Meraki Wireless Access via MAC-based Authentication

Getting noticed

Meraki Wireless Access via MAC-based Authentication



A little background on what I'd like to do / planning to do.


All of our users are now using laptops as their main workstation. I would like to implement a Wireless access to our local LAN to help our users work anywhere within the office.


The main thing that's stopping me from this are 2 things:


1) Users sometimes bring their own device and connect their own phone or laptop to the Wireless LAN network (we're still using Password based authentication)


2) Regular changing of passwords is a pain since users tend to forget or ignore the announcement that the password will be changed on that date and we'll get angry calls that they can't connect to their meeting since the internet is broken (I've had a lot of cases of this).


Due to this, I want to implement a MAC-based access control on my Wireless network. I want specified MAC addresses to be able to connect to certain SSIDs only to maintain the proper separation between groups.

Laptop logon is via fingerprint anyway so we're sure we're getting authenticated users.


Now on to the testing. I followed the steps outlined in these guides


Configuring RADIUS Authentication with WPA2-Enterprise - Cisco Meraki 

Enabling MAC-based access control on an SSID - Cisco Meraki


However I can't seem to get my test laptops to connect.


Here's the current setup right now



Wifi network.JPG


I have 3 laptops IT, CS and HR. I also have 3 separate SSIDs for each group.


On my test.test domain, I have a Group_Laptop_Users where the usernames of the laptops are their mac addreses (and also their password) for testing purposes. 


NPS is configured to point to the Access Point. Passwords are the same. 


When I tried to connect the IT Laptop to the IT_WIFI it failed, as well as the 2 other laptops as well.




1) Is my scenario possible? I literally don't get how this MAC based authentication works since on the NPS I only associated the Group of laptops with their username and password as their mac. Is that it? That's the mac based authentication?


2) How do I separate the access for my Laptops, i.e. I only want HR users to access the HR WIFI. Should I create separate polices for each SSID that I create?


Thanks for reading!

2 Replies 2
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Check the NPS event log to see why it is allowing/denying the connection.


If this is a new NPS issue - a common problem is when you add the role Windows does not correctly add the Windows firewall rule to allow the RADIUS traffic on the NPS server - so try turning off Windows firewall to test (if it solves it, add a rule to allow udp/1812).


Use your existing authentication system, but change the default wireless firewall rules to deny all traffic.  Then create a Meraki group policy called "Authorized" (or something like that) that overrides the firewall rule allowing the traffic.  Apply the Meraki group policy to all devices allowed to access WiFi.

All devices will still be able to attach to WiFi, but only authorised devices will be able to send/receive traffic.

Getting noticed



Apologies on the late reply as I was swamped with other projects.


Update: I moved away from Windows based NAS and I'm trying out now the FreeRadius - Centos 8 option.


Right now I can't seem to get why I can't connect to my AP (MR44)


on the MR44 I have


Network Access: IdentityPSK with RADIUS

Bridged Mode

Use VLAN tagging

Vlan 20


FreeRadius - Centos 8



client network-1 {
ipaddr =
secret = testing123



aabbccddeeff Cleartext-Password := aabbccddeeff
Tunnel-Password = merakitesting


added ports 1812 and 1813 to firewall


Whenever I do my debug using the same user and minus the tunnel password and with the hello-reply enabled connecting to localhost I can connect, which means my radiusd is working fine.


But when I try to add in the tunnel-password and when I try to connect to my AP I can't connect.


Is there a configuration I'm missing here?



These are my references:



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