MR57 or 9166?

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

MR57 or 9166?

I am quoting up a bunch of APs for a high-density office deployment.


I'm going to run with a 6E AP.  I feel safer with an MR57 - but the 9166 is cheaper, and is tri-radio.  The 9166 looks both better and cheaper.


But is it more reliable than an MR 57?  I will take reliability as my first selection criterion.


Does anyone have experience with either of these APs?

Building a reputation

Haven't used either in production but one advantage the CW9166 has vs MR57 is the dual-persona feature where it can be flipped to run in Cisco Catalyst mode on a 9800 WLC. This might be redundant however if you'll never need this feature.


If you only care about 5/6 GHz radios you could consider the CW9164 as well as it has 4x4:4 radios? The trade off being it has 1x 2.5Gbps Ethernet vs dual-5Gbps on the MR57/9166 and can't run in dual-5 GHz mode

A model citizen

There is no dual 5Mb on the 9166...
The mr57 has a much higher USB power output.

Getting noticed

Correct, not sure what datasheet I was reading at the time there!

Meraki Employee
Meraki Employee

One other key advantage of the 9166-MR is availability. If you check lead times in CCW you'll see what I mean.

I justed checked available of the MR57 as you suggested, and it is a non-starter now.  Now it is easy - there is only one "choice".

I deployed MR57's in Tokyo quite a while ago and switched to CW9166-MR's for other offices due to availability issues and honestly they were less expensive and a tad smaller than the 57....  All of wireless at Cisco and Meraki  is under one team. 57 was first, the CW91's are all are derivative of the 57...and they are all from the same  Cisco Meraki Team.

Still waiting on what the extra wattage on the 57's USB port is for...

Kind of a big deal

I think you’ve answered your own question there @PhilipDAth 

Why go with an unknown as it’s your reputation on the line with your customer.  If you can wait out the lead times then go with your gut feeling.

Darren OConnor |

I'm not an employee of Cisco/Meraki. My posts are based on Meraki best practice and what has worked for me in the field.
Head in the Cloud

I have a few CW9164 and CW9166 and they are working well. I bought 22 CW9164 and will install them the next few month in a big office.

Head in the Cloud

Rumours are saying that WiFi 7 will run only at CW accesspoints. What I think is that MRs are running out and new accesspoints will be only CW.

Here to help

Any new thoughts on this topic since lead times are better now?

I have a choice to deploy either or, and was thinking that the MR57 is better, purely based on the support of the Dual 5 Gbps multigigabit Ethernet ports, giving an aggregated uplink to switches of 10Gbps

Current estate it Cisco Aironet 3700 APs with 5500 WLC

I will be deploying MS390-48UX2 switches, which makes me more inclined to go with the MR57


As always, the community thoughts are always welcoming

>Dual 5 Gbps multigigabit Ethernet ports


Personally, I think this is a non-feature.  I have never observed an AP Ethernet port even hitting 1Gb/s.


I would rather than 2 x APs with a Gigabit port each, than 1 x AP with a 10Gbe port.



The MS390 has had a LOT of issues.  I would personally avoid this model, and go for anything else.  Check out these other [rock sold stable] options:



Yes, MS390s have a lot of issue even today, however, they support SGTs, which is why we went with them.

Recently built one of our new offices with 20xMS390s and 80xMR57 with dual port aggregation enabled to two different switches. The main problem I have found with the MS390s, is the stacking. It works well until there is un update. I have mitigated this by building Core-->distribution--->access switch, with fiber links from each switch to distribution, even though the switches are stacked in threes.


Anyway, about the WiFi, our network design are WiFi first design, switches in use to create links for APs and other wired infrastructure.

The MR57 does have a higher DB antenna, but then again, the difference is minute, and don't think it is really worth worrying about.

I guess the additional features are a "nice to have" and maybe I will just go for the more cost effective solution between the two or even three, if I consider the CW9164

I will take another look at the design to make sure if I lose 1 link to an AP there will be good overlap from other APs to cover the areas


Thanks for the feedback

I have personally used the CW9164, and would happily recommend them.  They have been very solid for me.

Building a reputation

Hey @PhilipDAth I'd personally go for the CW9164 - you can't use the IoT sensors in the 9166 and I don't value having an SDR in the 9166 either as I'd just use it in 6 GHz mode anyway. The only time the 9166 is worth it is if you're doing Cisco Blue and have Spaces to take advantage of the IoT sensors. 

the MR57 is too much AP for no usable reason. Dual 5 Gbps ports... not worth it. You won't get anywhere near 1 Gbps anyway!

Please feel free to hit that kudos button

Thanks for the feedback here, I think I am going to throw the CW9164 into the mix to study too. Maybe even the CW9166 is a little overkill, however, we tend to build for a 5 year hardware refresh, so maybe within the next 5 years the additional features may be handy.


I don't think there is any push from meraki to use the IoT sensors in the 9166 as they already have their own IoT sensors available. You will never need more than 1 Gbps over the Ethernet connection unless you're planning on running 160/320 MHz wide channels (which you never will in an enterprise environment). 

Please feel free to hit that kudos button
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

We are moving from MR42/52 to CW9192/9166 as we move to Wi-Fi6(e).  We pretty much skipped Wi-Fi6 with just a few MR44s in sparse corridors. 


The 9166s have been good and we do use them in dual 5GHz mode as we have quite a lot of wireless voice devices and each radio should be limited to 10 devices.  The only caveat I would say, is that you need to use CAT6a and nothing less for reliable 5Gb connectivity.

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