Part 2: Creating a new network

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Step 1: Create a Master Login

The first time you use CloudTrax, you need to create a Master Login. This account will be your login for all networks you create.

From CloudTrax.com, click the “Create account” link just below the login fields. You’ll see a page similar to the one below. 

Fill in the following information:

First Name: We’ll use this to address you in email correspondence.

Username: This is your master login you will use to access ALL networks you create. It allows you to login once and edit/view all your networks. It MUST be different from your network name(s) which you will create in a second step. You may want to use your company name here.

Email: You’ll receive an email at this address asking you to verify this master login to continue.

Password: This is your master administrator password. It can be used with the above login name to access all of your networks. Make this password different from the individual network passwords you’ll create later.

When finished, click “Create/Edit” to save your account settings. In a few moments, you’ll receive an email asking you to confirm the account you just created. Just click on the “Verify Account” link to create your new CloudTrax Master Login.

 

Step 2: Create a new network

You’ll automatically be taken to a page, similar to the one below, to create your first network.

Create network

Fill in the following information:

Network name: This is the name you want to give this specific network. You will use this name to make changes to the network, display reports, etc.

Password: This is the password for local administrators and should be different from your master account login. This limits access and prevents users from making changes to your network.

Email: Enter your email address or the address of a local administrator to contact. We will never share this with others.

Network Location: Enter a street address for the first access point. To add access points, you will be shown a map that you click on to place access points. By entering an address here, you will be centered on the correct location for your network. 

Email for Notifications: Enter the email addresses, separated by spaces, for all people you’d like to receive “outage” notifications. These are sent hourly.

When finished, click “Create” to save your new network settings.

Create Network DropdownNote: Once you have your first network, you’ll access the “create network” page from the bottom of the Networks dropdown on any network “Edit” page.

 

Step 3: Add access points to your network

It’s time to let CloudTrax know which access points you want to include in the network. Adding them to CloudTrax will allow you to manage and monitor the access points from anywhere.

Navigate to the Manage > Access Points screen. 

There are three options to add access points to your network: click the "Add New" button to add access points one at a time by clicking on a map, or use the down arrow to the right of that to add access points in bulk.

Add access points

If you add access points the default way, you’ll be taken to the Map tab of the Access Points page. A Google map, centered on the address you entered when you created the network, will show a popup to enter your first access point. You can often (depending on location) click the “Satellite” view button and zoom in for a closer look. 

Add Access Point

Fill in the following information:

Name: Enter a name for this access point. This name is used to reference its location and will be displayed in reports. It does not affect users.

MAC address: A MAC address is a sequence of 12 numbers and the letters A-F often separated by colons (Eg: 00:02:6F:8A:B2:6E). This can be found on a label on the bottom of the router and on the side of the product box. For the MR500, there are 3 MAC addresses shown, and you want to enter the one on the top, listed as the “WAN MAC.”

Description: You can enter optional descriptive text that will be shown on the reports. This is typically used to keep notes on where the access point is installed, etc.

Click “Add” and repeat the process for each additional access point.

Quick Tip: Moving access points you’ve already placed

Didn’t get the placement of a access point quite right? You can move it around by clicking and dragging a access point to a new location.

If you need to add a large number of access points, you may want to add them in bulk. You can do so two ways: by entering the MAC addresses in a text field (one per line), or by uploading a list of access points (along with optional name, location, channel overrides, etc.) in a CSV file.

For both of these options, your access points will be added to the map based on your network location (similar to how the CloudTrax iOS and Android apps add access points). You can reposition these access points on the map after adding them.

When adding by CSV, the CSV file must be in a specific format. You can download a sample CSV file here

Step 4: Install the access points

Once your access points are added to CloudTrax, it’s time to install them. If you're using an enclosure, video installation guides are available here

First, connect your Gateway unit to the Internet with an Ethernet cable. This can be plugged in directly to your high-speed modem (if it has a single Ethernet port, power cycle it first), or it can be fed from a router or switch. If it can get an Internet connection through the cable, it’ll connect to CloudTrax. Once the Ethernet cable is plugged in, connect power.

Next, plug in additional access points as either gateways (connected to Ethernet) or repeaters, connected only to power.

To ensure strong, consistent signal coverage, follow these guidelines:

  1. Place your gateway in the center of the network. For most devices, every time data is transmitted over one repeater hop, it loses half its speed. A central gateway minimizes the number of hops required.
  2. Never go through more than three to four walls or floors.
  3. Never go more than 50-150 feet (depending on building materials) between access points.
  4. Install no more than about five repeaters to every one gateway.

Once all access points are plugged in, you should see them turn green on the CloudTrax Network Status page in about 5 to 15 minutes. For more detailed information on planning and optimizing your network, see the Network Planning Guide

Quick Tip: Where should your Gateway go?

your Gateway as central to the area you want to cover as possible. Place repeaters around this gateway to extend coverage, as shown here.

Adding more gateways as you expand the network helps ensure consistent speeds and improves reliability.

 


Next: Configuring your Network

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Mark Ingham

    Can the gateway be a wireless router like a Apple Airport Express?

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    The gateway must be a CloudTrax-compatible device (such as Open-Mesh). Gateways and repeaters are the same hardware, just change state based on whether or not they have a hard-wired connection to the network.

  • Avatar
    Patrick Bell

    How do you setup the guest network?

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @Patrick - continue on to the next page for public and private network configuration. https://help.cloudtrax.com/hc/en-us/articles/202465700-Part-3-Configuring-your-Network

  • Avatar
    Andy Urquhart

    What routers are compatible with the Open Mesh AP?

  • Avatar
    Andy Urquhart

    I have 3 MR900 AP's covering a large assembly hall that typically has about 65 users attaching to the public network. Will there be any problem if each AP is hard-wired back to the router? I'm wanting to provide the strongest and fastest internet coverage.

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @Andy - Any router should work provided it gives DHCP. Three MR900s wired as gateways in that space sounds fine.

  • Avatar
    parag manchekar

    suppose i have 3 networks in different cities with same SSID... can a user from 1 city network ( with subscription for 1 month ) use the network in other 2 cities (with that same code )

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @parag - yes, if you've enabled share vouchers (they'll have to re-enter the voucher code) or if the access points are part of the same CloudTrax network (they won't have to re-enter the code).

  • Avatar
    Danny Start

    How do we create new networks in CT4?

  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson

    @Danny - When logged into your master account click the drop down box at the top of the page and there should be an option to create a new network from there.

  • Avatar
    James Bowery

    After adding a new client to my network, there appears the word "New" under the "Status" column of "List" of access points in the "Configure" section of the Cloudtrax dashboard.

    So far so good. HOWEVER...

    No other information is available about this access point and the "Status" of "New" persists long after the access point has joined the network. I know it has joined the network because I connected its ethernet port to my computer and used it for internet access via my mesh network.

    How can I get CloudTrax to show the information about this access points as it does for all other access points? (All of my access points are MR3201a's, classed as "Model" "generic-ap51" running "Firmware" "481").

  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson

    @James - Only Open Mesh hardware is supported by Cloudtrax. Old hardware such as the MR3201a can connect to "legacy" Cloudtrax networks but they will only show limited information.

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