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What is the biggest difference between Ruckus Wireless and Cisco Meraki Wireless?

Joseph Luyirika - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Administrator at a non-profit with 10,001+ employees

I am an experienced network professional working in the telecommunications, information technology, and services industries.

We are currently evaluating Ruckus Wireless and Cisco Meraki Wireless. What are the biggest differences between the two? Which would you recommend? 

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

PeerSpot user
77 Answers

reviewer1137387 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

As a CWNA professional with about 10 years of experience, and previous experience with vendors like Enterasys, Aruba, Cisco, Alcatel,
Aerohive, I can recommend 100% Ruckus over Meraki.

My assertion comes in light of the main difference I can point out about both vendors: WIRELESS PERFORMANCE. Ruckus has more wireless engineering power than Meraki or other vendors: Beamflex, Channelfly, Adaptive polarization, adaptive RF Cell sizing, among other features make Ruckus APs the best in performance in the market. And now with new software improvements (Cloud controllers, embedded NAC, analytics) I think there are no serious threats to Ruckus as the best WiFi solution in the market. Meraki has some advantages in the cloud software management and security integration fields but talking about Wireless performance, I give Ruckus the first option in any case.

Jürgen Wedler - PeerSpot reviewer

In my opinion, the main difference is, that Cisco Meraki has a Controllerless cloud-based managing and monitoring system, similar to Aerohive.

I don’t know Ruckus, but I would expect, that it is different.

Carlos Ahumada - PeerSpot reviewer

Meraki is best for small wireless networks, when you don´t want to administrate infrastructure, but have serious problems with a significant number of devices connected to one access point (more than 25). The performance for video streaming is poor in that condition (heavy load) and the 2.4G band has more issues than 5G band.

On the other hand, Ruckus has better behavior with high load per access point (more than 100 devices). The best performance for multiple types of concurrent applications (streaming, download, VoIP...) and best operation with 2.4G band. Ruckus is best for large deployments and heavy load but requires more effort and knowledge for infrastructure administration.

JINUJOHN - PeerSpot reviewer

As per my understanding, Meraki as an IT solution is much more than wireless. It converges management and monitoring of wired and wireless environment along with gateway security, mobile device management, SDWAN, traffic shaping, and mobile device management. It also provides single-console management for IP Telephony and CCTV solution. So overall you would have a better TCO or ROI if you go for full-stack Meraki.

Ruckus is all about wireless but a notch above Meraki due to their patent technology called beamforming which can help in better coverage and thereby a lesser number of APs needed for the same coverage provided by Meraki. They also have flexibility in using the same selected models of AP for cloud-based, on-premises or controller-less cluster-based deployment.

Sanjeewa Perera - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

The biggest advantage in Cisco Meraki is cloud controller. This will help make life easier for the IT team. In-terms of features Meraki has, inbuilt L3 & L7 firewall & traffic shaping, URL category filtering, etc. I would say Meraki offers value for the money you spend.

HUANG PO-CHENG - PeerSpot reviewer

The biggest difference between Ruckus cloud management and Cisco Meraki is Ruckus Cloud Management is only wifi & switch management; Cisco Meraki is a total solution including switch/wifi/firewall/IP phone/endpoint. Another one is Cisco Meraki access point Incompatible with Cisco enterprise wireless controller. If one day you want to change cloud wifi to the local controller, you should repurchase the new Cisco enterprise AP. But Ruckus doesn't have this problem. Ruckus access point compatible with Ruckus local & cloud controller.

Which would I recommend? Ruckus has great antenna hardware technology, and Cisco has a total solution. So you should know what you want, and then you will know which product you should choose.

Fernando Gavica - PeerSpot reviewer

These are some key differences that make Ruckus the best choice:

- Meraki requires more APs for high-density environments. We had a customer that required more than 150 Meraki APs distributed in several branches vs Ruckus that required only 70 APs to fulfill the same coverage and capacity. The combination of more equipment means that a Meraki deployment costs much more than a Ruckus deployment. Higher performance means less to buy, install, and manage.

- Poor AP performance because Meraki recommends no more than 30 devices per radio vs Ruckus that support 500 concurrent clients.

- The (cloud) controller is required for APs to function but customers are not allowed to own it vs Ruckus that has its own Network Controller capable
of managing APs, Switches and IoT devices. Scales to 30000 APs and 300000 concurrent users, with complete flexibility to move to/from Cloud, virtual, or appliance-based management systems

Buyer's Guide
Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN vs. Ruckus Wireless
July 2022
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