Cisco Wireless OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Wireless is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Wireless LAN tools. It is most often compared to Aruba Wireless: Cisco Wireless vs Aruba Wireless

What is Cisco Wireless?
With Cisco Wireless you will successfully plan, deploy, monitor, troubleshoot, and report on indoor and outdoor wireless networks - all from a centralized location.

Cisco Wireless is also known as Cisco WLAN Controller.

Cisco Wireless Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Wireless Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Cisco Wireless Customers
Aegean Motorway, Baylor Scott & White Health, Beachbody, Bellevue, Brunel University London, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Chartwell School, Children's Hospital Colorado, Cisco Live Milan, City of Biel, City of Mississauga, Dundee Precious Metals, Electricity Authority of Cyprus, Erickson Living, Goldcorp, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS)
Cisco Wireless Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco Wireless pricing:
  • "It might be around $100 for a license. The internal ones are far cheaper than that."
  • "It's expensive because a lot of the controls come with licenses."
  • "The licensing system is very rigid. I work for a school and we are just treated like big companies. At some point, there's a limit to what we can do about that."

Cisco Wireless Reviews

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LM
Network Engineer at County of victoria
Real User
Robust with a good level of performance and very helpful technical support

What is our primary use case?

We work at a courthouse, however, we manage the data for the entire county. We have them at the Sheriff's office. They use them in commissary purchases, which is a separate SSI and separate VLAN. That's to segregate wireless traffic for different groups of people per their needs. We have lawyers that maybe need to reach back into the network and access their documents when they take a laptop to the courtroom with them. And so through that, we've done some radius authentication. Therefore, it's not just an SSI ID. They actually have to log in with credentials as well. Then, we have a guest SSID… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "It always runs, and it's very reliable in terms of performance."
  • "Their software's really clunky."

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user. We use the 2500 wireless controller and all the APs that go with it. We have Cisco switches and routers as well. We were using Cisco firewalls up until about three years ago. And then we switched to Palo Alto. As far as switching goes, still happy with their switches. They're extremely pricey, however, they last forever, and they meet a lot of government requirements that we have. I'd recommend the solution I wouldn't hesitate to do install it if the company can afford it. I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten for its ease of setup, ease of…
PS
Technology Specialist at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Combines the mobility of wireless with the performance of wired networks

What is our primary use case?

Everything I do is generally command line and I use the gooey of the device. I also use a Cisco network assistant to manage the devices. I have a third-party monitor that checks to make sure everything's online — that's it. I don't have any kind of integrated solution where everything is captured within one piece of software. I prioritize what buildings I can try to upgrade the access points from. I am looking to update my controllers because my controllers are older. They still function fine; I haven't needed to change them yet. I know eventually, they become end-of-life — that's when I'll… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The CleanAir features and the fast transition."
  • "I wouldn't mind if Cisco allowed their premiere devices to be able to have that cloud-based support as well, or cloud-based management."

What other advice do I have?

Like anything in life, if you're familiar with it, it's easy. Can it get complicated? Of course. But I would just say, just do your research. And make sure you count the cost too. There are two things that are in play here; do your research. Once you get on a comfort level, then you can proceed with it. It works. It's pretty solid. And then the cost. Make sure that if you've got to expand that you have the financial flexibility to be able to accommodate any expansion you need, if not, then you may want to turn to another solution that might be a little cheaper. Overall, on a scale from one to…
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
536,548 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Housni Hammoud
Coordinator of the IT Department at a educational organization with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Worked well over the span of a decade, but necessary upgrades were too expensive

What is our primary use case?

Until we switched to Ruckus about a month ago, we had used Cisco Wireless products for the past ten years at our school of about 1800 students and 250 employees, including the teachers. The teachers and students all use iPads so wireless (Wi-Fi) is a big part of our network. We used Cisco for everything, including wired switches, wireless switches, the core switch, etc. For the wireless network we used Cisco WiSM, which is the old version of Cisco's wireless controller. Since we had used this Cisco equipment for so long and it was showing its age, we ultimately decided it was time for us to… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "Overall, Cisco was stable and worked well for all our needs until we started having more and more students and teachers using YouTube and Zoom — what with classes being isolated and everything — which put a lot of strain on our Wi-Fi network."
  • "The biggest reason why we could no longer continue with Cisco Wireless was because of the high cost to upgrade everything. It was disappointing that Cisco treated us as just another big company, and did not offer any leeway on their pricing given that we are an educational institute. And although the system we had in place from Cisco Wireless was good enough over the last ten years, it started to show its age when pushed to its limit during the pandemic."

