We have a Meraki MR16 Cloud Managed AP and it disconnects certain clients. The clients with Intel wireless cards work without any disconnects. The Meraki reports the follow in its event log:

Sep 4 09:55:47   WPA authentication      
Sep 4 09:55:47   802.11 association      channel: 11, rssi: 64
Sep 4 09:55:38   802.11 disassociation      client has left AP
Sep 4 09:55:38   WPA deauthentication      vap: 0, radio: 0, aid: 1633956416

An example wireless network card which the Meraki disconnects is Realtek RTL8191SE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter. The realtek laptop is sat 2 meters away from the AP and has a lot of signal and the Meraki reports minimal interference.

Any ideas why it disconnects non-intel wireless network cards?

  • You really need to discuss this with Meraki. Their product is a bit of a black box at the best of times, and it is a Managed service. – Tom O'Connor Apr 15 '13 at 17:57
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    It is fixed now. I think firmware updates has solved the issue. – resolver101 Apr 16 '13 at 8:38

I have run into similar problems with our MR12 access point we got as a demo unit. Specifically it seems to be newer Intel WiFi Cards that have this problem. If these Intel WiFi laptops attempt to connect to an SSID using encryption like WEP or WPA2, they will appear to connect and then immediately disconnect and repeat that pattern forever. Only when using an open SSID (eliminating security all together) could those laptops connect.

Obviously, this presented a real problem for us. :) As we refresh computers we are getting more laptops with the affected Intel WiFi cards in them. I opened a ticket with Meraki and they blamed it on Intel drivers. Like in your situation they did a firmware update that gave us an extra option to specify 'WPA encryption mode' but that did nothing to help.

Here are the cards I found in our environment that were affected:

Card 1: Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235 Card 2: Intel Centrino Advanced N 6205 Card 3: Intel Centrino Ulitmate N 6300 AGN

This put a serious reservation in my mind about deploying Meraki WAPs in our environment as this is a pretty big problem. So far they have shown little motivation to actually fix the problem. We have $50 WAPs that seem to handle these WiFi cards just fine.

So anyway, they know about the problem but are doing nothing to fix it. :(

  • Meraki's updated the firmware on our devices and we don't get any problems now but we are thinking about adding new Wireless Access Points so its good to know Meraki are still having issues. You thought being part of cisco now they would have the knowledge to solve these issues. – resolver101 Oct 11 '13 at 7:54
  • Cool! I am glad to hear you are not having problems at least. We are still fiddling around to see if we can improve things on our end. The issues to me are not such a big deal but what scares me is the 24-hour response time for trouble tickets, even those of high severity. What do you do if you have a network down issue? Its not like you can just fix it yourself. – Tyson Navarre Oct 16 '13 at 14:43

I am having exactly the same issue. Cisco Meraki is simply wasted my 3 months in blaming my network end that enforced me to change the switches, cabling, nodes positions etc etc etc. After three months I requested them to downgrade the firmware and all my clients started to authenticate without any issue. Today one of the nodes showed the same behavior of dis-association. I am again at the mercy of Meraki. :( I was told that Meraki Cisco engineering team is aware of this issue with Intel Cards. When it will be fixed? who knows.

Update: Its been more than one year. MR16, MR24 keeps on disconnecting our clients with Intel(R) Centrino 6200 series cards. You can imagine how much loads of tech support would have been performed to find the core issue. No one at Meraki able to understand this. I am seriously looking into other options. :( Save yourself and buy a cheaper node, I am sure it will outperform meraki.

  • Its good to know other people are (still) having problems. I think the message for me is to stay away from Meraki. – resolver101 Apr 7 '14 at 7:12

A little update on this: I think the MR12 AP we have been using over the past year is the culprit. In the last 24 hours I managed to get my hands on an MR18 and found that laptops with the affected WiFi cards are able to access the network with encryption.

Anyway, there may be other APs in Meraki's lineup that have problems but at least we know one to avoid.

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