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Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is #2 ranked solution in top Wireless LAN tools. PeerSpot users give Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is most commonly compared to Aruba Wireless: Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs Aruba Wireless. Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 56% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 27% of all views.
Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2022

What is Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN?
Cisco Meraki access points are built from the highest grade components and carefully optimized for a seamless user experience. The outcome: faster connections, greater user capacity, more coverage, and fewer support calls. The Cisco Meraki dashboard gives visibility into the network users, their devices, and their applications. Armed with rich analytics, administrators can quickly create access control and application usage policies, optimizing both the end-user experience and network security.

Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN was previously known as MR18, MR26, MR32, MR34, MR66, MR72, Meraki Wireless LAN, Meraki WLAN.

Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Customers
Advanced Medical Transport, Banco de Guayaquil, Baylor Scott & White Health, BH Telecom, Bowling Green State University, Calligaris, Children's Hospital Colorado, City of Biel, Del Papa Distributing, Department of Justice, Dimension Data, Dualtec Cloud Builders, Electricity Authority of Cyprus, Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS), Hertz, K&L Gates , LightEdge, Lone Star College System, Management Science Associates, Mindtree, NBC Olympics, Quest, Sony Corporation, The Department of Education in Western Australia, Valley Proteins
Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Video

Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN pricing:
  • "My client has made comments on the price, indicating it is expensive, however you do receive a lot for the money that you did spend on the solution. The price of the annual renewal of the licensing of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is a little high. We wish the price would drop."
  • "We are on a SmartNet contract. All of our Cisco products are licensed under one contract. I do not think there are any additional costs."
  • "Since it's been acquired by Cisco, it's an even higher cost."
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Reviews

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    John Vighetto - PeerSpot reviewer
    Owner at Vighetto Networking, Inc.
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Highly reliable, effective site blocking, and beneficial reports
    Pros and Cons
    • "The settings of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN can be very granular. You can lock down and block devices with the controls. For example, we have four different wireless settings, such as guest, employee, security, and backup. For example, the settings for the employees, if they use laptops, they're required to have certain settings, such as an antivirus installed. If they do not then Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN will not let them connect. This is very good protection because the network works on the bringing your own device(BYOD) principle. It's a BYOD environment now, and you also don't want them to bring infection into the environment because these people are connecting to the LAN via wireless connections. We have to be careful because we're managing it, we have to be very strict with regards to the rules and policies."
    • "The way Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN groups certain things, as far as the devices for either monitoring and or configuring them should be done better. They should be grouped a little bit differently because if I want to configure something, a different setting on an SSID, I have to go to their specific area where I would have thought it should be clumped as a dropdown menu in another area."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have been using the latest versions of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN because we were deploying them in a new restaurant, we had all new solutions. The only difference was that because of COVID everyone has devices on backorder and we had to compare different Meraki devices. We had to redesign our plans based on what was in stock in the wholesaler inventory. They were all enterprise-level Meraki devices.

    The deployment is on-premise but we manage the solution from the cloud.

    The owner of the restaurant where Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN was implemented wanted to receive very detailed analytics and metrics based on the customer traffic that he would have. We wanted to capture the information from the customers either walking outside of the restaurant or enjoying the food inside, then adjust his marketing accordingly.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN has improved our organization by providing us with a sense of security. When anyone is connected wirelessly, you're not going to get compromised. You're not going to receive a bunch of pop-up ads, and the beneficial functionality of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN has been great. It has strong encryption and since my customer has a fast internet speed, they have good wireless speed.  The owner was extremely happy with the solution, not only the functionality, the daily use, but the analytics and metrics that he wanted were available.

    What is most valuable?

    The settings of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN can be very granular. You can lock down and block devices with the controls. For example, we have four different wireless settings, such as guest, employee, security, and backup. For example, the settings for the employees, if they use laptops, they're required to have certain settings, such as an antivirus installed. If they do not then Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN will not let them connect. This is very good protection because the network works on the bringing your own device(BYOD) principle. It's a BYOD environment now, and you also don't want them to bring infection into the environment because these people are connecting to the LAN via wireless connections. We have to be careful because we're managing it, we have to be very strict with regards to the rules and policies.

    What needs improvement?

    The way Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN groups certain things, as far as the devices for either monitoring and or configuring them should be done better. They should be grouped a little bit differently because if I want to configure something, a different setting on an SSID, I have to go to their specific area where I would have thought it should be clumped as a dropdown menu in another area.

    It would be a benefit for Cisco to make an application for mobile devices. For example, an Apple or Android application for either a smartphone or a tablet. It would be useful to log in and use the dashboards to have a central control panel. It could be used to allow alerts to be received quickly if they went to mobiles devices. 10 times out of 10, you will have access to your phone before you have any other device on you. For example, one of the managed services that I use is Continuum which was purchased by ConnectWise making it a ConnectWise solution. They have an application for alerts that I can click on, and it will open the application on my phone. I can go in and see the alerts and trouble tickets and receive information, such as which client it is, which computer, server, or laptop. At that point, I can either click on another link and remote into it, or I can call the customer and notify them of the alert and that they could experience some delay or lag or problem with the internet connection because of their network card on their laptop. I do not have time to sit in front of the dashboard and if the alerts could be managed from a mobile device that would be a big help. 

