Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Reviews

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Mahesh Sharma | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
[Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller] is used in our whole office and provides WiFi access to all our business rooms, [our] electronic lab, [and our] research and development lab. It is used by our embedded research and development department. It solves our information technology team issue which was generated due to multiple access points (AP). Now, it provides a single AP for remote locations. It provides multiple deployment modes, so managing the network is very easy now.
  • [Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller] provides end-to-end and real-time voice services, [as well as supporting] cloud calling, which is beneficial for our team management.
  • It supports 802.11 ac which is a next-generation solution with higher customer satisfaction [via] multi-gigabyte speed performance. So it provides the best ethernet flexibility for our network team.
  • In our premises, research and development labs are very far from each other, so [a] mesh network with [an] Aironet access point resolves our long cable communication issue.
  • [It also has] higher video application support, [which] is very suitable for our business.
  • Term-based licensing support could improve [for] easy deployment.
  • Voice support for conferencing and messaging should be improved with [the] latest technology.
  • Threat management is not as expected, which [should be] compatible with [the] latest wireless mesh and video technologies.
We use Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller support in [the] office where [the] embedded innovation lab is required for IoT research and development. Where for [practical] purposes, one device is in one lab and [another] device in [another] lab and they require higher network connectivity for testing purposes. It provides [a] single access point so it [is] beneficial for medium and small research-based organizations. [However,] it is very useless at high altitudes and polluted areas, [where the] network is disturbed due to noise signal and unwanted frequency. [A]utomatic configuration is not available and not supported [for] higher threat modeling.
Nathan Linkon | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller is a Wireless LAN Tool [that] we have been using in our organization for the longest time. We also have wireless applications as well in our business. I believe that this [product] has solved all our [space problems] and not meeting on a frequent basis. Altogether, as our organization is bigger in size, [...] this software just seamlessly integrates and accommodates users too. I feel that the support being offered to users, including me, is quite satisfactory. [...] Even when I am in need, they send engineers [...] to fix it who have the right expertise, knowledge, and experience to do this. The support team also has some very effective equipment which is also very good.
  • [...] One thing which always fascinated me is the user interface because it is very friendly in nature.
  • Also, with this tool, [my team and I] have started feeling more secure and safe because this platform does not require any such implementation as all the security patches happen on their own.
  • One of the main pros of this app is that because it is so compact, it makes this platform a very good travel option as it is also portable [and] can be easily carried anywhere.
  • In spite of all the good things, I personally feel that it would have been much better if [...] there was a slightly easier experience [during access lists] overall.
  • Moreover, sometimes with this platform it becomes a little tricky to use the product.
  • Also, whenever someone makes a new firmware change, it [...] changes the software and makes the chance of templates almost impossible.
I would highly recommend this software to others because, first things first, it has so many numerous features which cater to different people and different businesses. Even this Cisco [3504 WLAN Controller] has some very light access points due to which I think this is a good platform. [...] You should definitely try [Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller] out. When it comes to the support team here, I would like to say that this platform [offers] the world’s best wireless tools out there.
Sayanta Banerjee | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller is used by our department in our organization and it has shown fruitful results. It helps our organization with fixing networking problems through the fast transmission of data. It also helps us by providing active resilience, and highly scalable infrastructure. Because of that we can reduce or expand according to our needs.
  • Self-healing and self-optimizing wireless network
  • Support of Multigigabit Ethernet Technology
  • Quiet operation with a very small form factor
  • Highly resilient and compact
  • Hassle free 1:1 product demo
  • More tutorials on installation
  • Courses on educating people about the product before deployment
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller is very well suited for medium-sized organizations. It provides fast network connectivity and wireless transmission with the support of multigigabit Ethernet technology. It is highly scalable which means you can reduce or expand your requirements according to your needs. It is also very well optimized and self-healing with Cisco Clean Air technology. Additionally, it provides SD-WAN support, along with high compactness and resiliency.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are currently using the Cisco 3504 WLAN controller as our controller for guest wireless. We have the controller in our DMZ and use it as a foreign controller which connects to an anchor controller. We then use Cisco ISE to do the guest wireless authentication. This works really well for us and we have been very pleased.
