Our Cisco Meraki MX is making a splash!

Upcoming wired splash functionality lets you customize your end users’ wired and wireless experiences, and also supports integrated Facebook Login.

When users connect to a Cisco Meraki wireless network, they may be presented with a splash page to click through to gain full Internet and resource access. Using splash pages, IT admins can present users with a network usage policy they must agree to or other relevant information about that network.  Another splash-dependent feature of Meraki wireless networks is our integrated WiFi with Facebook Login that lets users associate to SSIDs using their Facebook credentials.

The Meraki MX security appliance will support both click-through and Facebook Login splash (this functionality will be released as part of our upcoming feature update, at the end of this calendar year). Depending on your network architecture, the MX can provide splash pages for both wired and wireless users.

How to configure splash pages

Setting up MX splash will be easy, and you’ll be able to tailor different splash pages to different groups of users via VLANs.  For example, if you want general users of your network to see one splash page while members of the HR department to see another, you can apply specific splash page settings to the relevant VLANs of each.

Suppose we have VLAN 1 configured on our MX for native, untagged traffic and VLAN 100 for HR-related traffic:


You can configure VLAN IDs on the MX by going to Configure > Addressing & VLANs in the Meraki dashboard.

 

To configure a wired splash page for general user traffic, navigate to Configure > Access Control in the Meraki dashboard and enable wired splash for VLAN 1 from the “Select VLAN” drop-down menu.


There are several options (including network access control) that can be enabled on a per-VLAN basis for wired splash.


Next, navigate to Configure > Splash page and customize your splash page and its behavior. You can create a unique theme with your own text and image to display to client devices.  You can also redirect splash login requests to a custom URL if desired.


MX splash page options let you customize the text, images, and behavior of login splash pages.

 

MX splash pages can be set to require a click-through from end users at various, preset intervals.

 

Once you click “Save” you will have configured a wired splash page to display (every day in this example) to general users of your wired network who are hosted by default on VLAN 1. This also means that any downstream APs allowing untagged traffic will present this splash page to wireless clients at association.


Here, a wireless mobile device has been presented with the upstream MX’s wired splash page for untagged traffic when joining the SSID “Desk-Set.”

 

You can create separate wired splash pages for the different VLANs on your network and, as long as your APs can tag and forward VLAN traffic (as all Meraki MR APs can), you can enable wireless clients to view splash pages that are specific to the VLANs they are a part of.

 

MX Splash with Facebook Login

In addition to click-through splash pages, you’ll have the option of enabling Facebook Login as well. Facebook Login provides several benefits, and is a great way to simplify guest access by allowing users to login using their Facebook credentials. To successfully deploy Facebook Login, however, your organization must have a Facebook Page to serve as the splash landing page.

 

 

In sum, Wired splash will be a great new feature that will allow network admins to offer customized splash pages on a per-VLAN basis — useful for wired environments looking to offer differentiated login experiences, as well as for those who want the flexibility of Facebook Login for their guests. Again, keep an eye out for our next MX feature update — coming soon! — if you’d like to implement wired splash in your organization.