    You could spend all day looking at the bandwidth, or who is potentially looking at what in the network. Once you know what to lock down from the users, such as social media sites. If you have the employees on a separate wireless network, you can lock down all social media, to where they have no access to the social media. Additionally, you can block eBay, or anywhere you can purchase from, no porn, no adult content, it works very well wirelessly. It is a good solution.

    I am not the first to think about additional features or improvements. They most likely have a lot of features in the works. Since I have many clients now I'll subscript to their next newsletter that they put out. They may have a mobile application coming out in the near future.

    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    622,063 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for approximately 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have not had any issues with the stability of the Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. I am extremely satisfied with its performance and quality.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The stability of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN has been great. I am highly satisfied.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have contacted the support from Cisco. Recently I couldn't find where to do something on one of the main Cisco switches. It was a PoE switch, and I sent an email out to the support at approximately 10:00 and I received an email response early morning hours at approximately 5:00. I was very happy. They asked me a couple of questions, and then when I tried what they'd suggested that I should try, it worked. It was only one little setting that I missed, that I didn't check, and everything came up fine. Then I replied to the email, and they closed the ticket.

    I'm very happy with their support. Additionally, they said in the email, if I have a critical issue that needs a more immediate response we can call a number to receive immediate support. I thought this was great. We are an enterprise client of Cisco because the solutions that we have purchased allow us this extra immediate service. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN was straightforward. You create the network, you add in the license, it pulls in all the devices, then you only need to rename the devices to whatever you want. What I enjoy are the ones I always request or require is a floor plan from the architect. I upload the floor plan, and I place it on the map, similar to a Google map. I place where all the devices are located within that floor plan on the map, and I provide that as documentation to the clients and they love it.

    I would rate Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN implementation a five out of five.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do the implementation, maintenance, and support of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. You set the solution up and it runs, it is pretty simple to manage. 

    We are very particular with email alerts when we receive them. When we receive the alerts, we will let the client know that on a particular evening or morning during the weekday or weekend, or early morning hours, we will be sending a firmware update or an update for the software. We do it in a way that does not affect them.

    If everyone were to see all the features, utilities, and tools that can be used and the reporting that Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN can provide, I think they would be able to better justify the cost. Although, it's still a little bit on the pricey side, and for me to explain everything in plain English to a non-tech person would take a while. 

    It would take me upwards of an hour because I would be a very big cheerleader for this solution. I'm an extreme fanatic about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. That's why I wanted to show them the comparison between the Ubiquiti and the Ruckus solutions next to Cisco, and the biggest hesitation is the price of the solution, which includes the licensing, and renewal. Otherwise, Ubiquiti would win, but the problem with Ubiquiti is, they don't have the granular type of customization of reporting that the owner of the restaurant wanted.  I'm sure that once he gets started and he gets people in there, he is going to see that it is worth it. 

    He won't have a problem with it moving forward, but the price was a tough sell. We thought at first we weren't going to get it. We used a report from PeerSpot for two clients to compare solutions. One of the two we did receive as a client and the other one we did not. I feel that the client that we did not sell Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN to will come back to us because they were focused on purchasing a cheap solution. However, as they say, you get what you pay for. They might be calling us back in a month to potentially change solutions.

    What was our ROI?

    The customer we implemented Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for found the reporting invaluable, and it paid for the cost of the implementation of the wireless devices.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    My client has made comments on the price, indicating it is expensive, however you do receive a lot for the money that you did spend on the solution. The price of the annual renewal of the licensing of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is a little high. We wish the price would drop.

    I have looked at our parts and labor sheet, for a three-year license for three access points and the A port PoE switch, will cost approximately $1,200. It is approximately $400 a year for licensing for Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN.

    What other advice do I have?

    In the beginning, I had to find and figure out where to find certain functions. The logistics of where things are configured or located in the dashboard can be difficult to find, it could be more intuitive. It's not a perfect solution. However, if money weren't an object, I would suggest that everyone should use a Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN solution.

    My advice to those that have not used a Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN, I would recommend them to check the community forums that are available and ask questions there. They're very helpful. There are several YouTube videos that can be used to receive a good overview. They do provide useful documentation with the solution, but they tell you to go online to this specific link and it'll explain in great details step by step what you have to do. 

    There are consultants, such as myself, that have YouTube channels. They show you step by step how to set up your first network from start to finish, what to change, what settings to use, what not to use, and depending on the scenario, what changes you need to make, how to use the dashboard, how to add licenses to assigned products. How to create a splash page for a guest login and if you want them to click through, and after redirect them to that client's website before they click on and connect to the internet and go someplace else. There are a lot of other outside non-Cisco vendors and consultants that put a lot of information out there. I've always told people, Google and YouTube are your best friends.

    I grew up where, to find something, you would have to physically go to the library, and you had to go through the Rolodex card catalog file to find a book. The process would take a couple of hours, with the technology today the process now can take a couple of seconds, and you can download a digital copy of the book and read it on your Kindle, iPad, or whatever device you choose. 

    Cisco is very picky about their solutions, they strive for accuracy and non-buggy software. I commend them for that, and there's a price to pay for research and design.

