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ProSAFE High Capacity Wireless Controller


Netgear Products
NETGEAR Wireless Management
ProSAFE WC9500 High Capacity Wireless Controller
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Industry First Affordable High Capacity Wireless Controller

The NETGEAR WC9500 Wireless Controller is the industry's first affordable, high capacity, secured wireless controller capable of managing up to 600 Access Points and 36,000 concurrent clients per cluster. The WC9500 delivers ultra-fast Access Point discovery, Layer 2 and Layer 3 fast roaming, multiple 10 Gigabit connectivity, a captive portal for guest access, fully distributed architecture, and ease of configuration and management.

Unlike other WLAN systems that are costly, complex and cumbersome to deploy, the WC9500 High Capacity Wireless Controller is ideal for medium to large enterprise, higher education (university and colleges), large hospitals and medium to large size hotels. The NETGEAR WC9500 is designed with simplicity in management and ease of use to enable users to set up the systems in minutes. The product is enterprise-grade and feature-rich, and is secured and high performance.

Highly scalable

  • Supports up to 200 Access Points and 12,000 concurrent clients per controller
  • Stack up to 3 WC9500 per wireless cluster
  • Supports up to 600 Access Points and 36,000 concurrent clients per controller cluster

Multiple 10 Gigabit connectivity

  • Consists of 2x10G connectivity with SFP+ form factor
  • Backward compatible with 1G connectivity with SFP form factor
  • Additional 1x1G port with RJ-45 Copper connectivity

Ultra-fast Access Point discovery with Ufast

  • Ufast AP discovery provides super-fast AP discovery
  • Improves reliability and shortens setup time
  • Secured communication between AP and WC9500

Distributed and local forwarding

  • Data traffic can be forwarded to the best path without traversing the controller
  • Eliminates controller bottleneck for high throughput 802.11ac and 802.11n APs
  • Intelligent tunneling with Layer 2 and Layer 3 roaming
  • Hardware redundancy for enterprisegrade solution
  • Two redundant, hot-swap power supplies (PSU) (one PSU comes with the controller; second optional PSU is ordered separately)
  • Two removable fan trays provide front-toback cooling airflow for best compatibility with data center hot aisle/cold aisle airflow patterns

Enterprise-grade and feature-rich

  • Layer 2 and Layer 3 seamless roaming
  • Dynamic RF adjustments
  • WLAN healing for automatic RF coverage in the case of AP failure
  • Rogue AP detection

Investment protection

  • Supports 802.11n and 802.11ac ProSAFE Access Points
  • Hassle-free, plug-and-replace upgrade with WC7520 and WC7600

Industry-leading warranty

  • NETGEAR WC9500 is backed by NETGEAR ProSAFE Lifetime Hardware Warranty*
  • ProSUPPORT Lifetime 24x7 Basic HW Support
  • 90 days software configuration support and Lifetime Chat Support, remote diagnostic, and escalation management
  • Includes Lifetime Next Business Day Onsite Hardware Replacement


Scalable Architecture

The NETGEAR WC9500 High Capacity Controller supports up to 200 APs and is upgradable in 10, 50, 100, or 200 APs via software licenses. Stackable up to three controllers, a WC9500 High Capacity Controller stack can support up to 600 access points with a single interface. The WC9500 offers redundancy for always-on reliability.

Centralized Management

Deployed as an overlay on the existing wired network infrastructure, the NETGEAR ProSAFE High Capacity Wireless Controller simplifies the network management by providing a single point of management for the entire wireless network. Easy to set up, the WC9500 Controller discovers all supported access points in the network, even across VLANs and subnets. Once identified, the access points are provisioned in minutes. The discovery process follows an efficient and fast protocol in Ufast.

