Aerohive Wireless

8 Ratings
Score 8.2 out of 101

Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point

26 Ratings
Score 8.9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Aerohive Wireless

A large segment of the Aerohive client base is the education market, which is very different in terms of agility and immediate support needs of financial institutions. They seem to focus more effort on their wireless AP solutions, which I have only rarely tested. When it comes to remote access, the solution is still relatively expensive due to the upfront hardware purchase, though recurring costs are fairly low.
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Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point

I have been a Cisco Meraki fan for many years. I love the cloud based model and the feature rich environment Cisco continually develops. Our business is considered a small business, however, with our facility size and square footage when discussing Wi-Fi coverage we are probably considered more along the lines of a medium / large enterprise. For us it made sense because of the direction we are taking with the Meraki devices such as AP's, switched and firewalls. The Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point along with the dashboard will enable us to manage all from one dashboard and for a small IT department like ours, that means more efficient deployment and troubleshooting. If you only need a couple AP's, I would recommend taking a more economical approach, however, if you need a meshed / redundant Wi-Fi network that is easy to scale out, Meraki AP's are suited perfectly.
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Pros

  • Extremely easy to provision new devices, once the profiles are set up, due to centralized management
  • Very quick provisioning of new devices, due to centralized management and predefined profiles
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  • Easy setup
  • Reliable hardware
  • Cisco compatibility
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Cons

  • They do no support 2-factor authentication or IP whitelisting to log onto their cloud-based management portal. Organization learned the importance of 2FA over a decade ago, yet Aerohive hasn't caught on.
  • Tier 1 technical support is generally terrible. I am almost guaranteed to get the run-around when a tier 1 picks up the support case, and they are incentivised to hold on to the case as long as possible. If you don't get a good answer right away, immediate request an escalation!
  • Lack of useful logging during normal usage and stability of the software seem to be a constant issue in their BR (branch router) platform, though it has gotten better in the last year or so.
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  • By far, the biggest issue (not necessarily specific to Wireless) is with VPN connections. Meraki is great at setting up and managing VPNs to Meraki peers but lacks basic and vital functionality when it comes to non-Meraki peers. I realize this is a function of the firewall, but for organizations looking at Meraki as a potential enterprise network solution, this should be a consideration.
  • Specifically related to Wireless WAN, we really have no reservations concerning functionality.
  • Meraki has always been expensive (with recurring licensing costs). However, since the acquisition by Cisco, this has multiplied.
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Alternatives Considered

I've used both Aruba and Cisco (traditional, not Meraki) for wireless, and each have their own strengths. Aruba offers a lot of feature functionality, though the interface is difficult and confusing to use (this was ~4 years ago). Cisco wireless is fairly straightforward to set up and expand, though features are more limited. Aerohive's benefit is the easy+speed of deployment. I've also used the Citrix NetScaler SSL VPN soft client and that works fairly well, though it doesn't compare like-for-like due to the fact that it's software vs. Aerohive, which is hardware.
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Meraki's dashboard is what sets it apart. This allows configuration and modification to be done on the fly from any location. The UI is extremely intuitive. It offers extensive tools compared to other mesh network providers such as Ubiquiti or Google Wi-Fi.
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Return on Investment

  • Initial expense is high due to pricey hardware, though recurring costs make the ROI better over the long term.
  • Remote access is fairly simple and we can deploy entire home setups or even small offices very quickly. This is provides good ROI to get the business moving quickly.
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  • Meraki has made managing and securing our wireless network an easy task.
  • Re-configuring the network is simple.
  • But it does come at a high monetary cost. Additionally, moving to another solution becomes increasingly difficult to justify.
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Pricing Details

Aerohive Wireless

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details