Contributed by Onesimus Borkuah
NATC wishes to inform you of the latest technology and equipment it has been working with over the past months: the “Meraki MR58 Outdoor Wireless Access Point.”
Here are some experiences of two of our staffs (Onesimus and Jonathan) have had whilst working with this device on a client site:
The MR58 provides high speed wireless coverage to large areas quickly, easily and cost effectively.
It also has a friendly graphical-user interface dashboard on the product site: www.Meraki.com that allows the network administrator to create an account for his/her Meraki network, registering his/her product on that network (using the serial number) and configuring it for his/her preferred use.
Whilst studying the product carefully to meet the needs of our customer, we observed the following:
1. For better encryption and design of your network, the MR58 has basically three unique ways of encrypting/securing and designing it:
i. A “splash screen” appears whenever a user has logged on wirelessly, giving him/her a local access for a short time until he can launch a web browser, read the designed content and then accept to browse the internet.
ii. A “dashboard” appears, similar to the splash screen that allows each user to log on using their username and password given to them by their network administrator.
iii. You can also monitor your network from anywhere in the world to know who’s using how much of a speed once you have access to the internet and you’ve created an account on the meraki dashboard. And it's all for FREE!
2. Any other device (i.e Linksys or D-Link), not a brand of Meraki product, can connect to the “Ethernet” port of the MR58 Access Point for better extension of the wireless indoors.
3. With the help of third-party sector antennas (We used the ARC-PA5823B01), you can boost your signal to get a larger coverage area. The ARC flat panel we used had a range of 2.4GHz-5.0GHz.
This is the kind of deployment we used (image from the Meraki website):
This equipment was used on a mining camp in the south-eastern part of Liberia to enable better internet (wired/wireless) for employees on the camp site.
It worked very beautifully within that region with less worries!
Here are a few pictures of us at work:
We would also like to state that we had an excellent support from the team at Meraki all the way in California while this deployment was going on! Thanks, guys!