Open Mesh A40
|At a glance|
|Product||Open Mesh Universal 802.11ac Access Point (A40) [Website]|
|Summary||2x2 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|
• Iffy, inconsistent roaming in open air tests
Typical Price: $80 Buy From Amazon
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
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|
|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)
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
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.