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3G - 4G Cellular Failover

The USB port in an MX-Z device can be used for connecting a 3G / 4G USB modem. Traffic will be automatically redirected to the 3G / 4G interface in the event of a connectivity failure with the WAN interfaces.

If you have 2 active WAN interfaces, 3G / 4G failover will kick in when both WAN connections fail.

Cellular modems are not supported with MX-Z devices in passthrough mode.

Preparing the USB modem

Please follow the guidelines provided by your wireless carrier to enable and test the USB modem. Once you've validated that you can use the USB modem to connect to Internet from your own PC or Mac, you can directly plug the USB modem into the MX-Z appliance.

For example, use the VZAccess Manager software on a PC or Mac to activate and test a Verizon USB modem.

Using a Cellular Modem as a Primary or Single Uplink

Please note that upon first-time bootup and connection to the Meraki Cloud, an ethernet WAN connection must be used to download the inital configuration and get the device online the first time. Having an MX-Z appliance use a cellular modem to attempt to make its first connection to the Meraki Cloud is not a supported configuration.

It is considered best practice to do the following in order:

  1. First connect the MX-Z appliance to the Meraki Cloud and make sure it comes up online
  2. Test the USB modem to ensure it can connect to the internet/provider
  3. Connect the cellular modem and verify that the cellular modem WAN uplink comes online in dashboard
  4. Disconnect the ethernet WAN connection and verify connectivity
  5. Move the MX-Z appliance to the desired location and bring the MX-Z appliance online using only the cellular modem WAN uplink

Username and Password 

The MX-Z Security Appliance series does not support usernames and passwords for cellular modems at this time. If the modem requires a username and/or password, then the MX-Z will not successfully connect. Ensure that this feature is disabled on the modem during setup.

Cellular Modem States

The cellular modem states can be seen on the Security Appliance > Monitor > Appliance status page.

  • Connecting: This state means that the modem has been recognized and the MX-Z is trying to establish a persistent connection with the 3G/4G provider.
  • Ready: This state means that the MX-Z has established the connection with the 3G/4G provider was able to successfully send/receive data with Meraki dashboard with the cellular interface. The MX-Z is ready for failover to the 3G/4G connection.
  • Active: This state means that the MX-Z has detected a WAN failover and switched the internet connection to the 3G/4G card.

 

If none of these states are displayed on the Appliance status page, the modem is not recognized by the MX. Cellular modems are identified by the USB IDs they present when connected. In some cases it is possible for supported modems to not be recognized by the MX due to specific manufacturing practices that result in a different, unexpected USB IDs being used by the modem in question.

Signal Strength Indicator

If a cellular modem is capable of reporting signal strength to the appliance it is attached to, the dashboard will display it in a count of one to five bars, corresponding with the following values:

 

Bars Signal Strength (dBm)
1 ≤ -102
2 -93
3 -87
4 -78
5  ≥ -40

Cellular Firewall Rules and Bandwidth Limits

In addition to existing firewall rules and bandwidth restrictions, MX-Z supports specific firewall rules and bandwidth limit that apply only when the cellular connection is active. These rules are applied in addition to existing firewall rules and bandwidth limits, rather than replacing them. Cellular firewall rules are configured on the Firewall page, while cellular bandwidth limits are configured on the Traffic Shaping page.

 

The bandwidth limit for cellular connections applies to the total network throughput limit and not per-client throughput limit.

  1. The cellular firewall rules and bandwidth settings do not override the existing firewall rules and bandwidth settings.
  2. The cellular bandwidth settings do not affect the bandwidth for the communication between the MX-Z and the Meraki dashboard. The MX-Z will continue to receive periodic updates from the dashboard for firmware updates and security signatures.

Verifying Connectivity

You'll also be able to confirm the 3G / 4G connectivity status through the Dashboard, on the Security Appliance > Monitor > Appliance Status page.

Supported USB Modems

Current Modems

These modems are supported on MX and/or Z-Series appliances and are still actively being manufactured, distributed, and sold by their respective carriers or manufacturers.

Note: Note that if a cellular modem has a USB ID different than the one listed here, it will not be compatible.

 

Region

Wireless Carrier

USB Modem

Interfaces

MX

Z

USB ID

USA

Verizon

Novatel Wireless Global Modem USB730L *

4G Only

1410:9030

   

Connected IO LT1000

4G only

1199:68c0
   

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

   

Feeney Skyus 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

   

Connected IO EM1000T-VZ-CAT1 *

4G only

1bc7:0036

 

AT&T

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

   

Feeney Skyus 4G LTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

   

Connected IO EMT1000T-NA-CAT1 *

3G and 4G

1bc7:0036

   

ConnectedIO EM1000T-NA*

3G and 4G

1bc7:1201

   

Velocity USB Stick *

3G and 4G

 

19d2:1225

   

Unite Explore *

3G and 4G

 

0846:68e1

 

Sprint

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

 

T-Mobile

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

   

Feeney Skyus 4G LTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

   

Connected IO EMT1000T-NA-CAT1 *

3G and 4G

1bc7:0036

   

ConnectedIO EM1000T-NA*

3G and 4G

1bc7:1201

 