Robust Security

With identity-based security features such as support for RADIUS, Active Directory and internal or external AAA server, the NETGEAR ProSAFE High Capacity Wireless Controller truly unifies wired and wireless access without compromising on security. Management VLAN is configurable and up to 8 security configuration profiles (SSID, 802.11i security, VLAN, ACLs, radio parameters) can be active. Rogue AP detection permits rogue APs classification (friendly or hostile). Standard RADIUS compliance enables support for thirdparty authentication and billing system implementation. Scheduled wireless on/off times permits the wireless network to be completely unavailable during specified nonbusiness hours.

Guest Access, Captive Portal and Logging

Guest access allows restricted access to the network, using an integrated captive portal. Two methods of entry are provided, either assisted or self-certified. In the assisted model, the receptionist can create a user name and password for guests in the GUI and the WC9500 High Capacity Controller hosts a captive portal where guests can enter their pre-configured credentials to gain access to the network. Alternatively, the WC9500 High Capacity Controller hosts a guest portal where guests can register themselves before entering the network. Backend VLAN policies ensure restricted access to guests, prohibiting them any access to the sensitive data on the corporate network. Guest activity logs are available.

RF Management and Hole Detection

Automatic control of AP transmit power and channel allocation ensures coverage by minimizing interferences. Automatic WLAN healing after loss of AP or due to RF interferences adapts the power and channel of the other APs around the area. Scheduled automatic channel allocation authorizes an enterprise-class reliable wireless experience.

Load Balancing and Rate Limiting

Automatic load balancing of clients across APs is provided based on number of clients per AP and signal strength threshold/data rate threshold of clients on the BSS. Rate limiting is provided by SSID. Load balancing and rate limiting ensure fair bandwidth allocation among all clients for robust wireless connectivity.

Fast Roaming and Voice over WiFi

The NETGEAR WC9500 High Capacity Wireless Controller supports rapid mobility across VLANs and subnets including 802.11i preauthentication and fast roaming support (FRS). Seamless L2 and L3 roaming provides support for latency-sensitive applications such as video, audio and voice over wireless. WiFi Multimedia (WMM) advanced prioritization extends WiFi's high-quality end-user experience to voice applications (VoWiFi).

Monitoring and Reporting

The WC9500 uses a heartbeat mechanism between the controller and the AP. It is monitored based on several factors, such as RF interference, clients, error levels, etc. Each AP is constantly monitored (number of clients, traffic load, RF interference, packet error levels and retransmission statistics). Statistics provide reliable metrics per AP, per client, per floor and for the entire wireless network.


The best of centralized and distributed architectures are implemented by the NETGEAR ProSAFE High Capacity Wireless Controller for outstanding Wireless-N performance. Local traffic is automatically switched at the access points level for fastest processing, when roamed L3 traffic is processed at the controller level with advanced data control. Real-time applications such as VoWiFi require perfect inter-subnet/ inter-VLAN mobility: WC9500 encryption tunneling delivers enterprise-class fast roaming without any impact on Layer 2/Layer 3 performance.

Supported Access Points

Supporting standard NETGEAR access points, the WC9500 High Capacity Wireless Controller enables customers to select the right access points for their needs, including mixing models to provide the right coverage. The standard access points are converted to dependent access points. Supported models include professional-class ProSAFE access points WAC730 and WAC720 (802.11ac ultra high performance), WNDAP660 (high performance dual band concurrent), WNDAP620 (high performance dual band selectable) WNDAP360 (dual band), WNDAP350 (dual band), WNAP320 (single band), WNAP210 (single band), WN370 (wall mount single band), WND930 (outdoor) and WNDAP380Rv2 (integrated WiFi and RFID) all with Power over Ethernet capabilities and lifetime warranties.


