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Meraki Antenna Comparison

Meraki Antenna Comparison

When it comes to building powerful and reliable wireless networks, Cisco Meraki is a name that has more than proven itself. If you’re interested in Meraki access points, you can build an amazing Wi-Fi network, but you’ll need to shop around for the right antennas.

Choosing the best antennas does require some homework, but you can simplify the process by learning a few general tricks to help you narrow down your selection quickly.

Which Antennas Work?

When browsing antennas, it’s important to know what is and isn’t compatible. Fortunately, Meraki makes that pretty easy. Right now, all access points work with all antennas with one exception. The AIR-ANT2513P4m-N only works with two Meraki access points: the MR84 and MR86. Both of these APs are commonly used for stadium Wi-Fi.

Outside of that exception, it’s worth noting that some indoor models do not support any external antennas at all. The applies to the following APs:

  • MR20
  • MR28
  • MR36
  • MR46
  • MR56
  • MR57
  • MR70
  • MR78

Outside of these notable exceptions, you can use any Meraki antenna with any access point.

But, to find the best option, you will want to consider the type of the antenna and how it will work with your access point along with the supported band.

The Types of Meraki Antennas

In general, there are two types of Meraki antennas: indoor and outdoor. You’ll find plenty of variations among them, depending on the direction output of the antennas, ratings, raw statistical capabilities, and more, but your best bet is to use indoor antennas with indoor access points and outdoor antennas with outdoor access points.

It is possible to mix and match (noting the exceptions in the previous section), but for best performance, matching the type is usually the best practice.

While all antennas can be classified as indoor or outdoor, there’s another important classification: Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 antennas can do everything that Wi-Fi 5 antennas can do and more. The 6 antennas are rated for a wider band, extending to the 6 GHz range.

Considering Bands

All Meraki access points support the 2.4 GHz band, and the vast majority also support 5 GHz. As mentioned before, Wi-Fi 6 devices support 6 GHz as well. When shopping for antennas, there is an easy convention to see which bands are supported by the antenna.

There is a colored ring around the base of the antenna. If it is green, it supports the 2.4 GHz band. If it is blue, it supports 5 GHz. If it is blue/green, it supports dual bands. Support for 6 GHz is not color coded, but the antenna is labeled for Wi-Fi 6 applications.

Considering all of these facts, finding the right antenna is a matter of checking compatibility, getting the right antenna type, and matching the bands.From there, you’re simply comparing specifications and costs to go with the antenna you favor.

Additional Learning Center Resources