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An Introduction to Meraki WiFi

  • 22 March, 2018

Article, Cisco, Cloud, Meraki, Networking

In 2012, Cisco acquired Meraki, a cloud managed IT company that was gaining a lot of traction in the technology industry for its radical new approach to handling business IT networks. Cisco Meraki allows organisations to manage their entire network, including wireless, security, EMM, communications, and security cameras, all from one easy-to-use centralised dashboard. In this article we will be delving into the benefits of Meraki WiFi and the features of their Cloud Managed Wireless platform.

Meraki's Management Dashboard

As with other Meraki products, such as Meraki Switches or Meraki CCTV, one of the most sought after features is the cloud management functionality. Meraki have made simplicity and efficiency their two main goals throughout their product developments processes which has resulted in a great superiority to any of their competitors when it comes to installation and management. You can effortlessly manage huge WiFi networks spanning multiple locations all from a device of your choice.

The ability to manage WiFi, Switching and CCTV from one device is an enormous leap in business technology and provides explanation of why countless organisations are making the switch to Meraki products every day.

Below is a screenshot that shows all of an organisations headquarters in a well presented world map. The dashboard also features a red, yellow and green colour coding scheme allowing for easy identifications of areas that may need attention by the systems administrator.

cisco meraki wifi dashboard

You can then drill down into an extremely detailed view of individual buildings where your Meraki WiFi network is set up. The numbers on the image on the right show the number of devices connected to that single access point. By clicking on the device you are then able to view the names of each individual endpoint and apply restrictions etc from there. In just a few seconds you can go from a world view of your global organisation, to viewing a single connected endpoint. This kind of speed and functionality saves an unbelievable amount of time for IT administrators.

cisco meraki wifi dashboard
cisco meraki wifi dashboard

The possibilities available when using the cloud managed dashboard and endless. The amount of customisability and flexibility it gives you is a revolutionary concept to WiFi management.

The video below is a demonstration of the dashboard created by Meraki.

Features of Meraki WiFi

Centralised Management

You’re able to manage an entire multinational organisation’s WiFi deployments from just one device of your choice.

Location Analytics

Access to detailed analytics which show user visit time, visitor capture rate, and repeats visits.

Multigigabit Ethernet

Pass 2.5Gbps of traffic over a single cable in order to take full advantage of high speed 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless.

Application Visibility and Control

Gain in-depth visibility into the applications in use and prioritise business-vital apps over recreational.

Identity-Based Firewall

Automatically assigns firewall and traffic shaping rules, VLAN tags, and bandwidth limits to enforce the right policies for each class of users.

Dedicated Security Radio

Your Meraki WiFi system will instantly detect any interference, vulnerabilities, and attacks on any channel.

The Hardware

Cisco Meraki WiFi is available with both internal and ruggedized (external) access points. Below you can see a selection of the many different models you can deploy. A full list can be found here.

mr20 meraki wifi access point

MR20

  • 2 x 2:2-stream MU-MIMO
  • Recommended for entry-level, very low density coverage
mr42 meraki wifi access point

MR42

  • 3 x 3:3-stream MU-MIMO
  • Recommended for general coverage
mr52 meraki wifi access point

MR52

  • 4 x 4:4-stream MU-MIMO
  • Recommended for general coverage
mr53e meraki wifi access point

MR53E

  • 4 x 4:4-stream MU-MIMO
  • Multigigabit and external antenna connectors
  • Recommended for focussed coverage and flexibility

If you like what you’ve read about Cisco Meraki WiFi then please get in touch with us. We would love to have a conversation with you about how Meraki WiFi could fit into your environment and answer any questions you may have.

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