  • The Cisco 3504 WLAN has a very easy to use GUI interface that makes it easy to configure.
  • We feel secure running this controller since Cisco is good about putting security patches out regularly
  • Integrating with Cisco light weight access points seems seamless and has been extremely easy
  • It would be nice if creating access lists were a little easier on the 3504.
Since we have nothing but Cisco lightweight access points in our environment, this controller is the best suited for us. The interaction between the controller and APs works really well. We are able to have our controller located in our datacenter and we have APs throughout the state that are able to connect back to the controller. We are able to manage everything from a central location which makes life easier for all of us. Users are able to go to any of our locations and automatically connect to the wifi and get to everything they need to.
Felipe Santos | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The main reason for buying a Wifi controller was thinking about having automatic management and provisioning of the access points because there are many and it would be very difficult to configure one by one. We have two Cisco WLC 3504 to supply the demand of more than 40 access points spread in some places at the regional level. WLCs, in addition to managing access points, offer other very important services for security, monitoring, and enable features such as CleanAir for access points with this capability. The WLC 3504 has a policy classification mechanism and allows us to maintain a level of control at the level of the user's device based on the policy definitions we have created and this greatly increases our security on the wireless network.
  • Portal with user authentication.
  • Control by applications.
  • Management of the entire wlan network.
  • Portable and compact.
  • Support up to 150 access points.
The Cisco WLC has a number of very interesting features. One that we use a lot is application control and visibility. We have a vision of what users access and with that we can create blocking policies to prevent unauthorized access and bandwidth savings. Cisco is one of the leaders in this segment and the products are of a high level. I recommend this WLC 3504 for small and intermediate environments with support for up to 150 APs and the management of up to about 3000 simultaneous users.
Duncan Hernandez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco controllers have been around our company longer than I have. From my experience, it is great at managing our wireless networks. The biggest worry is security and those settings can be a hassle, but I think Cisco does a great job at the management options surrounding that. Managing our users has been easy as well.
  • Responsiveness
  • Mobility
  • Centralized management
  • Keeps getting more expensive.
  • Firewalls for guests.
  • Unified code.
Switching controllers is the biggest upside as these don't last forever. It's great that you can manage multiple sites from one controller and you don't have to configure each location one at a time. If you absolutely must have firewalls on guests, it may not be the best, but this is a really unlikely scenario.
Engr Umer Usmani | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I am using Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller for [the] unification of my wireless network. I have 35+ Cisco APs which are registered on Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller and all APs are managed through this controller. All wireless users which [include] Head Office and Remote Office users enrolled in Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller. I configure multiple SSIDs for different functions to separate network traffic.
  • Flex Mode in Awesome
  • All APs can managed on single controller
  • Multiple SSIDs can configure with dedicated VLANs
  • MAC Filtering
  • Clean Air to reduce unwanted wireless traffic
  • Rough AP mitigation
  • Its advanced dashboard need some improvement in GUI
When you have saturated wireless users and need more APs to accommodate users, then Cisco wireless solution with Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller is [much] needed, as you can add up multiple profiles and manage all APs on a single window with proper monitoring. When there [are] many wireless devices surrounding you, then [the] wireless controller can handle legitimate traffic. Although, it is not suitable for [a] small wireless network in which you have 2 or 3 APs with [a] minimum number of SSIDs and VLANs.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Moving from multiple wireless routers to a single Cisco 3504 controller was a breathtaking decision, it optimized our network in multiple ways such as network traffic, network monitoring, network stability and enhanced security and using the DNA features provides better management of user profile, groups and end points, we got a secure network access throughout the organization.
  • It comes with many inbuilt features so you don't need a separate monitoring or managing tools i.e. Cisco Clean Air Technology provides better network stability and security.
  • Cisco DNA SD Access makes it easier to manage user profile and groups.
  • It supports more than 100 AP and up to 3000.
  • Disaster management and auto recovery.
  • Lacking integration with third party software i.e. not Microsoft Active Directory.
  • There is a space for improvements for monitoring dashboard.
Suitable for detail network monitoring and analysis, managing high volume of users and for smooth network connectivity and power saving.
There is always a room for improvement in terms of integrating with new software or products and customization to meet upcoming customer requirements, better for indoor use can be optimized for outdoor use.
September 02, 2021

