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  1. #1
    Untanglit
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    Nov 2017
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    Default Untangle Option To Replace Meraki

    I'm looking for a little guidance on upgrading equipment for a network.

    Right now I have small Meraki Z1 units in the field at multiple locations coming back to a central Meraki MX60. They are using a mix of cellular and wired WAN, and have Meraki's VPN configured to allow communications between the MX60 and each Z1 in the field. The data amounts are VERY small, as it is all machine logging for remote sites. Most of the data is RS-485 that's being wrapped into IP.

    The Meraki equipment has been working for 6 years now, but on new systems we tend to use IKEv2 to allow for interoperability between equipment vendors.

    Is there a way to do this properly with Untangle? Every time I crunch the numbers, it seems super expensive if I used the SD-WAN platform because it's designed for large scale data throughput, and if I drop a small Z4 at each site then I have to pay a license fee for IKEv2 which costs more then the Meraki licensing which includes all features.

    Any good ideas or input from everyone here?
    CMcNaughton likes this.

  2. #2
    Master Untangler CMcNaughton's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
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    Denver, CO
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    Default

    Well...after checking out those z1 devices, I'd probably have some more questions about your network/architecture before making any recommendations, etc. I'd be happy to schedule a short call, or you can shoot me a DM to get a bit more info. The only thing off the top of my head that I can see being a big difference is that the z1 supports VLANs and our SDWR currently doesn't (it will soon: it's one of our top requests/is on our product roadmap). Let me know if you have any questions/etc..

  3. #3
    Untanglit
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    Nov 2017
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    Default

    I think the SDWR could be a good fit, but the pricing just doesn't work for things like this. 50 Mbps is 50x more then what I need traversing the VPN. Even a z4 on the cheapest possible plan for VPN would significantly more expensive then other options.

    I am using the VLAN functions currently. Similar to this:

    VLAN 1 routes to VPN tunnel back to central station controller
    VLAN 2 is DIA for cloud controlled monitoring equipment (ACL prevents access to anything but WAN)
    VLAN 3 local support access interface (with ACL allowing access to to local VLAN1/2 subnets)

    I'm open to having a call. I'll DM you my contact.
    CMcNaughton likes this.

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    Jul 2020
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    Default

    I think you are going to be hard pressed to find Untangle a replacement for Meraki to be honest...we are an MSP and use Meraki pretty heavily for all our clients and pricewise, Untangle seems to think they are competing with Fortigate and PAN for some reason.

    Base Meraki MX67 has IPSec, Has WAN failover/Balancing, has Application control, Directory. Its WAAY Cheaper then a Z4 with those modules.
    Then take a Meraki MX67 add the advanced license which does pretty much everything the Untangle licenses do (hell it even uses same web filter backend) and suddenly your Meraki MX67 is about 1/3 the price of an Untangle Z4 even with the "New" unlimited complete pricing...its sadly not even remotely comparable.

    About the ONLY place Untangle competes with Meraki is the untangle Z4 vs the Meraki Z3....the Untangle Z4 beats the Z3 performance wise hands down, but it loses to the Z3 for many other places (AutoVPN, Wireless, Wan Failover (although lets be honest that's rarely used, application control, Directory).

    I really can't understand Untangles position to be honest...There is no way in hell ANYONE...and I mean anyone can justify the price of the Z4 complete license. against the Meraki MX67 advanced license unless you A, have a hate on for Cisco, or B, really just hate Cisco...

    Z4 complete unlimited with 3 year = $2097 USD.
    My price for an MX67 with Advanced License for 3 years = $1600 CDN (thats $1250 USD).

    Seriously, do you hate Cisco that much that blowing an extra $800 per router is worth it? Because as an MSP, it sure as hell isn't for us...especially when I can take a Tier 1 guy...show him how to setup a single main office + branch office, apply the template, configure the e VPN (which is click a button to enable auto VPN) and let him do every other device without help.

