In a Cisco Meraki wireless deployment, multiple APs (with or without connections to wired Ethernet) communicate over their wireless interfaces to form a mesh. Each AP develops a list of neighboring devices and exchanges information which is used to calculate best possible routes to the gateway/Internet. When a Meraki AP is connected to a wired Ethernet connection and obtains an IP address (either through static IP configuration or DHCP), the AP takes the identity of a “mesh gateway”. If an AP is not connected to a wired Ethernet connection or does not obtain an IP address over that connection, the AP operates as a “mesh repeater”, which relays wireless traffic through the mesh network, either to a gateway or through other repeaters.
Note: For a look into the difference between a Cisco Meraki MR Gateway and a repeater, please refer to our documentation on Gateways vs. Repeaters.
APs mesh automatically on the channels with the least interference possible using channel selection algorithms. It is not recommended to manually change channels in a mesh network unless absolutely necessary. However, there are special cases which merit the reason to manually select the specific channels that a collection of access points mesh in.
Allowing Cisco Meraki APs to automatically converge using our proprietary routing protocols and mesh network software mitigates the need for additional configurations, RF Planning and cumbersome wireless site surveys. It is not recommended to manually change channels in a mesh network unless absolutely necessary. In the event that it is deemed necessary to manually select a channel for the mesh network to service clients from, it is recommended that the process illustrated below is used to do so.
Note: When selecting a new channel for the mesh network to service from, only the channel for the "Mesh Gateway" needs to be changed. The mesh repeaters will automatically mesh again with the gateway without needing to be manually put on the intended channel themselves.