Gateway Security Nirvana
Updated January 15, 2024

Gateway Security Nirvana

Nathan Roberts | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Meraki MX

We installed the Cisco Meraki MX Firewall about two years ago, replacing a Dell SonicWall 2600. It is the gateway for redundant Internet connections for our organization and consolidates in a single device SD-WAN, traffic shaping, threat protection, access control, content filtering, and routing. It works seamlessly with the Meraki switches and wireless APs that I have on my network, giving me a comprehensive, cloud-based view of my entire network from a single dashboard. Before I had to log in to the firewall, switches, and APs separately (by device, no less) to monitor, configure, and update them, and I had to be on the network to do it. Now from one browser tab, and from anywhere there is a secure Internet connection, I can monitor, configure, and update my network.
  • Provides for a comprehensive, graphical view of LAN and WAN status, including bandwidth consumption over time.
  • The security center allows you to view affected clients and the threats that were levied against them. You can configure the system to email reports. I have one waiting for me in my inbox every morning, so I can review the activity of the previous day. For real-time views, I can simply access the dashboard.
  • The content filtering is easy to configure and works extremely well. Traffic shaping allows you prioritize traffic on the network, such as VOIP and video conferencing, while limiting others, such as social media and music streaming services. You can also assign flow preferences by VLAN; for example, I channel VOIP traffic through a separate WAN interface from all other traffic.
  • The device makes it easy to configure VLANs, by which you assign uplinks and bandwidth limitations and also provide addressing via DHCP.
  • I have appreciated the lengths to which Cisco has gone to document the Meraki product line. And when that hasn't sufficed, the Meraki tech support has been incredible. They will log in to your network and help you get things properly configured if there is an issue or you want to make changes.
  • I purchased the Meraki Insight product, which allows for an extra layer of monitoring of what is happening on your network and monitors connectivity to other networks. It also allows you to set alerts for when your network, your ISP's network, or the remote connection is having an issue. This is extremely helpful, but I feel this should be included in the base product considering the price of the support package.
  • It is designed to work with other Meraki products. If you install this product but your switches, APs, cameras, etc, are from another vendor, you will be missing out on the integrations and insights that come from managing your network from a single, cloud-based dashboard.
  • It has dramatically reduced the time and effort associated with monitoring, configuring, and updating my network.
  • The appliance has been rock solid. We've never had an outage that can be attributed to the device.
  • It's fast. VOIP, streaming, video conferencing, file transfers, etc, all happening simultaneously and nary a hiccup.
As stated, you can do everything inside the browser: configuration, monitoring, diagnostics, etc. The mobile app allows for network monitoring and simple diagnostics, but not configuration. That's ok: the app provides for simple, easy check-ins to ensure everything is up and running as designed. For serious work, you use a browser. But that's really the point, in that you don't need anything else. You don't have to stand at the device. You can literally be a thousand miles away and make changes to your network. That's a game changer. I can update policies and check on security from literally anywhere there is an internet connection. Since my entire network is Meraki, not just the firewall, I can manage everything on my network from a single browser tab. That's worth every penny.
Since I opted for an all-Meraki network, the integration means I can manage everything on my network from a single browser tab. The Inisght license allows me to monitor WAN health, applications, internet outages, and configure alerts. Again, that sits in the same browser tab as everything else. I cannot emphasize enough the convenience and time savings of having management and monitoring all in one place. And let's face it: security is improved in a number of ways because the switches, APs and security appliance all know what each other are doing. The network admin benefits because reporting, monitoring, and configuration all happen in the cloud. Brilliant!
Scalability is seamless. Redundancy, should you decide to afford it, is built in. As you add devices, locations and networks, all the configuration and monitoring is available in one place for all. You can define policies and alerts for each, too, or use the same across your entire organization. While I only have one location, I have read use cases of Meraki being deployed across entire cities and campuses.
I mentioned I came from a Dell SonicWall 2600, which I felt was
a good product. However, the Cisco Meraki MX Firewall is in a whole other
class. I wanted to be able to manage my networking in the cloud, which the
Meraki line of products delivers. Now my settings are stored in the cloud,
constantly backed up in the event of device failure, and I can access it
from anywhere I have a secure Internet connection. I don't need any special software, no tricks. The interface can be as simple as you want it to be, or you can check all the boxes to see columns of data about what is going across your WAN. Compared to the SonicWall OS, the Meraki interface is a revelation. You still have all the controls and configuration options needed to set up a secure gateway--everything the SonicWall has--but it's so much less confusing to do so.

Do you think Cisco Meraki MX delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Cisco Meraki MX's feature set?


Did Cisco Meraki MX live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Cisco Meraki MX go as expected?


Would you buy Cisco Meraki MX again?


If you want the best of the best, need/want to be able to manage your network from anywhere, and are able to make a commitment to have an all-Meraki network, then the Meraki MX Firewall is for you (keep in mind there are several models of the MX firewall, so you can buy the one that matches your needs). I have a 400 series firewall, which is at the top end, but if you have a small network with just a few users and don't need redundant Internet connections, for example, you can choose a lower-end model. The Meraki line of products is not cheap, but they are worth it if you can stretch your budget. Once you've had a taste of software-defined networking, you will never want to have it any other way.

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
Proxy Server

Using Cisco Meraki MX

While it has staggering array of options and features, the interface extremely well organized. It's clear a lot of thought and effort has gone into the user interface. Cisco has a regular upgrade cadence, too, adding improvements that make sense and, importantly, are well documented.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
Requires technical support
Lots to learn
  • firewall rules
  • traffic shaping
  • routing
  • content filtering
Yes - The mobile app is for monitoring and simple troubleshooting only. There is almost no configuration available through the app. That said, the monitoring works very well and the simple tools provided allow basic troubleshooting. Essentially, the app allows one to see what's happening on the network, but making changes or setting up devices will require a full browser.