Our basic feature here is that we're in the education field.
I used to be a Cisco controller-based program, and
Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN was previously known as MR18, MR26, MR32, MR34, MR66, MR72, Meraki Wireless LAN, Meraki WLAN.
Download the Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022
Our basic feature here is that we're in the education field.
I used to be a Cisco controller-based program, and
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 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.
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.
We have been using Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for approximately six years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The initial setup is pretty straightforward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have been using this solution for roughly four years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The initial setup was very straightforward. Our network engineer had it deployed in roughly one week.
We deployed it ourselves. We read about it and then we implemented it. As I said, it's not very hard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have been using Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN for approximately three and a half years.
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.
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.
We have contacted Cisco's technical support a couple of times and they're very responsive. I would give them a thumbs up.
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.
The installation is straightforward. The wireless portion of the installation took approximately one week. This included mounting and bringing activating the network.
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.
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.
We did not evaluate any other options when we switched over to the newer version of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We primarily use the solution to understand what is happening in terms of troubleshooting the performance on the network. We have pretty specific user issues. We use it to ensure both our users and devices are secure.
We like the analysis that allows us to see how our cloud applications are performing and we like the way that the solution shows where suites are coming from, including if they are coming from overseas.
We like the way that we can map the solution against the floor of our building. We are able to see a few things from a topography perspective and can show us if certain aspects are wrong.
The interface is excellent. We've been really happy with it.
We haven't had any issues with the solution. We like the way it works. There isn't anything I can think of that makes me worry that it might be lacking in a certain area.
I've been using the solution for two years now.
The stability is good. We haven't had any crashes. There haven't been bugs or glitches that have interrupted us or our work.
We currently have 60-75 users on the solution. They all use it daily.
For us, the solution seems to be pretty scalable. We haven't had any issues and haven't seen any shortcomings.
I don't recall ever reaching out to technical support. That's not to say we haven't, but I can't remember any specific event or problem where I can discuss a real-life encounter with them. My understanding is that it's good as long as we log a case quickly.
If a case was logged and it's been registered with them, we find the effects in terms or response and resolution are good. We all have different customers with different firewalls and we find technical support in general pretty good. They've got a pretty good presence here in New Zealand, and the support from overseas is pretty good too.
We previously used Ruckus. Meraki is far and away much better for our needs. It was the user interface and its superiority that sold us. It's just far superior and easy to use. The ability to troubleshoot on the graphical interface is just better because the graphical information is so clear.
The initial setup is quite simple. I wouldn't describe it as complex at all.
When we moved to a new building, we were able to have everything up and running in a day or so. Maybe even less than that.
Maintenance is pretty straightforward as well. We just do the updates regularly in order to make sure the server is up to date, as well as any security features.
We're the integrator. We use the solution and also have the capabilities and know-how to bring it all together. We don't need any outside help in order to implement the solution.
I don't have any information about the pricing of the solution. I'm not sure I could estimate the costs on a yearly or monthly basis as I don't deal with finances at our organization. I do believe our company offers very good value for money, although it's my understanding that it's not exactly on the cheapest end of the spectrum.
We have a business relationship with Cisco. We're also a partner.
I'd advise other organizations to think about the solution right through to how they manage and troubleshoot end users. I would recommend that anyone looking at a solution such as this consider that. A lot of people just think about the LAN performance, but I think the ability to understand it and save time by troubleshooting the end-users would be a more important consideration.
I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.
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.
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.
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.
I have been working with this solution for three years.
We are working with the original version of Meraki, not the latest version.
In terms of stability, it's relatively straightforward.
It's a scalable solution. It's pretty good.
We have never had to contact technical support.
We work with Meraki, Eero, and Ubiquiti.
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.
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.
Their biggest challenge is cost. Since it's been acquired by Cisco, it's an even higher cost.
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.
I've worked on this solution for a couple of clients who already had it deployed. It has many good features and good integration. This is more of a hybrid setup where the switch takes over a lot of responsibility depending upon what you have deployed. It takes a lot of control and allows for cloud-based management of your Wi-Fi network.
