By Evan Ackerman
We’ve covered solar powered WiFi in other forms, but so far, none as cheap and easy as this. The Meraki outdoor WiFi repeater is designed to work with their $50 indoor repeater that we covered in May, and is able to broadcast a signal “up to 700 feet away,” although half that might be a bit more realistic if you’ve had any experience with wireless routers. The repeater is, of course, designed to withstand the fury of the elements, and comes with a special “outdoor” Ethernet cable. By itself it’s only about $100, but for an unreleased (but supposedly low) price you can add a solar panel and battery pack; there’s some included software designed to manage the repeater’s power so that it’ll have enough reserves to work at night and when it’s cloudy. Part of the attraction of the whole package is also Meraki’s software, which lets you regulate the public aspects of your network, and if you choose, start charging your neighbors when they mooch off your bandwidth.
The kit should be shipping later this summer.