Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller vs. Cisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Score 8.2 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco 5520 Series Wireless LAN Controller is a highly scalable, service-rich, resilient, and flexible platform that is ideal for medium-sized to large enterprise and campus deployments.N/A
Cisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Score 9.4 out of 10
N/A
Currently supported by Cisco, but no longer sold, Cisco recommends migration to the Cisco Catalyst 9100 Family of Access Points, which offer greater performance and flexibility.N/A
Pricing
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
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
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.1 out of 10
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.1 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
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Likelihood to Recommend
7.8
(13 ratings)
9.7
(20 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.1
(1 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(2 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(6 ratings)
Support Rating
9.2
(7 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(6 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 1800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
I consider that its implementation is recommended for configurations where the amount of access points exceeds 50 devices and the performance exceeds 4 Gbps. In environments where the access point density is less than 10 units, we can use the option of Express Mobility.
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Discontinued Products
Cisco [Aironet Access Points] are well suited in offices where they can be managed by a wireless LAN controller (WLC). Using them in this way allows the APs to be well managed and security policies can easily be enforced down to users connecting to these APs for wireless access. Scenarios, where Cisco [Aironet Access Points] are less appropriate, are in small-office-home-office (SOHO) situations because of price and licensing costs to use a WLC to manage them. Thus, using them, in this case, would be that the APs would have to be in Autonomous mode, and the technical know-how in converting a lightweight AP to an Autonomous one is not straightforward.
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Pros
Cisco
  • It has the ability to manage all Cisco access points that we have, regardless of the model. The limit is 1500 pieces of equipment.
  • The WLC enables roaming functionality in the localities, this helps with collections, wireless IP phones, and access with notebooks.
  • The WLC manages the quality of the "air" and "signal" of the 2.4ghz frequency, avoiding noise and interference.
  • The WLC has an interesting feature of visibility of the traffic of the internal network.
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Discontinued Products
  • Until 2018, our Aironets were 1560 series, and each was managed separately. We had about 9 devices, 3-4 per floor, strategically placed on each floor to get a good coverage map over a three-floor environment. Their coverage was greater than expected. With the latest 1852 models we have, they are managed by a controller, and frankly, the coverage is a smaller area, requiring more units. We have worked with support for months and this is the final outcome of all the setting changes - we simply need more devices to cover the same area.
  • None of the models I have used have needed reboots. We usually only reboot the devices annually, and they don't have issues requiring restarts.
  • With the 1560 series, the connection strength was extremely consistent. With the new 1852 model, which is managed by one of the WAPs as a controller, it is supposed to use smart technology to load balance (optional) and determine which of the WAPs is appropriate to connect the requesting device to - great idea - but it does NOT work well.
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Cons
Cisco
  • We have had some issues with access points losing their configurations and going offline. This is not a common issue and we are not entirely certain if it is a fault of the controller or the individual APs. That said, the controller does not appear to retain the knowledge of the offline AP which can be a management headache.
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Discontinued Products
  • On the Mobility Express models, it’s hard to configure all from the GUI, and sometimes the GUI is buggy
  • In Mobility Express, the (virtual) controller is not able to push the right image to the APs. This sometimes results in not joining the APs
  • Some minor issues with firmware
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
It works great and [we] will definitely renew.
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Discontinued Products
If Cisco keeps innovating the feature sets on the next 1800 models, I would definitely try it out to improve the experience of my users and to keep them on the latest technologies
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Usability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Discontinued Products
Pretty straightforward guide, which was built since OEAP600 AP's and never improved, this is a good thing for user to tackle when they configure the personal SSID, but does not reflect how it should be in 2020, where everything is mobile compatible and app ready. Cisco are going to have an app for this, but it comes with greater cost.
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Performance
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Discontinued Products
Performance is great until you hit load towards the higher end of its rated load. So if you have a super highly congested wifi area, you will want to either deploy a higher end unit or split the traffic to a few of these guys to not see bandwidth issues that you may see otherwise.
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Support Rating
Cisco
Cisco is always available if we need support. If they are unable to solve the problem right away, they will reach back to us in a timely manner and advise what we need to do. Their team provides additional guidance as well if we hit any stumbling blocks. Their service has been great.
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Discontinued Products
If you are able to identify the problem initially, you would be able to explain it to the TAC. In order for the TAC to understand it, the TAC engineer must be competent enough to understand it, and have the devices already in lab to test with. Each bug I encountered the TAC was able to help. And I was able to file at least 3 bugs on the 1815T and M.
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Alternatives Considered
Cisco
Cisco is the most stable company in switching parts including wireless, and it has the most powerful support team with a lot of online documents, community, and market share so when you get stuck, you can find support from anywhere. And usually, you won't need it as its product is very stable and reliable.
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Discontinued Products
Cisco Aironet has it place in the modern workplace and is great for single location deployments creating a good robust affordable solution. Installing them in a plant that has exposure to environmental elements they have stood the test of time, well so far. If you are looking for multi-location, multi-national or international deployments with a single plane of glass the Cisco Meraki MR's are a better choice, enhancing the time to deploy and ease of management.
Read full review
Scalability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Discontinued Products
It can easily support growth and be deployed in multiple locations. The access point has an integrated controller that can manage up to a certain amount of equipment in different locations. Setup is instantaneous and takes approximately 10 minutes to configure itself.
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Return on Investment
Cisco
  • [It provides] centralized management.
  • Implementing the [Cisco] 5520 [Wireless] Controllers offered us a huge improvement in administrative time over our previous Cisco 3850 deployment. Being able to see all of our APs on a single controller as well as centrally manage them is a great benefit. This also removed the need to deploy specific equipment in different IDFs throughout our Industrial locations and instead only requiring switches with Power Over Ethernet (POE) capability.
  • Wireless performance has improved with the deployment of our 5520s, which allows our plant operators to do their jobs more efficiently while on the move.
  • Having three Cisco 5520 Wireless Controllers provides tertiary redundancy for our wireless networks. The solution is elegantly simple. Preventing downtime is, obviously, a profound part of our supply chain capabilities.
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Discontinued Products
  • We can be in Mobility Express mode where the AP provides the controller functionality to support a small to medium deployment without requiring a dedicated controller.
  • Access Points are centrally managed via a WLC reducing the management overhead for deployment, configuration, and upgrade.
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