Unifi ap vs mesh

Unifi ap vs mesh DEFAULT

Blog

Every day there’s a new item jumping on your home’s wireless network. It’s gone well beyond tablets, phones and laptops. Now the lightbulbs, the thermostat, the wall sockets, the light switches and the kitchen appliances demand wireless access. But, in many residences, wireless dead zones make this growing whole-house dependency on wi-fi a concerning trend.

If you’re worried this means you picked the wrong router, take heart. According to Cnet, while a good router might be strong enough to cover 3,000 square feet of house, you would have to place it smack dab in the middle of your home to achieve that reach. If your router is based in a home office in a far corner of the house, it’s going to need some help pushing that signal into every room. Here, we look at two options for extending household wireless coverage.

Wireless Access Points

If you’re looking to push your wireless signal out to all parts of your home, a wireless access point can help. This is an excellent option to consider if you have a new, or top-of-the-line, router. Rather than adding another signal, wireless access points make use of the router that you already have. A device is added directly to your router which effectively broadcasts that same signal to the underserved areas of your home. Wireless Access Points should not be confused with Wi-Fi range extenders, which are not able to offer as robust a bump in distribution of signal.

A wireless access point will likely require a professional to install, but the advantage of a WAP is that any future issues that arise with the device may be able to be managed by accessing the device remotely–without a technician needing to visit your home. WAPs must be configured properly, and will need fine tuning, so for this reason, it’s best left to a professional.

Mesh Networks

Another option for extending your wireless reach is to bring in new signals. This route will entail connecting new wireless devices in what’s called a mesh network. Once it’s set up you’ll have a relay-race of sorts happening, where one device handles its immediate area, and the signal’s handed off as you move to another room. In high-functioning mesh networks this is seamless. In less-than-stellar ones, however, users may notice an interruption in their signal as they move about the house. Depending on your home’s size and unique layout, the number of devices, or nodes, that you’ll need to achieve full coverage using a mesh network will vary. One advantage of mesh networks is that they are “self-healing.” If one of the devices that make up the network is not working, the network will discover and use the fastest way to deliver the signal. This is because the individual hubs are connected in a web-based manner (thus “mesh”) as opposed to a linear one.

Because mesh networks utilize wireless devices, this route is the more DIY of the two options. What you may gain with ease of installation, though, you may lose in speed. Mesh networks are typically not as fast as a hardwired network.

Choosing between a wireless access point and a mesh network may come down to cost of the devices themselves and their installation, and speed or performance you’re hoping to achieve. A WAP is a more straightforward device that acts as a bridge, directly linking your router to your devices, but it does require more attention and tweaking. The fact that it is hardwired may seem like a disadvantage in today’s climate where marketing tells us wireless equals easier. But a WAP doesn’t have to hop from one node to another like in a mesh network, thus slowing the signal down and potentially hindering reliability, two things you really don’t want from your network.

Share This Post

Sours: https://www.smartsysinc.com/blog/wireless-access-points-vs-mesh-network

UniFi Wi-Fi Access Point Buyer's Guide: 2021

Originally Posted: January 24th, 2021
Last Edited: August 29th, 2021

Table of Contents

Overview of UniFi Wireless Access Points

Ubiquiti market their UniFi ecosystem at small businesses, but they can make great home networks as well. UniFi offers more options than typical consumer-grade equipment. If you are a nerd who likes getting their hands dirty, or just want a network that performs better, UniFi is worth a look.

UniFi networks are modular, which lets you pick the components that fit your setup. When people consider going with UniFi, they can usually make their own decisions for their router, switches, and UniFi Controller. They often ask the same question — which access points should I buy? It’s hard to make specific recommendations. My goal for this post is to provide the info you need to make the decision for yourself.

As of August 2021, this guide compares all available APs. There are two Wi-Fi 6 models available, the U6-Lite and U6-LR, and a few more in the Ubiquiti early access store. I will continue to update this guide as more models are made available. If you’re interested in the performance of the U6-Lite, U6-LR, AC-Pro, and AC-HD, see Wi-Fi Speed Tests — Aruba Instant On vs. UniFi.

Ubiquiti make many different access points. They have a list on their site that shows the different models and generations. You can safely ignore all the Generation 1 access points. Those can still be used, but should not be considered for new installations as they are either discontinued, or approaching End of Life (EoL).

The main models to consider are all Generation 2 (AC Wave 1), Generation 3 (AC Wave 2), or WiFi 6 models. See the charts below, or my full UniFi Comparison Charts for more details.

Specialty Models

Unless you have a specific need for them, you can also ignore most of the specialty models.

  • UAP-AC-EDU is an AC-Pro with a built-in loudspeaker. This model is discontinued and stopped receiving software updates in March 2021.

  • UAP-AC-SHD is an AC-HD with an extra radio dedicated to RF monitoring using Ubiquiti’s AirView and AirTime.

  • The XG series (UAP-XG and UWB-XG) are overkill for most networks, especially home networks — more on those later.

  • The UBB-US is a 60 GHz point to point bridge with 5 GHz failover, meant for linking two networks up to 500 meters away.

