How to Add and Configure a Cisco Meraki Access Point

isolated access point on the office desk with city view
June 22, 2022

You already know what an access point is and why Cisco Meraki is the best brand in the biz, so we’ll skip a rehash of those topics to avoid wasting your time. What Stratus Information Systems will cover here are all the steps and details you need to know about how to add a Meraki access point and configure it to meet your network needs.

In total, this budget-friendly “plug-and-play” solution enables wireless network access via projected signal without compromising WiFi speed—and it only takes a minute or two of your time to do it.

5 Steps to Add a Meraki Wireless Access Point

There are multiple ways to add a Meraki wireless access point to a network, but this is one of the easiest:

  1. Create a network if one doesn’t already exist.
  2. Search for and select the network the access point will be added to.
  3. Click Network-wide > Configure > Add devices.
    1. Or search for your access point by serial or model number.
  4. Check the boxes next to the access point you are adding.
    1. If your access point isn’t listed, you’ll need to claim it before doing step #4. To do it, click Configure > Configure > Add Devices. Click Claim and enter the access point’s serial number. Click Claim. Click Close
  5. Click Add devices.

The access point is now added to your network and available for configuration.

Tip: The same steps to add a Meraki access point can be performed within the Meraki dashboard

4 Steps to Configure a Meraki Access Point

Once an access point is added to your network, the network will automatically self-configure an SSID. It’s important to review this SSID to ensure the configuration is as you want it. If you want to make changes, they must be done before connecting the access point to the LAN

To make any configuration changes to your access point, follow these four steps:

  1. Go to Configure in the network settings.
  2. Review the configuration pages and make changes as necessary:
    1. SSIDs
    2. Access Control
    3. Firewall & Traffic Shaping 
  3. Check the access point’s channel to be sure it doesn’t overlap with another access point’s channel, which can cause interference, packet loss, and a negative internet experience.
  4. Connect and power on the access point.
    1. The access point will automatically download the latest software version, which may take up to an hour.
    2. The access point’s power LED will flash blue while upgrading, turn green once it’s finished and checked into the Meraki dashboard, and turn orange if the device isn’t checked in Meraki. 
  5. Ensure an IP address is correctly assigned to the access point.

The access point is now configured.

Tip: The same steps to add a Meraki access point can be performed within the Meraki dashboard

4 Steps to Remove a Meraki Access Point

There are various reasons to remove an access point, such as being replaced by an upgraded Cisco Meraki wireless access point

Here are the steps to remove a Meraki access point:

  1. Search for and select the network the access point will be removed from.
  2. Navigate to the access point list page by clicking Wireless > Monitor > Access points.
  3. Click the checkboxes next to the access point you are removing.
  4. Click Edit.
  5. Click Remove from Network
  6. The access point will disappear from the list.

Your access point is now removed from your network. 

Tip: The same steps to add a Meraki access point can be performed within the Meraki dashboard.

A Few FAQs about Adding a Meraki Access Point

We get asked some questions over and over again, so here we answer FAQs about adding a Meraki access point.

How Long Does It Take to Set Up a Cisco Meraki Access Point?

From start to finish, plan on it taking between 10 and 30 minutes to set up a Cisco Meraki Access Point. The task is so quick because Meraki makes it so easy and intuitive with their plug-and-play devices. 

Does a Meraki Access Point Need DHCP?

Meraki access points have a built-in DHCP server. It just needs to be configured into NAT mode to connect devices on a private network and serve IP addresses. 

To configure your Meraki access point’s DHCP options:

  1. Navigate to Security & SD-WAN > Configure > DHCP.
  2. Click Add a DHCP option.
  3. Select the Option you want or add a custom option.
  4. Input the DHCP Code.
  5. Select the Type as Text, IP, or Hex.
  6. Enter the desired value in the Value field.
  7. Click Save Changes.

How Do I Assign a Static IP Address to a Meraki Access Point?

While a DHCP configuration is recommended, you can configure a static IP address from the Meraki Dashboard.

In the dashboard:

  1. Navigate to Wireless > Monitor > Access Points. Click on the access point you’d like to configure.
  2. On the device status page, click the Edit icon and input the appropriate connection information.
  3. Click Save

How Many Access Points Do I Need?

It’s crucial to correctly calculate the number of access points you need in your environment. Getting it wrong can slow down employee work and be a big waste of money. 

Here are the most important factors when calculating the number of needed access points:

  • The estimated number of connected users (most important when dealing with large capacities, such as auditoriums, schools, hotels, etc.).
  • The capacity or throughput per user and application (calculated as users per access point divided by active users). 
  • The environment floor plan, square footage, and obstacles that may inhibit WiFi reach or speed (material, thickness, and placement of walls, pillars, floors, and windows).

Note: Too many access points can cause radio frequency (RF) broadcasting and interference, leading to very poor WiFi performance. This is especially the case when access points aren’t placed properly.

Meraki MR Access Point Products

As a premier Cisco Meraki reseller, we have all the products you covet. With centralized network management, automatic RF optimization, and dedicated security radio, MR access points are the most intuitive to add, configure, and manage. 

Contact Stratus Information Systems to get access to all Cisco Meraki solutions.