My Meraki Are Up

I ordered a trio of Meraki Mini wireless access points last week, and they arrived yesterday and I installed two of them last night at 100 Prince Street in downtown Charlottetown.

One is pointing out the front window, the other is upstairs at the back; in theory this should flood a circle around our house with wifi, SSID “100 Prince Street” which you are welcome to borrow while you are in the neighbourhood.

The tiny Meraki access points are truly painless to install: I plugged one in to the cable modem, the other stands alone. They powered on, found the Internet (and each other) and I configured them through the web-based dashboard that Meraki offers.

Meraki Dashboard

The magic of the Meraki (over your run-of-the-mill wireless access point) is that they automatically work together, one getting Internet from the other. So, in other words, you can blanket a large area with wifi with only a single wired Internet connection at the very beginning of the chain.

If you want to outfit your neighbourhood, apartment building, campus, commune, etc. with wifi, this certainly seems a cheap and effective way to do so.

Comments

Don Carter's picture
Don Carter on August 3, 2007 - 20:18

Having just acquired a wireless equipped Acer laptop, I would like to know whether there is any sort of map or listing of Wi-Fi access points in Charlottetown especially the downtown area.

Lola's picture
Lola on August 3, 2007 - 23:34

I used your wifi last night to check my email. I could check it without leaving my van. One of the highlights of my vacation!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 4, 2007 - 13:33

I hooked up the third Meraki Mini last night 1/2 a block away and it synced itself with my home network and started beaming out wifi right away. They are amazing gizmos.

Chuck McKinnon's picture
Chuck McKinnon on August 4, 2007 - 19:36

Peter, what kinds of configuration options do they have? MAC filtering, port forwarding, WPA2, etc? I couldn’t find much information on the ‘Dashboard’ screen on Meraki’s site.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 4, 2007 - 20:35

Supports MAC filtering, but only WEP (not WPA2). The “Dashboard” is very feature-complete, with more information about usage than you could ever possibly use. No port forwarding.

Ken W's picture
Ken W on August 5, 2007 - 01:29

They have an SMA connector right? You should get some directional antennas, some neighbours around the block especially the corners, and air it out. You could do your entire block in wifi, bouncing across the road, branching out. If you could get 200m that would cost only about $1000 a kilometre and if your neighbours along the way cover the electricity cost, well, then there ya go.

The new trend is networks by the people for the people.

Martin Kraft's picture
Martin Kraft on August 5, 2007 - 05:43

I’d run across Meraki a few months ago. I’m also aware of CUWiN (http://cuwin.net/).

Meraki, in contrast with CUWiN, appears to have taken the time to program a complete web-driven user-interface whereas using CUWiN in its present state is likely to require SSH logins at least and most likely building a custom image.

I’m unclear, however, on whether Meraki gives complete access to their source code. I see downloads at the page http://meraki.com/linux/, but I’m not clear on just what those files are. In the Meraki forums, users seem to request features but I haven’t seen any patch submissions, so it would appear, Meraki’s development model is not open-source. Peter, can you shed light on this?

If Meraki’s approach isn’t open-source then I’m not particularly interested in their software, although since CUWiN can be installed on the Meraki Mini (http://www.cuwin.net/manual/ho…, and this may be the cheapest hardware on which to run CUWiN, ironically, I may purchase a Mini after all!

Dan Misener's picture
Dan Misener on August 10, 2007 - 21:16

Hi Peter,

How much was shipping/customs? I’m keen to pick up a couple of these to play with, but don’t want to get hit hard with duty and other border-related stuff.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 13, 2007 - 12:46

On an order of 3 units, shipping and handling was $39.83. There was no duty.

Dan Misener's picture
Dan Misener on August 13, 2007 - 22:26

Nice. Thanks, Peter.

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