    I rate Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN a ten out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Joseph Luyirika - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Administrator at a non-profit with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Fully control all aspects of LAN access points from anywhere, anytime
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is more robust for me to deploy networks. And because of the field we are in where offices open up and others close, it helps my turnaround time to deploy these networks for the customers."
    • "Recently I have seen that the Meraki access point, maybe due to congestion, just kicks off my customers, mostly when they are in Zoom meetings or Teams meetings and they have to reconnect."

    What is our primary use case?

    At World Vision, we run most of our applications in the cloud. So most of the people need to have a strong and stable internet connection. Our offices are kind of in a box with not much infrastructure in terms of the LAN. So I deploy Meraki WIFI access points and they become the connection to the internet so that people can get to the systems that they use wherever they are.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have a centralized dashboard in the cloud. I send the access point somewhere and I configure it remotely on cloud. Ours is on premise, managed from the Meraki dashboard itself. So I could be anywhere and manage it, but we are deploying them for World Vision offices across the country.

    It benefits the organization and my work because we do not have a lot of IT guys here. Before, we used to manually deploy wireless and I needed to drive miles and miles across the country to configure an access point. When it goes off, we lose connection to it. I still need to drive there, but these days Meraki has reduced the workload because I can just send it wherever it is going and configure it wherever I am. I can be in many places at once.

    First of all, it helps with the workload, but also with the flexibility in that I can do everything remotely. I can view when the app is off, I can view when it's on, when it's acting up, when it's fully loaded, I can do the RF setting, even on my phone right now, in case there is any issue. This is what we found good about Meraki.

    What is most valuable?

    I like the fact that the deployment is so easy. Deploying and setting up a network have become so easy - like 1, 2, 3 steps and you are up and running, whereas originally we needed to log into the app and all those things. Now, it is more robust for me to deploy networks. And because of the field we are in where offices open up and others close, it helps my turnaround time to deploy these networks for the customers.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of anything to improve, recently I have seen that the Meraki access point, maybe due to congestion, just kicks off my customers, mostly when they are in Zoom meetings or Teams meetings and they have to reconnect. It is not a good thing. I have been on the communities trying to find solutions, but I think Meraki is working around the clock to fix that bug. Other than that, I think it's okay. We moved to WIFI Fix, so I think that the improvements are there. They are already in R&D. So I look forward to more good things coming from Meraki.

    It just kicks them off, because one minute they are connected and then they are completely dropped, and then after a minute or two, we connect back. I think it is an AP issue that Meraki might need to take a look at. If anyone has some hack around that, I would be interested in knowing what it is.

    In terms of what I would like to see in the next release, for starters, I would like an air marshal not to interrupt service. I would like to be able to do a separate scan of the network while the service is still running. It is important for me to know what environment I am working in. But every time I do that, it tends to have the IP go off and everyone starts complaining. That would be a feature that I would like to be added.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for about three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of stability, it performs until lately, when it started to kick off my people. But it is not so often. It is during peak hours, like Monday mornings when we have so many Zoom meetings and then maybe Wednesdays when it is too busy. Other than that, it has been stable. We have been okay for the past two and a half years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is as I want it to be. The only thing I need to do is add a few licenses here and there, but it is scalable. I get a new device, add it on the dashboard, and I don't need to pay dashboard fees. Not too bad for me. It is scalable enough. I wouldn't want that to be changed.

    As a rough estimate, we are about 1,200 users. That is the breadth of the network across the country. We have about 30 offices, with some more populated than others.

    I do the deployment and maintenance myself - only one person.

    We use it everyday. Every time someone walks into the office, they are using the Meraki Wireless at that point to connect to the internet and everyone who walks in the office needs the internet to work. It is being used 24/7.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have spoken to support, but not too many times because we have not had that many issues. But I have contacted support and they are quick to respond. I would say for the last issue that I sent them, they are still doing the investigation on that. I checked everywhere on the communities and I think it is still something they are working around. In terms of support, when I send a ticket, it is responded to, I get feedback and then I'm asked if it works or if I still have any issues. That is also a good thing they are doing there.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Before we started using Cisco, we were using the Ubiquiti UniFi.

    We switched from UniFi, because at the time, the UniFi access points were being managed locally at each location here. So we had to set up local accounts for admin. At the time, most of those controllers were on desktops which were off all weekend. So we had the whole work of going back to each office and resetting them and reconfiguring them. It was a disaster for us. So we were looking for a more centralized solution where one person could do all this stuff in his office or wherever they are.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is quite straightforward.

    It takes me five minutes to set up a network, because I configure everything in the dashboard. I only have to synchronize. I need to onboard it and assign it a network and it is up and running.

    What about the implementation team?

