Choosing the Right Meraki Router

November 24, 2020

Choosing a new Meraki router, or any router for that matter, may seem like a complicated process at first; but in reality, there are two main factors you should consider to help simplify the process: the size of the router (to accommodate device usage) and any licensing options (to accommodate security and analytics functionality).

Choosing Meraki Router Based on Device Usage

Meraki’s MX security and SD-WAN appliances are some of the most powerful all-in-one routers currently on the market. However, with seven different options available from the Meraki MX series, it is important to understand the different data speed capability (or throughput for a more technical term) of each appliance to make an informed decision on what router best suits your needs. Below is a bullet list showing the max throughput of each Meraki router with all security features being considered as enabled on the network:

  • MX64: 200 Mbps
  • MX67/68: 300 Mbps
  • MX84: 320 Mbps
  • MX100: 650 Mbps
  • MX250: 2 Gbps
  • MX450: 4 Gbps

The MX64 and MX67/68 Meraki routers are optimal choices for smaller size venues looking to run a speedy and secure WiFi network. Small office spaces of anywhere to 5-15 workers, or small brick-and-mortar venues such as restaurants or coffee shops wanting to offer a fast and secure network to guests would be an ideal match for either one of these Meraki routers. Both routers are optimal at handling up to 50 connected devices at a time.

For medium size office environments or brick-and-mortar venues that have greater device usage requirements than smaller-size venues, the MX84 or MX100 Meraki routers would be a better choice to accommodate for the additional devices that will be sharing the network bandwidth. The MX84 has an optimal device range of 200 connected devices at a time, while the MX100 is optimal all the way up to 500 connected devices at a time.

For large corporate offices and other large venues, like sports arenas and event centers, the MX250 and MX450 routers are capable of handling the heavy workload needed to connect hundreds if not thousands of devices to the network at a time. The MX250 has an optimal device range of 2,000 connected devices at a time, while the MX450 has a connection range of up to 10,000 connected devices at a time.

While each Meraki router previously mentioned can handle additional connected devices past their recommended amount, exceeding a recommended device amount could result in a different throughput performance from each Meraki router than originally listed.

Choosing Meraki Licensing Based on Security & Analytics Functionality

Once your ideal Meraki router has been selected, the next step should be finding out the type of Meraki MX licensing needed to optimally run any additional security or analytics features for the network. Below is a bullet list of the three different type of Meraki MX licensing as well as a general statement that best summarizes what each licensing is suited for:

  • Enterprise: “All I require is auto VPN and a firewall”
  • Advanced Security: “I connect directly to the Internet and need a UTM too”
  • Secure AD-WAN Plus: “My business is reliant on SaaS, IaaS, and DC served apps”

The Enterprise licensing option is perfect for businesses that are simply needing an essential SD-WAN as well as basic security features for their network.

For businesses looking for a bit more of security measures such as content filtering, web search filtering, and intrusion detection and prevention should consider the Advanced Security licensing option.

Businesses that want to run additional third party SaaS systems as well as utilize analytics features such as web health analytics and WAN health analytics will want to go with the Secure SD-WAN Plus licensing option.

Once you have selected the Meraki router along with the licensing option that best suits your business needs, you will be on your way to running a high-performing and secure network.