MikroTik Routers and Switches Review

Good pricing with good features that are comparable to Cisco

What is our primary use case?

We use MikroTik both in our company and clients. Even extended to our household clients. MikroTik devices offer you similar features you'll normally get from high priced devices like Cisco and HP, however at a fraction of the costs. This works very nicely with us since our clients are mainly small and medium. The device price doesn't dictate whether the client gets a solution.

VLANs, L3 Routing, Load Balancing, HotSpot are amongst some of the features we normally use in many of our deployments.

How has it helped my organization?

Costs saving and expansion of our product portfolio as a result of those features offered by mikrotik, but would have to pay for licenses from other providers. Dude also improved network management and service, which our re-skilled team enjoy. Many MikroTik devices can be powered from 12VDC and this is also a cost saving on electricity consumption and allow our deployments in areas where solar solutions are offered, extending our footprint.

What is most valuable?

The pricing is a great selling point.

We find the VLANs, Load Balancing, HotSpot, Traffic Management the most valuable part of the solution.

We're very happy with what we are getting out of the solution in general. The features are good. They're comparable to other brands such as Cisco and HP.

What needs improvement?

We've had difficulties allocating different hubs with different IPs. At times, some users use it on one range and can access computers on another range. We thought isolation would help, but it hasn't. When you assign IP addresses to ports, people can still access those ports, and that's really frustrating.

The solution doesn't offer very good documentation. When we had questions around isolation and allocating different hubs and IPs, we couldn't find any verifiable answers.

The solution's website isn't that good. When I go to it, I can't find what I'm looking for. However, if I go to a third party's website, I can easily find the information.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable, not major failures reported at this stage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a very scalable solution. It's not really an issue if companies need to scale. However, the issue of port isolation and the difficulties we have might ultimately affect scaling as we have to maintain security and right now we're struggling with that. When you scale, you compromise security. It's a double-edged sword.

We have about 15 users on the particular solution currently. However, these are solutions that will be deployed across different clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never contacted technical support directly. I have gone to their support website, which, I feel, doesn't have enough information or documentation. If you compare it to Cisco, Cisco has got more support online; you don't even have to call them.

Much as MicroTik is cheaper than Cisco, and you can see a difference in support quality. Cisco does offer a lot of support on their website. When you go to Cisco, you get answers to all types of issues. With MicroTik, I need to go look at private third-party websites. That's why I feel their technical support is a disappointment.

You can try calling or writing emails, however, you don't get responses. In the end, you have to fiddle around and try things yourself. This is not sustainable. A client will eventually not mind so much if they need to pay a bit more to get proper service.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've previously used Cisco, which was much more expensive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Deployment typically takes about one hour if it's just a basic initial layer that needs to be implemented.

What about the implementation team?

In-house, it was more of a trial and error but finally got it. We still and constantly improving our know how but we will get there.

What was our ROI?

The costs of hardware reduces the ROI dramatically. Same way the Costs of Ownership does.

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

The pricing of the solution is quite reasonable.

What we do is we buy Level Four devices, so we don't have to buy license supported versions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We came across MikroTik and immediately fell in love with it

What other advice do I have?

We use the solution and we provide services to clients as well. It's much cheaper than when we used Cisco and other devices. We're a reseller and solutions provider.

I do advise people to use the solution, because of the price and features. The more you learn is the more you realize how valuable MikroTik devices are.

One thing I would mention to others is that MikroTik is on Linux, but there's nothing like WinBox for Linux, or what you might call a Linux box. You need to do something that looks like WinBox, because if you're using Ubuntu, you will need to use WinBox and there isn't one for Linux. Not everybody uses Windows and many people, especially technical people, are moving away from Windows. 

The solution is a good product and it has improved since the first time we used it. It's just support that is really lacking.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. I'd rate it higher if technical support was better.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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