Connect802 is a nationwide Meraki wireless network equipment reseller providing Meraki system design consulting, equipment configuration, and Meraki installation services.


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The Meraki System

Meraki offers a hosted management solution where Meraki 802.11b/g and 802.11n indoor and outdoor access points are centrally managed across the Internet by a management application hosted on a server at a Meraki data center

Buy Meraki hosted WLAN management and Meraki 802.11g and Meraki 80211n indoor and outdoor access points from Connect802 to Take Advantage of our Wi-Fi Design and Consulting Experience

 
Connect802 will help solve the wireless data system puzzle!

The Meraki Value Proposition

 

Meraki's Solution to High-Cost Managed Wi-Fi

 

Meraki's Unique Approach to Network Management

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Why you will choose Meraki:

There are several core reasons why a Meraki Cloud Controller centrally managed wireless LAN system will be the right choice for your deployment. These include:

You'll choose Meraki as your Wi-Fi solution if you want an easy-to-manage and control system but you don't have resources to dedicate to configuring and managing your own centralized wireless LAN controller or you don't need the kind of custom configuration and support options offered by Connect802 for a client-owned, on-site controller. There is some very straightforward up-front configuration that must be performed using the management interface on the hosted controller server. You log in, you create a site name, assign one or more network names (SSIDs), setup WPA or other security, put in the serial numbers of your access points and, if you're using the HotSpot captive portal to give your users a login page then you'll make some simple decisions about how the page should look. Connect802 recognizes that any first-time Meraki buyer will have questions and our basic Installation Support Service is always included for first-time buyers.

You'll choose Meraki if you have a number of small, geographically separate sites (like franchise retail stores, gas stations, courtyard and swimming pool areas in multiple apartment complexes, single-family home rental properties). You need to provide managed Internet access for these sites with a single, central management control system. The Meraki Pro Cloud Controller hosted control software option allows you to do this without any additional hardware cost (i.e. you don't have to buy any type of controller) and there are no limits on how many access points you can manage in this model. (Note that the Enterprise Cloud Controller, required for 802.11n, does have a small, per-access-point annual licensing fee of less than $10.00 per month).

You'll choose Meraki as your Wi-Fi wireless LAN solution if you don't want to invest in a dedicated, on-site wireless LAN controller because there are features and capabilities that owning your own controller provide that are either not needed or can't be cost-justified. A Meraki system is very competitively priced. There is no additional cost for a hardware controller (as is the case for EVERY other wireless LAN switch system including Aruba, Ruckus, Motorola, Cisco, Proxim/ORiNOCO and others).

         
How you will decide that Meraki provides the best solution:

The Meraki "Process of Elimination"

To decide on implementing a Meraki solution you have to assure yourself that the scope and depth of access point hardware and management system software features are sufficient for your application. If they are, then you won't find a more cost-effective solution on the market. If the Meraki solution doesn't provide you with features or capabilities that you need then, as with any solution, "if it doesn't work then it doesn't matter how inexpensive it is."

Confirm Your Antenna Requirements and the Resulting Coverage Patterns

The Meraki solution provides low-cost conventional 802.11b/g and 802.11n access points with no integrated high-gain antennas. For example, the Meraki Outdoor, Meraki Indoor and Meraki Wall Plug come with a 2 dB omnidirectional antenna. The Meraki Indoor and Meraki Wall Plug radios have a maximum 60 mW power output and the Meraki Outdoor radio does not use standard 802.3af power-over-Ethernet (which means it can't be powered from a conventional 802.3af Ethernet switch - each Meraki Outdoor radio comes with the proprietary Meraki power adapter which DOES allow the radio to be powered across the Cat5 Ethernet data cable but only to distance of roughly 150 feet as opposed to 328 feet for 802.3af PoE).

Confirm the Required Scope and Depth of Configuration and Management Capabilities

You must have a stable Internet connection. Each Meraki access point must have a way to connect through the Internet to a Meraki hosted control server at a Meraki data center. All configuration and control is handled by the hosted control server. There is no provision for configuring or accessing any management or control features in individual access points locally (i.e. you can't login to an access point locally and configure or test it. The access point has no web UI and no Telnet or command-line access - all control comes through the hosted server).

Confirm Your Requirements and Resources for User Login Page Implementation

If you're planning to use the HotSpot captive portal login web page to offer Internet connectivity to the public then you'll have to implement your own end-user support system. Meraki and Connect802 provide technical support for the Wi-Fi network itself (operation, configuration, troubleshooting, etc.) but no direct support for end-users trying to connect to the Internet through the network. A Meraki network provides a built-in captive portal web page but cannot integrate with any third-party access control gateway (i.e. Aptilo, Pronto, Nomadix, ValuePoint, etc.)

