MR34 Review: Meraki Access Point Important Information

Posted by John Ciarlone on 22nd Sep 2015


Meraki is a name that not every business is familiar with, but we suspect this is going to be changing. Backed by Cisco, Meraki delivers absolutely unparalleled virtualized mesh-based networking in a package that, as they say, just works.

Everything about the MR34-HW WiFi access point is streamlined, from its sleek white exterior to the simplified single-pane-of-glass management interface. It simultaneously delivers the best virtualized networking services on the market today, while being easy enough to use that even networking newcomers could quickly deploy a large-scale Meraki network.

Is a Meraki MR34 right for you? Let's take a closer look.

The MR34-HW: Superior Mesh-Based Networking Anyone Can Use

At the heart of the MR34 is a blazing-fast 1.75Gbps wireless access point that can easily keep your workforce connected at high speeds. It features 802.11ac radios, operating at 5ghz and 2.4ghz, which can be used concurrently. Smart on-board frequency-switching systems give it superior interoperability in environments that already have a high density of cordless or Bluetooth devices.

Additionally, it includes a Bluetooth radio with full Beacon and iBeacon capabilities, which can be used in a variety of roles to push messages -or advertisements- to users on the system.

Security is also a high priority with the Meraki MR34. It has an onboard stateful inspection firewall, covering Layers 3-7, as well as a live anti-virus scanner and active WIPS/WIDS intrusion detection and prevention systems. Industry-standard 802.1X systems keep the device itself secure.

On its face, this is fairly standard for current-gen WAPs , but Meraki takes things further with their revolutionary mesh-based network architecture. Each Meraki access point self-configures based on the components present, to optimize performance on any hardware combination. This works across all Meraki products, including the physical switches and firewalls.

Together, they form a seamless and self-healing mesh network architecture that's highly robust and fault-resistant. If one piece of hardware fails, the others take over its load for minimal disruption. If a piece of hardware is added, the system automatically recognizes it and adds its abilities to the network whole.

In fact, in most situations, the installation of any new Meraki hardware after initial deployment is a true plug-and-play process. Once the hardware is plugged in and registered, it automatically pulls network configuration and security settings while optimizing alongside the rest of your hardware.

Management of the MR34-HW is similarly easy. Through the Meraki Dashboard interface, your sysadmin will have full access to every component on your Meraki network, while also enjoying a full overview of its usage. This is wrapped in an easy-to-use GUI that requires no special expertise, and no command-line usage.

They still get fine levels of granular control, down to the app level. Permissions and bandwidth settings can be altered on an app-by-app basis for true fine-tuning, allowing your admin to further optimize the network for your own specific needs.

Cisco Meraki: The Next Generation Of Wireless Networking

A single MR34 can function as a single all-in-one network appliance for small organizations, or just as easily work alongside a massive deployment. Simply put, no other networking vendor on the market has this combination of speed, power, flexibility, and ease-of-use.

Is your organization tired of network hardware that works against you, and wants something that will simply work as needed? Contact Hummingbird Networks today for all the details on next-generation Meraki networking.

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