Compare Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM

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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM and other solutions. Updated: March 2021.
475,208 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 most valuable feature of Aruba Wireless is application monitoring.""I like the way it groups and manages access points.""The technical support is very good.""It is easy to install and deploy.""The most valuable feature is the fact that it can work with many devices. It supports everything that we need it to.""Aruba Wireless is easily scaled between a lot of devices and a lot of endpoints. When we decided to use it as our solution, we had planned to use it exactly for its ability to scale.""The technical support is 24/7 from the UA.""The fact that Aruba Wireless has a virtual controller onboard the internet access points makes it cheaper than other solutions."

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"Wireless access has enabled users to be mobile and as a result, more productive.""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.""The most valuable features of this solution are the Cisco CleanAir and Cisco RRM.""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 solution offers very good application visibility and control integration for other analysis software.""Good connectivity and easy to configure.""The support offered by Cisco is excellent. They are very responsive and knowledgeable."

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"The firewall integration is very important for the security of the connection.""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.""This is the only product on the market currently that supports as many access points for wifi users.""The product is a stable solution.""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."

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Cons
"For a more senior tool, a local application monitoring related to IoT vendors would be useful.""A lot of the access point commands are in the command line interface, versus being in the GUI.""There is a lot of information for users about the product, but it needs to be better organized so that solutions are easier to find.""The upgrades tend to be buggy and better testing is needed before they are released.""The urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation.""Better integration between the controller and the ClearPass portal would be a nice change.""Improvements to the GUI, such as being able to search in the Mobility Master, would be nice.""Aruba needs to be more competitive with newer products. Their legacy makes that more difficult for them."

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"The new licensing has no added value and seems to be Cisco's effort to take advantage of customers.""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.""I would like to see less dependency on other products such as ISE and Prime for certain implementations.""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.""The pricing of the solution is expensive if you compare it to other competitors.""Controllers could be improved.""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."

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"This solution should be easier to set up in a production environment.""The guest management features need to be improved by adding automation.""The pricing model can be improved to encourage use by small business and individuals and the hardware could stand to be redesigned.""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.""Documentation could be improved."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"If you compare it to other solutions then it's reasonably priced.""Get multiple bids/quotes, and talk to the representatives about the limitations of the product; pretty standard.""I think they should lower their prices.""Aruba is comparable to competing solutions when it comes to price.""The support pricing for Juniper Mist is higher than Aruba.""The price of Aruba Wireless should be cheaper.""Aruba is probably cheaper than Cisco, and yet you get all the things that you want.""The access points are more cost-effective over some other providers, both in cost per AP and the option of a controller-less environment."

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"The cost model is expensive.""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.""Cost is one of the reasons why we are switching to Aruba. Aruba is significantly lower than Cisco in price. We do the licensing on a three-year basis. Cisco makes licensing very difficult.""The price of this product is reasonable.""This is an expensive product.""Cisco is an expensive solution and considering the price, it should perform better.""The product could be priced better.""Cisco Wireless is a little bit expensive when compared to other solutions."

More Cisco Wireless Pricing and Cost Advice »

"For indoor access points, there is a one-time cost, upfront, whereas outdoor access points have an annual fee.""Fortinet would do something with their pricing model to attract smaller business users and eliminate the mandatory service contracts."

More Fortinet FortiWLM Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Suresh Sharma
author avatarAlanTran
Reseller

All are good selections, and this question is difficult to answer without knowing your throughput requirements, as each vendor has multiple models within there series.


Personally I recommend looking at Arista Networks’ cognitive Wifi, where controllers are a thing of the past.

author avatarShrijendra Shakya
Reseller

Cisco has maximum client connectivity and high throughput.

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 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 avatarAmin Amor
User

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

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 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

Questions from the Community
Top Answer: Confidentiality Integrity and Availability Or just CIA are the basic elements of security. How secure is your WLAN… more »
Top Answer: The Airwave is the best feature for a single management point for all APs in the environment.
Top Answer: Depends.  I have personally used both Cisco and Aruba so I am familiar with them.  Extreme I am not, so unless they have… more »
Top Answer: All are good selections, and this question is difficult to answer without knowing your throughput requirements, as each… more »
Top Answer: The installation process is very easy.
Top Answer: We do not need to pay a licensing fee to Cisco.
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Also Known As
Aruba WLAN, HP WLAN, HP Wireless, Aruba Instant On AP Series Access Point
Cisco WLAN Controller
FortiWLM, FortiAP, Fortinet AP/OAP, Meru Wireless LAN
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Overview
Aruba deliver superb Wireless performance and multi-user MIMO aware ClientMatch to boost network efficiency and support the growing device density and app demands on your network.
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 Aruba Wireless
Learn more about Cisco Wireless
Learn more about Fortinet FortiWLM
Sample Customers
Consulate Health Care, Los Angeles Unified School District, Science Applications International Corp (SAIC), San Diego State University, KFC, ACTS Retirement-Life Communities
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
University28%
Comms Service Provider17%
Educational Organization9%
Manufacturing Company9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider32%
Computer Software Company18%
Educational Organization6%
Government5%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider15%
Manufacturing Company11%
Computer Software Company9%
Government9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider34%
Computer Software Company19%
Government5%
Educational Organization5%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider36%
Computer Software Company17%
Government6%
Educational Organization5%
Company Size
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Small Business35%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise40%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise19%
Large Enterprise56%
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise35%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise58%
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise50%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM and other solutions. Updated: March 2021.
475,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Cisco Wireless is ranked 4th in Wireless LAN with 33 reviews while Fortinet FortiWLM is ranked 8th in Wireless LAN with 5 reviews. Cisco Wireless is rated 8.0, while Fortinet FortiWLM is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Cisco Wireless writes " Combines the mobility of wireless with the performance of wired networks". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiWLM writes "Solves access point issues and reduces the need for excessive wifi transmission ". Cisco Wireless is most compared with Ruckus Wireless, Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN, Mist Access Points, Ubiquiti WLAN and Huawei Wireless, whereas Fortinet FortiWLM is most compared with Ruckus Wireless, Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN, Ubiquiti Wireless, ExtremeCloud IQ and Ubiquiti WLAN. See our Cisco Wireless vs. Fortinet FortiWLM report.

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