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
This WLAN Controller was implemented within a small/medium business company to solve the problem of personal devices connecting via WiFi to gain internet access. This solution was for guests and mobile access users, for internet access only. It was deployed at headquarters to serve around one hundred concurrent clients.
  • Deployment
  • Manageability
  • Troubleshooting
  • Access portal can be better
  • Integration for authentication on other platforms
[I feel] for small and not very complex deployment this WLAN controller is very well suited. It hardly has any problems. It's easy to install and gets up and running very quickly. [I believe it is not well suited] for complex projects or integrations. It's not very easy or flexible to integrate with MFA or other authentication platforms.
Umair Ali Khan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller has been a part of our IT infrastructure for more than 2 years now. We are mainly using it to manage our entire wireless network including our head office and remote offices. All our access points are registered on it and we can view and control all our wireless users from a single dashboard.
We have two units in a HA pair and they have been working fine since the deployment.
  • Centralized management of Access points and WLANs
  • Centralized Management of users
  • Single pane of view for all wireless statistics
  • Auto Failover
  • Backed by Cisco's global support
  • Auto configuration backup is not available
  • OS upgrade in a HA pair
  • Better searching option in mac address filter list
  • Direct integration with microsoft AD without using ISE
Cisco has a wide range of wireless controllers and 3504 is the entry level controller. It can support up to 150 Access points. Therefore it is very well suited for medium sized enterprises , however small businesses can also use it in their networks but it is not so light on the budget and small businesses will find it very expensive.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We purchased the Cisco 3504 Series Wireless LAN Controller as a direct upgrade and replacement for an older 2000 series model. It was purchased to increase our WLAN deployment and get some much-needed performance increase. We are using it at multiple sites as a way to manage, upgrade, and configure Cisco access points.
  • The user interface is faster and more responsive than the previous model.
  • Well built and sturdy hardware.
  • Included racking equipment was a nice touch.
  • This generation, the prices on these seem to have increased.
  • Cisco could do a better job of phone support.
  • Also they still seem to lack their Cisco touch when it comes to licensing.
The 3500 series is something I would recommend to just about any business looking to manage their Cisco access points in a smoother and faster way. Rolling out a large amount of AP's in a short amount of time is probably the best part of the WLC system. As well as keeping up with a demanding workforce.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It's the main controller for our WiFi solution. Used across all branches and multiple offices. The main problem it solves is central WLC for AP which are in remote locations. Adding prime solution with WLC helps to understand the reporting of wireless users and WiFi usage patterns. Being small and lightweight its most efficient WLC out there.
  • AP management.
  • Guest WiFi solution.
  • User reporting.
  • User or client roaming.
  • More AP support.
  • Integration with firewall for Guest WiFi.
  • GUI could be improved.
Good for streaming telemetry. It's well suited for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Guest WiFi solution. For small offices and remote sites you can use Bonjour and Chromecast services as well. Same controller can act as centralized mode for campus environments and for lean branches deployments. It's not suited for large multi campus environments.
Cisco TAC is well known and SLA levels are great. Cisco support website and Cisco communities are another help for issues resolution. TAC is always supportive over Webex and helps to resolve issues pretty fast. This is another assurance for people to go with Cisco as the TAC capabilities are proven for all product lines.
Benjamín Marrón Rojas | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As Cisco Partners, in our organization we have already implemented several 3504 devices for our small clients that do not need more than 120 Access Points. The problems solved by the 3504 controller are communication between all departments of the organization, focusing on mobility without the need to be physically in your workplace.
  • Mobility. There is no need to have wired devices.
  • High Availibility. By implementing two WLC 3504 we can create a solution that is redundant of the SSO type.
  • Easy to Deploy. Simply connect the equipment and through a wizard and we configure the WLC.
  • I think that the price is a little bit expensive in comparision with other vendors.
  • Maybe need to add a redundant power supply.
  • Maybe better time for booting the WLC.
The scenarios in which we could use the 3504 controller could be many, based on the size of the company or the place where it is intended to be placed. Since the WLC 3504 is limited to 150 Access Points and 3000 clients or connections we can say that it is It is better to implement this type of solution with small to medium-sized clients. If a higher density of users is required, a more robust equipment would be need to cover the total capacity for the wirelessly connected devices.
The support for this equipment is very good because they provide support only from engineers specialized in each area, and if necessary, the issue is scaled with another area for a solution. On the other hand they can attend to you 24 hours a day and if your device has a hardware-related issue, they send you a new device the next day so you have the least amount of disruption of service.
November 08, 2019

