Compare Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM

Cisco Wireless is ranked 1st in Wireless LAN with 26 reviews while Fortinet FortiWLM is ranked 5th in Wireless LAN with 10 reviews. Cisco Wireless is rated 8.0, while Fortinet FortiWLM is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Wireless writes "Has good durability, we can rely on this solution and it is easy to configure". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiWLM writes "The single pane of glass allows us to tighten security and more easily and quickly create VLANs to help protect data". Cisco Wireless is most compared with Aruba Wireless, Ruckus Wireless, Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN, Ubiquiti WLAN and ExtremeCloud IQ, whereas Fortinet FortiWLM is most compared with Aruba Wireless, Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN, Ruckus Wireless, Ubiquiti Wireless and Ubiquiti WLAN. See our Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM report.
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Cisco Wireless Logo
30,311 views|27,326 comparisons
Fortinet FortiWLM Logo
7,801 views|6,108 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM and other solutions. Updated: July 2020.
425,604 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
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.I find this solution easy to configure and use.The most valuable features of this solution are the Cisco CleanAir and Cisco RRM.Our organization has improved using this product because it helps enhance user experience. We use video communication a lot, like Skype. We used to get a lot of interference before and had a lot of issues during wireless voice or video calls. We get greater speed and performance with wireless now. It is nearly the same as a wired network.Wireless access has enabled users to be mobile and as a result, more productive.This increased mobility has helped our organization. We can talk to one another from different locations and stay in constant contact and with employees across the enterprise. Everyone has access to up-to-the-minute communications and all documents and applications on our network.Security is an important feature for my customers, and I am able to offer this to them with our Cisco products.It helps with the visibility on our network.

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I found that It's really good when comparing it to any other product or it is much better in terms of features that the customer requires.The product is a stable solution.This is the only product on the market currently that supports as many access points for wifi users.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 firewall integration is very important for the security of the connection.With Fortinet, there is a feature called Network-In-Control. It's the AP controller that decides what the clients are going to connect to... Even though your phone sees, let's say, two APs, since the wireless controller has visibility into and access across all the APs, it knows the best AP for the client to connect to. This way, the controller makes sure that none of the APs is over-crowded, and the spectrum is used properly.If you do have a FortiGate Firewall somewhere in the network, you can connect the wireless controller to that... You get 100 percent visibility from a single point... You can see everything that's connected to the FortiGate, whether it's a switch or a wireless AP or a wireless controller or any other Fortinet product.Having the single pane of glass, by using the Fortinet Security Fabric, allows us to tighten security, and more easily and quickly create additional VLANs to help protect data. Rules in the firewall mean we can protect data and systems so that, should anything go wrong, any security issue is held to an individual device.

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Cons
One thing which we really don't like about Cisco is that it is very expensive.There should be an option for a wireless bridge that can be used to join two access points.I would like to see less dependency on other products such as ISE and Prime for certain implementations.The product could be improved with interference reduction. Because wireless frequency interferes with microwave or Bluetooth technologies, this causes issues. A lot of users still use legacy wireless adapters and black box and they do not experience the speed that they could get using the latest technologies. The number of devices on the market makes wireless communications complex. If the problem of interference could be resolved it would further improve utility and ease of system design.The new licensing has no added value and seems to be Cisco's effort to take advantage of customers.Improvements can be made to the telemetry. The licensing gets in the way here. It makes it impossible to record the different flows across the wireless network.The classic Cisco wireless interface is difficult for users to learn.The configuration interface could be easier. They should make roaming easier and should fix it so that when you cross a building you can keep the signal.

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Documentation could be improved.Technical support is very poor. We are not satisfied with the technical support because there is not any direct person from Fortinet for any troubleshooting, which we expected.The pricing model can be improved to encourage use by small business and individuals and the hardware could stand to be redesigned.The guest management features need to be improved by adding automation.This solution should be easier to set up in a production environment.One of the main features that I see as lacking in any of the Fortinet products is the reporting. If you want to have proper, end-to-end reporting, you must purchase the FortiAnalyzer... If Fortinet could offer some better, built-in reporting, that would be a point of improvement.There is very little publicly available information about Virtual Cell and Single Channel Architecture. Promotion of the overall technology is limited as well. Being more vocal about a product that has many advantages would go a long way to eliminating a lot of the confusion and negative perception about Virtual Cell and Single Channel Architecture.Licensing is the only area that I think they are below average. They need enterprise licensing, an all-encompassing license to cover all products for a company.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Cisco licensing is usually provided on a yearly basis rather than monthly. You can get a hardware SLA or hardware and software SLA for a period of years. Longer terms influence the level of support that you get when it comes to Cisco SLA.The cost model is expensive.I think that the solution is expensive because the customer has to pay for a full year, at a minimum, in up-front costs.Cisco WiFi 1572 is very expensive locally and our budget for this year is used.It's a bit expensive but it's professional and works properly.This product's pricing is good. It's not too expensive.I feel the product's pricing is a good value.The pricing is okay. I believe it is competitively priced. But it is not just the price by itself, it's the price and the technical features. The features also play a big role. It has to give me the relevant output.

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Fortinet would do something with their pricing model to attract smaller business users and eliminate the mandatory service contracts.For indoor access points, there is a one-time cost, upfront, whereas outdoor access points have an annual fee.If a customer already is a FortiGate customer, the cost to go to the FortiAP is incredibly affordable, because you already have the controller.Licensing has become easier. There is no longer a per-AP license needed on the controller.

