Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller vs. Ubiquiti WLAN

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Score 8.1 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
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.1 out of 10
N/A
Ubiquiti offers a family of WLAN products, namely the UniFi line of products.N/A
Pricing
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
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 ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.1 out of 10
WatchGuard Secure Wi-Fi Cloud
WatchGuard Secure Wi-Fi Cloud
Score 8.7 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 ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Likelihood to Recommend
7.6
(13 ratings)
8.9
(15 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.1
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
9.2
(7 ratings)
1.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
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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Ubiquiti Networks
Ubiquiti is well suited to not just indoor WLAN access, but also outdoors. In fact, the range of the outdoor applications, while maintaining throughput is astonishing. I would say this is not a solution for a 1-5 person small office, due to the costs.
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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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Ubiquiti Networks
  • The access points are rock solid for uptime. Once configured, they don't skip a beat and you'll forget they're there.
  • Excellent range and signal strength.
  • Very comprehensive configuration and administration via the UniFi Controller software.
  • The Ubiquiti access points look great! Whether wall or ceiling mounted, they are discrete and neutral enough to just blend in with the building.
  • Being powered via PoE, it's easier to place the access points where they're most useful.
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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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Ubiquiti Networks
  • Management of devices has become much simpler with the UNMS application, but personally, I would like to see some AirMax-like devices from their Unifi line where everything could be managed from an Unifi controller.
  • Most Ubiquiti devices are 24V PoE, which is the bane of my existence. I have had several devices fried when staff plugged into standard 48V PoE. They generally don't fail catastrophically, either. You just get strange issues that are difficult to diagnose and eventually need to replace them.
  • Devices seem to have trouble with many patch cables/switches. Make sure you certify any patch cables you make and don't over crimp.
  • Sending devices from the factory with same 192.168.1.20 IP instead of DHCP makes it a pain to bulk-setup devices.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
It works great and [we] will definitely renew.
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Ubiquiti Networks
No answers on this topic
Usability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Ubiquiti Networks
Ubiquiti makes great Access points at various tiers provided far better coverage and throughput than consumer-grade wireless repeaters and routers. We have not had any performance complaints from guests or from the administration who use the wifi on a daily basis.
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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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Ubiquiti Networks
Ubiquiti's support is basically non-existent by design. However, their forums are a great resource if you are willing to do the research and ask questions. Keep in mind Ubiquiti sells hardware, not support so the responses will be from the community of professionals also using Ubiquiti just like you.
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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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Ubiquiti Networks
We have used products from Netgear, ZyXEL, Cloudmesh, Datto, Mereki, and EnGenius previously often choosing products based on a specific situation, since starting with Ubiquiti [WLAN] we have pretty much stopped [usage] of all other vendors in the networking field and standardized which better allows us to stock spare equipment. Best part is if you need to replace equipment it is easy to swap it out quickly as the controller also acts as a live configuration backup.
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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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Ubiquiti Networks
  • Initial ROI was positive - but now we need to replace them
  • We were able to deploy rapidly - configuration is easy if not consistent
  • Upgrades are easy to apply when they don't take the radios offline - which happens more often then not
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ScreenShots