What other advice do I have?

The best advice I can give is to always get a second opinion. When I arrived six years ago, we had way too many access points, and the density was causing a lot of interference. It was only after removing some access points that we had better Wi-Fi. When asked, the school said that they had originally added more access points because the Cisco technicians told them to. I would rate Cisco Wireless a seven out of ten.
HS
Sr. System Analyst at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Has good durability, we can rely on this solution and it is easy to configure

What is our primary use case?

We use it to provide wireless access to our students, faculty, and non-teaching staff because we are a university, an educational institution. I am one of the non-teaching staff who takes care of the networking side.

Pros and Cons

  • "The feature that I have found most valuable is its durability because we can rely on this solution. It is also easy to configure. Lastly, if something happens, we get good support from Cisco."
  • "One thing which we really don't like about Cisco is that it is very expensive."

What other advice do I have?

I would say that it's a good solution. Everything is there and I have nothing to point out. I would definitely recommend this product, but at the same time, I would say that they should bring their price down. Like every solution, it has pros and cons. It's just part of the process. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Cisco Wireless a nine. From the product side, I would rate it nine, but if you ask me about the return on investment, I would probably say a six or seven because the investment is huge here.
MK
Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Good application visibility with great integration potential and capability to scale.

What is our primary use case?

We provide seamless connectivity for the users in various locations. We can track a user and analyze them according to their behavior within the campus and according to their different locations. This gives us a full view of the locations that users gravitate towards and how they utilize the workspace areas within the campus.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers very good application visibility and control integration for other analysis software."
  • "The pricing of the solution is expensive if you compare it to other competitors."

What other advice do I have?

We're a Cisco partner. We use a variety of different versions of the solution, including the 800 Series, and 2800 Series. We are planning to go to the Catalyst 9000 Series soon as well. It's a centralized solution depending on the wireless controller and some access points have their own branches. While not related to hardware, in relation to software capabilities, we're always looking for ways to better integrate solutions. This particular solution has been great thanks to the access technology provided. We have seamless integration with the infrastructure. The movement of the users is very…
DP
Network Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easy to set up with good filtering and a relatively fast deployment

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution in order to provide wireless clients access to our hospital network.

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is easy. It's fairly quick to deploy."
  • "The interface could be better."

What other advice do I have?

I'm just a customer and an end-user. We aren't necessarily using the latest version of the solution. Some access points, for example, are so old we cannot upgrade them any longer. I'd recommend the solution to other users. If you have the money and budget, Cisco is a good, stable solution. I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten.
TM
Network Architect at Summa Health System
Real User
Top 20
Great support, very stable, and offers great functionality

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our handheld devices. We have about 30 most likely that are medical hand-held devices. We do have a lot of wireless devices out there, including carts. We've got Vocera Badges that we use.

Pros and Cons

  • "The support offered by Cisco is excellent. They are very responsive and knowledgeable."
  • "Apple is definitely causing a lot of issues by turning on more security features on its equipment. It is causing more problems on the business side. One is what they call a randomized Mac address that Apple has put out. As far as I know, Cisco doesn't have a fix for that."

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. The solution is fairly up-to-date, however, we aren't using the most recent version of the solution right now. Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. We've used it for years and it's worked quite well for us with very little issues to speak of.
MP
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Easy setup with great technical support and reliable technology

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution purely for a wide extension, in over it to achieve the desired coverage. It's a structure for our employees, and it offers end-to-end coverage for our employees to gain access to our corporate environment when they need to.

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support is excellent."
  • "They are a pretty expensive option."

What other advice do I have?

We are a service provider. Cisco is a well-known brand especially when it comes to technology. They're one of the market leaders and they're absolutely a no-fuss vendor. I would recommend it to anyone. It did take me a few weeks or months to get used to some aspects of the system, however, once you learn it, you get very comfortable with the processes of deployment. I would rate the solution at a ten out of ten. It's a superior option that's easy to implement and very reliable.
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