One of the key problems is that, similar to a solution like Ruckus, if you lose connectivity with the controller, your Wi-Fi network is immediately impacted and users are unable to connect to the network. It's a challenge because then your budget inflates as you have to invest in a high availability kind of solution and have more than one controller. If you are spread across a large area geographically, then you may want to have multiple controllers at different sites so that if one fails you always have a backup to go to and you're not dependent on the links that connect to your offices. It can become costly as a result.
There is nothing much that can change but I believe the hardware could become more economical. The licensing part is okay, and compared to other cloud-managed Wi-Fi's, Meraki is well placed on the pricing, but the hardware costs a bomb. If they could reduce the price of the hardware, the access points, that would be a great benefit for them.
The solution is stable and more secure when you compare it to Ruckus because if you have an MX firewall, you automatically get the firewall features over your Wi-Fi as well. The outcome is that all the data passing through the Wi-Fi definitely passes through the firewall.
Meraki is quite scalable.
Thanks to my experience with Wi-Fi, I haven't needed tech support from Meraki. One good point about Meraki and Cisco overall would be the documentation. It's extremely comprehensive so that you don't need to call tech support unless you encounter a specific problem, and you can find most things by doing a Google search.
I believe the initial setup is pretty straightforward although I've never deployed the solution - I've managed it for clients. We currently have three companies that are using this product. From a maintenance perspective, it requires a couple of maintenance staff to keep a tab on the solution, depending upon your work environment.
Licensing is on an annual basis and there is also the hardware inventory. If the firewall goes down, for example, that could cause a problem. The point of failure and the work involved around it makes it a more costly solution.
For anyone looking for a simple management solution in a geographically spread-out network, Meraki is a good bet compared to Ruckus. However, they lose points on the cost as well as on the complexity of its multiple-tiered structure, where you have an MX firewall or a switch, your Wi-Fi access points, and then the cloud. It's too much and could be as easy as having the cloud and access points, but the product has an additional tier integrated, which makes it somewhat complex.
I would place them at eight out of 10.
Our use case is remote clinics. We have over 40 remote clinics, and we even use it in our mobile vans or buses for providing free medical to the homeless and those in need.
We have a hybrid type infrastructure. We have Cisco as well as Aruba, but from the wireless perspective, it is all Aruba due to security and costs. Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is deployed in a data center. We have our own infrastructure because of HIPAA compliance and other regulations. When going into the cloud, you don't know who is managing and whether they properly bedded in terms of sensitive, classified, and not classified information or data.
I also use it in my home. I have a cloud in my garage. I have converged network storage and everything else in my garage. My garage is a data center, and I consider it a cloud. I am using the latest version of this solution.
The ability to manage it remotely is the most valuable. If it has an internet connection, you can get to it. It is a great product for remote clinics. We kind of thought about doing this kind of standalone technology.
Meraki is easy to manage. From a management perspective, it is the easiest to use, especially in the cloud. I like Meraki. I even have it in my home.
I would like to see more cybersecurity. I would like the ability to go in and enhance security. Because WPA2 is becoming obsolete, many devices are now WPA3, but the challenge is that a lot of devices are not yet there.
I would like to be able to go in and do monitoring, similar to ASPM. ASPM has the ability to monitor who's joining and who's active. It supports two-step monitoring. The stability of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN can also be improved.
I have been using this solution since it came out.
Its stability could be improved.
It has scalability. It can be scaled depending on your business needs.
Cisco support is amazing. You get what you pay for. I did a network for the border patrol, and we used Cisco and another product called Antera. From the Cisco perspective, we were able to resolve any issues relating to ring networks, but for Antera, we had to rely on somebody from Taiwan, which was a challenge.
Its initial setup is straightforward. We do wireless on all the access points.
We do a three-year or five-year license and support. Its price could be better, but overall, we get competitive prices.
A lot of times, Cisco puts itself out of range, especially with Meraki. I've dealt with a lot of business development from Cisco, and they have always been accommodating, especially in dealing with hospitals or government. There is also a right time to buy it. July is when they are eager to sell a lot of things because that is the end of their calendar year.
I would recommend this solution if it is right for your environment. I would rate Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN a nine out of ten. It is great, but it has room for improvement.