Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs Cisco Wireless comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 16, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN and Cisco Wireless based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Both users of Cisco Meraki Wireless Lan and users of Cisco Wireless say that the initial setup is straightforward and simple.
  • Features: Valuable features of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN include scalability, stability, IOT integration, an excellent interface, multiple types of user groupings and access management, good visibility, a comprehensive dashboard, fantastic network security, ease of installation, and a captive portal feature. The drawbacks users mention is that it lacks customization options, could benefit from heat mapping and better cyber security, and that there is a processing limitation when you have more than three or four SSIDs.

    Users of Cisco Wireless mentioned that valuable features include stability, reliability, scalability, solid functionality, security, easy management, good application visibility, control integration for other analysis software, and ease of configuration. Some users of Cisco Wireless state that the software can sometimes be very clunky, and others would like to see cloud-based support and management as well as some AI capabilities and the introduction of a dashboard.
  • Pricing: Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN users feel that the pricing could be better. Users of Cisco Wireless also find that it is expensive, with a rigid pricing model in place.
  • Service and Support: Users of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN have rated service and support to be overall very positive and reliable. Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN also has a knowledge base available online. Cisco Wireless reviewers similarly confirm that the service and support they receive is excellent, stating that support is responsive and knowledgeable, and that ample documentation is available online.
  • ROI: Users of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN have expressed that the gap in terms of performance, quality, features, and functionality has decreased significantly compared to what it was five years ago. Cisco Wireless users mention that they have yet to see an ROI.

Comparison Results: While Cisco users across the board feel that both products are very expensive and provide very good customer service and support, users reported a better ROI from Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless Report (Updated: November 2022).
653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The simplicity is great.""The most useful feature of Juniper Wireless AP is the reporting Marvis.""The solution is pretty generic and easy to use."

More Juniper Wireless Access Points (AP Series) Pros →

"It is very stable, very resilient, and very robust.""The solution is stable and reliable.""The solution is trustworthy. I find it easy and secure.""The automatic VMware update is very useful because you don't have to worry about outages and planning for VMware updates. It is very advantageous from a management point of view. The ability to restrict and review the clients connected to each of our segments. Additionally, the solution is easy to use.""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.""The solution is easy to install.""From a security perspective, this product has several advantages.""I like the status page Cisco added that shows you the health of the wireless connection."

More Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Pros →

"The stability of the solution is good.""The stability is great. It's very reliable.""Some of the features I find valuable are the FlexConnect and overall it is a good global solution.""The solution offers very good stability.""We are using Cisco access point 2802, and they are very reliable.""The most important thing for me is that all the access points are in one group and use one access code. So, when you move from one area to another, you don't disconnect and reconnect again. The device is also very easy to install and control.""The initial setup is easy. It's fairly quick to deploy.""Cisco Wireless is quite convenient for mobile and laptop access."

More Cisco Wireless Pros →

Cons
"If you want to do more specific stuff, it's a bit limited.""I need a bit more time with it before criticizing the features.""Juniper Wireless AP can improve by continually improving its reporting and integration with other systems."

More Juniper Wireless Access Points (AP Series) Cons →

"If you lose connectivity with the controller, your Wi-Fi network is immediately impacted.""The throughput of the switches for wireless could be improved.""It is super expensive for what you get. I just wish it was less expensive.""Currently, only a limited number of clients can connect to these devices.""The user interface needs to be improved.""The licensing could be a bit better.""They could also add some more controls for guest access. For example, when you have a captive portal, it would be nice to limit the amount of time users can stay connected per day. Right now, you can only configure the splash frequency. And you can set the connection for one hour, but you have to use the billing feature.""Our only concern at this stage is how it's licensed."

More Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Cons →

"It's very scalable, but when you shift gears sometimes, you have to do more work than people anticipate.""The installation is not too difficult but the solution could improve by making the configuration easier.""The pricing could be reduced.""Cisco Wireless does not have a dashboard that would make it easier for people to manage the solution, such as Cisco Meraki where you are able to monitor the network through the dashboard and everything is visible making it easier.""There is no technology without room for improvement. The main setback with Cisco solutions, not only with Cisco Wireless, is having to update the OS manually. We are now migrating to Miraki, so we've been able to work that out.""Older versions are complex to configure and implement.""We use a Cisco product called Room Kit for meetings. It would be nice if Cisco could improve that. I would also like a cloud solution.""If they could offer better coverage, we'd be much happier."

