Meraki: A good bang for your buck
May 04, 2021

Meraki: A good bang for your buck

Derek Benson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • MX64

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Meraki MX

We currently use MX64 at our remote locations. They have proven very easy to setup out of the box courtesy of the cloud/IoT platform: within a few clicks and possibly entering some IP addressing they are connected up to your Meraki dashboard for more comprehensive configuration and tailoring. We cannot always go onsite to deploy these and the simplicity of them is very useful when you have an end-user assisting remotely. Otherwise, the MX line does all the major things you could generally want out of a router/firewall, including perimeter security, site-to-site VPNs, etc.
  • The appliances are very, very easy to use. You could set one up for basic use with minimal documentation.
  • Intuitive menus in the Meraki Dashboard make traversing your options and finding what you need very easy.
  • Good support options and a healthy knowledge base with well-written guides.
  • The limitations for my part are closely knit to the pro of simplicity: the simplicity of these devices (not just the MX platform) comes at a price of limited advanced options. You are not going to be tailoring your interfaces at the same in-depth level as you would on a Cisco or similar CLI-based platform. Most of the time you might not have to, though.
  • A bit on the expensive side for the feature set.
  • Meraki has allowed IT to remain mostly hands-off at the sites we have deployed these at.
As noted earlier, we don't have to fuss with these when we deploy them. We just get the ISP information ahead of time, such as our IP addressing, preconfigure the WAN interface on the MX, and ship it out. We walk the end-user through hooking it up, and typically it checks in almost right away for the network staff to manage remotely. This greatly reduces our internal expenses (not to mention time) in flying people around to get hands on; it just isn't necessary.
I have not deployed an MX that supported hundreds (much less thousands of users), but I do know they pair well with the Meraki VPN Concentrators for creating your IPSEC site-to-site tunnels. That said, I can attest to the ease of scaling to remote locations and getting your tunnels up without a lot of headache.
I have primarily used Palo Altos (from the small PA220s to the bigger PA3000s) and while the PAs have a greater learning curve I believe them to be the superior firewall. They are more of a compromise of features/advanced options to ease-of-use, with Meraki leaning more heavily toward the ease-of-use side of the house. I also find that Palo Alto has a better security suite.
I would highly recommend this option for a small to mid-size business that needs a router and firewall of the "plug and play" sort. No, it is not quite that simple, but it is pretty close. The devices don't require a mid-level to advanced-level networker on staff to deploy or maintain. The licensing is pretty straightforward and it is easy to see in the Dashboard where you stand. It is similarly easy to get support if you need it, and right from the Dashboard as well.

Cisco Meraki MX Feature Ratings

Identification Technologies
Visualization Tools
Content Inspection
Policy-based Controls
Active Directory and LDAP
Firewall Management Console
Reporting and Logging
High Availability
Stateful Inspection
Not Rated
Proxy Server
Not Rated