Cisco-Meraki Wireless FAQ: Debunking Myths on the Cost, Licencing & Security of Meraki Cloud-Based Solutions

We frequently come across schools, businesses and organisations who are well aware of Cisco Meraki, but are unaware of its competitiveness against its industry peers. As a Gartner Magic Quadrant company, Meraki solutions come with the kind of superior experience you’d expect from a leader in networking and wireless technologies, but contrary to assumptions this does not mean exclusionary pricing or policies.

Below we answer the most frequently asked questions when it comes to Meraki licences, pricing, total cost of ownership (TCO) and security.

What options are there for licences with Meraki?

Meraki offer 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 year terms, which include the total cost of ownership during these timeframes. One reason we highly recommend Meraki particularly to UK schools is because they only pay for 5 years when taking out a 10 year licence.

What does a Meraki license include?

A Meraki licence incorporates many line items you would see in other solutions wrapped into one, including:

  • Lifetime warranty on hardware (1 year warranty on outdoor APs)
  • All firmware upgrades so you always have the most up to date Meraki features no matter when you purchased your hardware
  • All software updates are included
  • Full use of the Meraki dashboard

How does Meraki compare in terms of affordability?

  • Meraki is much more affordable than most IT departments realise when you consider that you can get a 10 year licence whilst only paying for 5. This makes the TCO cheaper than many other comparable vendors, whilst offering a superior product that comes with the territory of the Cisco brand.
  • On the cost of Meraki, our client Chris Baker from The John Warner School commented, Meraki was slightly more expensive than Aruba, but with Meraki’s licence promotion, we bought a 10-year software licence with 5 years free. Consequently both products worked out about the same price, so I was really pleased that Redway persuaded me to look at Meraki.”
  • Meraki also offer 0% financing with their EasyLease offering. Being part of the Cisco family means Meraki can offer 0% finance where other vendors cannot. Get in touch with us for more information.
  • With Meraki, you will have all the benefits of a mesh network without the cost of purchasing a controller for environments with just a few access points.

Why should I choose Meraki over a less expensive consumer grade solution?

  • With the trending of BYOD and faster devices, networks are seeing changing demands that are causing issues on consumer grade networks.
  • Not only does the Meraki solution allow you to monitor and limit the bandwidth on applications and devices, but the ability for Meraki to add features to your dashboard as the market changes, giving you complete piece of mind that you are future proofing your investment.
  • Meraki’s mobile app means network monitoring and management is accessible on mobile/tablet devices, in addition to being cloud-based and therefore untethered by location.
  • Dashboards can often fall into two categories; either focusing on power and control, or on aesthetics and user-friendliness. The Meraki cloud-based dashboard is both incredibly powerful as well as being slick and intuitive – you don’t need to choose or compromise.
  • Meraki’s APS are nicer-looking than many other vendors, meaning they blend into their settings and are less obtrusive.
  • Meraki’s extensive footprint in the networking industry means you can have a full-stack solution all from the same vendor, including switches. This simplifies network management and saves time

Is Meraki secure?

Yes! Only configuration information passes through the cloud and all user data stays on the local network. If the internet connection goes down, the local area network (LAN) will stay up and running and you will still be able to access shared printers, files, etc. Configuration changes will just be queued until connection is restored (though changing configurations is usually not a priority when the internet is down).

What is on a Meraki BOM?

Each piece of hardware requires a license. For example, if you purchase 10 wireless access points, you will need 10 licenses.

What support will I get?

  • 24/7 proactive phone support from qualified engineers
  • Break-fix guarantee
  • System management and monitoring
  • Remote access troubleshooting
  • Wireless network maintenance
  • User training

If you’d like to speak to us about a Meraki wireless solution, please get in touch with us so we can advise.