Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 with WiFi 6 for SME

Last updated on November 2nd, 2020

Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 with WiFi 6 , suitable for Small and medium enterprises and other moderate usage sites is discussed in this article.

Cisco Meraki

Meraki was originally founded in 2006 as a project in MIT, USA. The company had Google and Sequoia as early investors as a start-up. The company was involved in offering cloud-based networking solutions to Enterprise customers. It was acquired by Cisco in 2012 for $1.2 billion.

In this post we will look at the entry level WiFi 6 WLAN solution from Meraki that is targeted at small and medium enterprises looking for performance and stability in challenging environments.

Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36

Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 has been tagged by the company as “dual-band, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 access point delivering high efficiency wireless for future-proof deployments”. With 2×2:2 dual band radios, the company is targeting these access points at relatively smaller/ lighter installations like schools, shops, hospitals, hotels etc that want performance and features within manageable expenditures.

Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 Highlights

  • High Efficiency WiFi 6 Standard (802.11ax)
  • Dedicated radio for WIPS/WIDS, Spectrum/Location analysis
  • L7 traffic shaper
  • L7 Firewall/ WPA3 authentication for security
  • BLE 5.0 support for IoT

Highlight Features Description

Cisco Meraki Access Point with WiFi 6

WiFi 6 or 802.11ax is a “High Efficiency” standard developed with a core idea to improve the efficiency of WiFi and make it more stable and dependable for wireless communications. Our earlier in-depth article on the top 7 features of WiFi 6 can be referred for further understanding of 802.11ax WiFi 6 technology. Meraki WiFi 6 Access Point MR36 features 802.11ax (WiFi 6) standard and also extends support to client stations using 802.11ac,802.11n and other legacy standards.


This Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 features Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), a technology borrowed from the cellular phone industry. OFDMA greatly improves upon the existing OFDM technology used in WiFi APs. It allows multiple clients to share a WiFi channel. This feature can relieve congestion in crowded offices as 802.11 ax stations need not wait in contention to get access to a whole channel and instead share the channel with others.

OFDMA makes the entire WLAN efficient as it is clients with smaller loads that form the bulk of WLAN communications. Such clients can co-transmit along with larger loads from other clients. Though this feature can only be fully utilized in an environment having only 802.11ax clients, legacy clients can also experience an upside as the air will clear out quickly due to more efficient 802.11ax communications.


Uplink and Downlink MU-MIMO (2 streams per radio, total 4 streams) helps the AP to communicate with multiple clients simultaneously and efficiently. This helps the client stations to get faster access to the Access Point, thereby increasing the number of clients that can be served under an AP. This feature generally improves airtime efficiency and speed for all the clients.

1024 QAM

This Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 can support 1024 QAM, which means faster data transmissions than currently possible. But to achieve such higher speeds, radio noise free environments will be needed along with closer ranges between access points and client machines. Such requirements make it practically impossible to achieve the speeds in highly crowded enterprise environments needing constant WiFi signal management.

Dedicated radio for WIDS/WIPS/ Spectrum & Location analytics

Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 has a total of 4 radios that includes one 2.4 GHz radio, one 5 Ghz radio, one BLE radio and one dedicated radio for wireless intrusion detection/prevention and WiFi spectrum analysis as well. The data from this spectrum analysis is continuously fed to the cloud controller that then optimizes the RF as per needs automatically. This feature is expected to share the WiFi optimization load on the IT team and help save the time spent in RF management.

Cisco Meraki Location Analytics
Cisco Meraki Location Analytics (Image Courtesy: Meraki Website)

The same radio can also be used for location analytics in a retail store type of environments. The access point tracks WiFi probe requests / 802.11 data frames from anonymous visitors to record footfalls. Such data is sent over a secure tunnel to Meraki cloud for analytics. The data collected is used to provide information like visitor traffic trends, dwell times, new/returning visitor etc as seen in the sample image above. Also through integration with Facebook, users can access a store’s WiFi by simply logging into Facebook.

Cisco Meraki Access Point with L7 traffic shaper for QoS

Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 has an inbuilt layer 7 traffic shaper for granular control of bandwidth by application type. This helps an organization to prioritize mission critical traffic over non-essential recreational traffic like social media, video streaming etc. The traffic rules can be applied over an entire network or even per individual user.

Cisco Meraki Access Point with L7 firewall/ WPA3 security

This Meraki WiFi 6 AP comes with the latest WPA3 Enterprise encryption standard which improves the security of client communications. WPA3 is more resistant to dictionary attacks when compared to WPA2-PSK, with a new technology called Simultaneous Authentication of Equals(SAE).

Also this access point has an inbuilt layer 7 firewall for added information security.

IoT Capabilities

The AP has a dedicated on-board radio to support BLE 5.0 stations for IoT . This eliminates the need to deploy a separate infrastructure for IoT services. It can be useful for certain retail and Industrial environments looking to implement IoT applications in a cost effective way. iBeacon and other such user engagement applications can be used for engaging customers. In Industrial setting, applications like inventory scanning can be used to track items.


>Related Post< Top WiFi 6 Access Points For Enterprise WLAN – Comparison Table


Cisco Meraki Access Point MR36 With WiFi 6 - Features Summary

Resource UtilizationOFDMA (Uplink/Downlink) MU-MIMO (Uplink/Downlink), L7 Packet inspection for QoS
User ExperienceWi-Fi Agile Multiband™, WMM®, Transmit Beamforming, BSS Coloring
Green FeaturesTWT, Unscheduled Automatic Power Save Delivery (U-APSD)
Security FeaturesIntegrated Layer 7 firewall, WIDS/WIPS, WPA3
Interference HandlingAutomated RF Optimization using dedicated radio
Data speed features1024 QAM, 5 GHz: Upto 1.2 Gbps, 2.4 GHz: Upto 573 Mbps
Max Client Capacity
Wireless StandardsWi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ a/b/g/n/ac
IoT SupportBLE
Radio Features5 GHz + 2.4 GHz (Dual Band)
Operating SystemMR
Operational ModesController Based (Meraki cloud)
Radio Hardware2.4 GHz: (2x2:2); 5 GHz: (2x2:2) ; Dedicated 2.4/5 GHz WIDS/WIPS Spectrum/Location Analytics Radio; BLE Radio
Ethernet Ports1x1Gbps Ethernet Ports
Other PortsNA
Power-up OptionsPoE 37-57 Volt (802.3af), 12 V DC input
Max Power Consumption15W max (802.3af)
Safety ComplianceUL 2043, CSA/CB 60950 & 62368
Manufacturer Quote“Dual-band, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 access point delivering high efficiency wireless for future-proof deployments”


Cisco Meraki WiFi 6 Access Point MR36 has standards based and proprietary features that will appeal to smaller installations, shops, schools, SMEs etc that want performance without paying relatively high costs. WiFi 6 standard, dedicated RF management radio, inbuilt firewall, traffic shaping, location analytics, IoT support, WPA3 authentication and many other useful features makes this AP an excellent option when looking for the latest WiFi standard in 2020.


Note: All product/company/standards names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.The product features mentioned in this article are not exhaustive. For the full list of features and capabilities, kindly contact the manufacturer or its local representative in your region.