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Meraki Z3C – What’s the difference?

With the Coronavirus outbreak, the whole world was forced to adopt telework policies FAST. Subsequently, a lot of these companies had to rely on home users to provide their own security. And for obvious security-related reasons, that was scary for businesses. If you are going to have teleworkers, you need to have a way to protect your data, and equipment in the employee’s home. Luckily, Cisco Meraki had the answer with the Z-Series telework gateway. Z Series consists of the Z3 and the Z3C LTE Teleworker Gateway. The models are virtually the same, except the Z3C offers an additional cellular failover option with an integrated CAT 3 LTE Modem. We will be looking at the Meraki Z3C.

About the Meraki Z3C

The Z3C is a combination firewall, VPN gateway, and router. With the Meraki Z3C, administrators can deploy network services including VoIP and remote endpoints with automatic, zero-touch provisioning. All Meraki devices are managed via the Meraki cloud. It has an incredibly intuitive browser-based interface. Since the Z-series is self-configuring and managed over the web, you can rapidly deploy at remote locations without any assistance from end-users. Meraki Cloud services monitor all devices 24×7. And, they deliver real-time alerts if any device encounters a problem.

Under the Hood

The Z3C has 4 GbE ports for printers, phones and other wired devices. It also has 1 PoE-enabled port for VoIP phones and other powered devices. There’s also a 1 Gbe RJ45 WAN port, and 1 USB port for cellular failover. The Z3C also has dual-concurrent 802.11ac Wave 2 radios with up to 1.3 Gbps data rate. It has a stateful firewall throughput of 100 Mbps, and a maximum VPN throughput of 50 Mbps.

Meraki Z3 Setup

The Meraki Z3C is a desktop form factor. It can easily be placed on a computer desk. It weighs less than a pound, and is roughly 6 inches wide and 10 inches long. So, it won’t take up a lot of space. This makes it convenient to setup and plug in your devices. Especially if you are using a VoIP desktop phone. The Meraki Z3C can provide power to your phone using the PoE port. The Z3C does come with a 50W power adapter. However, you will have to buy the power cord separately. Luckily, it uses a standard IEC power cord. If you have one laying around your home or office, great. If not, these are universal and relatively cheap. You can also purchase the desktop stand separately if you’d like to have the Z3C vertical standing.  

Conclusion

The Meraki Z3 is ideal for companies that need to extend protection beyond the office. In other words, into the homes of their remote employees. Because it is so easily cloud-managed, all you have to do is ship the device to your users, and have them plug it in. As soon as it is online, you will see it in your Meraki cloud dashboard, and you can begin to manage the Z3C immediately. If you would like to know more about the Meraki Z3C, contact the team at Corporate Armor or call 877-449-0458. Our security experts can answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!

Meraki Z3C At-A-Glance

L3/L7 Stateful Firewall
Data Rate 1.3 Gbps
Automatic WAN Failover to Cellular Uplink
Built-in Cellular 100 Mbps CAT 3 LTE Uplink (requires SIM card)