Cisco Wireless Solutions

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It is used across our remote locations in Central America, including using local switching and AP 1852 connected to the WLC.
  • Simple to use.
  • Clean air technology.
  • No failures so far!
  • Licensing price is high.
  • Not fully compatible with DNA.
It is well suited for both local and remote branches and uses.
We have had no issues so far, so there has been no need to contact support.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We started to globally deploy Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller (WLC) when 2504 went end of life. With a WLC it's possible to centrally manage all the access points of one or more sites. This makes management more convenient. So instead of configuring each single AP, it's possible to modify everything in just one place, such as firmware upgrades and that means fewer costs for maintenance.
  • Central management
  • High availability
  • CLI
  • Sometimes with the GUI it's not easy for a new deployment, so we often use CLI
  • Every new firmware changes the order of the CLI configuration making upload of a template impossible
  • They could make a similar code of IOS, in order to unify commands
Best use for a 3504 WLAN Controller is in a data center or in general in central and strategic sites, to control all the local and branch access points. I suggest creating a proper design considering that the maximum number of access points is 150. Avoid installing too many WLC or too few, otherwise, it would mean a waste of money.
This can open an entire chapter, since it's related to the Cisco TAC. It really depends who is taking charge of the ticket, but in general my experience is not that good since it's not easy to find a good engineer for wireless support. More often I found more skilled people while I was handling ISE issues.
September 05, 2019

Cisco WLC 3504 Review

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source
We currently use the Cisco 3504 for small to medium sized wireless deployments for our customer's wireless deployments. We haven't utilized the integration with SD-Access and DNA Center yet but plan to in the near future. We have been replacing the older 2500 series WLCs with these to get the added throughput and additional visibility they offer.
  • Centralized Management of wireless APs
  • Added visibility and analytics on traffic and utilization
  • Enhanced GUI thats easier to use and provides more details than its predecssors
  • Faster AP failover in the event you lose a controller
  • Would be nice to see SFP+ ports instead of 1 mGig port for additional connectivity options
  • The upgrade process could be more streamlined like Meraki where you can do everything from the GUI instead of having to login to, find the new version, upload it, etc.
The 3504 is great for mid size wireless deployments where you don't expect the number of APs to exceed 100. The platform is much faster than then older 2504 and have added a bunch of enhancements. I wouldn't recommend this for enterprise deployments due to its scalability. For deployments that scale multiple sites we have used a mix of 3504s and Meraki deployments.
The GUI is easier to navigate as compared to the 2504. Also the responsiveness of the GUI, the quicker failover capabilities and the enhanced visibility are all major improvements over the previous generation WLC.
As expected the support from TAC is second to none. Great for troubleshooting, configuration and hardware replacement if required.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the 3504 as our foreign anchor to another institution's controller. So we can have shared access points, they are sending our wifi out, and on the way, anchoring the traffic to our controller. Its smart simple and working very well. And compared to its former model 2504, it is better because It supports SSO witch we also have configured.
  • Form factor
  • Capacity
  • Function level
  • When I have a 5g port why not also have a 10 g port?
The controller is good for sites where you have up to 150 access points, which is the maximum it can handle. Or, it will anchor the guest traffic out to the DMZ zone from other controllers. It can also be used for FlexConnect remote sites as the controller the APs are connecting to.

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Scorecard Summary

What is Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller?

A 802.11ac Wave 2 solution. Boasting a small form factor and a lot of punch, the 3504 controllers can manage a user's network but won’t take a lot of space doing so.

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Features

  • Supported: Enhanced security
  • Supported: Network stability
  • Supported: Connectivity
  • Supported: Network monitoring and analysis
  • Supported: Network Management
  • Supported: Secure access

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Competitors

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Pricing

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller?

The Cisco 3504 Wireless (WLAN) Controller provides centralized control, management, and troubleshooting for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch offices.

What is Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller's best feature?

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 8.6.

Who uses Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller?

The most common users of Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller are from Enterprises and the Information Technology & Services industry.