Meraki brings Wireless-N outdoors

February 24, 2009 2:50 PM PST

Though Wireless-N (an 802.11n draft standard that offers throughput speeds up to 300Mbps or faster) has been used in home and small-office routers for a long time, routers for outdoor hot spots are still mostly based on the 802.11g standard that caps at 54Mbps. This is primarily because the 802.11n hasn’t been ratified yet.

The MR58 outdoor Wireless-N router is made for rugged environs.

(Credit: Meraki)

Nonetheless, Wireless-N standard’s proven superiority over 802.11g both in throughput and range means hot-spot equipment makers and providers can’t ignore it any longer.

Meraki, arguably the biggest provider of outdoor Wi-Fi mesh services, on Tuesday announced its very first 802.11n device, the MR58 outdoor wireless router.

Like most previous routers from Meraki and unlike all home Wireless-N routers, the new MR58 is a weatherproof wireless device that can be mounted outside to provide wireless signals to a large open space. According to Meraki, the MR58 can withstand temperatures ranging from from -4 degrees F to 122 degrees F and provide five times the speed of standard 802.11b/g wireless devices.

Being a router for a mesh network, it can deliver high bandwidth across multiple hops, support long-distance links, and is much better for high-bandwidth content such as voice and video.

The MR58 is designed specifically to provide wireless access for large outdoor networks located on campuses, apartment complexes, hotels and resorts, and other large public spaces. It can also be used in indoor indoor areas with high-bandwidth needs such as classrooms, convention centers, stadiums, student housing complexes, and manufacturing facilities.

The new router is house in rugged casing and includes the networking features of Meraki’s cloud-based hosted services, such as centralized configuration, monitoring, and security.

The Meraki MR58 is sold in packages starting at $1,499. You can upgrade it with different high-gain antennae or to get multiple units working together to create a coverage area of up 12 miles in range.

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