Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points vs. Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
Score 9.2 out of 10
N/A
Aruba Networks offers wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions via its variety of wireless access points.N/A
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Score 9.5 out of 10
N/A
Cisco offers the Meraki (MR) line of wireless access points supporting basic LAN with inbuilt antivirus (NAC), cloud management with network-wide access control, and location analytics, as well as support for indoor and outdoor spaces of various sizes across different product models.N/A
Pricing
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Considered Both Products
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
Chose Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
For our company, Aruba was cheaper than Cisco, which is what we replaced. Also, I feel Aruba was more stable and we had fewer issues overall. We were always having issues with our captive portal with Cisco but with Aruba we have had no issues. As far as features, both have …
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Meraki is a good choice for a full featured solution for many remote locations and varying type of WiFi users. Not a great solution for single site or few type of WiFi user profiles. Not well suited for large sites as the license costs compound and will be less costly to use …
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Cisco Meraki provides a management portal which makes the provisioning and configuration process much easier than with other vendors. It also provides out of the box security and visibility features without needed to purchase additional products or add on licenses. The …
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
As an overall preference, Cisco Meraki Wireless was selected because of their customer service and attention to detail to the account. They have carved out a nitch in the market and are growing their own way and style under Cisco but feels so different than Cisco. Comparing …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Likelihood to Recommend
9.8
(14 ratings)
9.2
(34 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
8.2
(4 ratings)
9.4
(11 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
7.8
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Likelihood to Recommend
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
It is possible that we have a bad luck with the deployment. However, It is capable to perform enterprise-level security to fit some of the organization's standards. With Airwave and other tools, it's easy to manage and administrate your wireless environment. Make aware of the IPsec tunnel from each user to the controller if you are using Clearpass for NAC. If you have a remote office with local resources, you will need controller or IAP to route traffic locally. If you have many remote offices, you will need to deploy controllers or IAP in each office, which lead to additional cost and management.
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Cisco
I think the best solutions for Meraki APs are kind of that remote office branch office type of situation where you need to provide coverage for say a restaurant or a retail location, but you have less skilled IT employees there. So you can remotely configure those devices to ensure that you're running at peak performance. I think the places where that may not be the greatest fit is in a traditional large enterprise. And that's mostly because the IT departments there are a little bit more seasoned and full-featured. And the advantages of Meraki really can't be recognized there as much as they might be.
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Pros
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • They offer both a controller-based and controller-less option. This allows customers of all sizes to deploy a wireless network without the upfront cost of controller hardware. A controller can be added later.
  • Aruba also offers Airwave which is a single management point for all AP swarms in the environment. It offers many reporting features as well as visual RF maps displaying heatmaps of the AP signals and client positioning.
  • The Aruba Access Point we have (224s and 225s) also offer both PoE and external power supplies for those smaller deployments that may not have PoE capable switches.
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Cisco
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless does a GREAT job marketing their product and building your trust. They offer free and very informative webinars that offer free gear for your home network. They rely on word of mouth marketing and it simply works. They offer great try and buy programs as well. They stand behind their product and trust the technology.
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless administrators dashboard is top notch. Their wireless UI interface is integrated with all other Cisco Meraki Wireless products. This makes it easy to use. It has single-use credentials and is seamless.
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless support is also top notch. While they are backed by Cisco, Meraki always feels like you are working with a small business that takes your account seriously. They are specialized and a rare breed in the industry. Getting support from them is a pleasure!
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Cons
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • We have had a bunch of these stop working after a power outages. We are guessing a surge or something caused them to stop working.
  • Some of the documentation is outdated. It seems they like to make changes to how things work and it usually mean less access and insight into the devices you manage.
  • The auto signal strength feature could use a little work. It seems like even when we turn it down all the way it tries ot increases the signal strength.
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Cisco
  • Depending on your business size and budget, the cloud based subscription model may not acceptable to upper management.
  • Must maintain subscription to utilize Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Points.
  • Additional functionality and support for Mobile Device Management (MDM) comes with an additional cost if you want telephone support, otherwise it is limited to a certain number of devices and tech support via email only.
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Likelihood to Renew
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
The Cisco Meraki WiFi Access Point dashboard and support license is mandatory so to continue usage we will need to renew the license. We may opt to purchase a more current WiFi generation device if something newer is available at that time. Currently, happy with the use of the dashboard as it is very feature rich.
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Usability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Aruba Networks Wireless LAN is very intuitive to use. After the initial learning curve for the Aruba OS platform, it is straightforward. Day-to-day tasks, such as deploying an access point with a configuration, are very straightforward. Standard incremental system upgrades are also very intuitive. If you have any past experience with Aruba network switching or Cisco switching, the command structure is relatively similar.
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Cisco
The Meraki dashboard is an excellent tool to administer and manage the Meraki WiFi Access Point. Navigating the dashboard is intuitive and there are lots of use cases on the Meraki site. The dashboard is the key to having a great administrative experience with the product, easy to use, fast to find information.
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Support Rating
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
It is a reliable and complete solution for providing wireless network to users. I had no technical problems during those years. The Aruba controller and access points have always worked very well and we have greatly improved the relationship with customers and we now have absolute control over the wireless network traffic. It has quality assurance and support with efficient service as well.
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Cisco
Cisco Meraki support has been very helpful when it comes to troubleshooting and supporting their products. There is an online knowledge base with tons of documentation and there is also 24x7 phone support available as part of the dashboard license. Every time I've called support, the engineer I spoke with has been very informative and dedicated to resolving my problems.
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Implementation Rating
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
There were documents that detailed how the WiFi Access Point was to be installed and mounted. The only issue was to cable the device, we use a third party for this type of work and typically has to be performed after normal business hours. Other than that, the installation was easy.
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Alternatives Considered
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Cisco Aironet did not even compare to Aruba, Aruba was so far advanced from Cisco back when we used them. Aruba solved several business problems all in one ecosystem, all Cisco did was acted as somewhat intelligent Access Points. Aruba enabled us to leverage VoIP, use APs as VPN endpoints/devices, manage individual devices as assets, etc.
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Cisco
I've found that Meraki Wireless Access Points are able to stack up against all of the other access point manufacturers I've used. I think they are more usable and easy to understand when compared to others like Fortinet, Aruba, or traditional Cisco wireless. I do think the features offered are enough for almost all companies looking for a good wifi plan. They have less detailed settings than Aruba and Cisco so if you have complicated deployments they might be missing some options you are after. Keeping it simple is how Meraki wins. They also have a much easier way to do a zero-touch deployment. You can add the access points in the dashboard and get them running very quickly. They can be managed from anywhere without a VPN or local connection which gives them an edge over their competition.
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Scalability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
It has nothing really to do with the product itself. I think it's more of the positioning of the Meraki dashboard, kind of edging the simplicity over the deep contextual configuration type things. Giving me a little bit more access to tweak certain things would definitely raise that rating.
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Return on Investment
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Excellent uptime and reliability
  • If licensed properly, failover is easy
  • The newest version upgrade is somewhat cumbersome as they want us to replace hardware, which seems silly, so we are on the most current legacy supported version. Once unsupported, we will need to replace hardware.
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Cisco
  • KPI generator: Generator of commercial indicators that help us define the client's profile.
  • Consumption data: See in which the network is occupying the consumption by application and user.
  • Heat zones: See which is the area of ​​interest most traveled by the end user.
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ScreenShots