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Meraki Enterprise Cloud Controller for APs

When most vendors were building beefier hardware controllers, Meraki refined its multi-tenant hosted controller service, routinely rolling out new features at no extra cost. This low TCO “out of sight, out of mind” tactic helped Meraki land over 18,000 customers, from SMBs and hotels to universities and distributed enterprises. During Wi-Fi Planet’s test drive, we found Meraki’s Enterprise Cloud Controller quietly competent, with expanding depth and scalability.

Price: From $150 per AP (one year)

Pros: Fast deployment, rich traffic controls, app-layer visibility, no-cost extras.

Wi-Fi Signal logo

Image via Wikipedia

Cons: Some simplification at the expense of flexibility, limited RF debug.

Meraki sells a range of cloud-managed routers and Wi-Fi access points (APs), from the indoor single-radio MR12 to the outdoor triple-radio MR58. For this review, we tested three APs: an MR16 (MSRP $649), an MR24 (MSRP $1199) and an MR66 (MSRP $1299).

According to Meraki’s coverage calculator, the MR16’s dual 2×2 MIMO radios and internal antennas deliver 100 Mbps over 22 feet (2.4 GHz). Painting a 20K square foot office with Wi-Fi this way would require 28 MR16’s — a fairly dense deployment.

Big brother MR24 uses 3×3 MIMO to boost max data rate from 600 to 900 Mbps, while the MR66 is ruggedized for outdoor or industrial indoor use. All three support clients in both bands simultaneously, using band-steering to nudge 5 GHz-capable devices out of the 2.4 GHz “junk band.”

Read More: http://tinyurl.com/Cloud-APs

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