Deploying a Mesh WLAN Made Easy

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Let me being by saying I have no affiliation with Open-Mesh or CloudTrax.  I’m just an over worked IT consultant who has found the ease of deployment, management and lost cost of Open-Mesh access points to be a no brainer when considering what to drive WLANs for small business.   Don’t get me wrong, these APs can be used on large scale deployments; as long as you have enough AP’s to address bandwidth concerns.

What is Open Mesh?   Open mesh is a modular, cloud managed wireless system.  Using their all white/easily brand-able access points, POE injectors and line of enclosures I haven’t found an application Open Mesh couldn’t handle.   Their free web based management via CloudTrax.com or the IOS/Android app allows you to administer all of your WLANs remotely.

How does Open Mesh work?  When you connect an access point and power injector to your LAN, it will find it’s way to the internet and sync up with the WLAN settings you have specified in your CloudTrax console.   Each WLAN network can broadcast two SSIDs.  The first being the “guest” network and second being the “secure” network.  Guest network can be setup either with no password, voucher access,  pay per use via PayPal plug in or simply asking the user to accept an EULA.  The EULA splash page is 100% configurable and can redirect users to a site of your choosing.   (Clients love when I configure the splash page to match the graphical style of their website; then jump for joy after the user accepts EULA and it redirects to their actual site.)

Guest Network:  Rest assured you have full control over up and down stream speeds; I suggest minimizing them to reserve bandwidth for the Secure network.   The guest network will have no access to your physical LAN.

Secure Network: In bridge mode, any secure lan client will have access to physical lan resources.  Why this isn’t a default was probably a security decision;  But 99.9% of my installations have the secure network in bridge mode.

CloudTrax.com Management Console:  The console is almost idiot proof.  This is where you go to configure all settings for the WLAN.  I currently have 22 seperate WLANs associated with my CloudTrax account.  It allows me to see AP (almost) real time status, any down nodes,  total up time, connected user, other WLAN’s in proximity and signal strength between nodes.  I can boot users, reboot access points, change passwords, SSIDs and upgrade firmware.

Scalability concerns?  Leave them at the door!  Simply throw another $80 access point onto the LAN where your coverage is lacking, code the AP to your cloudtrax console and walk away.   The more AP’s you have the more of a mesh network you will create.  Should an AP go down, other APs will pick up the slack with out users being dropped off.   If your cloudtrax is configured correctly, you’ll get an email letting you know of the down AP and the last time it checked in.

Profitability!  Thanks to the low cost your proposal bottom line will be low and  your customers will be saying “where do I sign?”  No other mesh style WLAN can complete with their price.  (Ubiquiti and Cisco comes to mind)

For more info check out their site:  www.open-mesh.com or email me jmaguire@jshoreit.com

THANKS FOR READING!

Author

Jake Maguire

14 years experience in the IT field. Now consulting for small to medium business in the North East. From coding to cabling we can help. Let us know how. support@jshoreit.com

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1 Comment

  1. Martin Lehner July 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Open Mesh is one of the best wireless mesh systems out there. Their price point also can’t be beat, as Jake mentioned.

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