The new WiFi 6 (802.11ax) standard has been upon us for a while now. Not surprisingly, Meraki has led the charge. As a matter of fact, they’re already on their upgraded models. For example, the MR56 has replaced the MR55, which was released last year. You can read about that model here. In addition, there’s also the MR46 and MR36, which is the model we will look at today.
Meraki MR36 in a nutshell
Merakis are well-loved for simple, drag-and-drop setup. In addition, they are also super-easily, super-safely cloud managed. All of them. Lots of access point makers tout this; Meraki accomplishes it better than almost anyone. And Meraki’s new WiFi 6 AP, MR36, is no different.
“Shall I compare thee to…”
The best comparison to MR36 is probably MR42, it’s slightly older sibling. And in comparison, the MR36 supports WiFi 6, which the MR42 does not. As a result, if your environment is congested (in the wireless sense) and you have all WiFi6 clients, the MR36 will deliver better user experience. Also, you will see higher throughput.
However, the MR42 has three spatial streams, whereas the MR36 has two. So, in ideal settings with mostly WiFi 5 clients, the MR42 will often do better. Or, if your environment doesn’t have a large number of interfering wireless networks within range and you only have a small-ish number of users and devices (-30), you could go with the MR42.
Now, what are the the differences between the MR36 and it’s mates the MR46 and MR56? Basically, price, and the number of radios. The features are pretty much the same. They are all Meraki devices, so they are reassuringly easy-to-learn and use. Meraki tends to release small upgrades in quick succession, like the MR55 to MR56. In this way, users can learn their new hardware quickly and comfortably.
The MR36 is WiFi 6. What’s so great about that?
Obviously, each new increase in the WiFi standard has meant a boost in performance. Unfortunately, the gradual gains have not kept pace with demand. That’s why “The wireless here [email protected]#%ks!” is such an ongoing refrain in airports, hotels malls and offices worldwide. However, WiFi 6 is designed specifically for such high-density settings.
Here’s the thing. In WiFi, bandwidth is shared among endpoint devices. And, when you are in a high-traffic are with lots of access points, their coverage areas will overlap. Think stadiums, concerts, or busy airports. So, as you walk through your airport, you can be moving from one access point to another.
Currently, your endpoint listens for an all-clear signal before transmitting. Basically, it waits it’s turn to speak. So here you are, moving through your airport. Your endpoint (phone) is one of maybe thousands of APs and endpoints yelling and hiccuping at each other trying to be heard. It’s sort of like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Get enough devices in the same area, efficiency and performance suffer.
So, what WiFi 6 does, is it opens up more lines for endpoints to talk on, so they don’t have to wait as long for their turn. It also allows more data into each packet, which can increase total throughput nearly 40%.
Network World columnist Zeus Kerrevala explains it like this: Early Wi-Fi was like a long line of customers in a bank waiting for one teller. The old standard was like four tellers serving four lines of customers. WiFi 6 means each teller can serve four customers at a time.
What’s under the hood of the MR36?
The Meraki MR36 is a completely cloud-managed 2×2:2 802.11ax access point. It has a 5 GHz and a 2.4 GHz radio that team up to produce a 1.7 Gbps frame rate. As a result, you’ll see up to 1.2 Gbps in the 5 GHz radio and 573 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz.
Does the MR 36 have your name written on it?
The MR36 is suitable for schools, shops, hotels, hospitals and the like. It will give you more ceiling, more wiggle-room, and more room to grow than older APs. Remember, the primary idea behind WiFi 6 was more to increase the user number without hiccups or interruptions.
Finally, please remember that Corporate Armor sees each of our customers as a unique relationship. As a result, your needs are unique and we will meet them personally and quickly. We are never more than a few seconds away, whether you email us or call us at 877-449-0458. We can’t wait to serve you!