Xirrus Loses One, Wins One

One of the more curious WLAN players in the market, Xirrus is always interesting. The wireless array company certainly doesn’t sit still from a development perspective, and is usually among the first WLAN vendors to get major popular new features announced. I’ve met with Xirrus at Wireless Field Day 5 (their presentations here) and WFD 6, and followed their evolution through the years with a number of articles written about them..

Of late, Xirrus has a bit of a bad news/good news story to tell.

The bad news- they’ve been dropped from Gartner’s 2015 Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure Magic Quadrant. Many of us in the WLAN industry have fairly low regard for Gartner’s current methodology in this space, but at the same time those in the market for business Wi-Fi frequently refer to the report for information on the pros and cons of industry players. I don’t agree with Xirrus’ exclusion, but it is what it is.

On the sunnier side, Xirrus has just announced a potential game-changing feature for customers struggling to do secure guest Wi-Fi. Called “EasyPass Personal”, it’s easy to mistakenly equate the new offering to the likes of Aerohive’s Private PSK. Xirrus differs significantly from just PPSK in that EasyPass Personal allows the guest/visitor to set up their own SSID and private pre-shared key. Yeah, read that again because it’s pretty wild.


See more on Xirrus’ web site here.

My thoughts on EasyPass Personal: I’ve not tried it, so can’t speak to the feature first-hand. My only real concern is whether the generation of personal guest networks in the air creates a lot of management overhead traffic (seems like it could, at first thought). But beyond that, I applaud Xirrus for bringing an innovative new option to the ridiculously challenging paradigm of secure guest access. Hotspot 2.0 is the promised “official” answer to secure guest Wi-Fi, but it’s both complicated and going nowhere. EasyPass Personal *seems* like a nice methodology, so I’d love to hear from Xirrus users who try it.

5 thoughts on “Xirrus Loses One, Wins One

  1. Frank

    I don’t see any technical docs easily available on it, but I wonder if Xirrus got clever and did something like Aruba “anyspot”. It basically allows you to set up a virtual AP profile that responds to probe requests for any SSID, rather than statically configuring one. This would allow EasyPass Personal to avoid having to broadcast boatloads of SSIDs on a heavily loaded AP.

  2. apcsb

    I am very interested to see how they’ve done it. Do they do unique BSSID per client like Meru/Extricom (and what is the overhead) or they put all only one BSSID with different ESSIDs sharing the same broadcast domain and group encryption key (in which case they are not really “isolated” from other users and can be ARP-poisoned, etc).
    Who is still there at Xirrus not afraid to discuss technical details with technical public (vs spewing marketing at masses)? 🙂

  3. Kum

    hello Lee Badman, i am Goodmann lol!.read an article from you on mushroom networks. Guess you must have worked with these devices. Just bought an old bbna porcini from ebay, but i cannot login into the web interface. What is the default username and password? Asked the mushroom guys on a live chat, he told me admin with no password. but i dont think it works. still desperately in search of login parameters. I have even opened it and removed the cmos battery to ensure the device resets. but still can not login. I think the username and passwords are diffrent from what I know. Can you please help? Thanks

  4. Pingback: Xirrus Loses One, Wins One - Tech Field Day

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