Zyxel Networks has been gazing into the crystal ball for 2024, and they are predicting the Year of the Dragon will be investments into backbone and wireless technology upgrades.

It is projected that 2024 will see further progressive innovations across the networking horizon. Zyxel has already made a WiFi 7 product available and the market is anticipating the release of much new products with this hot new tech.

WiFi 7 is significantly faster and better at delivering consistent and reliable connectivity in dense environments. For SMBs and smaller offices though, WiFi 7 may be beyond the budgets of some, WiFi 6 or 6E will be more affordable and just as good an investment. As a consequence they are expecting to see a rapid uptake in the WiFi 6 and WiFi 6e space.

It is also worth noting that the majority of WiFi 6/6E and all WiFi 7 devices come with WPA3 protection, which provides enhanced security for both infrastructure and devices connecting wirelessly.


Multi-gig and simpler security

Another big trend will be the continued move to multi-gigabit switches that have the capability to deliver speeds of 2.5Gbps, 5Gbps and 10Gbps to connected devices. Zyxel Networks is poised to expand its multi-gig range in 2024, enhancing Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities to meet the growing power demands of devices at the network’s edge. This includes WiFi 6/6E and WiFi 7 access points, as well as high-quality IP surveillance cameras with pan-zoom-tilt capabilities.

With network security, the key trend will be simplification. Every year, the threats to networks multiply and this has led to digital security solutions becoming more and more complex. While it is absolutely essential, that can be off-putting, especially for smaller businesses with no technical or cybersecurity expertise.
We see two parallel trends here in fact: a growing desire to make protecting the network simpler and a greater willingness to place the administration and management of security in the hands of professional experts.

Zyxel Networks responds to this by introducing the Connect and Protect initiative, offering pre-defined cybersecurity setups for seamless deployment. The Nebula cloud management and cybersecurity cloud platform provide proactive protection against a myriad of threats, displaying features like collaborative detection and response (CDR).


Bandwidth is king

Overarching all of this will be a move to higher bandwidth right across the network; the sophistication of applications, content and cloud-based services require that now. In 2024, it will be time to bring the network up to speed.

We will also see a continued move towards remote monitoring and management of networks, extending to configuration and installation. Far from being a new development, this growing trend has been driven for some time by the increasing acceptance of managed services, a scarcity of advanced technical skills, and the increasing dependency that all organizations have on their IT systems, connectivity and networks.

With its enhanced capabilities – the extra security functions and the use of AI and machine learning to aid fault-finding and resolution in particular – Nebula is becoming an all-encompassing, end-to-end solution through which the entire network (or multiple networks) can be monitored.

This is the longer-term direction for networking. Devices will be installed, configured and managed remotely and there will be much greater collaboration and sharing of functionality between switches, wireless access points and security appliances. In 2024, we will see networks progressing to the point where performance tuning and digital cybersecurity are fully integrated across all devices and everything is monitored and managed through the cloud.