More Cisco Wireless Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We pay maybe 1000 SEK per year, per access point."
  • "Juniper Wireless AP's price is a little more expensive than other solutions, but you get what you pay for."
  • More Juniper Wireless Access Points (AP Series) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The cost is not so much for Wireless LAN, but when you have to get the security license, it costs a lot."
  • "The price of the product could be cheaper."
  • "The price is on the high side when compared to Aruba."
  • "It is expensive."
  • "We don't like the licensing model and we think that it needs to be improved significantly."
  • "Having a good price is important when we are providing quotations for projects."
  • "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."
  • "These units cost between $800 and $900 per device and on top of that, you have to pay yearly fees for maintenance."
  • More Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The product could be priced better."
  • "Cisco Wireless is a little bit expensive when compared to other solutions."
  • "The price is a little high. However, you get what you pay for. The quality of the product is high, you will find it is worth the money. There is some additional cost, for example, customer support."
  • "It's expensive because a lot of the controls come with licenses."
  • "This solution is expensive, but you get value for your money."
  • "The licensing system is very rigid. I work for a school and we are just treated like big companies. At some point, there's a limit to what we can do about that."
  • "The price for this product is a little bit high, which is why I am not using the most recent version."
  • "Its licensing is not simple. There are additional license costs for features, which is frustrating for us. There are some features that are included for free in the base Aruba product, but they are available at additional costs in this solution."
  • More Cisco Wireless Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    Aws Al-Dabbagh - PeerSpot reviewerAws Al-Dabbagh
    Real User

    The standard answer to such a question is: it depends.


    The pricing for both solutions is very similar: per-AP, Meraki is more expensive than Cisco Wireless. Cisco APs are cheaper, but the controller raises the solution price to be almost equal to Meraki.


    Meraki is subscription-based and requires constant internet access to manage the system. If the annual license expires, the APs will work, but you can't manage them or read reports of the Meraki portal.


    Cisco Wireless is a one-time payment for the hardware with annual support payments. if you have a small office with only a few APs needed, you can use the Cisco Mobility Express Controller (which uses one of the APs or a Catalyst Switch as the controller) but that has a limit of 100 APs.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The solution is pretty generic and easy to use.
    Top Answer:As with all cloud offerings, you choose a one, two, three, or five-year license, and then you choose between only… more »
    Top Answer:You can only get so far with it. If you want to do more specific stuff, it's a bit limited. You can alter the channels… more »
    Top Answer:Confidentiality Integrity and Availability Or just CIA are the basic elements of security. How secure is your… more »
    Top Answer:Depends.  I have personally used both Cisco and Aruba so I am familiar with them.  Extreme I am not, so unless they have… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco Wireless is very robust, very rugged, and can handle indoor and outdoor coverage extremely well. We found it to be… more »
    Top Answer:Ruckus Wireless offers users the benefit of being both easy to set up and get running as well as being very user… more »
    Top Answer:On the most basic level, Cisco Wireless can offer a rather straightforward initial setup. In the span of about three… more »
    Top Answer:You cannot use them together if you want central management. This is because they are independent products.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    MR18, MR26, MR32, MR34, MR66, MR72, Meraki Wireless LAN, Meraki WLAN
    Cisco WLAN Controller
    Learn More
    Juniper
    Video Not Available
    Overview

    Juniper Wireless Access Points work in conjunction with Juniper Mist Cloud Services and Mist AI to deliver premier wireless access capabilities. The Juniper Mist Edge extends microservices to the campus to bring agility and scale while enabling new applications at the edge.

    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.
    With Cisco Wireless you will successfully plan, deploy, monitor, troubleshoot, and report on indoor and outdoor wireless networks - all from a centralized location.
    Offer
    Learn more about Juniper Wireless Access Points (AP Series)
    Learn more about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN
    Learn more about Cisco Wireless
    Sample Customers
    Information Not Available
    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
    Aegean Motorway, Baylor Scott & White Health, Beachbody, Bellevue, Brunel University London, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Chartwell School, Children's Hospital Colorado, Cisco Live Milan, City of Biel, City of Mississauga, Dundee Precious Metals, Electricity Authority of Cyprus, Erickson Living, Goldcorp, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS)
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Educational Organization6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Educational Organization11%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Non Profit9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Government7%
    Educational Organization6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider18%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government7%
    Educational Organization6%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise53%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business54%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise25%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise38%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is ranked 2nd in Wireless LAN with 60 reviews while Cisco Wireless is ranked 3rd in Wireless LAN with 70 reviews. Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is rated 8.0, while Cisco Wireless is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN writes "Highly reliable, effective site blocking, and beneficial reports". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco Wireless writes "Robust with a good level of performance and very helpful technical support". Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is most compared with Aruba Wireless, Ubiquiti Wireless, Mist AI and Cloud, Ruckus Wireless and Fortinet FortiWLM, whereas Cisco Wireless is most compared with Aruba Wireless, Ruckus Wireless, Ubiquiti WLAN, Huawei Wireless and Mist AI and Cloud. See our Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless report.

    See our list of best Wireless LAN vendors.

    We monitor all Wireless LAN reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.