US Cellular

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

Canada

Rogers

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

 

Bell

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G XLTE (MC7354)

4G only

1199:68c0

Europe

Any

Feeney Skyus-DS 4G (MC7304)

4G only

1199:68c0

 

Any

ConnectedIO EM1000T-EU*

3G and 4G

1bc7:1201

Global

Any

Huawei E3276s-150 and E3276s-500

3G and 4G

12D1:14DB

12D1:1F01

   

Huawei E3372s-153

3G and 4G

12D1:1506

12D1:14AC

12D1:14C1

 

Verizon

Novatel Wireless Global Modem USB730L *

4G

1410:9030

* Requires connecting the MX to the cloud to download the latest cellular modem definitions

End of Sale Modems

These modems are supported on MX and/or Z-Series appliances, but are no longer available for sale from their respective carriers or manufacturers.

Note: Meraki Support continues to provide assistance for End of Sale modems, but ultimately, if the modems are no longer supported by their vendor, Meraki is limited to basic troubleshooting.

 

Region

Wireless Carrier

USB Modem

Interfaces

MX

Z

USB ID

USA

Verizon

Novatel 4G LTE USB Modem USB620L

4G only

1410:9020

   

Pantech 4G LTE USB Modem UML295

3G and 4G

 
   

Pantech 4G LTE USB Modem UML290

3G and 4G

 
 

AT&T

NetGear AirCard 340U (AT&T Beam)

3G and 4G

1199:9051

   

Sierra Wireless AirCard® 313U

3G and 4G

 
 

Sprint

NetGear AirCard 341U

3G and 4G

 
   

Sierra Wireless 3G / 4G USB Modem 250U

3G only

 

 

Canada

Rogers

Sierra Wireless AirCard 330U

3G and 4G

 

Australia

Telstra

Sierra Wireless AirCard 320U

3G and 4G

  1199:68a3
 

Optus

Sierra Wireless AirCard 320U

3G and 4G

  1199:68a3

Global

Any

Huawei E372

3G only

12D1:1506

12D1:14AC

12D1:14C1

   

Huawei E367

3G only

12D1:1446

12D1:14AC

12D1:150C

   

Huawei E392

3G and 4G

12D1:1505

12D1:1506

12D1:14FE

About Pantech 4G LTE USB Modem UML295

The setup process for the Pantech UML 295 is considerably different than for prior Verizon cellular modems. First, connect the UML 295 to a PC or Mac and wait until you get a DHCP lease on your computer (this may take some time). Once you have a DHCP lease from the UML 295 modem, follow these steps to connect to the internet:

  1. Go to http://mbb.vzw.com/ or http://192.168.32.2/
  2. Open the Menu.
  3. Go to the Settings tab, and enable "Auto connect except roaming" for the Device connection preference option under the Connectivity > 4G LTE tab.
  4. Confirm you can browse the Internet (hint: http://speedof.me/ is a great modem speed test site).

About Huawei Modems

With Huawei modems it is important that the hardware inside the modem (USB ID) matches one of the USB ID's in the list above as Huawei tends to package different hardware inside different models (ie. you could have two 3372 modems each with different USB ID's/hardware inside).

To find the USB ID connect the modem to a Mac laptop.  Click on the apple icon in the upper left > About This MAC > System Report > Hardware > USB > [select USB card]

The format of the above USB IDs is <Vendor ID>:<Product ID>.  Ex.  12D1 is the Vendor ID for Huawei and 1506 is the product ID of the hardware inside the modem

Huawei modems have been tested with a number of carriers worldwide and should work with any cellular carrier.

Make sure that the SIM card PIN is deactivated. You may need to put the SIM card on a mobile phone and manually disable the pinlock, before inserting it back into the Huawei modem.

Please reach out to Meraki support in case your local wireless carrier is not recognized.

About AT&T Beam (AC340U) Modems 

Due to the design of the AC340U, it is recommended that the included USB extension cable be used to connect the AC340U to the MX or Z1. This helps to avoid intermittent issues that can result from poor physical connectivity.

About Custom APNs

If a custom APN is required by your carrier, please contact support to have the APN applied.

Data Usage on Standby Cellular Uplink

When using a cellular modem as a redundant uplink connection on an MX-Z Security Appliance, there will still be a small amount of traffic over that connection, even though it is not being used for client traffic. 

When the Modem Isn't Active (Not Used for Client Traffic)

An ICMP ping will be sent over the cellular connection every 60 seconds to ensure the modem remains available, should it be needed in the event of wired uplink failure. This keep-alive traffic should be less than 9MB total per month. Signal strength and status are determined locally by the modem with no traffic sent over the cellular network.

Note: Dependent on modem and carrier, other communication may occur between the modem and the tower/network. However, this traffic is not generated by the MX-Z.

As of MX 10.11+ firmware, the 60 second ping has been turned off due to usage concerns on the cellular network.

When the Modem is Active (Used for Client Traffic)

Any client traffic and general communication with the Cloud Controller will be sent over the cellular link. Any Dashboard tools that require loading live data from the device, such as traffic graphs, will also produce increase cellular usage.

 

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