    I do this deployment myself. I buy the equipment. It comes in, I onboard it and I send it out to the field. I tell someone to power it up and it is good to go.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI, yes. Because we save. Just imagine for three years we saved all that transport costs, fuel costs, and admin costs that they had to pay me to go out of office. They had to pay for the driver, the car and all those things. So we have cleared on that. Originally, we used to employ temporary staff who would help with the manual work of removing the access point, putting it back up, and troubleshooting. All that now is at zero. And the beautiful thing is that this Meraki Wireless shows us our utilization, so we get to know how the internet is being utilized and we can possibly leverage ISP on reducing the cost on bandwidth, because we require more. I have conversations with them to reduce the cost of our bandwidth and give us more bandwidth for that data. It also has the analytics that know what our customer is doing. I really think that the organization has obtained its return on investment. This is why when I say that we need another $13,000 next year, they will gladly give it to me because they know that the solution helps us do our work.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Each Meraki license is around 130. We pay $139 for three years. So every three years we spend about $13,000.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also checked out Ruckus Wireless. I went with the Meraki because it gave me more capability in what I was looking for

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anyone considering Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is, if you can afford it, I think it is a good solution. If your CBA, cost benefit analysis, is okay - I would recommend Cisco Meraki because it helps you reach many, many points from just one center. It has simplified my work because before I had to travel every day to a different place because of a different wireless issue. Now I have remote oversight over all of them. I can know what to do if someone called and said, "Something's wrong here." First take a close look, study some of these things, maybe come to PeerSpot and get some notes before embarking on Cisco Meraki.

    On a scale of one to ten, for point to point for big crowds, I would give Meraki a nine. A nine because there is always a need for improvement. This is only on the technical part - of course if you factor costs and all, I may have a different score, but for me as an engineer, I give it a nine.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    622,063 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Richard Artes - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Network Admin at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Terrible licensing, trouble with updating, and unhelpful support advice
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is very handy to have a support number to call."
    • "The licensing model is a terrible idea."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution was deployed in five locations in The Netherlands. We are in K-12 education. Around 2000 students and 500 staff have used Meraki WiFi for the past seven years. 

    Younger students have Apple iPads and older students use Microsoft Surface. Staff have a mixture of Dell laptops and Microsoft Surfaces, and can move between sites using the same SSID on all sites. 

    Infrastructure is mostly Cisco Catalyst switches L2 and L3, with Sophos firewalls. The use of mobile devices is mainly internet browsing, with some local access to internal database applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cisco Meraki is easy to set up and maintain, yet has issues with firmware updates breaking functions, and not being fixed for months - in one case more than one year. 

    Roaming seems to be a function they break regularly with their updates, and then cannot find a solution for. They ask us to wait 18 months for a fix, whilst telling us to upgrade to fix other issues, and not fixing the roaming issue. 

    If you don’t discover the problem within two weeks, they refuse to downgrade you to a working firmware version, leaving you with a non-working one. 

    And putting the emphasis on you to prove you have a problem. We are a Microsoft school and don’t have Apple, and yet they asked us to find a personal Apple device to install packet capture software on, so they can troubleshoot their issues. It took more than a month to get them to admit there was a problem with their firmware and roll it back to a working version. All the time, students were having problems with roaming.

    Licensing is obviously an issue with these devices. You need to buy a license to keep it working. If the license runs out you have no WiFi anymore.

    For the last issue I reported, the response from the helpdesk was ‘use a less complex password’. Our password was ‘password’.

    On the positive side, they will replace any broken hardware without question.

    After five years we decided to replace our old Meraki APs, and Cisco gave a quote for 80 thousand euros, plus they wanted us to relocate every access point to a different position in the building. Another company gave us a quote for a quarter to this price, with no licenses needed and access points in every classroom. Needless to say, we ditched Meraki.

    What is most valuable?

    It is very handy to have a support number to call. They will replace the hardware the next day if you prove it is broken.

    The dashboard has a lot of functions and is fast, and you can configure everything you need from the dashboard.

    The app is handy - when it works and you can log in.

    Firewall and traffic shaping are very useful. Also, application blocking is handy.

    You can see exactly which clients are connected to which device and trace traffic going to that device.

    Maps and floor plans are very useful to see where a client is connected.

    What needs improvement?

    The licensing model is a terrible idea. Don’t buy a license for seven years, you will be stuck with old hardware that doesn’t work properly anymore, and can’t be replaced and you are expected to pay yourself to replace in order to fix their issues. If they can't fix the issues anymore in 7-year-old hardware they should replace the hardware at their expense, however, all they say is you have to buy new hardware. A maximum of a five-year license is my recommendation. WiFi technology moves fast and seven-year-old hardware is no longer workable.

    The limit of two weeks on rolling back a firmware update is ridiculous. If you report a problem that affects a whole location they should let you roll back the firmware after any amount of time, not limited to two weeks. Then you have to spend a month every day on the phone trying to persuade them that you have a serious issue with their firmware.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is fine until you upgrade firmware and then discover something doesn't work. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is good and easy to scale if you keep the same settings everywhere.

    How are customer service and support?

    The helpdesk is always available to help you, but their help is very limited sometimes. For example, if you have gone over the 2 weeks deadline with downgrades, they can refuse to downgrade you until you prove to them that your new firmware isn't working properly. So don't expect to have working WiFi for a few weeks, whilst you try and prove to the helpdesk you have a problem. Then after a month they finally admit there is an issue, and agree to downgrade you, and all the problems magically go away. Until the next time, you upgrade.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Neutral

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used Cisco's traditional WiFi with hardware controllers on all sites - AIR-CAP and AIR-LAP

    We switched due to the fact that the cloud dashboard to manage all sites seemed like a great idea, no more controllers on-site to maintain, and support was built in to the licensing.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was done by a reseller, who said 'this is a standard install, nothing special' until we had 1,000 students all come into the school after the holiday and discovered it didn't work properly. 

