Cisco Meraki Cloud-managed Access Points
Cisco Meraki WiFi access points (APs) are designed to be deployed and managed, along with Meraki switches and security appliances, using Meraki's cloud-based services. Meraki's 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi APs are available for indoor and outdoor use and include advanced features such as multigigabit Ethernet, location analytics, application visibility and control for prioritizing critical apps, automatic RF optimization to support high density sites, dedicated security radios, plus the ability to enforce policies and throttling rules for each class of user. High-end APs from Meraki can handle up to 2.5 Gbps of WiFi traffic over a single cable. Meraki's cloud-based management services provide centralized control over deployments that can range to a single AP at a home office to a multi-site distributed network with thousands of WiFi-connected clients.
Meraki's cloud services centralize the management of WiFi APs, switches and firewalls across multiple sites
Progent's Cisco-certified wireless networking experts offer remote and on-premises consulting and support services to help you plan, configure, administer, tune, and debug WiFi deployments that incorporate Cisco's Meraki access points. Progent can also help you plan and configure hybrid networks that integrate local and cloud-based resources and that deliver easy access, enhanced security and compliance, streamlined management, and consistent performance for all your wired and wireless endpoints. Progent also offers affordable WiFi site surveys to help you select, situate, and configure Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi APs to create a wireless solution optimized for your physical environment and network traffic.
Cisco Meraki Indoor Wave 2 Wi-Fi Access Points
Cisco's Meraki line of Wave 2 dual-band indoor access points include low-cost devices for general use as well as enterprise-class APs capable of handling data rates of up to g 2.5 Gbps. All Meraki indoor APs offers advanced features like self-configuration for easy installation, built-in security and analytics, automatic updates, and unified cloud-based management for deployments of any size, from single site to multi-site distributed networks. Meraki indoor APs also feature radios with enhanced receive sensitivity plus a proprietary wireless intrusion detection and prevention system (wIDS/wIPS) with a dedicated radio for RF analysis and realtime packet inspection.
Other features of the Meraki family of indoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.3af PoE compatibility, hardware-accelerated encryption, wireless IPs, self-healing zero-configuration mesh routing, cloud-based location analytics, one-click secure guest access with a guest isolation firewall, customizable splash pages, an integrated policy firewall for granular group or device-based access control, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), WPA2-Enterprise authentication with 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, Layer 7 traffic shaping for prioritizing or restricting various classes of applications, plus MIMO and integrated beam forming to support high density environments while preserving range.
Cisco's Meraki MR20 is an entry-level Wave 2 Wi-Fi access point intended for small office or home office (SOHO) deployments. The cloud-managed AP features 2x2:2 MU-MIMO with two spatial streams and supports up to 1.3 Gbps combined throughput with 866 Mbps in the 5 GHz band and 400 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band. The Meraki MR20 access point includes Meraki's Air Marshal wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) for threat detection and attack remediation. The AP has one 10/100/1000 BASE-T Ethernet RJ45 port but no a Bluetooth BLE radio. The MR20 AP is desktop, ceiling, or wall mount capable.
The Cisco Meraki MR42 is an 802.11ac Wave 2 access point for performance-critical and/or high-density wireless LANs. The MR42 supports 3×3:3 MU-MIMO with beamforming, delivers a maximum data rate of 1.9 Gbit/sec, includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, and has an integrated Bluetooth radio that provides scanning and Beaconing. The Cisco Meraki MR52 is a high-performance Wave 2 802.11ac AP designed for high density campus and enterprise environments. The 4-radio MR52 offers 4×4 MU-MIMO with four spatial streams and beamforming, handles over-the-air data rates of up to 2.5 Gbps, supports 160 MHz channels, includes two GE Ethernet LAN interfaces, and features a Bluetooth radio. Cisco's Meraki MR53 AP has the same specs as the Meraki MR52 but has a single GE Ethernet LAN port plus a 2.5 Gbps Multigigabit Ethernet port.
Cisco's Meraki MR30H is a wall switch access point designed for hotel rooms or dormitory environments and features 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wave 2 support, an integrated 4-port gigabit Ethernet switch, and an integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio for beacon and scanning functionality. The MR30H provides up to 1.3 Gbps aggregate throughput with concurrent 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios. The Meraki MR33 is a general-purpose access point suitable for offices, schools, hospitals, shops and other busy environments. The MR33 has the same feature set as the MR30H access point but is packaged in a low-profile enclosure and lacks the integrated 4-port Gbit Ethernet switch.
Legacy Meraki Indoor Wi-Fi Access Points
Cisco's Meraki MR18 is a wall or desktop mountable 802.11n access point that can deliver speeds as high as 600 Mbps with its two concurrent 2x2:2 MIMO radios. This entry-level access point is value-priced and designed for general-purpose use in moderately dense environments. The Meraki MR32 is a wall, ceiling or desktop mountable wireless AP with a 5 GHz 2x2:2 802.11ac radio and a 2.4 GHz 2x2:2 802.11n radio, offering a maximum dual–radio aggregate frame rate of 1.2 Gbit/s. This access point includes a low-power Bluetooth radio for Beacon and BLE scanning and is intended for high-density campus, retail, and enterprise environments.
The Meraki MR34, which has reached end-of-life status, is a 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac Wave 1 access point with 1.75 Gbps throughput. Designed for very high density applications, the MR34 offers 802.af PoE (low-power mode) and 802.3at PoE+ and does not include Bluetooth.
