Meraki Go was created for small offices or small business owners and is the easiest to configure networking product on the market.
Meraki Go is a complete networking solution that is simple, mobile and secure. Your business network can be up and running in minutes with wireless access points, switches and firewalls managed through the Meraki Go mobile app.
Networking for small offices
One of our partners asked us for help in setting up a network in his new office. This task does not require a lot of equipment, but only a few laptops, WiFi cameras, printers to be connected to the network. And also need a guest network for clients.
Clearly, the choice fell on Cisco Meraki Go devices. Below we will discuss why we chose this company's devices for this task.
Every network construction starts with the topology, and this is what we have in our case.
Let us now consider in detail what we have and what is required of us
1. we have access to the Internet with a speed of 300 Mb/s
2. we need to create a network in 2 rooms
3. we need to connect multiple devices over the network using RJ45 patchcord and multiple devices over Wi-Fi
4. we need to create Wi-Fi network for guests with limits on traffic consumption
Unpacking the equipment
Meraki Go GX20
Let's start building the network by unpacking the devices. The first in line is the network firewall -. Meraki Go GX20
immediately impresses with its ergonomic design and small size (173.4mm x 112mm x 26.3mm). It doesn't come with a detailed user manual, but you don't need one either since everything can be found on the manufacturer's website these days. Also included is a wall mounting kit
, power adapter and 2 interesting flat Ethernet cables.
Meraki Go GS110 8P
Since there are several devices connected to the Ethernet network
, a switch comes to our aid Meraki Go GS110-8P
. The second thing we are going to unpack.
The package contains the switch itself, a power adapter, a power cable for the Euro socket, a wall mounting kit and a brief manual. Surprisingly there was no Ethernet cable, with which the switch is usually connected to the router, but this fact should not be considered a minus.
Meraki Go GR 10
Also in our network there are enough devices that connect to the network via Wi-Fi
. Therefore, we only need an access point. In our case, we will use an internal access point Meraki GR10
The access point itself is made in a white plastic casing, which won't be conspicuous if attached to a wall or ceiling. I really like the attention to detail - all the fasteners are hidden in a special plastic holder. The kit also includes Ethernet cable (the point can be powered via PoE 802.3 af) and 12V power supply.
Connecting and configuring the device
Once the devices are completely unpacked, we move on to connecting and configuring them. This is where all the "magic" and simplicity happens, for which many people choose Meraki GO for small networks.
To set up the network, all we need is a smartphone with internet access. After downloading and installing the Meraki Go app, we register or log in. We then simply add our devices by scanning a QR code or manually entering the serial number of the Meraki device.
We do the same with all the Meraki Go devices that will be on our network.
The heart of our network is of course the Meraki Go GX20, which acts as a security gateway to where the Internet comes in. Despite the simplicity of the Meraki Go, the gateway has pretty good protection against malicious attacks, blocking access to malicious content and sites. And thanks to its gigabit ports, data is transferred across the network quickly and with low latency.
The Meraki Go PoE GS108-8P switch is very practical as it allows PoE-capable devices to operate without additional power cabling using only 1 Ethernet cable. However, another plus of this switch is the presence of 2 gigabit SFP ports. This allows information to be exchanged over fiber optics in the network with the least amount of latency, at high speed and over long distances.
To create a WiFi network, we used a Meraki GR20 dual-band access point. Thanks to the fact that the point supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, it allows to connect to the network even older devices that do not have new data transmission technologies.
The presence of a gigabit port supporting the 802.3af PoE standard also has a positive effect. It allows for intelligent deployment of the access point in the room. A huge plus is also support for MESH topology. This means that you can connect the access point without an Ethernet cable simply by giving power to the point, and thus the point will act as a repeater signal, thus increasing the Wi-Fi coverage area.
Settings in Meraki Go
With the simplicity of the Meraki Go app, you can build a network for your home without the help of an IT professional. In the example of our task, we will have to dig a little deeper into the settings of this app. The Meraki Go app is very flexible and installs on both Android and iOS. You can quickly configure DHCP, assign static IP addresses (you can choose from a list of connected devices), add VLANs, and even do port forwarding - which is pretty good for a smartphone app.
There is also a detailed stats view in the app with the ability to display graphs on the screen. The breadth of the stats view is amazing - you can see which devices are consuming traffic, how much they are consuming, what resources the traffic is going to. But viewing statistics is not the only thing the Meraki Go app can do. With a few clicks, you can set limits on traffic usage, both speed and amount consumed.
With a few clicks, you can create a guest network, restrict access to main network devices, and create customized authentication. With visitor network statistics, it is possible to record visitor behavior, i.e. to see if someone comes back, how often they have already logged in and how long they stay online (useful for small businesses with regular visitors, coffee shops).
Cisco Meraki has taken
all of its best features
and combined them into the Meraki Go
platform. With Cisco Meraki Go hardware, you can quickly tackle the task of building a small business network without having to resort to time-consuming configuration. It probably takes more time to install the hardware than to configure it. This type of network is also easily expandable
because of the flexibility of configuring and adding devices in the Meraki Go application. The Cisco Meraki Go product line combines two worlds: professional networking with options for smaller businesses combined with ease of use and quick configuration. However, let's highlight the main advantages and disadvantages:
- Easy installation and configuration of equipment via mobile app
- Access to hardware configuration in the cloud
- Quickly expand your network
- MESH technology
- Visually beautiful, ergonomic equipment that fits both on the table and on the wall
- Good protection against external attacks on the network
- Lots of options to view statistics
- Quick setup of Wi-Fi for guests
Availability of a dark theme in the app (small detail, but nice)
- Transferring hardware configuration changes from the app, about 5-15 seconds (because the transfer goes through the cloud)
- No ability to flexibly configure and view statistics via web page
- There is no possibility to configure access points in PTP (Point to Point) mode, which would allow for a significant expansion of the network
However, whether we consider this a minus or not is up to you!