Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller vs. Ubiquiti WLAN

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller
Score 9.7 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points (EWC-AP) is a next-generation Wi-Fi solution, combining an advanced controller – the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers – with a Wi-Fi 6 access point – the Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points – to create a wireless experience for evolving and growing organization.N/A
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
N/A
Ubiquiti offers a family of WLAN products, namely the UniFi line of products.N/A
Pricing
Cisco Embedded Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco Embedded 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 Embedded Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco Embedded Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
WatchGuard Secure Wi-Fi Cloud
WatchGuard Secure Wi-Fi Cloud
Score 8.6 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 Embedded Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Likelihood to Recommend
9.9
(3 ratings)
8.9
(15 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
-
(0 ratings)
1.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco Embedded Wireless ControllerUbiquiti WLAN
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
Overall I could see myself recommending these to others if they have the right set of circumstances at their place of business. Those would be like ours, if they had a location that couldnt be served by a WLC. Once setup they are easy to manage and self healing as in they wont go down when one is offline.
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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
  • Offers enterprise-class security that keeps the network protected
  • Cost-effective connectivity
  • Deploying WiFi 6 network without complexity or added expense
  • Controlling access points and clients
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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
  • Some bugs in the interface.
  • Issues with licensing and Cisco DNA integration.
  • Frequent software patches needed,
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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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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
No answers on this topic
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 Embedded Wireless Controller provides the ability to manage and deploy the wireless network from a web UI or mobile application, and without the expense or complexity of a wireless controller appliance.
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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
  • Makes having remote sites less problematic when it comes to managing AP's
  • Saved money on managed AP's as they're found cheaper
  • Takes more time to manage additional controllers versus a WLC
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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