Ruckus Wireless Review

Increases data rates and avoids interference


What is our primary use case?

I work for a small school. In fact, I've worked with two separate schools with different administrations and they both had Ruckus — they both had the same equipment. There's probably one controller and maybe six, seven, eight access points.

We're running teacher PCs, might be about ten PCs on there, and then a bunch of student Chromebooks. We weren't one-to-one at the one school — they had carts they wheeled around. They might have had maybe 40 of them, but now they're one-to-one and they probably have a couple of hundred users — 200 to 300 users on there. The other school's been one-to-one, but it's a smaller school. They probably have a couple of hundred computers on the whole network — Chromebooks. That school's pretty much all Chromebooks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't heard any complaints about the WiFi equipment at all causing problems. We've had issues with the ISP, not enough bandwidth. At one place, the firewall equipment failed us, but with Ruckus, no complaints on the controllers. It's just been a solid performer for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have very limited experience with support because the vendor takes care of all of that. They're kind of pricey, especially when you look at Ubiquiti. 

Interestingly enough, the vendor who sold us Ruckus is now quoting an upgrade and he's no longer quoting Ruckus, he's going with Ubiquiti. I asked them why they did that, he said "Oh, it's a better value." Maybe Ruckus dropped them and now they're representing Ubiquiti. They have some staff turnover, so we keep seeing new people. And that's the local vendor. I haven't dealt with Ruckus directly at all, so I don't know what the company would provide.

How was the initial setup?

I logged into the system to look at it. That was a number of years ago, so my memory is vague. The only thing I really changed when I looked at it was to set up a separate sub-network for the students. They had a guest network already set up and they already had the staff networks. I set up a student WiFi network to segregate them from the staff.

What about the implementation team?

I'm not the person who really configures them, our vendor did all that. When they first went in, I took a look at the configuration, but I haven't really touched them since then. You can configure them and just leave them to do their thing.

I went in once and set up a guest network — it was pretty straightforward. I didn't even have to look at the manual to do it.

The vendor is responsible for all maintenance-related issues.

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

With Ubiquiti, there's no annual cost to keep the software upgraded, whereas with Ruckus, you have to pay an annual fee or three-year fee. That makes it a little more pricey.

Ubiquiti is quite a bit cheaper, just on the upfront costs than the Ruckus equipment. I mean the Ubiquiti quote we got, we're not only doing the access points, but we're also doing our switches. If one person is doing Ubiquiti switches and Ubiquiti access points, another vendor's doing Ruckus equipment. We're seeing half the cost with the Ubiquiti equipment. I worked for Ubiquiti on a very small installation where cost was at a premium and they needed to get in as cheap as possible. It worked for them. It was a church. Dropped in about four access points and they were happy.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of seven. The cost is the only thing dragging them down.

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