Saturday, 8 November 2014

Open-Mesh MR900 Professional 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz WiFi Hotspot Router

 MR900 Open-Mesh WiFi Router

In this post I am going to discuss the new MR900 WiFi router from Open-Mesh. If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I am a huge fan of Open-Mesh equipment as it makes the setting up of WiFi networks or hotspots super simple.

If you want to bring WiFi to your coffee shop, cafe, hostel/hotel, office, college, campsite or even start a WiFi hotspot business then I would highly recommend using Open-Mesh equipment.

Open-Mesh have been around for a few years now and have really shaken up the WiFi hotspot equipment industry.  Previously the market was dominated by brands such as Ubiquitous, Meraki & Engenius, don't get me wrong, they still produce really solid products but they can be expensive, even some with monthly fees on top of the equipment cost.

I discovered Open-Mesh a few years ago and have used and loved it ever since.  It is so simple to use, no coding or technical knowledge is needed and the Cloudtrax system you use to control your WiFi hotspot/network is, unlike many others, totally free.  All the revenue the hotspot generates is yours to keep (less the 3.4% Paypal fee for processing card payments).  Most other WiFi hotspot management systems either have a monthly fee or take a percentage of the revenue.

The flagship WiFi router from Open-mesh was the OM2P range which is still amazing, and at just $75 each makes setting up a WiFi business super cost effective.

But they have now introduced a new model to their range, the MR900 which I think has huge potential.  Firstly the design is great, non branded and plain white in colour it will work in any setting, school, hotel, coffee shop or office and is ideal for resellers or WiFi installers.  It looks just like a smoke alarm and can be wall or ceiling mounted anywhere to give maximum coverage.

Being Open-Mesh setup and installation is quick and easy, just add it to your Cloudtrax dashboard, connect it to an Internet connection and your done.

Now the specs are what make it really special.  It is designed for a high number of concurrent users, Open-Mesh claim up to 100 which is really impressive.  Of course it would depend on what users on the network are doing, 100 users would be fine for just web browsing, but everyone streaming HD video or gaming would mean you would have to revise those numbers down a little.

In addition to a faster internal processor, more RAM, 3x3 MIMO antennas, the MR900 supports both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency.  Now most WiFi router and devices use the 2.4Ghz range, and it is getting congested which leads to poor performance and signal dropouts.  The 5Ghz range is much less used so performance is much better and more laptops and smartphones are being produced which will work on both the 2.4 and 5Ghz frequencies.  I expect the 5Ghz range will become more popular as it is subject to less interference and can transmit twice as much data as 2.4Ghz, ideal for streaming HD video over WiFi.  By investing in a dual 2.4 & 5Ghz WiFi router you will keep everyone happy and future proof yourself to some extent.
There is also an outdoor enclosure available for the MR900 so it is suitable for campsites, RV parks, sports grounds, parks and any outside area you want to bring WiFi to.

MR900 Specs
  • 50 - 100 Concurrent Users
  • 2.4GHz & 5Ghz Support
  • 100mW Power
  • Speed Upto 900Mbps
  • Responsive AR9558 700mhz Processor
  • 128MB DRAM
  • 3 x 3 MIMO 
  • Six Internal Antennas
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • 2.4/5Ghz/Power/Ethernet LEDs
  • Power Over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Indoor or Outdoor Installation (Outdoor Enclosure Required)
  • Facebook WiFi

As well as all these new features it still has all the benefits of the Open-Mesh/Cloutrax systems.  Full meshing capabilities, including with OM2P units.  Centralised cloud based WiFi network management system, check and control your entire network from anywhere with a computer and Internet connection.  Built in customisable splash/landing pages, Paypal payment integration, real time network states, usage reports, outage alerts and more.  In fact Cloudtrax has just has a bit of a makeover with even more options added, but it is still free!

One new feature, which I mentioned was missing in one of my other posts, is a Facebook login function, know as 'Facebook WiFi' or 'Social WiFi'.

Basically this means that when people want to use your free WiFi they just use their Facebook login details to get access, this is probably more suited for coffee shops/cafes where people are in a hurry.  Every time someone uses your cafe's WiFi and logs in with Facebook they must 'Check in' to your cafe on Facebook, this will be shown on their Facebook profile and to all their friends, essentially giving a recommendation to your cafe to all their friends.  They will also be presented with the option to 'Like' your cafe's Facebook page, as I mentioned in this post, even if you hate Facebook/social media you can't ignore its free advertising potential for your business and you won't have to go and make a super personnel Facebook profile for yourself to benefit from it either.

So the MR900 seems to tick all the boxes, supports up to 100 simultaneous users, high power, high speed, dual 2.4 & 5Ghz support, Supports Facebook WiFi, Cloud controlled, PoE support and more.  Everything looks great but a few weeks or months of real world testing will be needed to get a good idea of performance, but based on Open-Mesh's past products I can't foresee any major issues.

You can see a few more details and price on Amazon.


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