Is Cisco Meraki a router or a firewall?
The answer is – both. Cisco Meraki MX is an integrated router and next-generation firewall and can also act as a traffic shaper and Internet gateway. You can manage it centrally over the web. The MX series comes with a wide range of exclusive features. You can easily install, deploy, and manage it. It uses intuitive web-based administration, which means you don’t need to have specialized training and dedicated staff when using it. Its cloud-based centralized management allows you to build seamless multi-location networks, benefit from automatic firmware upgrades, and a lot more.
The Cisco Meraki MX series supports the leading intrusion prevention (IPS) with the help of an integrated Sourcefire engine. Intrusion prevention is carried out using pre-defined security policies which determine the level of protection you need. The Sourcefire engine refreshes the rulesets daily to ensure maximum protection against the latest vulnerabilities and online threats. These updates are pushed via the cloud to the MX devices used by customers within an hour. There is no need for manual staging or patching.
This Cisco Meraki appliance combines threat protection along with integrated malware/anti-phishing and cloud content filtering. As a result, network admins enjoy a robust security solution that is quite easy to deploy and maintains itself seamlessly.
Who Should Buy Cisco Meraki Firewalls and Why?
As more small businesses are exploring digital transformation and seeking all the advanced security and networking this transformation offers, the need for automated services is becoming even greater. Cisco Meraki Firewall appliances can fulfill these needs and are ideal for office branches, data centers, and distributed enterprise environments.
- Cisco Meraki MX series appliances provide small businesses with Unified Threat Management.
- Meraki firewalls are 100% cloud managed and equipped with comprehensive security features.
- They help reduce the complexity and save you money on multiple appliances because they are like an all-in-one appliance – routers, firewalls, internet gateway, and traffic shaper.
- Cisco Meraki MX firewalls facilitate easy intelligent site-to-site VPN with the Auto VPN feature. It automatically generates VPN routes using IKE/IPSec that can connect with all IPSec VPN devices and services.
- In case of a connection failure, automated MPLS to VPN failover is resolved in just a few seconds, keeping the downtime to a minimum over remote access.
- Cisco Meraki MX series has SD-WAN capabilities with each firewall. Software-defined WAN reduces operational costs and improves the performance of resources that are accessed remotely.
- These appliances include all the advanced security services that you can expect from a next-generation firewall.
What are the advanced security features offered by Cisco Meraki?
Cisco Meraki MX series appliances offer all the cutting-edge security features and services that next-generation firewalls come with. These advanced security features and services are as follows:
- Cisco-developed SNORT
- Content filtering
- Geo-based firewalling
- Remote access connectivity
- Advanced malware protection
- Layer 7 fingerprinting
The Layer 7 fingerprinting service allows businesses to identify PUAs and unproductive content so that the valuable bandwidth does not go waste on time-wasters such as BitTorrent.
How to Find the Right Cisco Meraki Firewall?
When you are choosing a firewall from the Cisco Meraki MX series (such as Cisco Meraki MX 100, 64, or 84), it can be challenging to spot the difference that helps you decide which one is more suitable for you. In such cases, the devil is always in the detail. Here are enlisted some of the main key differences that will help you find the best Cisco Meraki MX firewall for your network.
Power over Ethernet (PoE)
See if you need a firewall with PoE capabilities. Firewalls with PoE capabilities come with built-in power supply capabilities which allow you to install these devices even in those places where traditional power outlets aren’t available. Besides, this also reduces the need for separate power cables.
Wireless Firewalling Capabilities
Some of the Cisco Meraki firewalls offer wireless firewalling capabilities. This feature integrates Cisco Meraki’s leading wireless technology in an SMB-friendly compact form factor. This way, you will enjoy unified central management of all network security and wireless devices.
Virtual firewalls are also great because they provide you with the benefit of simple configurations and appliance-less deployment. Cisco Meraki MX100 is added via Amazon Web Services or Azure and can be configured directly in the Meraki dashboard just like you would manage any other firewall appliance.
Meraki MX 64 vs. MX65
While both models look similar and clock in at 200 Mpbs of Advanced Security Throughput and offer 100Mbps of VPN throughput, only MX64 can be converted to support WAN and it includes 3 dedicated GbE RJ45 interfaces. On the other hand, MX65 has reached the end of sale in 2019.
MX 100 vs. MX 64 vs. MX 84
MX 100 is recommended for businesses with 500 users and offers 500 Mbps VPN throughput. MX 84 is recommended for businesses with 200 users and offers 250 Mbps VPN throughput, and MX64 is advised for small branches with 50 users and offers 100 Mbps VPN throughout.
By now, you can easily figure out that the Cisco Meraki MX series is the best choice for small and medium businesses who want easy-to-deploy and easy-to-manage routers and firewalls within one appliance. Their stately features and security services make them ideal when it comes to networking and security.
Note that you will need to buy a PoE license for Cisco Meraki appliances separately.
If you are looking for Cisco Meraki routers and firewalls for your SME, please get in touch with us via WhatsApp at +971585811786.