In Wall and Mesh Models

In-Wall APs are meant to be mounted in a standard 1-Gang electrical wall box. They can provide Ethernet connections for downstream devices, thanks to a small built-in switch. They also feature PoE pass-through, which allows you to power a security camera, VoIP phone, or other 15W PoE device.

Mesh APs are the best option for mounting outdoors, or an area without Ethernet. They allow you to extend a UniFi network with a power injector and wireless backhaul. All 2nd generation or newer UniFi APs can work this way, but the mesh models have antennas designed specifically for long range mesh performance. Wireless backhaul will not perform as well as wired, but can be the best solution for certain situations.

Essentially, mesh access points act as a wireless bridge when you are connected to them. One radio talks to your device, while the other relays it to the next-closest AP. This is why wireless backhaul will generally have higher latency and lower speeds than using Ethernet backhaul.

Always run Ethernet to your access points if you can, even the mesh models. If you’re running Ethernet outdoors, make sure to use outdoor cabling, shielded RJ45 connectors, and properly ground your installation.

From Low to High in Specs and Price:

  • AC-Lite: The old baseline. Unless you find it below it’s $89 MSRP, the WiFi 6 Lite is the better option going forward.

  • WiFi 6 Lite: The smallest, cheapest Wi-Fi 6 AP. This is the new baseline option.

  • AC-LR: LR stands for long-range. It offers higher transmit power, and can reach further distances. Like the AC-Lite, the WiFi 6 Lite or LR is the better option going forward.

  • AC-Mesh: If you need longer-range wireless backhaul or outdoor coverage, this is a good option.

  • BeaconHD: If Ethernet isn’t available, this is a good indoor mesh AP. It plugs directly into an electrical outlet, and pairs well with a UDM. For more details, see my full review of the BeaconHD and UniFi Smart Plug.

  • nanoHD: This is the cheapest 802.11ac Wave 2 access point, offering 4x4 MU-MIMO and fast 5 GHz performance. The WiFi 6 LR is the better option going forward, but the nanoHD offers good 5 GHz performance, and should be supported for years to come.

  • FlexHD: The same radios and capabilities as the nanoHD in a different form factor. It’s meant to be mounted on a desk or a shelf, and can also be used outdoors. It also makes for a good mesh AP.

  • WiFi 6 LR: The long-range version of the UniFi 6 Lite. It steps up to 4x4 5 GHz radio, allowing for longer range and higher throughput than the 6 Lite. Until more models are available, this is the best Wi-Fi 6 AP you can get.

  • AC-HD: The best AP for high-density networks. Until a Wi-Fi 6 replacement arrives, the AC-HD is the best option for supporting a lot of wireless clients in a small area. The only step up from the AC-HD are the XG models, which are intended for places like an auditorium or sports venue.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match

Since you can buy them individually, you might want to consider getting a few different models. If you want maximum performance in one area, you can have a WiFi 6 LR or AC-HD there, and use a WiFi 6 Lite or a mesh AP to extend the network into less used areas. If you want to expand coverage in the future, you don’t need to match the APs you currently have. You can add any of them at any time, anywhere you need them.

You can also mix Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 models, but you’ll see more benefits from Wi-Fi 6 when all of your access points and most of your clients support it.

A full comparison of Wi-Fi standards is beyond the scope of this guide. I’m going to highlight the main differences, and the parts that are important for picking an access point.

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) was a big jump in complexity from the previous standard. Because of that, the certification was broken up into two waves. AC Wave 1 devices started shipping in 2013, and allowed some aspects of the standard to be optional. AC Wave 2 certifications started in 2016. Wave 2 increased some limits, and added optional support for some of the harder to implement features. Wi-Fi 6 certifications started in 2019, and Ubiquiti is just starting to release their Wi-Fi 6 lineup.

AC Wave 1

  • Focused on Improving performance in the 5 GHz band.

    • Performance in the 2.4 GHz band remained unchanged from Wi-Fi 4.

  • Mandated support for 80 MHz channels and allowed for up to 256-QAM modulation, both of which increased throughput.

  • Mandated 2 spatial streams, and supported up to 3 with Single User MIMO (SU-MIMO).

  • UniFi AC Wave 1 Models:

    • AC-Lite

    • AC-LR

    • AC-Pro

    • AC-Mesh

    • AC-Mesh-Pro

    • AC-IW

AC Wave 2 Added

  • Wider channels: 80 + 80 and 160 MHz.

  • Up to 4 spatial streams.

  • Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) for transmissions from AP to client.

  • UniFi AC Wave 2 Models:

    • UniFi Dream Machine — All-in-one Router/Controller/Switch/Access Point

    • nanoHD

    • FlexHD

    • AC-HD

    • AC-SHD

    • BeaconHD

    • In-Wall HD

    • UAP-XG

    • UWB-XG

Wi-Fi 6

  • Focuses on efficiency and multi-device performance.

  • Operates in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, but the WiFi 6 Lite and WiFi 6 LR didn’t upgrade their 2.4 GHz radios.