When Your Project Requirements Can Be Met With a Meraki Solution It Becomes the Most Cost-Effective Solution

The key deciding factors in favor of a Meraki solution are a need for WLAN management and monitoring without the need to implement or manage special WLAN configurations using your own dedicated WLAN controller or other 3rd-party WLAN add-in hardware (like access control gateways, firewalls, etc.) Meraki gives you a solid, core set of management and configuration options. There is no mechanism for you to extend or enhance what is provided by the manufacturer. This is an ideal situation for saving money while still getting a solid WLAN management system and easy deployment but may not suffice for every enterprise-class WLAN deployment.

         
Where you will see the greatest value with Meraki wireless:

You want centralized WLAN management to make deploying your network easy. You want to be able to monitor the performance of your network, receive email alerts if equipment goes down, and manage your end-user community. You may want to give your users a web login page or even Hotspot subscription Wi-Fi.

You want all of the above but you don't have dedicated IT or wireless engineering resources to commit to the project and you don't have a budget that will allow you to engage Connect802 to perform all of the services for you. Moreover, you don't have a budget that will allow you to invest in a dedicated wireless LAN controller or server appliance.

If this describes your project then Meraki is a perfect solution. You get the management and control, ease of deployment and user login screen but you don't need to spend money on a dedicated wireless LAN controller or the IT support necessary to keep it working properly.

         
When you are ready to buy a Meraki solution:

Ready to buy a Meraki system? ...just give Connect802 a call and ask for Sales, or email to sales@connect802.com. Our pricing is always at least 5% below the full retail prices you'll find on the Web and you won't find anyone more willing to work with you to design and specify your network system. We'll be happy to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation phone meeting to talk about your project.

       
Connect802 is an authorized equipment and software reseller.
Meraki Equipment and Software Details

 


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Meraki Outdoor Access Point

   

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Meraki Indoor Access Point

   

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Meraki Wall Plug Access Point

   


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Meraki MR11 Single-Radio, Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n Access Point
Meraki MR14 Dual-Radio, Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n Access Point

   

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Meraki MR58 3-Radio, Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n Outdoor Access Point

   

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The Meraki Solar Solution

   

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Meraki Pro Controller Hosted Management System

  • Node and network configuration including:
  • Historical reporting (performance, uptime, usage)
   

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Meraki Enterprise Controller Hosted Management System

   

Meraki 150' Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) Injector

         
At Connect802 - We've Got You Covered!

Targeted Discussion For Meraki Access Points and the Meraki Hosted Management Solution

You'll find numerous Web references and reviews for Meraki. Below are some targeted discussions to provide you with additional perspective on how a Meraki solution can be implemented to meet your requirements for a secure, easy-to-manage wireless LAN system.
From Network World, May 2009

The company [Meraki] is best known for creating cheap, easy deployed, neighborhood Wi-Fi networks, using a mesh technology called RoofNet, originally developed at MIT. The new enterprise products are two indoor 802.11n access points, and cloud-based configuration, management and security services. In effect, Meraki makes the conventional WLAN controller a service accessible via any Web browser.

That means Meraki devices can be plugged in, turned on, provisioned and configured largely automatically. Enterprise network administrators can log in via a Web browser to Meraki's hosted service to modify settings, troubleshoot any problems, and perform a range of management tasks.

I find it intriguing: you can get most of the capabilities of the traditional enterprise-class products at a fraction of the cost," says Paul DeBeasi, senior analyst for wireless and mobility at Burton Group, the Midvale, Utah technology research firm. "You can manage it yourself or someone in the Meraki channel can offer it as a managed service. I think Meraki will get some traction if it [really] works."

The new products will be demonstrated next week at Interop. Additional information is on the Meraki website. The new access points are slim white boxes, just over 1.5 inches thick and slightly bigger than a folded sheet of paper:

MR11: 1-radio 802.11a/b/g/n access point, radio can be set to either 2.4 or 5 GHz bands, maximum data rate of 300Mbps using 2 radio streams (a "2x2" MIMO configuration), 802.3af PoE, integrated omni-directional antennas, 10/1000 Base-T Ethernet, support for the full panoply of enterprise security protocols and standards, including WPA2, TKIP and AES, 802.1x and VLAN tagging; 802.11e QoS. Price: about $600

MR14: identical in all respects except it has two radios, which can run at the same time on either band, for a total data rate of 600Mbps. Price: about $800.

The Meraki Enterprise Cloud Controller service is available for either $150 per access point for a 1-year license, or $300 per access point for the term of a 3-year license, including support.

For cost-conscious smaller enterprises lacking extensive IT expertise, the combination can offer dramatic savings. The lower costs are due to lower access point prices compared to Cisco, Aruba and other enterprise WLAN vendors, no stand-alone controllers, and no separate charges for maintenance and support. Meraki CEO and co-founder Sanjit Biswas says Meraki's total price tag can be 2-3 times less than Cisco and Aruba for a 30-access point deployment.

The price points are "astonishingly low," writes Craig Mathias, in his "Nearpoints" blog for Network World. "One might, of course, question putting a key element of one's WLAN on the other side of the Internet, but the [Meraki] Enterprise Cloud Controller is really more of the management plane than the control plane, and no user data flows through this service regardless."

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  • Meraki Hosted Solution
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