    Then when talking with Meraki, we discovered the reseller had set it up with default settings, hadn't accounted for high density, and didn't do the channel planning properly. After several re-visits, they did a channel plan and set it up manually, which did help.

    What about the implementation team?

    Through a reseller. Level of expertise = nil. Meraki had to tell them how to setup the correct channels.

    What was our ROI?

    High capital expenditure and licensing costs make it an expensive option compared to other vendors in the market.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The cost of the hardware and licensing is extreme compared to other vendors. The Meraki model would be great for small/medium businesses with many locations to manage in one dashboard. However, it's not good for education, the roaming often doesn't work and the rollback is difficult, especially if Meraki decide they are not going to help you, and not fix their issues for 18 months.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We might have looked at Ruckus and Aruba, however, Meraki seemed like the best option for us. It was also recommended by Oxford University at an education event.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure it's the right solution for your business. Don't buy a seven-year license as seven years is too long in the WiFi space. 

    Get a good reseller who will give you good support, not just say "contact Meraki" every time you have a problem.

    We are transitioning away from Meraki to another vendor, with four sites down and one to go. There are no regrets so far.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Other
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Lee Tilley - PeerSpot reviewer
    Director of Information Systems at a non-profit with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Knowledgeable and helpful support, and it scales and load-balances to fit our needs
    Pros and Cons
    • "What I like best about Meraki is that I can change it from anywhere."
    • "Initially, I liked some of the filtering features, but that's one of the components that we ran into problems with."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our basic feature here is that we're in the education field.

    I used to be a Cisco controller-based program, and 

    How has it helped my organization?

    This product has absolutely improved the way our organization functions.

    It's much faster and it's more balanced. It gives me the ability to balance the network a little bit better from a 2.4 interface, as far as channelization is concerned. Then, with AC coming out with the five gigahertz, getting much more stable, it's allowed a lot of us to switch over to that. However, it is important that you still have the support for 2.4 because it's out there.

    What is most valuable?

    What I like best about Meraki is that I can change it from anywhere. I'm really the only person here that understands the concepts, which means that if I'm not on campus, resolving the problem is something that I can do online.

    We also have a resident program here as well. So, if something's not right with the resident or they have an issue with their internet over there, I can flip to make it go over to a different internet circuit pretty quickly without ever coming onto campus.

    What needs improvement?

    Initially, I liked some of the filtering features, but that's one of the components that we ran into problems with. We don't use it as much anymore. This is one of the things that I'm trying to find out if Aruba does better.

    For example, I like all of my iOS devices to go on one network so that if they try to do iOS updates, we have an Apple server online so that they can just pull the iOS updates from it instead of having them on other parts of the network. Also, we're a one-to-one school where we give laptops out, and I'd like to be able to block the old laptops from being able to access the network. That means that the students are forced to use their new laptop, as opposed to an older one.

    It would be really helpful if there were a way that the access point could determine whether the client has an AC radio and if so, force it to try and connect to there first. As it is now, it lets the client determine how it wants to connect. This is the case with wireless in general, but it would be nice to have this option.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for approximately six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The only time we've had any issue at all is when the firmware upgrades don't automatically apply. You can set them to automatically apply, but you have to be really careful in a school setting, because you can't just say, "Oh yeah, I want to reboot this building." It would mean that the entire building will go down. This means that you have to schedule those a little bit differently. I always do it manually instead of automatically.

    I wish it would let us do one access point at a time because then I could literally do a building. It doesn't let you do one at a time. It does let you schedule them as a network but doesn't let you pick a specific access point for a specific time.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is a product that scales pretty easily. We have about 1,200 people using it.

    We have students and teachers and parents, and then, of course, we have staff members in general, and lots of different devices. One of the big things that I will challenge people at, and I don't think a lot of people realize this, but the challenge of some school networks is, especially for us, I'll use a final time, for example, is all of a sudden you have to have 850 to 900 people on the network at one time.

    The exam starts now and all 850 students have to get on the network now. You don't see that any other school at that point in time. Kids come on, they join whenever, they've already got it on. You don't see that, but in those classes when they have to start exams, everybody has to hit that network and load a page now. Your network has to be able to be designed to handle that.

    This is one of the reasons we've had to balance the wireless to make sure that we've been able to get good successful connections throughout the entire campus inside of every classroom. That way, no access points overloaded or the bandwidth is not overloaded. If you lose one in the middle, it's enough that it can withstand the fail over of another classroom in the middle of that type of exam.

    It is this concept and design that has allowed us to sustain this system for more than five years without a problem.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is pretty good the team is very knowledgeable. Normally it takes once or twice to get through to them or get to the right level, but other than that, it's really good. I would rate them an eight out of ten.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We originally had Cisco and it was really costly. They eventually grew out of our price range in terms of the price of their equipment.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Aruba but at the time, I didn't feel that they were quite there. They had just introduced some of the web-related products, and Meraki was already seasoned.

