Security

Hide your wireless access points with HD Communications' 802.11b/g-enabled wall jacks


Let's face it, network designers rarely worry about mounting wireless access points in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Even hiding cable runs is often a secondary consideration. To help please both interior decorators and IT pros, HD Communications has developed a small in-wall wireless access point. The HD24613 is an 802.11b/g access point that fits within a wall-mounted utility box--normally reserved for Ethernet jacks.

Simple to retrofit existing wired networks The HD24613, shown in Figure A, eliminates the need to pull new cables, add power outlets or spend hours figuring out how to mount devices to your ceiling. Simply replace the existing Ethernet jack with the HD24613, power it with a PoE enabled switch or injector and you're ready to go. Figure A

HD24613 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi-enabled wall jack

In an August 2007 press release published on EDN.com, Don Davis, President and CEO of HD Communications Corp. was quoted as saying, "Hotels, motels, schools, hospitals, businesses, and homes can now replace their standard in-wall network jack with our new in-wall access point." David also said, "there have been other in-wall access points offered by others but they are too big, too expensive, and often required additional proprietary equipment to use them. We just made it simple."

Key features

According to the HD Communications' retail Web site, the HD24613 boosts the following features:

  • Dimensions: 2.875" (L) x 1.75" (W) x 2.625" (D)
  • High speed 54 Mbps wireless and/or 100 Mbps wired data rate
  • RF transmit power settings (5 levels)
  • Auto-channel selection setting
  • Security: WEP, WPA-PSK, 802.1X/EAP, TKIP, AES
  • MAC address filtering
  • Wireless client isolation
  • AP load balancing
  • Extensive management tools via browser-based configuration utility
  • Up to 4 separate and unique SSIDs (optional)
  • PoE Input: 100-240V~
Final thoughts

The HD24613 offers a simple, clean way to provide Wi-Fi coverage without intruding into a space's existing design. Although it's not totally theft-proof, the unit's obscurity offers some physical security. In response to concerns about the unit's wireless range, Davis stated, "our expertise in wireless communications allowed us to overcome barriers in obtaining long-range indoor wireless connectivity." The HD24613 may not be as versatile as the typical access point, but under certain conditions it could be the best solution.

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13 comments
hass123_2000
hass123_2000

Hi, it is really very nice design. do any one help me to find a way to hide the outdoor wireless access point mountened on a lighting pole inside a park!!

support
support

Looks very nice. Wondering if insulations will interfare with signals.

antoniosferreira
antoniosferreira

like all genius ideias, simple simple simple, and.... works!

sales
sales

A neat and compact unit. I am interested to see some field trial results on performance and range. David Neale RF Communications Engineer Exceltek Broadcasting Services Pty. Ltd.

bart.thoen
bart.thoen

Hmm. I have my doubts about the coverage of the radio signal, especially when it's build in into a wall, a place where there often some iron involved which might disturb the radio signal. The main reason why an Access Point is placed in a central location is just because it can offer the best radio signal/strength. Unless you can connect an external antenna to it, to improve the signal, i think it's just a gizmo.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

HD Communications' 802.11b/g-enabled wall jacks seem like a great way to provide wireless coverage without putting a big black box on the ceiling with wires hanging out. If one of your Wi-Fi deployment projects was completed with special attention to aesthetics, send us a few pictures. We'll post the best entries on TechRepublic and let members vote on their favorite. E-mail your photos to me using the Send Message link on this post or the Send a Private Message link on my profile page.

Va-EConsultant
Va-EConsultant

Everyone Ortronics has already had this feature in their catalogs for two to three years. OR-AP-DUO Dual radio a/b/g access point OR-AP-DOUWJ Dual radio a/b/g access point w/ manager workstation port Look them up. The local rep.'s would love to show off their Wi-Jack Access Point Family and its performance at a Lunch N' Learn or a full presentation.

mdphoenix
mdphoenix

I'm curious to see the results as well. My WAPs are mounted to the wall. I can't see how much difference that would be from being mounted IN the wall. Looking forward to seeing this device in action.

bart.thoen
bart.thoen

... besides, i don't know about you guys, but when placing an Access Point, a site survey is in to be done to determine the best location. And regarding to the wires ... we have over 50 Access Points, and all of them are powered via PoE, and even this cable is neatly installed.

scott
scott

For a hotel *room*, I think it's excellent. for a whole *floor*, I'm skeptical. Wouldn't mind one in my living room tho. ;-)

ronmorgan
ronmorgan

Looks like a good solution for hard to access points if behind the furniture. But what if it goes bad? Hope it is POE.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Scott speaks directly to the point Michael makes at the end of his blog post. The HD24613's usefulness is completely driven by the location. The HD24613 is likely not the solution for covering a large space, but might work well in a confined space where aesthetics is a greater concern. Hotel rooms are a good example.

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