Cradlepoint NetCloud Review

An all-in-one subscription that enables your transition to a Wireless WAN

What is our primary use case?

We have cargo ships and we have Cradlepoint deployed on each ship. Whenever that ship comes into port, if there's WiFi available, it switches the network over to WiFi. If there's no WiFi, it switches to cellular. If there's no cellular, then it stays on the v-set connection.

What is most valuable?

The ability to switch between multiple communications, including cellular — waves, circuits, whatever you want to call it. That's the number one feature for us.

We are starting to use the Cradlepoint VPN everywhere now. And it's a huge improvement over the previous VPN we were using.

What needs improvement?

Cradlepoint has a Trend Micro interface. They run Trend Micro, kind of like firewall — web filtering on top of it. There could be some room for improvement there, but that's kind of reaching.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cradlepoint NetCloud is very stable. It's so good that we are starting to roll it out and now support some of our remote offices with them now.  We have them on all our ships. Now we're rolling it out to our offices in the Caribbean because we'd love to sail over to cellular. That's just something we haven't ever had. That was one of the biggest selling points for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cradlepoint NetCloud is scalable. In our office locations, we're also using it to replace the router. We're getting rid of the Cisco router and the firewall that we've had on location. In the locations where we're deploying these, we're using them as both a router and a firewall.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent. As I mentioned, we tried to use a third party at first, an integration partner, but they just couldn't quite get the configuration right. Thankfully, Cradlepoint technical support got involved and had it working in a day.

How was the initial setup?

In our situation, the initial setup was complex.

Programming the automatic failover (as I call it) between the different circuits or between the different communications was complicated.

We do the updates ourselves. It's basically just the push of a button. It's easy.

What about the implementation team?

We used a third party, but primarily, it was Cradlepoint that basically ended up programming WAN. Once that was programmed, we just started rolling it out to all the different ones. Once the configuration was set, it was a fairly straightforward rollout.

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

I believe the net cloud licensing is roughly a couple hundred dollars a year, but I'm not positive. Another manager of ours buys the licenses and I just approve them. I look at the numbers every now and then. When we buy a device, we buy a three-year NetCloud license for it. 

Cradlepoint's prices are on par with similar solutions.

What other advice do I have?

If you're interested in going with Cradlepoint, just test it out before you make a decision — Implement it. To test it, typically you should set one up in the office, provide WiFi, and test it that way. That way you can get your configuration working before it goes anywhere remotely.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Cradlepoint a rating of eight. We haven't found anything better and we've looked at a lot of solutions.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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