If you’ve updated your internet circuit in the past few years but not your firewall, one of Meraki’s new MX devices may be a worthwhile investment for your company.
Bandwidth has come a long way from the days of dial-up internet. There are certainly perks to this advancement, but when coupled with emerging cyberattacks, you need the right solutions to protect your IT environment.
Cisco Meraki’s newest additions to its firewall lineup meet the latest demands of technology and cybersecurity.
Meraki revealed the MX75, MX85, MX95, and MX105 in June 2021, announcing that they come with the long-desired feature of gigabit capacity. At The KR Group, we’ve recently begun selling and implementing this technology into our customer’s data centers.
This new series offers better throughput than its predecessors while still operating with the intuitive Meraki dashboard.
If you’re considering a new firewall for your IT environment, these are some of the specifications you’ll want to consider:
- Gigabit capacity
- Security features
- Ideal customers
While critical, the above five features represent only a fraction of the features in the new Meraki firewalls.
Use the following information as a starting point, but do additional research to learn all the ins and outs of any device you want to implement.
As cloud services become increasingly prevalent among businesses, Meraki has answered the need for faster internet with 1 Gbps connections.
The VPN throughput for the above firewalls has also increased compared to previous models. The MX75 and MX85 can support 500 Mbps for VPN connection. The MX95 can handle 800 Mbps through VPN, and the MX105’s VPN connection scales up to 1 Gbps.
Remember that the security features you’ll read about later in this article may take up some of this total bandwidth. However, each of these devices offers a significant increase in throughput from previous Meraki models.
SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)
The increased throughput is also crucial as organizations deploy SASE (secure access service edge) in their IT environments.
SASE combines VPN and SD-WAN capabilities with security features designed for cloud services. This includes secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, firewalls, and zero-trust network access.
We won’t dive into the different facets of SASE in this article, but if you still have questions, you may find Cisco’s explanation informative.
For this article, understand that SASE is a firewall feature that accounts for the overall increase of relying on the cloud.
You guessed it. This feature is included in all the new Meraki firewalls.
Along with SASE and SD-WAN features, the Meraki firewalls incorporate enterprise-grade security to reduce the risk of a breach for organizations of all sizes.
From Umbrella encryptions, SSL inspections, and advanced malware protection, these new Meraki devices should address your security needs without compromising performance.
All of Meraki’s firewalls are considered next-generation and incorporate layer 7 visibility, and you’ll review all information and manage the devices from the cloud-based dashboard.
If you’re used to the pricing of the MX64 and MX84, the costs of these new Meraki firewalls may give you a bit of sticker shock.
However, you’ll want to keep in mind that these new products offer a similar jump in features. As a result, you’ll find the price for any other firewall with gigabit throughput capability and enterprise-grade security comes at a comparable cost.
To give you an idea of what to expect, the MX75 costs around $1,500. This is at list price but still a sizeable jump from the $600 MX64.
None of these prices include the mandatory licensing you’ll need to purchase to use your Meraki gear.
When thinking about pricing, you should also keep in mind that these are the latest firewalls Meraki offers, so their end-of-life date will be the furthest out.
Also, by working with a certified Cisco Meraki partner, you could get a better price as they pass down any promotional pricing to you.
There are multiple scenarios where you may find a Meraki partner discussing the option of an MX75, MX85, MX95, or MX105 with you.
We won’t review all of them, but here are a few of the most common situations:
- Your current firewall(s) is at or nearing end-of-life.
- You’re looking for a firewall that can meet your current or future 1 Gbps internet connection.
- You’re looking to update a Meraki device and extend your co-termination licensing.
As far as which device is best for you, here are some general (but by no means hard and fast) guidelines:
- The MX75 is suitable for up to 200 users.
- The MX85 is a good fit if you have up to 250 users.
- The MX95 works for businesses with 500 or fewer users.
- The MX105 is recommended for organizations with up to 750 users.
Of course, if you’re unsure if the new MX series is right for you or which device to choose, your partner will have the most up-to-date information as it relates to your specific needs.
Learning about the Latest MX Series
The MX75, MX85, MX95, and MX105 are the latest of Meraki’s line of firewalls.
While they offer the same cloud-based dashboard, licensing, and general security features, Meraki has also designed this series to stand out from previous models.
The most significant and anticipated new feature is the ability to handle the throughput of a gigabit connection — or more in the case of the MX95 and MX105.
Security-wise, you can expect enterprise-grade protection, including Umbrella encryptions, SSL inspections, and advanced malware protection.
There is a decent price jump from previous Meraki firewall options. However, if you’re a customer looking for the above features in a firewall, you’ll find it’s comparable to other options.
For more in-depth information about the latest Meraki MX devices, download the datasheet that reviews all of their features.