NETGEAR WC9500 Specifications
Physical Characteristics
  • 165 watts with internal dual power supply
  • 100-240V AC Universal
  • IEC 320 connector
Physical Dimensions Dimensions (L x W x H): 440 x 430 x 43 mm (17.34 x 16.92 x1.7 in)
  • 1 PSU: 6.32 kg (13.94 lb)
  • 2 PSU: 7.57 kg (16.68 lb)
Environmental Conditions
Operating Temperature
  • Minimum (C/F) 0°/32°
  • Maximum (C/F) 45°/113°
Storage Temperature
  • Minimum (C/F) -20°/-4°
  • Maximum (C/F) 70°/158°
Operating Relative Humidity
  • Minimum 10%
  • Maximum 90%
Storage Humidity
  • Minimum 5%
  • Maximum 95%
  • WC7600 (@25C): 664,072 hours
  • Fan Tray (@25C): 676,058 hours
  • Power Supply (@25C): 938,490 hours
Power Consumption Maximum: 82.3W or 281 BTU/hr
  • ENGR 10049 EST Environmental Stress Test Guideline
  • ENGR 10045 EVT Engineering Validation Test Guideline
  • ENGR 10048 CVT Compliance Validation Test Guideline
  • ENGR 10046 SVT System Validation Test Guideline
  • ENGR 10023 HALT Highly Accelerated Life Test Guideline
  • ENGR 10036 CDG Component Derating Guideline
Managed APs 200 per controller
Controllers per Cluster 600 per cluster
WLANs (BSSIDs) 144
Concurrent Stations
  • 36,000 per cluster
  • 12,000 per controller
Guest Portal
Profile Groups per Controller 9 (1 Basic + 8 Advanced)
Profile per Controller 128
Security Profile Groups per Profile Group 9 (1 Basic + 8 Advanced)
Detectable rogue AP Maximum: 512
  • Layer 2 Discovery
  • Layer 3 Discovery
  • L2 Roaming
  • L3 Roaming
  • Layer 2 isolation
  • Access List
  • Auto Channel Allocation
  • Radius, AD, and LDAP proxy
  • Remote AP
  • Client load balancing
  • Auto Power Control
  • Coverage Hole Detection
  • Rate Limiting on per SSID
  • 802.11e WMM
  • Schedule AP on/off
  • Captive Portal
  • Stacking Redundancy (N+1)
Interfaces and Indicators
10G SFP+ Ports for Data and Control Two 1/10Gbps auto-sensing and auto-negotiation
1G Copper RJ-45 Ports for Management One 10/100/1000 Mbps auto-sensing and auto-negotiation
USB Ports One USB 2.0 Type A connector
Console One 1 D-Sub-9 MALE connector
LED Power, status, fan, stacking master
  • 144+1 Mgm
  • # of VLANs
Redundancy Active-standby
Stacking Maximum: Three controllers per stack
  • Web user interface
  • SNMPv1
  • SNMPv2
AAA Radius (primary and backup)
AP Provisioning
  • L2
  • L3
Wireless Security Standards
  • WPA
  • WPA2
  • 802.11i
  • WEP
  • TKIP
  • AES
  • 802.1x
  • MAC address
Access Control L2
Supported APs
  • WAC730
  • WAC720
  • WNDAP660
  • WNDAP620
  • WNDAP360
  • WNDAP350
  • WNAP320
  • WNAP210
  • WNAP210v2
  • WN370
  • WND930
  • WNDAP380R - (selected region only)
NETGEAR WC7600 Technical Features
RF Management
Automatic Channel Allocation
  • Automatic channel distribution to minimize interferences
  • Auto-channel allocation taking into consideration of the environment, interferences, traffic load and neighboring AP
  • Modifiable list of corporate channels to be used
  • Scheduled mode for Auto-channel allocation
  • Automatic mode in case of high level of interferences available
Automatic Power Control
  • Optimum transmit power determination based on coverage requirements
  • Automatic power control mode available
  • Neighborhood scan of RF environment to minimize neighboring AP interference and leakage accross floors
Coverage Hole Detection
  • Automatic mode or Manual mode
  • Down APs or compromized RF environment detection with alerts
  • Self healing: automatic neighboring AP power increase to cover coverage losses
Load Balancing
  • APs load monitoring and overloading prevention
  • Clients redirection to lightly loaded neighboring APs
Fast Roaming
  • Seamless rapid mobility across VLAN and subnets
  • Including 802.11i pre-auth and fast roaming
  • Fast Roaming support accross L2, and L3 for video, audio and voice over wireless client
Quality of Service
WMM Quality of Service WMM (802.11e) prioritizes traffic for both upstream traffic from the stations to the Access Points (station EDCA parameters) and down stream traffic from the Access Points to the client stations (AP EDCA parameters)
WMM Queues in decreasing order of priority
  • Voice: The highest priority queue with minimum delay, which makes it ideal for applications like VoIP and streaming media
  • Video: The second highest priority queue with low delay is given to this queue. Video applications are routed to this queue
  • Best Effort: The medium priority queue with medium delay is given to this queue. Most standard IP application will use this queue
  • Background: Low priority queue with high throughput. Applications, such as FTP, which are not time-sensitive but require high throughput can use this queue
WMM Power Save option WMM Power Save helps conserve battery power in small devices such as phones, laptops, PDAs, and audio players using IEEE 802.11e mechanisms