    We are currently looking at other products, including those from Aruba and Cisco. This is because our licensing is about to expire and it's time to upgrade the access points in some of our buildings. 

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice for anybody who is considering this product is that you have to evaluate what your overall goal is. If you have a team that's going to monitor your network, that's not going to be there, especially if they're offsite, then you're going to have to do a web-based solution because that's the easiest way that they can help maintain it, versus an on-premise solution.

    That narrows you down to a couple of different entities. Then, you just have to look at your features and what you like, from security measures to applications to structure. You have to find what fits the best.

    I would definitely do an evaluation with any of them to make sure that they all fit within your confines.

    In summary, this is a good product but there is always room for improvement.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Network Engineer at a tech company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Provides high-performance, next-generation deployment
    Pros and Cons
    • "I really don't have any problems with the stability of the product."
    • "If there are advanced features that you can have enabled, they should allow users access to that in an easier manner."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for our IoT devices in the office. It is currently our wireless solution for all devices that require wireless connectivity, for example, our IoT devices and our user's laptops and phones.

    Within our organization, there are roughly 400 to 500 users, using this solution. Mostly
    developers, editors, finance — everybody uses it.

    Soon, we're making the switch to Aruba wireless.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Because it's so easy for the common person to use, It has become less desirable for people who know the technology. The funny thing is that Meraki does have the ability to allow you to do that because you're talking about stuff that is controller-based. 

    That is very good for small to medium-sized businesses with somebody who doesn't have that kind of skill-set to troubleshoot their environment; however, it's frustrating for somebody that wants to actually configure certain things. You can't do it because there's no way that you can get into that without asking them for permission.

    What is most valuable?

    The fact that it's cloud-based is valuable because you don't have to have an actual physical controller in your location. That cuts down on space that you need, the redundancy, the power that you consume, how much it takes to cool down your server room, etc.

    Because it's user-friendly, you can hand off some of the easier troubleshooting tasks to people that are not necessarily wireless engineers. You can hand it off to a desktop team, so that's helpful.

    With other solutions, you have to configure the right guardrails to keep people from messing things up, but Meraki already has those guardrails in place. This is very frustrating for a competent engineer because then he doesn't have the ability to customize it the way he wants — it's a double-edged sword.

    What needs improvement?

    The advanced configuration makes it so that any user can enable some of these features without having to ask them for help. It's designed like this because their business model targets people with mid-range expertise.

    I think Meraki's doing fine, but I had to leave them because I came from using Cisco before they bought Meraki — which gives you so many options that you can expand upon that it's absolutely mind-numbing. 

    As you learn, you miss some of those features when you switch to something else. I did enjoy using Meraki and I would use it again, but I wouldn't be using it for a large office because they don't have the kind of manpower to properly administrate it.

    If there are advanced features that you can have enabled, they should allow users access to that in an easier manner. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for roughly four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I don't remember any outages that were caused by a loss of connection to the Meraki cloud controller. They can operate independently, which is good — they were stable. It has not been a chore or a very hard thing to work through. I really don't have any problems with the stability of the product. It's a good product, it's just not great for everybody.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Because it is cloud-based, you don't have to worry about it. Once you deploy it, it's very easy. You could actually ship one to a remote office, have them plug it in and once it phones home, you register it, and then you can configure it. So in that regard, it's very easy to set up a remote office. It's very good that way.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is pretty good. Overall, I would give their support a rating of 8 out of ten.

    They should expand their knowledge base online. I think a lot of problems could easily be solved if they had a better knowledge base.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using a WLC wireless LAN controller. We stopped using that solution because we had just been purchased by another company that was using Meraki, so we just sort of moved it over against my wishes. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very straightforward. Our network engineer had it deployed in roughly one week.

    What about the implementation team?

    We deployed it ourselves. We read about it and then we implemented it. As I said, it's not very hard.

    What other advice do I have?

    Utilize the packet capture — I found that very helpful. Troubleshooting is one of the features that I found really helpful — day by day, trying to figure out what's going on. I think that people that are going to purchase it are looking for something really simple and something that works.

    If I had to summarize Meraki, the biggest lesson that I learned while using it would be: simplicity has its costs.

    Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight.

    It's a very good solution for small to medium-sized businesses that don't have the technical know-how to look for an enterprise-wide wireless solution. It's a great product for sub- enterprise solutions. It's also really good for hospitals and schools because of the easy deployment.

    I use the product and I think that for what they're trying to achieve, there's nothing better.

    Even though I'm moving to Aruba, I've seen and felt their wireless cloud-based controller system. I think that might be a little complicated for the average person. 

    To take it to a rating of ten, there should be some more advanced features. I know that they have more stuff. You buy into the Meraki way, so to speak. You buy their switches, you buy their access points, everything starts to work a little bit better together; I never did that. I think that some of the stuff that I've even thought was making them better, they probably have already done. It's just that it wasn't for me. They should allow for some more granular configuration features that give people more control over their environment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Sr. System Administrator at a insurance company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Consistent wireless coverage, responsive support, and beneficial user viability
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable features in Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN are that we were able to see all the registered users for each particular WAP, which is a big help. The roaming allows us to have continuous wireless throughout the building. The signal can carry over from one WAP to another. Which is probably the most important feature."
    • "We're are not fully utilizing the features of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN to know a more in-depth analysis of what areas need to be improved. However, the security could improve. It would be a benefit to be able to lock out particular clients that are trying to connect from outside the building."