More Fortinet FortiWLM Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Suresh Sharma
author avatarAmin Amor
User

Hi Imad,
Thanks for your input. Do you have any POC data for Cisco and Aruba?
Thanks in advance

author avatarJim Rousseau
User

Ruckus virtual smart zone will be your best bet allowing up to 300k connected devices and 30k access points. furthermore, Ruckus has time and again proven best in speed, throughput in high density environments by independent studies. I have over a decade of working with this product and none of the other competitors can beat the layer 1 connectivity of Ruckus WiFi

author avatarOscarLage
User

Boa tarde
As soluções cada solução que você indicou tem pormenores que podem impactar tanto no funcionamento quanto em caso de disaster recovery.
Fortinet: Possui bons access points, aliado às funcionalidades de segurança do próprio UTM, porém será mais um serviço para o appliance gerenciar, e dependendo do que está rodando nele, corre-se o risco de degradar a performance da funcionalidade principal "segurança", por que tambem está gerenciando uma rede wireless, além do fato se houver alguma pane no appliance Fortinet, tanto os itens de segurança quanto a rede wireless irão ficar indisponível. Dê a Cézar o que é de Cézar, deixe a fortinet focada em segurança, que é o que ela faz de melhor.
Ruckus: Excelentes Access points, confiáveis e com alta performance, possui no mínimo 4 opções de gerência, sendo, controlerless Unleashed, appliance virtual, appliance hardware e cloud, ambas as opções não trará prejuizo à performance da rede wireless, porque não há tunelamento de dados para elas, além de possuir várias funções de segurança inerentes à rede wireless. licenças são perpétuas.
Cisco: Excelente access points, porém solução muito cara para aquisição e renovação.
Huawei: Pelo que conheço, tem bons access points, e controladoras virtuais e appliance físico, mas conheço poucas redes com esta solução.
É lógico que uma tem um recurso extra a mais do que a outra, mas considero mera perfumaria, pois o básico para uma rede wireless segura todas atendem.
Eu já atendi a mais de 40 universidades federais no Brasil, todas com Ruckus, e não há reclamação da solução.
Como recomendação pessoal, vá de Ruckus.

author avatarImad Awwad
Real User

Hi,

Every one of the mentioned solutions is good but you need to check the needs which are security since the firms you are working with need protection and tracking of data. For this reason, I recommend:

- if you have FortiGate installed then go for Fortinet Wireless since they can be integrated with the Fortigate without buying a controller and they work perfectly together and you will get the advantage of applying rules to the client himself whether mobile or computer, easily managed & monitored, more visibility over your network and incident notifications.

If the above doesn't apply then you can go with the best one that fits your budget and security needs which for me doesn't fall on the mentioned solution but to go with ARUBA Instant Access Wireless Solution and the reasons are as such:

- Cisco is too much expensive and you got to pay smart support with some complexity in configuration and you need to buy a controller
- Ruckus is good but when you want to have the security you need to buy a controller with licenses and it won't give you the security needed since it is just a wireless solution
- Huawei is not a stable company since it had many ups and downs and they can reach with you to have all the solutions nearly free so that you install their brand.

Whereas Aruba you don't need a controller in the Instant access points and you will get the minimum security with radius integration and what is important a lifetime warranty on the access points.

In addition, if the number of access points increased and you want more detailed management and more advanced configurations, you can buy a controller either on-premises or on-cloud with Aruba.

The above information is based on my experience with all the solutions and their POC.

If you need any more details and consultancy, kindly feel free to contact me.

Regards.

author avatarAlanTran
Reseller

Hi,
It is all dependent on the size of the controllers in question. Though I would suggest getting a cloud base technology so you are limited by any controller and have much better redundancy. Take a look at Arista Cognitive Wireless

Ranking
1st
out of 25 in Wireless LAN
Views
30,311
Comparisons
27,326
Reviews
25
Average Words per Review
373
Avg. Rating
8.0
5th
out of 25 in Wireless LAN
Views
7,801
Comparisons
6,108
Reviews
8
Average Words per Review
1,149
Avg. Rating
8.4
Popular Comparisons
Compared 47% of the time.
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Compared 4% of the time.
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Compared 24% of the time.
Compared 16% of the time.
Compared 4% of the time.
Also Known As
Cisco WLAN ControllerFortiWLM, FortiAP, Fortinet AP/OAP, Meru Wireless LAN
Learn
Cisco
Fortinet
Overview
With Cisco Wireless you will successfully plan, deploy, monitor, troubleshoot, and report on indoor and outdoor wireless networks - all from a centralized location.

Consolidate security and wireless LAN management with our integrated wireless solutions. Single-pane-of-glass management for security and access without the need to add point products simplifies deployment and reduces management complexity. These solutions are highly scalable to support even the largest organizations and distributed enterprises.

Offer
Learn more about Cisco Wireless
Learn more about Fortinet FortiWLM
Sample 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)Black Gold Regional Schools, Amadeus Hospitality, Jefferson County, Chunghwa Telecom, City of Boroondara, Dimension Data
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider20%
Financial Services Firm9%
Government9%
K 12 Educational Company Or School9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider26%
Software R&D Company23%
Media Company6%
K 12 Educational Company Or School6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider22%
Software R&D Company22%
Manufacturing Company7%
Government6%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business40%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise33%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business18%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise62%
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise50%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM and other solutions. Updated: July 2020.
425,604 professionals have used our research since 2012.

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