June 12, 2023
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses need innovative solutions that optimize their network performance and provide robust security. A reliable and powerful wireless networking infrastructure is essential for providing seamless and efficient connectivity to users. Cisco Meraki Access Points offer high performance combined with advanced features, simplified management, and top-notch security. Here, we dive deep into the world of Meraki Access Points to understand how they benefit various businesses.
Meraki Access Points (APs) are professional-grade wireless networking devices that provide Wi-Fi access to users in a network. Designed and managed by Cisco, a leading networking technology provider, Meraki APs are specifically engineered to deliver enterprise-level wireless performance while being easy to configure, scale and manage. These devices are part of the Meraki ecosystem, a comprehensive suite of IT solutions that revolutionize the way businesses manage their networks.
Cisco’s Meraki Access Points deliver high-speed wireless connectivity with powerful features designed to benefit businesses of all sizes. Some of the most notable features include:
When it comes to choosing a Meraki Access Point for your business, several factors need to be considered. The size of the coverage area, the number of users, and specific networking requirements should all be evaluated to make an informed choice. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right Meraki AP for your organization:
Meraki offers both indoor and outdoor APs, each designed for specific environments. If you need Wi-Fi coverage inside buildings, indoor access points are an ideal choice. They are optimized for office spaces, conference rooms, retail stores, and educational institutions.
To provide Wi-Fi connectivity in outdoor areas like parks, parking lots, and patios, Meraki outdoor access points are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions with a ruggedized casing, while maintaining high-performance wireless connectivity.
Different Meraki AP models have varying levels of performance and capacity. If your organization requires high-density deployments that can handle a large number of connected users and devices, consider APs with faster processors, more memory, and support for advanced features like 802.11ac Wave 2.
In cases where fewer users or devices are connected, and high-performance features aren’t strictly necessary, more affordable models with essential Wi-Fi capabilities will suffice.
Meraki APs can be smoothly integrated into most existing network infrastructures. However, when making your decision, it’s essential to ensure compatibility with your current switches, firewalls and routers, and other network devices. This will help you efficiently optimize the performance and management of your network.
Your budget also plays a crucial role in determining the appropriate Meraki Access Point for your organization. Balance the features, performance, and deployment costs to find an AP that meets your needs without exceeding your designated IT expenditures.
Cisco Meraki offers various licensing options to suit your organization’s requirements. Licensing not only covers the use of the hardware device but also provides access to the Meraki Dashboard, software, latest firmware updates, and 24/7 customer support. Review the available license options to determine the best fit for your business.
Once you’ve selected the right Meraki Access Point(s) for your business, the next step is deploying and managing them effectively. Cisco Meraki has made the deployment and management process incredibly straightforward and user-friendly, even for those with limited technical expertise. Here’s a step-by-step guide on deploying and managing your Meraki APs using the Meraki Dashboard:
Before installing your Meraki APs, it’s essential to ensure that your network environment is ready. This includes tasks such as:
The Meraki Dashboard is a centralized management platform that allows you to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot your Meraki Access Points and other Meraki devices remotely. To create a Dashboard account, visit the Meraki Dashboard login page and follow the prompts to sign up for an account.
Next, add your new Meraki APs to your Dashboard account. To do this, you need to claim the devices using their serial numbers or order numbers. Simply log in to your Dashboard account, navigate to the “Inventory” section, click on “Add devices,” and follow the on-screen instructions.
Once your devices are added to the inventory, you can create a new network and assign your APs to it. The Dashboard allows you to configure multiple networks and customize their settings to suit your organization’s needs. Some primary settings to configure include:
Now that your network is set up in the Meraki Dashboard, you can physically install your APs in their predetermined locations. Connect your devices to the appropriate PoE-capable switches or PoE injectors and power them on. The Meraki APs will automatically connect to the Dashboard, download their configuration settings, and start broadcasting your Wi-Fi networks.
The Meraki Dashboard offers a wealth of information and valuable insights into your network’s performance. Key features like real-time monitoring, historical data, and built-in network analytics allow you to keep a close eye on your infrastructure’s health. Additionally, the Dashboard provides continual updates, ensuring your devices stay up-to-date and secure.
As your organization grows, it may be necessary to adapt and expand your network infrastructure to accommodate increasing user demands and achieve greater efficiency. Cisco Meraki Access Points are designed to work seamlessly with other Meraki products and accessories, allowing businesses to create a complete, end-to-end networking solution. In this section, we will explore various Meraki accessory devices that can help enhance your network’s functionality and performance.
Meraki switches are cloud-managed network switches that simplify network management and provide seamless connectivity between devices. They come in various capacities and form factors, catering to businesses of all sizes. Meraki switches are compatible with Meraki Access Points, ensuring a high-performance and secure connection between the devices. Key features of Meraki switches include:
To enhance your organization’s security, consider integrating Meraki security cameras into your network. These cloud-managed cameras provide high-quality video surveillance and analytics, helping to monitor and secure your premises 24/7. Meraki security cameras are easily managed via the Meraki Dashboard and can be accessed remotely from any device. Key features include:
Protecting your network from external threats is crucial for ensuring its integrity and security. Meraki firewalls and routers are designed to provide advanced security features and high-performance connectivity. These devices integrate seamlessly with your Meraki Access Points, offering end-to-end network protection. Some notable features of Meraki firewalls include:
For organizations seeking a reliable, high-speed cellular-based backup solution, consider deploying the Meraki Cellular Gateway. This device connects directly to your existing Meraki network infrastructure and provides failover connectivity through 3G/4G or LTE cellular networks, ensuring uninterrupted network service in case of primary connection failures. Key features include:
By leveraging these Meraki accessory devices alongside your Meraki Access Points, your organization can build a comprehensive, efficient, and secure network infrastructure. These accessories not only enhance your network’s performance but also simplify its management through the centralized Meraki Dashboard.
At A5 IT, we are committed to helping businesses discover and deploy the perfect IT and networking solutions. If you’re ready to expand your network with Meraki accessory devices, browse our selection in the online shop or contact us for personalized assistance. Don’t forget to explore our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more insights and valuable information on IT and networking solutions.
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