Cisco Meraki Cloud-managed Outdoor/Industrial Wi-Fi Access Points
Cisco's Meraki outdoor and industrial access points are IP67 rated, designed to operate in harsh outdoor environments, and tested for dust, shock, vibration and moisture. Meraki outdoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and offer advanced features that include cloud management with network-wide visibility and control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), 1-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming.
Cisco's Meraki MR62 is a value-priced, single-radio 802.11n outdoor AP that offers 300 Mbit/sec performance and features a single-radio mesh and VPN tunneling for teleworkers. The mid-range Meraki MR66 has dual-concurrent radios with band steering, delivers 600 Mbit/sec max rate performance, and features 2x2 MIMO, beamforming, and multi-radio mesh. The high-capacity Meraki MR72 is a three-radio access point that supports data rates as high as 1.2 Gbps with concurrent 802.11ac and 802.11n 2x2:2 MIMO radios. A separate third radio is dedicated to WIDS/WIPS security and automated RF optimization. The MR72 also incorporates a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) radio to provide Beacon functionality and BLE device scanning. The ultra-fast Meraki MR84 is a 4-radio outdoor AP designed to handle any difficult, high-density RF environment such as a stadium, an arena, or any outdoor venue. The MR84 includes 4×4:4 MU-MIMO support, 160 MHz channels, a 1 Gbit Ethernet port and a Multigigabit Ethernet port, and an integrated BLE radio.
Meraki's Cloud-based Wireless Management Services
Meraki access points include the CPU, memory and architectural resources needed to perform packet processing, QoS, layer 3-7 security, encryption and other functions at the network edge while at the same time supporting Meraki's cloud management infrastructure. Meraki's cloud-hosted management provides centralized control over a virtually unlimited number of sites and devices via a single web-accessible dashboard with features that include layer 7 device and application visibility, performance and connection monitoring and alerts, extensive reporting, live diagnostics for remote troubleshooting, automatic updates, and enterprise-class security.
In Meraki's remote services solution, only control data rather than application or web browsing traffic is transferred to and from the cloud. The control data is sent via an efficient out-of-band management tunnel that uses about 1 kbps of bandwidth per managed device. This imposes an imperceptible impact on AP performance while eliminating the capital cost and management overhead of installing and maintaining wireless controller hardware within the network core. Also, this architecture allows clients to continue using their Wi-Fi networks even in the event their connection to the Meraki cloud is interrupted.
Meraki's cloud services offer unified management and analytics via a single dashboard
Meraki's cloud-based management solution features advanced traffic analysis and shaping capability that gives network managers insight into user behavior, making it possible to tune your Wi-Fi ecosystem to optimize productivity. Meraki’s traffic analytics engine allows the Meraki management dashboard to shed light on all network layers so administrators can visualize the aggregated results of statistical analysis organized by network, SSID, or user. Flow-by-flow deep-packet inspection (DPI) of network traffic in real time provides administrators with the data they need to devise and implement granular application firewall and traffic rules. To improve productivity or encourage customer engagement, Meraki’s traffic shaping engine lets you define informed policies for QoS and prioritization according to users and network groups. Administrators can specify and enforce restrictive policies like access control and application firewalling or throttling, or prioritize bandwidth availability for various classes of business-critical applications.
Additional features of Meraki access points that take advantage of Meraki's cloud management include the Air Marshal wireless intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) and CMX Location Analytics for real-time analytics on the presence of mobile Wi-Fi devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Meraki access points with Air Marshal activated perform real-time scanning across channels on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and react to detected threats according to remediation policies defined via a centralized management tool. A cloud-based heuristics engine allows Air Marshall to detect, send alerts, and suggest solutions for the latest threats, which can include rogue SSIDs, AP spoofs, packet floods, and attempts to hack your Wi-Fi environment.
Cisco Meraki CMX Location Analytics utilizes the Bluetooth radio integrated into every Meraki access point to derive presence data from the probe requests beaconing of WiFi-enabled client devices such as smartphones and tablets. The data collected by Meraki's WiFi APs is synchronized with the Cisco Meraki cloud and displayed graphically in the management dashboard to help organizations understand patterns of foot traffic near different Wi-Fi hot spots. Analysis can include traffic volume by time of day, new clients vs. repeat clients, and length of stay. The statistics organized by CMX can be used by any organization to optimize staffing or drive employee BYOD policies. Retailers can use CMX to compare customer trends before and after sales campaigns to understand and improve the impact of various marketing initiatives on customer engagement. CMX also enables assisted navigation and supports location–aware mobile applications.
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Cisco Meraki WiFi Access Points
Progent's Cisco-certified wireless networking consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise to assist organizations of all sizes to plan, configure, manage, tune or troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks that incorporate Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi APs. Progent's experts can provide as-needed help to guide you through challenging technical problems or Progent can provide comprehensive project management or co-management services to ensure that vital Wi-Fi initiatives are completed on time and within budget. Progent can help you integrate Meraki-based WiFi APs with Meraki switches and security appliances or with non-Meraki network appliances from Cisco or other vendors. (See Cisco Meraki switches consulting.) Progent's also offers wireless site surveys to help you choose and locate Cisco Meraki access points optimally to provide the coverage, throughput and capacity required to handle your wireless environment.
Progent's certified cyber security and compliance experts can help you define and enforce policies that are consistent across your wired and wireless clients and that comply with industry and government standards. Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you design fault-tolerant and recoverable Wi-Fi environments that deploy the high-availability technology designed into Cisco-Meraki access points and cloud services.
To learn more about Progent's wireless consulting services, see Progent's Wireless Network Consulting and Troubleshooting Support.
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