Tech Talk Live Blog

Setting Up Cisco Meraki Access Points

Frank Olshansky

Meraki access points (APs) have a number of options that can be set, and sometimes it is hard to find the right setting in their documentation. The goal of this post is to walk step-by-step through the process to set up a Meraki wireless network.

First, you will need to set up the APs is an account in the Meraki Dashboard. To create this account, go to dashboard.meraki.com​ and set up your account. When logging into the Meraki Dashboard for the first time, the box to claim devices will automatically pop-up. To claim the access point, either type in the 12-character serial number of the AP or the order number.

After claiming the devices, you will need to add them to a network. It is recommended that each site should be set up as its own network, because changes that are made at one site will not affect the APs at another site. To create a new network, hover your mouse over “Organization” and select “Create Network.” From here, give the network a name, pick the type of network (in this case Wireless), and select what devices will be part of this network. Tip: If there are a number of settings that will remain the same on multiple networks, I recommend setting up the first network, and then when you create a new network select the option to clone it from the first network.

The next step is to configure your SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers). Each network can have up to 15 SSIDs, although Meraki has recommended that each AP broadcast no more than 5 SSIDs to prevent interference. The first two options under each SSID are to enable or disable the SSID and to rename the SSID. If you click “Edit Settings,” this will take you to the Access Control page for that SSID. An alternate way to access this page is by hovering the mouse over “Wireless” in the column on the left and selecting Access Control.  From here select how users will authenticate to the network. Alternatively, a splash page can be set up that requires users to go through it before connecting to the network.

Further down on the Access Control page, you can select how clients associating to that SSID will get their IP addresses and what VLAN ID to add to the traffic that is coming from this SSID.

By default, the APs get their IP addresses through DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). If you wish to change this, go to “Wireless” on the column on the left side, select “Access Points,” and select the AP that you wish to change.  From here, the AP can be given a static IP.

The final step to setting up the APs (this step is optional, but I highly recommend it) is to go to Maps & Floor Plans in the Wireless menu. From here a floor plan can be added and the APs placed on the floor plan.

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