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OM2P Open-Mesh 802.11 g/n Wireless Mesh WiFi Mini Router Review

Updated on May 6, 2016

OM2P Open-Mesh WiFi Mini Router

The OM2P router from Open-Mesh truly is an amazing bit of kit, and offers a huge amount of functionality for the cost. It features a super fast and responsive 400MHz Atheros processor and a massive 64MB of RAM which can handle video streaming, gaming and multiple clients with ease. The OM2P has a maximum power of 400 mW and 26 dBm power output with external antenna support. It supports g/n wireless with speeds up to 150 Mbps and 300Mbps for the OM2-HS model.

The OM2P is cloud-controlled from the free Cloudtrax dashboard WiFi hotspot management system which can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. The Cloudtrax system used with the Open-Mesh routers can support free or paid for WiFi networks ranging in size from just one unit to hundreds. The Open-Mesh range provides solutions from a single unit for a cafe to an entire citywide network.

Source

Open-Mesh Mini WiFi Router

The unit is much smaller than you would expect as it can be held in one hand and is about the same size as a smartphone but it is absolutely packed with the features of much larger and more expensive equipment.

The OM2P is an attractive piece of equipment which means it can be installed in an office, school, hotel room or cafe without the need to purchase an enclosure although you may wish to use one of the special enclosures for aesthetic or anti theft prevention reasons.

Public & Private SSID

The OM2 supports two SSIDs (network names); this essentially gives you two wireless networks that can be independently controlled via the Cloudtrax dashboard.

The public SSID can be used to give free and/or paid for WiFi access and the private SSID for admin roles or staff access. Each SSID can be enabled or disabled with one click. In a hotel or school setting this can be used for guests/staff or students/teachers.

Open-Mesh Firmware

The OM2P is shipped with Open-Mesh firmware pre-installed so only the MAC address (like a serial number) of the router needs to be entered in to the free Cloudtrax dashboard. The unit then just needs to be connected to an Internet connection and the WiFi network is live!

Anyone, even with no prior knowledge of wireless networking, can setup and install a free and/or paid-for WiFi network with just one or multiple access points. The firmware can be upgraded or downgraded if so desired; over-the-air upgrades can also be enabled when new firmware versions are released.

WiFi Network Management / Centralised Cloud Controller

The Open-Mesh OM2 units which form the WiFi network can be controlled from a (free) remote centralised dashboard provided by Cloudtrax from any Internet browser anywhere in the world. The dashboard allows you to view, edit and add/remove units (nodes), view individual user activity and overall upload/download, create/view & edit access vouchers. Each unit will 'check in' every ten minutes updating the status of that node, mesh units will show last and average mesh speeds and latency which makes the positioning of units for best performance easy even for non professional installers. Customisable Splash/Landing pages are fully integrated which allow to you provide free and/or paid for access.

Paypal is fully integrated with the Open-Mesh/Cloudtrax system so customers/guests can be charged for access using their credit/debit cards. Vouchers can also be created so access can be sold offline at a hotel lobby/cafe counter or over the phone.


Click image for larger picture.
Click image for larger picture. | Source
Rear shot of the OM2P with dual ethernet ports and external antenna support.
Rear shot of the OM2P with dual ethernet ports and external antenna support.

Self-Healing Mesh

Each Open-Mesh OM2P router will act as a Gateway when connected directly to an Internet connection, and every other unit just connected to a power source will become a repeater forming a self-healing mesh. If multiple Gateways are used in the network and one Gateway goes down the unit will automatically become a repeater supporting the network. Meshing speeds between nodes can reach 45 Mbps with a latency of just 1ms. Units can be moved, repositioned and added to give more coverage in minutes. Meshing speeds, number of hops and the network diagram showing how many nodes each node can see can all be viewed from the Cloudtrax dashboard.

Cloudtrax dashboard showing WiFi units meshing
Cloudtrax dashboard showing WiFi units meshing | Source

Power Over Ethernet (PoE)

All OM2 routers support PoE, which means both the data and power are carried over the Ethernet cable up to 300 feet making installation in areas without power easy. This also removes the risk of electrical shock with outdoor installations and does not require a qualified electrician to install outdoor units. The units can be daisy chained together to provide ever further coverage.

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Meshing Speed LEDs

Each OM2 unit has a Red, Yellow and Green traffic light system to show meshing speed which makes positioning or repositioning units for the best speed simple without the need for extra monitoring equipment. When installing a unit you ideally want to see a Green blinking light which indicate the meshing speed is over 2.5Mbps, anything below that will most likely result in poor latency speeds and a poor customer experience. One of the main advantages of the traffic light system is that if a unit is shipped to a customer they can easily position it for optimum performance without any technical knowledge.

