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Cisco Meraki SD-WAN Netify Review

Sector, Company Type, and Location:Manufacturing  |  Healthcare  |  Retail  |  Education  |  Financial Services  |  Government  |  Hospitality  |  Vendor  |  Europe  |  Asia  |  Australia  |  UK  |  North America  |  South America
Tags & Search Filters:SD WAN  |  XDR  |  CASB  |  ZTNAand 13 more tags  |  DIY SD WAN services  |  Co-managed SD WAN services  |  SASE Cybersecurity  |  MDR  |  FWaaS  |  SWG  |  MPLS  |  Endpoint protection  |  SIEM  |  Security service edge  |  Next-Generation Firewalls  |  Featured on Gartner  |  Support for 4G/5G

Meraki delivers SD-WAN, integrated security, licensed software, management and orchestration tools. Cisco supports a broad global customer base, with approximately 46,000 SD-WAN enterprise clients across diverse sizes and industries. In the coming 18 months, Cisco plans to focus on enhancing their security dashboard by integrating third-party Security Service Edge (SSE) for dual-vendor SASE support. Meraki is often used with the retail and healthcare sectors where their CCTV and strong WiFi capability are recognised enablers to their specific needs.

Resources and Downloadable Content

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Hands-on test of Meraki SD-WAN

The goal of our test was to understand the setup of Meraki SD-WAN and SASE Security solutions using our demo portal. The test focused on several key features:

  • Network setup
  • Device integration
  • Security enhancement through Cisco Umbrella
  • Deployment of the Meraki Umbrella SD-WAN Connector

I started with the Meraki dashboard in order to create the initial network setup by naming the network - for example "Netify - Wireless" - and selecting the network type from a range of options such as Wireless (MR series) and Security appliance (MX series). In use cases where there are numerous devices are connected, the 'Combined hardware' option can be selected. Adding devices to the network required entering order numbers or serial numbers and then selecting 'Claim' to include the desired devices.

I created a new network, customising the network name (SSID) and setting up security with WPA2 encryption. Careful attention was given to the access control settings to establish connection policies and authentication methods. In addition, I configured firewall rules and traffic shaping policies to manage network usage. A guest SSID was already set up for visitors to ensure they had internet access while maintaining network security.

Below: Meraki is capable of easily viewing network-wide stats by applications.

Meraki Network Wide SD-WAN

After setting up our Meraki WiFi device and conducting a connection test, I found  that the Meraki Dashboard test showed the expected speed of 200Mbps for wired clientsRegularly monitoring network performance using the Meraki Dashboard helped to identify and address areas with high utilisation, latency, or packet loss.

Setup of Cisco Umbrella required me to generate an Umbrella API Key and secret, and then inputting these credentials in the Meraki dashboard under the Cisco Umbrella account section. This step was required before setting up DNS traffic through Cisco's Umbrella DNS service to create an additional layer of security.

The final phase required deploying the Meraki Umbrella SD-WAN Connector via the Cloud On-Ramp in the Meraki dashboard and adding the API keys from the Umbrella dashboard. The deployment process was initiated by selecting 'Connect to Cisco Umbrella', entering the management API key and secret, and then choosing 'Deploy'. The selection of the Data Center location pair for the Connectors was the last step.

Below: Creating a site-to-site VPN is fairly simple with Meraki.

Meraki Site to Site VPN

We also wanted to take the opportunity to configure Meraki CCTV cameras. We completed an initial camera setup by accessing the Meraki dashboard. The steps we followed enabled fast setup of cameras, they included selecting 'Network-Wide' > 'Devices' to find the camera. Then we clicked on the camera for settings, set the camera name and adjusted resolution and frame rate video settings. Under 'Analytics', we enabled motion alerts and define zones for activity detection.

Meraki's SD-WAN has seen significant evolution over the years. Around 2018, some users felt that Meraki's SD-WAN was essentially a cloud-managed version of dual-homed routers with auto failover. Over time, Meraki's SD-WAN has matured and expanded its capabilities. Users have reported positive experiences with the ease of deployment, uptime, and hardware reliability.

Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of Cisco Meraki SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity?

List of the pros and cons associated with Meraki SD WAN and SASE security.


  • Strong Market Visibility: Cisco Meraki SD-WAN has huge market presence with a large global partner base.
  • Effective Sales Channels: Cisco has established go-to-market strategies with accreditations across their partners to help clients engage the right expertise.
  • Aligned Product Strategy: Meraki's product strategy includes focusing on AI networking, integrated security, scalability, and cloud onramp capabilities.


  • Customer Experience Challenges: Cisco has a below-average customer experience rating.
  • Product Selection Complexity: The existence of separate SD-WAN solutions (Catalyst and Meraki) with different management platforms may complicate product selection and affect long-term investment value.
  • Uncertain Market Investment: Financial details about Cisco's specific investment in the SD-WAN market, including Meraki, are limited.
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Comparison: Meraki vs HPE Aruba vs Fortinet (FortiGate) vs Viptela SD WAN & security

Consider the points below to compare Meraki vs HPE Aruba vs Fortinet (FortiGate) vs Viptela SD WAN and SASE security.

Cisco Meraki

  • Meraki is a good choice for businesses with many branch offices requiring granular features - such as retail businesses. They also cater for small businesses with low-cost offerings. 
  • Meraki supports broadband, Fiber, MPLS, and 4G/5G LTE cellular failover underlay connectivity. 
  • Meraki accesses cloud vendors such as Azure, AWS, Alibaba Cloud and Google Cloud via virtualised appliances. 

HPE Aruba (Silver Peak)

  • HPE Aruba is angled towards large global enterprises, with complex requirements. 
  • HPE Aruba does not provision or support underlay connectivity - it is always provisioned via a third-party MSP. 
  • HPE Aruba offer access to AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud. 

Fortinet (FortiGate)

  • Fortinet is suitable for large global enterprises, connecting branch offices globally with their SD WAN and SASE offerings. 
  • Fortinet supports MPLS, Internet, and 3G/LTE underlay connectivity.
  • Fortinet Security Fabric offers security for public cloud environments such as Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud, Azure, AWS and Alibaba Cloud. 


  • Viptela is suitable for large global enterprises with complex requirements and a robust IT team. 
  • Viptela supports MPLS, 4G/LTE, broadband and Internet underlay connectivity.  
  • Viptela accesses Azure, AWS and Google Cloud via a cloud-agnostic backbone for site-to-site and multi-cloud services. 

Similar Vendors

Top 3 similar SD WAN Vendors

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Service Providers

Which managed service providers offer Meraki?

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EuropeAsiaAustraliaUKNorth AmericaSouth AmericaSD WANXDRCASBZTNADIY SD WAN servicesCo-managed SD WAN servicesSASE CybersecurityMDRFWaaSSWGMPLSEndpoint protectionFile analysisIoT securitySIEMSecurity service edgeCloud workload protectionManaged security

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Frequently Asked Questions
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Deployment Region

North America34%
Europe, Middle East and Africa26%
Latin America13%
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Other Focus

Remote users7
Complex requirements7
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