Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN competitors and alternatives

reviewer1312101
Network and Security Consultant at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Oct 22, 2020
Overall a good product that provides role-based authentication native to the controller, but has code stability issues

What is our primary use case?

We run a number of guest wireless networks with captive portals with layer 3 networks. We run .1x for corporate SSIDs or wireless networks for additional certificate-based and/or WPA2 security.

Pros and Cons

  • "Aruba is an industry leader. The hardware is on par, and its performance is also on par with anybody else. The Aruba brand really only focuses on wireless, so they're not competing their R&D for switching data center products and cloud security. They're really focused on that and their underlying key pieces. They provide a role-based authentication that is native to the controller. A lot of other systems don't do that. They won't provide you the ability to basically have everybody join the network, regardless of whether or not they share the same network space, the SSID, or the wireless LAN. You can segment it down to a specific user role based on any kind of attributes that you like. That's their differentiator. If you need per user, per device, or per port segmentation, you can get that with Aruba. There isn't another vendor who does it."
  • "Currently, the stability of the code is the basic underlying problem for us. They had an 8.6 release that came out two weeks ago, but we had to migrate twice because the code wasn't stable. We can't get things to work the same way. Version 8 was a big change for them. They made a change so that it is forced to be a managed hierarchical system. It means that you make changes at the top, and it pushes them downstream. There are a lot of problems with the 8.6 version code. I ran into four bugs in one week and was informed that we should just move onto the next one because all of those fixes have taken place. The feedback loop for fixes is not always really relayed back to you. I don't have a lot of strong things to say about version 8.6. When we had version 6, the controller was pretty much rock solid. We had no problems. We made a heavy investment to migrate a lot of stuff to take advantage of things like WPA3, Wi-Fi 6, and all that kind of stuff, and we haven't been able to turn those features on because we are not confident that they are going to work just yet. So, right now, we're still very much stumbling through the version 8.6 code and just trying to make sure that it is safe before we turn on some of those features. In terms of the marketplace, they are one of the top three leaders. In some respects, one of the things that they focus on is wireless. Therefore, there are some things that should be beyond reproach, as far as I'm concerned. In terms of the stability of the code, there are always going to be bugs, but the core stability of the code needs to be there. When it is not stable, that's a real problem for me because you lose a lot of confidence in the products."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Aruba Wireless, but it depends on the size and the scope. If you are a large-scale enterprise, you are going to need to deploy something large. If you are a big university or something, you are going to have to pick one of the big three, which, in this case, is going to be Cisco, Aruba, or Juniper. Juniper's Mist is a recent addition that is hugely popular right now because of a lot of the stuff it does in the cloud. They are all cloud-based controllers, and they integrate machine learning into all of your analytics to give you data. I think that Aruba Wireless is a good…
Tim Brumbaugh
Solutions Architect at Golden West Technologies
Real User
Top 5
Dec 18, 2020
Great performance, easy to set up and simple to configure

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for its performance, compatibility, and general capabilities. We do a lot of schools, colleges, large civic centers, large arenas, etc. That kind of stuff. We know how to deploy this so that the clients get great client connectivity.

Pros and Cons

  • "The product has some very awesome patents on their radios and their antennas and antenna patterns and how their signaling works. That's why nobody can touch them. If they go head to head with anybody."
  • "The cost could be slightly improved. It's not on the low end, and it's not in the high end. It's in that middle area, which can be a deciding factor between someone going with this solution versus another one."

What other advice do I have?

We're a reseller as well as a customer. We're running the latest software. We deploy through a controller and we use 802.1X. There're multiple ways to deploy to customers. There's a cloud controller, for example. We typically do a virtual controller on their systems. If a company is new to Ruckus, it's best to work with a partner. You need somebody that knows what they're doing, and knows what questions to ask so that you're getting the right information. When I go to do an implementation, I've got a list of 50 different questions. I'll ask somebody, what about this? What about this? What…
Warren Clemons
Electrician at IHG Consulting LLC
Real User
Jan 10, 2021
Easy way to update devices from anywhere in the world

What is our primary use case?

It is a multi-building campus. This way, when we are in-between buildings, we have them meshed together. Then, we can stay on the same WiFi throughout all three buildings. It is in a church, which I have one in my house. Then, we have a church that I go to, where we have three in one building, two in another building, and five in the third building.

Pros and Cons

  • "The meshing capabilities are the most valuable feature. When I am going in-between buildings, my phone doesn't have to pick up different WiFi. They are all the same. Even in-between the buildings, I stay connected."
  • "There is always room for improvement."

What other advice do I have?

I am very happy. We have made other purchases with NETGEAR products since the initial purchase. They are the way to go with their customer support as well as their easy equipment installation. We built a system, which is way above where it needs to be right now. So, it will be a long time before we have to increase it. My biggest lesson is to use the NETGEAR products because it was so easy. I would rate it as a 10 out of 10, but there is always room for improvement.
Spencer Malmad
Owner at Tech Exchange
Real User
Top 5
Oct 9, 2020
Stable, easy to deploy and manage, and fewer access points are needed when compared to other vendors

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and the Ubiquiti WLAN is one of the networking products that we implement for our customers. We have worked with different versions including the AC Pro HD, the HD, and the XD. I have set up and manage multiple sites. There are 45 access points deployed all over a billion square feet.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most beneficial thing about Ubiquiti is that it is simple to deploy."
  • "The downside is the interface changes, where they are constantly doing firmware updates."

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Ubiquiti is to first make sure that you have a good plan first. Make sure that you have done your homework in terms of the space where it will be installed. The best is if you're replacing the existing solution, you should still review the placement. The reason is that nine times out of ten, you'll use fewer Ubiquiti devices than you would if you were using Aruba, or Meraki, or some other brand. You don't need to buy as many, even though with the budget you have you can buy twice as many access points for the same money you would spend on Meraki, but…
Piyush-Patel
Senior Technical Support Executive with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Jan 24, 2020
Create guest networks without a VLAN, easy to use, and has a user-friendly GUI

What is our primary use case?

We are a technical services company and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our clients. My client was interested in adding a guest network to the existing infrastructure. The main requirement was that the new access points needed to be able to integrate properly, but any guests should not be able to connect to his main network. It was a very old network with no VLAN and there was no interest in implementing one. This solution allowed for the creation of different networks without the need for a VLAN or the installation of layer two switches.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to connect and broadcast to different networks without using a VLAN or a layer two switch, which allows you to easily create guest networks."
  • "The guest management features need to be improved by adding automation."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
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