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Wireless Reviews

Open Mesh A40

Universal 802.11ac Access Point
At a glance
ProductOpen Mesh Universal 802.11ac Access Point (A40)   [Website]
Summary2x2 AC1200 class PoE-powered cloud-managed access point. Supports Wi-Fi backhaul
Pros• PoE powered
• Supports mesh backhaul
• Cloud-based portal supports multiple sites
• Good for indoor and outdoor use
Cons• No local admin option

The Open Mesh A40 has two unique attributes in our roundup group. At around $160, it's the most expensive and it's the only product in the group managed via a cloud service. In fact, the only management option is Open Mesh's free, cloud-based CloudTrax system.

The good news is that, once set up, a network can keep running if its cloud connection goes down. The bad, of course, is that you are left with doorstops if Open Mesh closes its doors. This is less likely than it may have been, however, since Open Mesh was acquired by business continuity solution provider Datto early this year.

The 2x2 A40 could be mistaken for its 3x3 A60 sibling, since both come in the same off-white 6.5" rounded square plastic enclosure. Unlike most other APs in the roundup herd, the A40 has two gigabit Ethernet ports, one of which accepts 802.3af to power the AP. Note the A40's enclosure is water resistant and is ok for indoor or outdoor use.

Open Mesh A40 board

Open Mesh A40 board

The A40 and A60 are both built on Qualcomm platforms, with the A40 using the QCA/9557/QCA9882 combination that also forms the core of the Linksys LAPAC1200.

  Open Mesh A40
CPU Qualcomm QCA9557 2x2 11abgn WiFi SoC
Ethernet ?
RAM 128 MB
Flash 16 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - In QCA9557
- Unidentified front end/power amp (x2)
5 GHz radio - QCA9882 11abgnac 2x2 radio SoC
- Unidentified 5 GHz front end/power amp (x2)
Firmware tested 6.3.14

The full review back in September describes life with Open Mesh's CloudTrax cloud management platform. It has most features you'd want in a multi-AP management system and I found it less confusing to drive than Ubiquiti's UniFi.

CloudTrax Network Overview

CloudTrax Network Overview

Open Mesh did a good job on CloudTrax' feature overview. You'll learn everything you need to know in about 4 minutes. The main weak points of the product are that band steering is supported only from 2.4 to 5 GHz and the only roaming assistance provided is to devices supporting 802.11r.

Features
Port TypeGigabit Ethernet
Ports2
PoE 802.3af
CPUQualcomm QCA9557
RAM (MB)128
Flash (MB)16
Firmware6.3.14
Captive Portal
Y
Cloud Mgmt
Y
Web Mgmt
N
S/W Controller Mgmt
N
AP Controller
N
VLAN
Y
Wireless Backhaul
Y
Client Bridge
N
Mesh
Y
Wireless
ClassAC1200
# of streams2
BandBoth
Band Steering
Y
AP Load Limiting
N
Roam Assist11r
Auto Tx Power
N
Auto Channel Mgmt
Y
DFS
N
MU-MIMO
N
Client Isolation
Y
Radio 12.4 GHz: In QCA9557
Radio 25 GHz: QCA9882
FCC IDWT8OMA40
AntennaInternal dual-band bent metal (x2)
Antenna Upgradeable
N
ConnectorN/A
RADIUS
Y
Schedule
Y
SSID #4
NotesBand steering is 2.4 -> 5 GHz only
QoS
TypeB/W
DirectionBoth
Auto
N

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