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Top 4 Myths about Meraki Licensing Explained

by Jason Blalock on April 14, 2016

meraki licensing

In browsing around message boards online, we've noticed that a lot of people out there have a lot of hesitations revolving around the Meraki networking system and, especially, issues with the Meraki license.  It's sorta new and it's different, so we understand totally why businesses would want to think carefully before investing.

However, a lot of the stuff we're seeing and hearing just isn't true, or is at least wildly overblown.  Meraki may not be for everyone, but it's not deserving of the level of fear\distrust many seem to have towards it.  And it has a lot of positive aspects as well!  We may be licensed Meraki partners, but we're also certified with ADTRAN and Netgear and many other brands as well, so we've got no reason to play spin-doctor here.  If we didn't think Meraki was worthy, we wouldn't have added it to our portfolio. 

So today, we wanted to take a look at some of these claims and talk about the reality behind it.

Short on time? Download our guide to Mesh Network solutions

Meraki Switch

Dispelling Common Misconceptions About Meraki Licensing

1 - The hardware is worthless without licensing.

Well, let's start with the elephant in the room, and the one claim that is somewhat accurate:  It's true that if you don't keep your Meraki gear in-license, it ceases to operate.

However, is this really different from other brands?  Most network hardware needs to be licensed for full functionality.  You won't get very far with unlicensed Cisco gear, for example.  

And Meraki gives you plenty of advanced notice and plenty of leeway.  There's only one license-renewal date, no matter how many licenses you have, and you're given steady reminders starting at the 90-days-remaining point.  Even if you go past the end date, you get a free month of continued service during which you can get back into license penalty-free.  It's not that big a deal.

2 - Meraki Licensing is a scam/ripoff.

Honestly, it's not.  Meraki relies on a cloud-based system that has to be kept running 24/7 with at least four-nines uptime, and that costs a lot of  money for Meraki to maintain.  Without the cloud system, Meraki simply could not perform like it does, and the ease-of-use would be impossible to achieve.  

This isn't some scheme to lock you into payment plans.  You're being provided a truly unique next-generation service for your money.

Which brings us to the next point: 

meraki networks

3 - The long-term TCO isn't worth it.  

Another common belief is that Meraki licenses drive up the long-term costs to the point it isn't competitive.  What this claim doesn't take into consideration is what else you get along with the license:

  • Lifetime hardware warranty with next-business-day replacements in most cases.
  • Lifetime unlimited 24x7 technical support through any method of contact.
  • Lifetime software, OS, and (if applicable) malware\antivirus\intrusion updates.

As long as the licensing is kept current, Meraki fully supports its hardware no matter how old that hardware is.  If you're buying warranties or software support for other brands, you're probably paying at least as much as you would for Meraki.


Plus, Meraki brings significant time-savings as well, further decreasing TCO, because it's one of the easiest brands on the market to deploy and manage.

Meraki AP

4 - Meraki can't scale.  

This is a holdover from problems with previous mesh/virtualized networking schemes.  Other brands, have difficulty scaling above the hundreds-of-devices level.  Meraki is the only mesh-based network with unlimited scaling capability, into thousands of devices or more, with no performance problems. Meraki is being deployed by huge organizations, successfully, with great performance regardless of scale.


If you're interested in Meraki why not take advantage of their free trial program? Cisco Meraki will ship the gear to you and provide full tech support to get you set-up. If you don’t want to keep it, just send it back! Click here to find out more!

Topics: Meraki