Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller vs. Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Score 8.0 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 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Score 9.9 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 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 3800 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 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Considered Both Products
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

No answer on this topic

Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Chose Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Compare to the Cisco Aironet 2800 serie there is not a really big difference. The 3800 is more powerful.
Regarding the Meraki access points the solution is really different than the Cisco Aironet 3800.
Both are good but are maybe better in some situations.
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 3800 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 9.6 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.6 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.6 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points (discontinued)
Likelihood to Recommend
7.5
(13 ratings)
9.0
(30 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.1
(1 ratings)
7.9
(3 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.2
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
9.2
(7 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
7.6
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 3800 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
As any Cisco Aironet Access Points, the 3800 model is more for power users than beginners. It is for sure very more complex to maintain and trouble shoot than solutions like Cisco Meraki APs.
By the way, there are a lot of settings that can be customized and it is really interesting for difficult environments like industrial factories.
The 3800 model is also robust so it should stay durable and reliable.
But if you want to use the mesh mode or make a wireless bridge, this model is not appropriate as it is not supported for now.
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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
  • Cisco APs are managed very easily from a Cisco WLC controller.
  • Cisco APs provide lots of enterprise-grade options such as rogue detection and automatic power configuration.
  • Cisco APs have many different mounting options, which makes them very versatile in a healthcare environment.
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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
  • Outdoor capabilities. We have actually blown up a few outdoor units. Water got inside the outdoor units and had visible rust
  • Costs compared to other AP’s in the market. Ruckus and EnGenius work out a bit cheaper
  • Mounting options are limited
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
It works great and [we] will definitely renew.
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Discontinued Products
We are all happy with Aironet and Prime.
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Performance
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Discontinued Products
The Cisco 3802 product performance is excellent. Not only for the speed and range of the wireless it provides, but also for the fact that - when deployed in a large scale environment - the performance does not fail. It provides the same network connectivity for users ranging from 1 to 30-plus concurrent connections.
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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
No answers on this topic
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
The usage scenario was different. I don't see this as a benefit versus harm comparison, necessarily. What happened was that, at a certain point, the implementation of the cisco solution was the winner of our public bidding process and with that, we implemented it and have used it ever since.
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Scalability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Discontinued Products
Contrary to a solution like the Cisco Meraki access points, the Aironet access points like the 3800 are linked to the Controler. And depending on the version of the controller, it will support only some models of access points.
For big sites, it may be difficult to upgrade the controler to support new ap models like 3800 because we still have old access points.
And it is also the same between new access points and old client devices so it is always a bit tricky.
After that, if the access point model is supported by the controller, it is really simple to install a new one
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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
  • Users are able to carry on with their work while moving, changing seats, rooms or having an ad-hoc Skype meeting on the way to lunch. It is always hard to justify the value of connectivity but be assured, when it is not working the business impact is immediate.
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