Gateway Units

Blinking Green - Internet working

Solid Red - No Internet

Repeater Units

Blinking Green - Speed above 2.5Mbps

Yellow Solid - Speed between 1.5Mbps - 2.5Mbps

Red Solid - Speed below 1Mbps

Open-Mesh OM2P Coverage Range

The range of any WiFi equipment is affected by many factors including line of sight (LoS), interference, obstructions, antenna, terrain and weather to mention a few. WiFi signals can travel for miles, however when considering the range of a WiFi network for public use the range is limited by the users equipment. The WiFi card in a users laptop or more commonly smartphone is fairly low power and the antenna fairly small, so even if you had a 10ft antenna and used the maximum power output the range would still only be in the 100-300 feet range. If you wish to cover a large area it would be best to use a single unit with an external antenna as your gateway and then add more units to mesh with the gateway on the edge of the useable range. Using just an 8dBi antenna with the OM2P will provide a good foundation for adding more units to create a much larger coverage area.

Open-Mesh OM2P, OM2-LC, OM2-HS & OMP5-AN Comparison

 
Open-Mesh OM2P
Open-Mesh OM2-LC
Open-Mesh OM2-HS
Open-Mesh OMP5-AN
WLAN Standard
802.11g/n
802.11g/n
802.11g/n
2.4 + 5 GHz concurrent
Speed
150Mbps
150Mbps
300Mbps
450Mbps
Power
26dBm (200mW)
20dBm (200mW)
20dBm (200mW)
19 dBm (79 mW)
Antenna
Single External
Single Internal
Dual Internal
Three Internal
External Antenna Support
Yes
No
No
No
Processor
400 MHz Atheros AR7240
400 MHz Atheros AR9330
520 MHz Atheros AR9341
520 MHz Atheros AR9344
Memory
64MB DRAM
64MB DRAM
64MB DRAM
64MB DRAM
Zero Config Plug & Play
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Self Forming, Self Healing Mesh
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Public & Private SSIDs
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Max. Users
20-50
20-50
20-50
20-50
Facebook WiFi
No
No
No
Yes
Ethernet
2 x 100Mbps
2 x 100Mbps
2 x 100Mbps
1 x Gigabit & 1 x 10Mbps
Open-Mesh have three basic models. The OM2P with external antenna support, OM2-LC (low cost), OM2-HS (high speed) with data speeds up to 300Mbps.

OM2-LC / OM2-HS Model

Both the OM2-HS and OM2-LC WiFi Routers have internal antennas, only the OM2P supports an external antenna
Both the OM2-HS and OM2-LC WiFi Routers have internal antennas, only the OM2P supports an external antenna | Source

Open-Mesh OM2P-HS

OM2P-HS 802.11gn 300mbps HIGH SPEED Access Point Router
OM2P-HS 802.11gn 300mbps HIGH SPEED Access Point Router

Open-Mesh OM2P-HS - Up to 300Mbps, Dual internal antenna, 520 MHz Atheros AR9341 Processor & 64MB DRAM

 

Open-Mesh Basic Setup & Installation of Units

Open-Mesh Enclosures

The Open-Mesh OM2 range can be installed without enclosures but you may wish to use the wall or ceiling enclosure for aesthetic or anti theft reasons. The ceiling mount is the most attractive but can house only the OM2P HS and OM2P LC models. It has three holes so you can see the LED lights once it is installed and looks like a smoke alarm or light fitting.

If the OM2P is installed outdoors it must be used with the special weatherproof outdoor enclosure. The outdoor enclosure can be pole mounted horizontally or vertically with cable ties. It is made from white UV-stabilized ABS plastic for a high-quality & attractive installation.

Source

Open Mesh OM2P Manual

When you receive the Open Mesh OM2 router it does not come with a manual but there are set up guides & FAQ on the Open-Mesh and Cloudtrax websites. However the OM2 range is designed to be plug and play and there is very little set up required.

Open-Mesh MR900 High Performance WiFi Router

Open-Mesh have just released a new model, the MR900. This model is designed to support up to 100 simultaneous users, ultilising both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz it can achieve speeds up to 900Mbps.

It can be added to existing networks and will mesh with the OM2P range.

I have not tested it yet but if it is as good as open-mesh's other products then it should be excellent.

Open-Mesh Product Changes & Updates 2015

Since this article was written Open-Mesh have made some changes, introduced some new products and features and plan on discontinuing some products.

  • As mentioned above they have added the MR900 which is 5Ghz enabled, meaning devices which have 5Ghz capability will be able to take advantage of the increased speed and it will reduce the strain on the 2.4Ghz frequency. This basically means both older 2.4Ghz and newer 5Ghz devices (smartphone/laptops/tablets) will be able to get the best performance. The MR900 can handle 50-100 simultaneous users so it is ideal for larger venues.
  • The OM2-LC (Low Cost) model will be discontinued soon.
  • The OM2-HS (High Speed) model has had its power doubled up to 200mW
  • Open-Mesh had introduced another new model the OM5P-AN which features both 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz support, Facebook WiFi, 450 Mbps max. speed (135Mbps real user speed) and 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port.
  • Facebook WiFi has been introduced and is available on the newer models like the MR900 and OM5P-AN which allows a business to boost its online social media profile and get lots of free advertising.

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    • SpaceShanty profile image
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      SpaceShanty 2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Sumona Enterprise/Robin,

      Open Mesh have one new model which can support 50-100 users http://www.open-mesh.com/products/access-points/gr...

