Cisco Meraki MR Series - Great for schools
Branden Beachy | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 28, 2020

Cisco Meraki MR Series - Great for schools

Score 8 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Meraki MR Series

We are a school district with about 6,600 students in 9 buildings and various other buildings. We have almost 600 Meraki APs throughout the district. The Cisco Meraki MR Series is easy to manage and has performed well for us overall. We are a 1:1 district, so almost all of the 6,600 students have devices that access the internet over wireless, so having good wireless is critical.
  • Easy management. Tag-based policies and SSID broadcasts make changing things a breeze.
  • Easy installation. All APs come with clips to mount them to ceiling tile brackets and are easily installed and upgraded.
  • Firmware is sometimes problematic--seems like firmware is in beta forever before being released.
  • Some features are hidden and can only be turned on/made visible with a call to tech support.
  • All students are able to access the internet (and do testing, which is internet-based now).
  • Staff has not had to spend a lot of time on wireless issues.
We used to have a few buildings with legacy Cisco wireless controllers and access points, and they were always a lot more work to take care of and make changes to. They were not tied together, so if you wanted to make a change across the district, you had to make the change on each controller. I will grant that they might have had a few more "power user" features, and maybe options wouldn't have been hidden like they sometimes are by Meraki, but those things were minor compared to the difference in ease of use.
Getting ahold of support has never really been a problem. They have always been more than willing to talk and work with us. Early on, there were issues with some of the versions of firmware, and it seemed that we would get different answers from different support engineers, but more recently it has improved, and on the rare occasion that we need help, it is readily forthcoming.

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We think Cisco Meraki MR Series is well suited to large installations like schools such as ours. We don't really have much more, if any, work to do with 600 APs than when we only had 200, and as we get ready to open up another school with another 100 APs, we don't foresee much more work. Once they are provisioned and added to the "network", they just need to be plugged in.

I'm not sure I have a scenario where they wouldn't be suited. Maybe if all your other network equipment was another brand, and that brand also had APs, then it might make more sense to go with them, but otherwise, Meraki fits in pretty much anywhere.