    What is our primary use case?

    We installed approximately 20 Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN in our headquarters and we have a remote site, a satellite office, which has about seven more installed.

    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is an on-premise solution, but it uses the Meraki cloud portal. We have to register the WAP with the cloud.

    In our Satellite office, we have approximately 30 users and guests. We have a guest network that runs through the Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN and a corporate network that runs through it. Our headquarters network hasn't been used as much, everybody's working remotely over the last year and a half because of COVID. Prior to the pandemic, we would have up to 300 people in the headquarters and guests.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN has helped our organization because we are able to be connected to the network while moving around. For example, I am able to take a presentation from one conference room and walk across the building and present it in another conference room without losing connection. This is pretty good for us.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features in Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN are that we were able to see all the registered users for each particular WAP, which is a big help. The roaming allows us to have continuous wireless throughout the building. The signal can carry over from one WAP to another. Which is probably the most important feature.

    What needs improvement?

    We're are not fully utilizing the features of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN to know a more in-depth analysis of what areas need to be improved. However, the security could improve. It would be a benefit to be able to lock out particular clients that are trying to connect from outside the building.

    In an upcoming release, it would be a benefit to have a security dashboard that could show additional information. In addition to our Meraki solution, we have a Cisco product called ISE, Identification Security Engine, and we can detect non-compliant or non-corporate addresses from our network. Instead of using a second product, the Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN should be able to isolate the non-specified MAC addresses into the network.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for approximately three and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of the network is very good. I think we had oversaturated our HQ environment, where we had too many devices in a particular location. We actually had to change some of our configurations because it was causing some connectivity competition between WAPs trying to connect. We had to remove a WAP to allow better connectivity.  

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is scalable. If we needed to expand, it's easy to add another WAP for a new location.

    As we come back into the office, in January, we'll start out with approximately 100 users. We're going into a hybrid mode and we will not have as many users as we did, prior to COVID. We had upwards of 300 people connecting and that's mostly everybody with their mobiles or laptops that come into the office. At our highest, it is approximately 300 users but starting in January, we'll probably have approximately 100 to 200.

    We do not have plans to expand our usage at this time. However, if we open up a new office then we will most likely expand usage.

    How are customer service and support?

    We have contacted Cisco's technical support a couple of times and they're very responsive. I would give them a thumbs up.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used the previous version of Meraki at our old headquarters. The only reason we switched was that we wanted a newer product in a new office. In terms of our office move, we decided to buy all new equipment and that's the only reason we switched.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation is straightforward. The wireless portion of the installation took approximately one week. This included  mounting and bringing activating the network.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a consulting group for the completion of our network completion in our building. I followed along with them, it wasn't too complex. My experience with the constant was very good.

    We have three system administrators, one being myself, and my two coworkers. We're all capable of managing the Meraki environment.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We are on a SmartNet contract. All of our Cisco products are licensed under one contract. I do not think there are any additional costs.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate any other options when we switched over to the newer version of  Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to other thinking about implementing this solution is to look at other products that are out there. I don't want to say stuck, but we are using all-Cisco products at the time and there are probably products that may be less expensive that could do the same job. We're in contract with Cisco and this is why we went with the newer version of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN when we needed a new solution. If anyone was looking for a wireless solution, look at different manufacturers.

    I never rate anything at 10 because there's always room for improvement.

    I rate Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Barney Duffy - PeerSpot reviewer
    Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Strong integration wit IoT solutions
    Pros and Cons
    • "I think the IoT integration is the most valuable. I started applying IoT solutions 12 years ago on location-based services. Aruba had implemented this at the time. So I think the integration, particularly into the applications and stuff, is pretty interesting in Meraki."
    • "The only thing that always causes problems with Meraki is the license. It's a bit of a bugbear with Meraki, and it remains today. So it's an unusual concept compared to the other products in the marketplace, but then it does cause a bit of a nuisance from time to time."

    What is most valuable?

    I think the IoT integration is the most valuable. I started applying IoT solutions 12 years ago on location-based services. Aruba had implemented this at the time. So I think the integration, particularly into the applications and stuff, is pretty interesting in Meraki. It's a substantial network from my point of view. It's good.

    What needs improvement?

