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February 14, 2020
Meraki Security Camera Systems

Meraki

Meraki Security Camera System Overview

Even if you’ve never heard of Meraki, you’ve probably heard of its parent company, Cisco. Offering four indoor models and two outdoor models, all of which shoot in HD and contain internal solid-state storage, Meraki’s selection is pared down to allow an easier decision for companies that decide to integrate their products into their security system. On the indoor side, the all-purpose MV12 is the smallest option and starts at $999. The MV32 is the largest indoor offering, with a fisheye lens and 180-degree horizontal and vertical fields of view at $1499. The two outdoor units differ in their applications: the MV71 works best in demanding environments and weather conditions, while the MV72 allows a wider range of view.

In a review on the business technology review site G2, user Jesse B. left a glowing review. “Not only can we manage this from a central dashboard, but you can do it from your phone too! We realized from this the ease of use is really the key to having a smooth network flow.” Thomas Bayerl of Audi, another Meraki partner, is similarly happy with Meraki’s performance on the company’s website. “All Cisco Meraki products that we used so far just work. You configure everything and they run very well.” Other reviews say the same thing: Meraki cameras are easy to use and seamlessly integrate into almost any space. The company’s clients include SoulCycle, Design Within Reach, the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and even the city of Opelika, Alabama.

Overview of Meraki's system architecture

While Meraki cameras integrate into Cisco’s larger networking software of the same name, the devices also work with Kisi technology, making access control an easy upgrade for any office or facility. Integrating Cisco Meraki cameras with Kisi allows users to get more out of their hardware by automatically making 5 visual snapshots of an unlock event and downloading it to the integrated dashboard. Integrating cameras allows Kisi to leverage third-party video surveillance functionality to enhance the admin experience and Kisi’s capabilities. For example, if you have a space that requires enhanced security, like a server room or even a vault, you can add both a Meraki camera and a door reader to that area and map visual snapshots to your access control logs, giving admins as much information as possible and reducing the amount of time needed to review footage during security audits. This is just one of the possibilities that the two products provide in tandem, making your facility much safer.

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Cisco Meraki: The Top 5 Cameras

Because of the company's minimal approach and emphasis on higher quality, it only offers 4 camera models in its current portfolio, so it's not possible to make a top 5 chart. But these 4 models are packed with valuable features that can be adapted to a wide range of surveillance challenges for any business. Let’s dive into each one of them:

1. MV32 Camera

MV32 is the fisheye option offered by Cisco Meraki. It has an 8MP image resolution together with a 180° horizontal and vertical fields of view capture.

The solution comes with a microphone, for audio recording, and the standard solid-state storage mentioned in the intro paragraph.

The ultra-compact design of this camera makes the installation easy and quick. The analytics are included with the camera.

2. MV22 Camera

Mv22 is the Indoor Varifocal Camera of the portfolio. It has HD resolution (1080p) and the standard solid-state storage.

Also in this case, the microphone is included. The IR illumination is up to 30m (98ft).

One of the competitive advantages of this camera (and brand, in general) is the ease of installation of its products. They all, in fact, come with an installation kit included in the box.

3. MV12 Series

This solution does not represent a camera but three different ones: the MV12N, the MV12WE and the MV12W. Despite all three camera have the same dome design (see picture), they differ in terms of specifications. 

The MV12N, in fact, has a lower horizontal Field of View (only 73° compared to the 114° of the two other models) while the MV12W and MV12WE are exactly the same camera in terms of specifictions with the difference in the solid state storage dimensions (128GB for the WE and 256GB for the W).

4. MV72 Outdoor Camera

MV72 is the only camera of the Meraki portfolio that is designed to be installed outdoors. It has a dome body design (see picture) and 256GB of solid state storage. The image resolution is 1080p and the camera has a microphone included.

Just like the other models, the camera comes with its own installation kit and has an IR illumination up to 30 meters (or 98ft).

Cisco Meraki Cameras: Pricing

The Meraki cameras come in various forms and prices. On the market, you can find the cheaper cameras starting from $500 circa and these can go up to $1000 per camera. To this price, the software license price must be added and that in itself can be around $1000, however, this depends on the time span of the license and the number of cameras.