    I REALLY want to like Untangle...but cost wise, its no where near feasible.
    For me, I need a Z4 with complete 3 year to be about $1000 CDN...and then I could use the Z4 Base as a replacement for the Meraki Z3 (although for another $200 I'd love to have a 3 year Antivirus/web filter option for these devices. These would then allow me to replace each remote workers home router with the "Telecommuter Router" with split tunneling and firewall rules and A/V filtering to protect the machines that are connecting to the office.

    Hell, even $1600 for the Z4 Complete for head office would work if I had a $500 option for each "home office".
    MNTech68 likes this.

  5. #5
    Untanglit
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    Nov 2017
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    Default

    I hate to say it because I do prefer Untangle over Meraki, but this is a pretty accurate assessment, especially when dealing with the MX67/Z4/Z3 comparison.

  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    2

    Default

    As a business owner, and geek I really want to like Untangle too but financially it doesn't equate. Looking at the pricing even as a partner, its more expensive then fortigate for some quotes I've gotten which is crazy. It seems to me that 80% of the user base are on the basic untangle OS...15% are on the home license and the other 5% just don't care about money.

    For me to replace meraki I would need to see a 3 year pricing on a Z4 plus with complete realistically be ~$1500 CDN. Where I would make real strides to replace meraki would be for a Z4 with complete for 3 years ~$500 CDN mark....I could easily justify to clients and my techs the change from a Meraki Z3 to the Untangle Z4

    Site to Site VPN is more complicated on the untangle vs meraki for sure, but i think everything else is managable.

  7. #7
    Untangle Ninja
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    1,052

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Minkus32 View Post
    ...and the other 5% just don't care about money.
    Those of us small business owners who pay for Untangle may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but at least some of us do care a great deal about money. How we chose to spend our money, and with whom, is our own business.

    I don't hate Cisco. I have a brother-in-law who has done very well financially in Cisco support. May they live long, and prosper.

  8. #8
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Default

    And the rest of us don't like products that shutdown due to clerical error.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  9. #9
    Master Untangler TirsoJRP's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    Default

    For me the reason is simple: as an Non-profit I get a good price on a product that uses my own hardware and don't need to call a partner and 2 different departments to get a simple quotation.

    I am still waiting on a Fortinet partner to answer my call, Sophos didn't bother to contact me again when I let them know that I was on UT Non-profit.

    Don't need to train people to use it and support has been as simple as:

    Me: Hi, I have a problem...
    UT: Let me see... Fixed
    Me: Thanks
    jcoffin likes this.

  10. #10
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Default

    Untangle for non-profits or governmental agencies makes perfect sense.

    However, Untangle commercially faces stiff competition from other better known products. This comparative to Meraki is not a bad one, and the OP is correct to point it out. And, YES, I have LOST SALES over this.

    Untangle Commercial flat costs too much, hardware is getting more expensive not cheaper as time goes on so expect things to get harder not better over time.

    The painful part to me is that this comparative is even a thing. Untangle provides THREE different VPN terminators, soon to be four. Meraki? One... and it relies on that busted Windows L2TP client that breaks in every single hotel room everywhere. Then the routers themselves, horrifyingly limited in the name of "easy" VPN. Honestly, as an engineer I HATE being constrained into that box, all it does is force the client to spend more.

    But that's the game isn't it? Spend less now to spend more later... more trips... more money... Everyone wins right? Everyone... except those of us with an actual conscience.

    And don't get me started on my love hate relationship with the pricing buckets... the market wants those gone too. Untangle usually makes sense if calculated at max utilization, but if you're at the bottom of a bucket... it sucks. But I also don't want the headache of a month to month per device accounting billing system... I have enough of that with M365 I don't need any more!

    In the end though... AV is baked in now, inTune + Defender Advanced handles all that. Cloud based policies and controls, easily implement a DNS based filtration system that neatly ticks all the boxes.

    That is... until someone's browser decides to use its own DNS for "privacy" and bypasses the entire system... because that isn't happening on all major browsers by default now or anything.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 09-22-2020 at 12:50 PM.
    Synical likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

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