    You're starting to see CO2-type sensors come into the classrooms and stuff like that. So it would be nice to build some "if-then" functions into IoT-type sensors. For instance, if a classroom has high CO2 levels, you could automatically open the Windows and use heat exchange to bring in fresh air into the room. At the same time, you could have the temperature control adjust automatically so it doesn't get too hot or too.  So you would need to plug in some configurable where you collect the output from the sensors and have it carry out some small actions based on that. I think it's well within Meraki's capabilities. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been working in IT for 40 years. I was working on Nortel products even before Cisco, so I have more than 20 years of experience in WiFi alone.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Everything works. I can't knock the product. I know a lot of the senior management within Meraki and used to work with them at Nortel. I know many people who work on the product side, and I've never had a problem. I've deployed Meraki for one customer with 2,500 sites in the UK, and I don't think I've ever had a wireless AP go faulty on me. We've just never had a failure, to be quite honest. That's unusual.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The only thing that always causes problems with Meraki is the license. It's a bit of a bugbear with Meraki, and it remains today. So it's an unusual concept compared to the other products in the marketplace, but then it does cause a bit of a nuisance from time to time. The license they sell is difficult.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I've worked on Meraki and other Cisco products as well as Hewlett Packard, Aruba, Siemens, and Aerohive. Aruba's first-class product is easy to work with, and I've done a lot of the complicated location with services on the Aruba kit. Most of the WiFi solutions are pretty good. The main difference between products is the application integration for location-based or IoT services, and Meraki has a good lead. You can buy IoT centers that work. So I know they're pretty basic sensors, and they are a bit expensive. However, I don't think you can beat Meraki when you're talking about multiple deployments, particularly in retail and stuff like that. It's very good for that. With loads of different sites and small amounts of kit, it works perfectly. I haven't had many problems, and in the many times I've worked with the kit, it's never failed me. That's unusual.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Cisco Meraki WLAN mine of 10. However, it would be a 10 out of 10 if it could apply some conditional logic where the result from a sensor triggers an action on another IoT device, such as a motorized heat exchanger, to bring fresh air into the building. If you were able to do something like that, it would improve things even more. It's a good LAN, but there's always room for improvement. There are some things that I'd like to see, such as more applications, integrations, and stuff like that, but apart from that, it's pretty good.

    When you look at the benefits, some wireless solutions are more flexible than others. Meraki is easy to configure and monitor. The best thing Meraki can do is give them a test AP on their network because there is some problem with APN allowing other kits on the network and letting people test, but handover between the APs is satisfactory. I've got four APs in my home that go between the office, workshop, and high space, and the handover is still seamless. The coverage is brilliant from my point of view. I deployed it in a large warehouse, and handover was seamless. It was covered. To me, the easiest way is to get a customer to test their network with two, so they can do a handover and allow them to test and configure. That's plug-and-play.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    PeerSpot user
    Emerging & Disruptive Mobile Technology Expert, Strategic Advisor at a marketing services firm with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Plug and play set up, stable, scales well with multiple access points
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable features are the multiple types of user groupings and access management."
    • "There is a processing limitation when you have multiple SSIDs, above three or four."

    What is our primary use case?

    There are a variety of use cases. It is being used in a community center, a school, a gymnasium, and a youth center.

    It's a combination of constituents. We have teachers, employees/staff, students, parents, and visitors. We have many different users.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the multiple types of user groupings and access management. For example: what, when, how long for, what is the performance, and what device are they using are all groupings.

    What needs improvement?

    Some of the built-in capabilities need to be improved. The radius capabilities for filtering by MAC address, some of the group-based policy management, even though they have more flexibility.

    They need a better reading of device TACs, which are terminal equipment codes.

    When you read a MAC address or a serial number, you can detect if it's an iOS or an Android device. Specifically, within the Android world, it can detect if it's a Samsung, an Acer, or if it's a Dell. In the Apple world, you can detect if it's iOS, iPhone, or an iPad.

    Their TAC reading and interpretation capability are not as effective. For example, they may be reading a MAC address and reporting it as an iPhone, but it may be a Samsung. It's not just iPhone and iPad confusion, but iPhone and Android cross confusion.

    There is a processing limitation when you have multiple SSIDs, above three or four.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with this solution for three years.

    We are working with the original version of Meraki, not the latest version.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of stability, it's relatively straightforward.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's a scalable solution. It's pretty good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have never had to contact technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We work with Meraki, Eero, and Ubiquiti.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is relatively straightforward. It's literally a plug-and-play, once you set up on the portal. I would be stretching to find an issue.

    Anything that is common to all of the access points is the same, You have to run the cables. Once you have done the Delta it's probably a couple of days to deploy.

    It depends on what you want to configure or the level of configuration complexity. We have, for example, access points in a specific location that are broadcasting on certain SSIDs and providing access to only certain users or certain devices, and for specific services which have to be configured.  

    If you generate an existing configuration, you can just plug it in and it will boot. If however, it requires a specific configuration, it will take time to configure the specific set of requirements.

    What was our ROI?

    We had a deal and we went for it. If I had to go for it today, I would reconsider, unless I get more competitive pricing. The gap in terms of performance, quality, features, and functionality has decreased significantly compared to what it was five years ago. 

    Now they have much more. They used to be a startup and they did pretty well. They got into growth mode, VCs pushed them to grow and they started developing features and functionality. 

    Amazon bought them. Now that Amazon has its backing, they should be able to grow and improve features, which is going to put them on a similar pedestal as a Cisco Meraki, and the same for Ubiquity. But those are just nuances. 

    Today, it would be harder for me to push for Cisco Meraki.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Their biggest challenge is cost. Since it's been acquired by Cisco, it's an even higher cost.

    What other advice do I have?

    If they are going for the long run it's good, but if you go too long, there is a cost component to consider and figure out, because the cost is something that is coming down with a lot of new solutions.

    I would rate Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: August 2022
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.