      If I understand you correctly you need to cover a radius of 4km to 6km and are using cables? I think the best way, if you have a clear line of sight (LoS) would be to use two point to point PtP units.

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 2 months ago from United Kingdom

      RobxK, Your reply is correct. As I replied to VICTOR it is probably best to try and capture their details and give uninterrupted access and then send them offers later or charge businesses to advertise in email newsletters/Facebook posts.

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Victor, yes it is still alive, I am just busy with studying now so will answers questions as often as I can. As RobxK answered you can still provide free access but with advertising on the splash page, however as most people just want free WiFi they probably won't look at the ads that closely unless you rally grab their attention. I think using 'Social WiFi' where they log in with Facebook or must like your Facebook page or enter their email address to get access is a better option, then you can send them offers or charge companies for Facebook page post or email blasts. e.g a user comes to a busy high street where your free WiFi is at the weekend, they like your Facebook page to get access. Then you can charge a local bars and restaurants to be mentioned in a Facebook page post next weekend.

    • profile image

      RobxK 2 months ago

      VICTOR

      It would be hard to do it this way because you could only advertise on the splash page (login page) which is only seen for a short time.

      You can force the splash page to load every time the internet is used for browsing but this would get very annoying and would stop people using it. The best way is to charge for use via paypal using the built in system or use a RADIUS server with your own payment gateway.

      Hope that helps.

    • profile image

      VICTOR 2 months ago

      i really do hope this tread is still alive, i will like to actually establish this but i would prefer giving free browsing but charge for advertising, dont know if this model will work since i would have to pay for internet connection which could be cost effective

    • profile image

      Sumona Enterprise 4 months ago

      Hi,

      I am running small business newly using Ethernet cables & added tplink wr840n router for each home serving several users of this family by an IP address with similar pass code connected in both side with pair of Dlink converter. Extended network from home to home thru cable again & installed another routers for users to use in different devices. The system is costing high which is making me looser to run. Please suggest me the easiest way to cost me much lower accessing 1 IP by 50 to 100 users under a WiFi router only. Each area's surroundings distance is 4 km width & 6 km long connecting thru cable from area to other area. Please advice.Looking forward to hear you soon. Thanks Robin

    • profile image

      RobxK 12 months ago

      SpaceShanty

      How is the project going? I met up with you in the backpackers hostel a couple of years ago now in your home town.

      Wondering what projects you are on to? I have a few projects lined up you may be interested in contributing too.

      Send me a PM and ill send over my number.

      Thanks

      Rob

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Miliky,

      Firstly I would expect the WiFi service to be pretty poor if it is using a 3G dongle. I have never tried to use a 3G dongle with an Open Mesh router but I'm sure there is some workaround. I believe some portable 3G hotspots/portable wifi units have Ethernet outputs which you could plug the open mesh router into.

      How far from the City is a wired Internet connection available?

    • Miliky profile image

      Miliky 2 years ago

      @Spaceshanty

      Pls kindly advice how we can use Open-Mesh kit to offer Wi-Fi to our customers in a City where ISP's only offer Internet by 3G SIM cards. With 3G dongles how can we use Open-Mesh kits?

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I and a lot of other people recommend Ubiquiti because of the price, if money is no object then go for Aruba or similar.

    • profile image

      FlickFlack 2 years ago

      I'm sick of Ubiquiti being recommended for WiFi given the issues they have. In practical implementations there are typically a lot of issues with network quality. There are a lot of posts on their forum regarding the terrible network quality of the UAP-PRO's. There EdgeMax line based on VyOS however has been top notch

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Ubiquiti are a solid brand too but sometimes the set up can be a little more complicated and geared towards more technically experienced installers, thanks for your comment.

    • TTGReviews profile image

      TTGReviews 2 years ago

      It is nice that the OM2P allows you to have 2 SSIDs. Although, I currently use 2 Ubiquiti Uniti APs set up in my house.

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Mark,

      Hi, This sounds like a pretty big project. I think you may need more than 37 node to cover an entire country.

      I would suggest you place the main Internet connection in the center and then use the 5Ghz PTP radios to create multiple gateways and then use meshing from there. Try to minimize the number of hops if you can.

    • profile image

      Mark Patrick 2 years ago

      Hi Spaceshanty I wish to build a mesh that will cover a hole country 24km long and 7km wide, the main area will need 37 nodes with my calculations of 300m apart please advise me on how I can do this using our system. Our system has 1Gbpms coming in direct from satellite to earth station, transfer beam via 5Ghz bridge to the area of service them using open mesh for the end user. How can we achieve this in the best way ? your help/advice is most welcome

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      There isn't a factory reset like normal routers. You can upgrade or downgrade the firmware. All the settings of the router are controlled/changed via the Cloudtrax dashboard.

    • profile image

      carl 3 years ago

      Hello,

      How do I factory reset?

    • SpaceShanty profile image
      Author

      SpaceShanty 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you found it useful, if there is anymore information you need please just ask.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Useful review on OM2P 802.11 g/n Wireless Mesh WiFi Mini-Router. Voted up.