Wireless Security
Client Authentication Protocols
  • Open, WEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK
  • 802.11i/WPA/WPA2 Enterprise with standard interface to external AAA / RADIUS Server
Distinct AAA Server per SSID Yes
RADIUS Accounting Protocol Per Client tracking for:
  • Bytes Tx/Rx
  • Login/Logout Time
LDAP Based Authentication
  • Standard interface to external LDAP Server / Microsoft® Active Directory Server
  • Per Client Based LDAP policies for user bandwidth rate limiting available
Integrated AAA Server Local Database Authentification based on WC7520 internal RADIUS Server
Guest Access
  • Integrated Captive Portal available for client authentication in a Security Profile
  • Password based authentification mode: local user store available, receptionist assigned user name / password
  • Open authentification mode: guests auto registration with email address (up to 64 email stored)
  • Extraction of logs of guest activity
Captive Portal Configurable Portal page, including image files
Rogue Access Points
  • Rogue AP definition: AP with radio SSID oberved by any of the Managed AP and seen transmitting on same L2 wired network
  • Detection and Mapping of up to 512 Rogue APs
Wireless Network Monitoring
Monitoring Summary Summary of the Managed Access Points status, rogue Access Points detected, Wireless stations connected, Wireless Controller Information and Wireless Network usage
Managed Access Points APs status for the Managed Access Points and details that includes configuration settings, current Wireless settings, current Clients and detailed Traffic statistics
Rogue Access Points
  • Rogue Access Points Reported
  • Rogue Access Points in same channel
  • Rogue Access Points in interfering channels
Wireless Clients
  • Clients statistics and details per AP, per SSID, per floor, per location
  • Black listed Clients, Roaming Clients
Wireless Network Usage Network Usage Statistics display plots of average received/transmitted network traffic per Managed Access Point. Three different plots show Ethernet, Wireless 802.11 b/bg/ng and 802.11 a/na mode traffic separately
DHCP Leases DHCP details for Wireless Clients
Management Interface HTTP, SNMP v1/v2c, Telnet, Secure Shell (SSH)
Logging and Reporting If available Syslog server on the network, the Wireless Controller and Managed Access Points can send all Logs. Logs are also available on the GUI and ready to download (Log export file)
Diagnostics Managed Access Points Ping
Maintenance Save/Restore Configuration, Restore to Factory Defaults, Admin password change, Add user (read-only), Firmware Upgrade via Web browser for the Wireless Controller and the Managed Access Points
Dual Boot Image Supported
SNMP SNMP v1/v2c
IEEE and IETF RFC Standards
Wired IEEE Standards
  • IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T, IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX, IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T
  • IEEE 802.1Q VLAN tagging
RFC - System Facilities
  • RFC 2131 DHCP
  • RFC 768 UDP
  • RFC 791 IP
  • RFC 792 ICMP
  • RFC 793 TCP
  • RFC 1519 CIDR
  • RFC 1542 BOOTP
RFC - Security
  • IEEE 802.11i
  • WEP and TKIP-MIC: RC4 40, 104 and 128 bits (both static and shared keys)
  • SSL and TLS: RC4 128-bit and RSA 1024- and 2048-bit
  • RFC 2406 IPsec
  • RFC 2409 IKE
  • RFC 3280 Internet X.509 PKI Certificate and CRL Profile
  • RFC 3602 The AES-CBC Cipher Algorithm and Its Use with IPsec
  • RFC 3686 Using AES Counter Mode with IPsec ESP
  • RFC 4347 Datagram Transport Layer Security
  • RFC 4346 TLS Protocol Version 1.1
RFC - AAA (Authentication, Authorization, Accounting)
  • IEEE 802.1X
  • RFC 2548 Microsoft Vendor-Specific RADIUS Attributes
  • RFC 2716 PPP EAP-TLS
  • RFC 2865 RADIUS Authentication
  • RFC 2866 RADIUS Accounting
  • RFC 2867 RADIUS Tunnel Accounting
  • RFC 2869 RADIUS Extensions
  • RFC 3576 Dynamic Authorization Extensions to RADIUS
  • RFC 3579 RADIUS Support for EAP
  • RFC 3580 IEEE 802.1X RADIUS Guidelines
  • RFC 3748 Extensible Authentication Protocol
  • Web-based authentication
  • TACACS support for management users
RFC - Management
  • SNMP v1, v2c
  • RFC 854 Telnet
  • RFC 1155 Management Information for TCP/IP-Based Internets
  • RFC 1156 MIB
  • RFC 1157 SNMP
  • RFC 1213 SNMP MIB II
  • RFC 1350 TFTP
  • RFC 1643 Ethernet MIB
  • RFC 2030 SNTP
  • RFC 2616 HTTP
  • RFC 2665 Ethernet-Like Interface types MIB
  • RFC 2674 Definitions of Managed Objects for Bridges with Traffic Classes, Multicast Filtering, and Virtual Extensions
  • RFC 2819 RMON MIB
  • RFC 2863 Interfaces Group MIB
  • RFC 3164 Syslog
  • RFC 3418 MIB for SNMP
  • RFC 3636 Definitions of Managed Objects for IEEE 802.3 MAUs
  • Enterprise private MIBs


