make use of PoE can be exhilarating. Especially, when you are working with network devices or security cameras.
Again, the overall construction of this AP is exactly what we would expect within this price point. It features a solid build that should last for years to come. So should its speed capabilities and device handling. I know it can get dangerous in the world of tech to say something like “why would we need anything more?”. But unless all of your employees are plugged in and using 12K VR at their desk, these APs should prove to have a long lifespan.
The general setup of the AP is pretty straight forward. This is a good thing because ours didn’t come with instructions for whatever reason. Likely because it was just lying around after being used for something before it was sent over for us to test and bring you this review.
Once you have plugged it into your network and powered, you can connect to its generic broadcasted WI-Fi or by visiting the IP address given to it by your DHCP source. Once you do, you make use of the default admin/1234 password to gain access. Here it walks you through everything in 6 easy tabs. Beginning with how you want to manage the AP.
You can manage it locally or via the cloud using Zyxel’s Nebula Cloud services. These services are for those who are building out a full network using Zyxel products. Which makes sense as you normally want to keep everything consistent so you know that everything is going to talk properly and allow you to manage it from global interfaces. The cloud services give you a full visual of your network and how well everything is operating. Controlling firmware updates and all sorts of useful information and alerts from one place. Of course, this comes with a subscription cost and not everyone is ok with subscriptions.
So the alternative is managing everything locally either from a local controller or “standalone” (logging directly into the AP when you need to make adjustments, update things, or review any analytics within).
Then it walks you through quickly naming the network (combined bands) and creating a proper network key so that the network isn’t open. Here you make use of a password or passphrase that users would use to connect.
You can also create additional networks or worry about that later (which is recommended).
Then you configure the settings for the three individuals bands. Adjusting channels and output power. Then you confirm everything in the final screen and save.
From here, you are dropped into the dashboard and you are finished with settings things up initially. Now you can head to settings and edit the admin profile, add additional users, etc.
The main dashboard gives you an overview of your AP’s resources, device information, system status, cloud status, and more. It properly shows its neighbor in-line so you can quickly get a glance at the signal flow running to it. For example here, we have it connected to a Zyxel XS1930-10 10 Gbps switch on the other end of the floor that is set inside of a rack we recently added it to for testing.
The other three tabs run you through the various settings, monitoring, and maintenance pages that you can use to fully manage the AP and the various networks it is broadcasting. These settings run deep and you want to make sure your network admin is the one playing with everything and not just the business owner trying to make sense of things. You also want to make sure to separate your networks when it comes to business and guests, but that too is something your admin will take care of.
In a matter of time, you will be fully set and operating with your new AP and likely ready to move on to the next. This is where taking advantage of what 6 Ghz has to offer comes into play. As the radio frequency gets higher, it gets much faster when it comes to total throughput, but doesn’t reach as far. So a 2.4 Ghz network may be slower, but it can cover a much greater distance. 5 Ghz covers around half of that, and 6 Ghz (of course) covers less than that.
So where we have the AP setup, we started dropping bars once we got about 4 offices/rooms away on the same floor. This path includes three walls if you consider line-of-site (LOS) and one of those walls I think is where a lot of pipework runs to the next floor of the building. Not nearly as bad as 802.11ad (60 Ghz), but still not as good as the reach of 2.4 GHz. So as with any AP, you are likely going to have a number of them spread out depending on the size of your building. Like we would make use of 4 in total like we are our current APs.
Beyond that, the only other thing to keep in mind is that in order to take advantage of those faster speeds of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7, your connected devices will also have to support these. If not, they will be connected as 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz as in the past. But the latest phones, tablets, and laptops have all been releasing with these, so you should be fine. Even the latest gaming handhelds offer this (ie, the new MSI Claw that is coming this year that packs a Wi-Fi 7 chipset inside).
This access point is a powerful tool for your network as it brings a robust solution for both speed and durability. Giving any small to mid-size business a notable upgrade. Your employees will immediatly notice the boost in performance across the network and so will your guests if your internet connection is also fast (since they will likely be using it for internet and not roaming around your network).
The $799 MSRP price point is fair as it is competitive to some of the other brands out there. Which is nice to see given Wi-Fi 7 is still an emerging standard. This should help with keeping the rest of the market in check.
When it comes to settings, it doesn’t have everything we could ever ask for but it still has plenty to offer. By no means is this weak at heart. And you can likely make up for anything it is missing within the rest of your network anyway (and likely would prefer to do that). Handling most of the complicated analytics and settings centrally.
This is another impressive release from Zyxel. A company that is clearly set on making a name for itself.
- Standard: IEEE802.11 be/ax/ac/n/g/b/a
- MIMO: MU-MIMO
- Wireless speed: 2.4 GHz: 1376 Mbps, 5 GHz: 8646 Mbps, 6 GHz: 11530 Mbps
- Frequency band:
- 2.4 GHz: USA (FCC): 2.412 to 2.462 GHz, Europe (ETSI): 2.412 to 2.472 GHz
- 5 GHz: USA (FCC): 5.15 to 5.35 GHz; 5.470 to 5.850 GHz, European (ETSI): 5.15 to 5.35 GHz; 5.470 to 5.725 GHz
- 6 GHz: USA (FCC): 5.925 to 6.425 GHz; 6.525 to 7.125 GHz, European (ETSI): 5.925 to 6.425 GHz
- Bandwidth: 20-, 40- ,80-, 160- , 240- and 320-MHz
- Conducted typical transmit output power:
- US (2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz): 29/28/23dBm
- EU (2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz): 19/25/22dBm
- Antenna type: Smart Antenna
- Antenna gain:
- 2.4 GHz: 3dBi, 4×4:4SS
- 5 GHz: 5dBi, 4×4:4SS
- 6 GHz: 5dBi, 4×4:4SS
- Minimum receive sensitivity: Min. Rx sensitivity up to -104 dBm
- Band steering: Yes
- WDS/Mesh: Yes
- Fast roaming: Pre-authentication, PMK caching and 802.11r/k/v
- DCS: Yes
- Load balancing: Yes
- Advanced cellular coexistence: Yes
- Encryption: WEP, WPA, WPA2-PSK, WPA3
- Authentication: IEEE 802.1X, RADIUS authentication
- Access management: L2-isolation, MAC filtering, Rogue AP detection
- IPv6: Yes
- VLANs: Yes
- WMM: Yes
- U-APSD: Yes
- Operating mode: Nebula cloud managed, Controller-managed, Standalone
- ZON Utility:
- Discovery of Zyxel switches, APs and gateways
- Centralized and batch configurations: IP configuration
- IP renew
- Device reboot
- Device locating
- Web GUI access
- Firmware upgrade
- Password configuration
- Web UI/CLI: Yes
- SNMP: Yes
- Physical Specifications
- Dimensions (WxDxH)(mm/in.): 310 x 178 x 56 / 12.205 x 7.01 x 2.205
- Weight (g/lb.): 1412/3.11
- Included accessories: Mount plate, Mounting screws
- MTBF (hr): 242,749
- Ethernet ports
- 1 x 1/2.5/5/10Gbps LAN
- 1 x 1Gbps LAN
- PoE (802.3)bt: power draw 41 W
- DC input : USB PD 15 VDC 3A (Type C)
- PoE modes
- IEEE 802.3af: Not supported
- IEEE 802.3at: 2.4GHz 2T4R; 5GHz 2T4R; 6GHz 2T4R
- IEEE 802.3bt: Unrestricted
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.