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Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs Cisco Wireless comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 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: July 2022).
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
622,063 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 most useful feature of Juniper Wireless AP is the reporting Marvis.""The simplicity is great.""The solution is pretty generic and easy to use."

More Juniper Wireless Access Points (AP Series) Pros →

"The stability of the Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is very good.""Meraki is a decent solution for a small company, and we use it in a pretty typical way. We need Teams and Zoom to work, and we need a high level of security because we want our business to remain confidential.""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.""The solution is easy to install.""Its ease of use and flexibility are most valuable. It is cloud-based software.""It is very handy to have a support number to call.""The most valuable feature is that the solution is friendly to manage.""This product offers cloud-based configuration, so you can set it up from anywhere."

More Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Pros →

"I've found it to be quite secure.""The initial setup is easy. It's fairly quick to deploy.""The ability to make different types of networks, such as land networks, is the most valuable part of the solution.""This solution is highly stable. We have only had one issue in seven years.""The LAN network conductivity is good.""Cisco Wireless always has the latest technology that supports WiFi 5 and 6.""It is a stable solution.""Cisco's technical support is very good, I've never had an issue with their technical support."

More Cisco Wireless Pros →

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

More Juniper Wireless Access Points (AP Series) Cons →

"This solution could benefit from a heat mapping ability so that you can tell where the hotspots are, and where the good signals are.""The user interface needs to be improved.""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.""Its price should be reduced.""Documentation could be improved, but everything else has been spot-on.""The technical support from Cisco is good, but they can improve themselves in some areas. Sometimes it takes a while to provide a solution or an answer to our problem.""They should introduce a grace period of 60 days after license expiry because as it is now, it automatically goes down and there is no grace period.""The licensing isn't very customer-centric. They may have improved it, but previously, if you forgot to pay on a certain day, your service would be shut off."

More Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Cons →

"In the next release, I would like to see some AI capability deployed. Other competitors like Mist and Juniper already have it. So, AI features need to be introduced next year.""For all products on the market, the availability of the products may not be ideal. We're waiting on a lot of products simply due to the fact that there's a material shortage. We've ordered products and have had to wait three or four months for anything to get delivered. This is not just Cisco. It's a problem on the market for all components which include semiconductors.""There's a delay in equipment that comes to Columbia, to our country, and that lasts almost six months.""Before deploying a wireless solution, you have to read and plan every role, every windows system, put in your access point, and then make the audit. This solution is not the best one to do this. We use another solution that is called Eko. In the future, if this solution could have better auditing capabilities it would be better.""There are performance issues, particularly with video calls where throughput is not great.""In the next release, I would like to have support for Wi-Fi 6.""The integration with our CM and other technologies could improve this solution.""They are a pretty expensive option."

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 →

  • "It's not super expensive and it's not super cheap."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Cost is one of the reasons why we are switching to Aruba. Aruba is significantly lower than Cisco in price. We do the licensing on a three-year basis. Cisco makes licensing very difficult."
  • "The price of this product is reasonable."
  • "This is an expensive product."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Wireless Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Wireless LAN solutions are best for your needs.
    622,063 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    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
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Retailer6%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Educational Organization11%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Non Profit9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider27%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise54%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business55%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise24%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise56%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise38%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Cisco Wireless and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
    622,063 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN is ranked 2nd in Wireless LAN with 62 reviews while Cisco Wireless is ranked 3rd in Wireless LAN with 76 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, Ruckus Wireless, Mist AI and Cloud and Aruba Instant, whereas Cisco Wireless is most compared with Aruba Wireless, Ruckus Wireless, Huawei Wireless, Ubiquiti WLAN and Fortinet FortiWLM. 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.