Meraki First Impressions – WAP Setup


I am finally setting up the Meraki access point I received through a promotion they were offering and wanted to share with you a bit about the setup.

For those unfamiliar with Meraki, they make a series of devices that can be managed through a “cloud” based controller – cloud being they provide a hosted management interface for you rather than requiring a hardware or software based on premise controller such as Cisco, AeroHive or Rukus.  Meraki was acquired by Cisco in November of 2012.

First I connected the access point to my network, then opened  browser and went to dashboard.meraki.com to create an account.  During the account setup, I was asked to provide the serial number of the access point and clicked create network.  Once taken to the dashboard, I was able to see the access point, identified as an MR12 with the appropriate MAC address in the dashboard.

meraki-dashboard
Meraki dashboard after account creation.

The access point also received a basic configuration based on the information I entered during the account creation and was available, albeit as an unsecured network, for clients to connect to.

ssid

To configure the access point, I went to the configure section of the dashboard, and selected Access Control, here I can configure the various security options for the access point(s) including the encryption type, ability to configure/require a splash page, group policies (not AD group policies by polices defined by you), bandwidth controls and content filtering.

configureAP

I saved the configuration and sure enough after just a few moments I could see my new SSID was now secured.

I have been keeping an eye on Meraki for quite some time, but never had a chance to work with them prior to their acquisition by Cisco.  The setup and basic configuration of a single AP was quite easy and there are still several features which I have not tried (though hope to followed up with a blog post).  The options available at the price point is quite impressive, though I will be curious to see how Cisco manages Meraki, their products and pricing – it was certainly a much better buy for the SMB space than Linksys was.