A while back I blogged about these cool mesh network devices called Meraki’s. Well last week I finally got my act together and purchased a few, unfortunately I had to keep the value under $1000 to vale on import duty so there will be another order.
These cool little devices arrived yesterday afternoon!
So first thing I did was take pictures to make everyone jealous :-).
Next I finished work as quickly as possible and raced home to set them up. First mistake, golden rule with toys if you race then it wont work.
I unpacked a Meraki Mini (they are very cute) and plugged into the power & my router, second mistake. Router decided it did not like the new device so it crashed, yes crashed. I unplugged the mini, rebooted the router and read the manual. To be honest the manual is not very good.
Here are a list of tip and hints, also covering things I did not find in the manual or knowledge base. Well they might of been I was just too rushed to find them.
- Yes Meraki’s have DCHP, but only within their subnet 10.x, initially I though my router was borking cause it had 2 DCHP servers, not the case.
- Once you book the Meraki it takes about 2 – 3 minutes for it to sort itself out, during which time the SID will change from meraki-scanning, to meraki. Log onto the first and you will be disconnected very quickly.
- You don’t need to disable the existing Wireless on your router, instead you can use the Wireless as an Uplink service to the internet.
- Having your network within the same subnet as the Meraki’s is not a good idea, go for 192.x.
- You need to connect to each Meraki via an Ethernet cable to ensure it gets added to your network, just adding the device via the Meraki dashboard is not enough!
- Have patience with your network, IP can take a few minutes to reconfigure itself, don’t rush
- Don’t, and I mean don’t forget to turn off MAC address filtering on your existing Wireless network if you want to use the Wireless uplink service. This cost me at least 45 minutes of complete confusion!
- Try not to have to set these up on a corporate PC that does not allow you to have wired & wireless networks running at the same time, just makes things difficult!
- Once you are up and running make sure you setup your dashboard properly & limit the bandwidth your neighbours can suck otherwise you might run out of usage allowances before the end of your billing cycle.
- Provide a nice welcoming message on your splash screen to encourage people to use your service.
- Finally if you are in Australia, make sure you add yourself to I Can Haz Meraki to advertise your network. (More about the service here).
So now if you are in Elwood on Ormond Rd, look for a SID of free-the-net and you might be have some free Wireless love. Next step is to work on getting some more in the area.