Target Applications

Higher Education Deployment
Higher Education Deployment

Example Deployment

Supported Access Points:

Supported Access Points
Access Points Description Typical Deployment
WAC730 Wireless-AC 3x3:1.7 Gbps High Performance Access Point Medium to large enterprise, higher education, mid to large hotels and hospitals requiring ultra high density throughput
WAC720 Wireless-AC 2x2:1.2 Gbps Premium Access Point Medium enterprise, higher education, hospitality requiring high density and throughput
WNDAP660 Wireless-N Dual Band Concurrent Premium Access Point Large and medium enterprise, higher education, large and mid-sized hotels and hospitals
WNDAP620 Wireless-N Dual Band Selectable Premium Access Point Large and medium enterprise, higher education, large and mid-sized hotels and hospitals
WNDAP360 Wireless-N Dual Band Concurrent Access Point Small to medium enterprise, K-12 schools with advanced WiFi, hotels, mid-sized hospitals
WNDAP350 Wireless-N Dual Band Concurrent Access Point (Metal) Warehouse, transportation, hardened locations
WNAP320 Wireless-N Single Band Access Point Small to medium enterprise, K-12 with basic Wi-Fi
WNAP210 Wireless-N Single Band Access Point Entry level small to medium enterprise
WN370 Wireless-N Wall Mount Single Band Access Point Small to medium hospitality
WND930 Wireless-N Outdoor Dual Band Concurrent Access Point Outdoor deployment for access and point to point mesh

*selected regions


Download the NETGEAR WC9500 Datasheet (PDF).

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Pricing Notes:

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