Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Review

Allows me to integrate another system very quickly, as we continue expanding for our client

What is our primary use case?

I use it both at my home office, and we just installed it for one of our clients with about 11 different units in their building. We have been pretty impressed with it.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our organization immensely. We were using:

  1. Not enough access points at one of my clients. They did not have enough.
  2. They were using Ubiquiti, which was getting overloaded with traffic. Therefore, it has been a big speed improvement, as well as in coverage.

What is most valuable?

I find it very easy to manage because of the cloud management, so I can update all my buildings at once and see all of my clients from one spot. That is probably one of my favorite features, as well as it has good security with its Layer 7 protections. It has a lot of overall functionality.

What needs improvement?

At this price point, I would not mind seeing a four-way channel, instead of a 3x3 or a 4x4, like they do in the Cisco Aironet system with their other brand. For the same price point in this other Cisco brand, it is a lot cheaper, and you can get a slightly better throughput than you can with these. It does not have the cloud-base. This would be something that I would like to see, and they do have it in their bigger units, just not at the price point we were at for the MR 42s.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, there have not been any issues. 

The only ones that we did have were with some wiring in the building. 

The products were fine. The only time they have gone down is when they first had to do firmware updates. It has only been three weeks, but so far, they have worked very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not had any issues with scalability. If we need any more, it is literally just plug and play. It will immediately go in the network, because it is cloud-based. Everything from the network is on the cloud, so it just pushes right into the new device.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not yet talked to technical support. 

I talk to our rep if I have any questions because I have a direct Cisco rep.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We had Ubiquiti UniFi and the standard APs. They were not the ACs; they were the standard APs. Their coverage was always rough. We had a lot of dropouts due to speed issues, and this particular client of mine was putting in a new system in their building, and we knew this was going to push the WiFi really hard. Therefore, we knew we would have to upgrade it when we put the system in.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward. I did all the setup on it.

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

If you are wondering if Meraki can work for you, contact one of their representatives because they will do onsite trials where you can set up their system. If it does not work, you can send it back to them for no charge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at improving the system that we currently had with Ubiquiti. We also did consider Ruckus and Cisco (the standard Cisco units). 

The reason I went with Meraki was mainly for its ease of setup and control of multiple locations, which this client has. It will allow me to integrate another system very quickly, as we continue expanding for them. Being an offsite vendor, and having remote access into it, the simplicity of that made a big difference in choosing their system.

What other advice do I have?

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: The device needs to hold up to what they are telling me it can do. I want to see good throughput from it, as well as that it has security and protection. 

Usability is a big one. How simple it is, easy it is to set up, use, and for the client to understand. Finally, it would be the technical support. They have to have a good technical support base.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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