  • Supports up to 8 spatial streams and MU-MIMO in both directions.

  • Increases maximum modulation to 1024-QAM, allowing for slightly higher data rates when near an AP.

  • Mandates support for WPA3 for increased security.

  • Uses OFDMA, which allows for channels to be divided into smaller units.

    • Before OFMDA and MU-MIMO, all Wi-Fi transmissions used the entire channel. This meant only one device could transmit at a time, and performance scaled poorly. OFDMA divides a channel into Resource Units, allowing for multiple devices to transmit at once.

    • OFDMA is a key part of modern cellular networks, allowing them to support more users per cell than Wi-Fi does. With Wi-Fi, OFDMA is only used when both the AP and the client support it. Otherwise, Wi-Fi 6 devices will revert to consuming the entire channel. Early implementations of OFDMA in Wi-Fi 6 haven’t shown much benefit, as tested by Tim Higgins at SmallNetBuilder.

  • UniFi Wi-Fi 6 Models:

    • WiFi 6 Lite

    • WiFi 6 LR

    • Other Wi-Fi 6 models such as the WiFi 6 Pro and WiFi 6 Mesh are still in the early access store.

Antenna Differences

Another thing to consider — some models have equivalent radio specifications but differences in their antennas, and how those antennas perform. An important part of picking the right model is understanding what kind of antenna you need, and how to mount it.

  • Standard dome-shaped access points like the nanoHD and WiFi 6 Lite feature omnidirectional antennas which radiate in all directions. These are the best option for even indoor coverage. Ideally, these should be mounted on a ceiling facing down, as they focus more of their signal out of the top of the dome. Mounting them on a shelf or vertically on a wall is OK, too.

  • The antennas for the In-Wall models and the BeaconHD are designed to be mounted vertically, in an electrical box or outlet. These focus their signal in front and behind the AP, making them better at covering the floor they are on than the floors above or below.

  • The AC-Mesh and AC-Mesh-Pro offer slightly more directional antennas, making them suited for long range wireless backhaul.

  • The FlexHD and WiFi 6 Mesh are meant to be mounted vertically, either on a tabletop, a pole, or in the ceiling with their ceiling mounting kit. They also make good mesh APs.

  • Refer to Ubiquiti’s radiation patterns for more details.

AC Wave 1
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
2x2 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 867 Mbps
Indoor only
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W) or Passive 24V
MSRP: $89

The AC-Lite is a basic omnidirectional AP, offering good-enough performance for most networks. It’s dual-band, supporting 2x2 SU-MIMO and data rates up to 867 Mbps. Like all 2nd generation or newer UniFi APs, it’s capable of functioning as a mesh AP using wireless backhaul. The AC-Lite was my default recommendation for a long time, but that is starting to change with the release of Wi-Fi 6 models.

The Wave 1 APs like the AC-Lite are older, but they aren’t dead yet. Ubiquiti is still selling them, and probably will for a while as the Wi-Fi 6 models roll out and have limited availability. Even after the are removed from sale, software support should continue for the foreseeable future. The last AP EoL announcement gave over a year of notice, and I expect the same for the Wave 1 APs. The AC-Lite is still a good basic access point, so hopefully Ubiquiti will continue to support it. If you’re worried about future support, the new WiFi 6 Lite is the smarter buy.

AC Wave 1
3x3 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 450 Mbps
2x2 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 867 Mbps
Indoor only
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
MSRP: $109

The AC-LR has a more sensitive antenna and higher transmit power than the AC-Lite, which increases range and improves performance for far away clients. It also has a slight edge in 2.4GHz performance, supporting up to 3x3 SU-MIMO.

Just like the AC-Lite, the AC-LR is nearing the end of the line. The same advice applies here. For around $100 the WiFi 6 Lite is the better overall option, and the WiFi 6 LR is the better option if you need the range. Oddly enough, the AC-LR does have a better 2.4 GHz radio than the WiFi 6 Lite, due to Ubiquiti’s odd choice only upgrade the 5 GHz radio to Wi-Fi 6.

Wi-Fi 6 (5 GHz radio only)
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
2x2 MU-MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1200 Mbps
Indoor only
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W) or 48V Passive
PoE injector not included
MSRP: $99

The UniFi 6 Lite is the entry model for the new Wi-Fi 6 lineup. It’s the same size as the nanoHD, and uses the same mounting equipment and skins. It only supports Wi-Fi 6 on it’s 5 GHz radio. 2.4 GHz still uses a 2x2 802.11n/Wi-Fi 4 radio, which is disappointing.

My biggest complaint about the WiFi 6 Lite is that Ubiquiti dropped the included PoE injector. Make sure you have a switch capable of delivering standard 802.3af PoE, or 48V passive PoE. If not, any standard 802.3af PoE adapter will work.

If you’re interested in more details about the WiFi 6 Lite (or U6-LR) and how fast their Wi-Fi 6 performance is, see my full WiFi 6 Lite and LR review and speed comparison.

Note: Most of the PoE injectors that Ubiquiti make support passive PoE, which can damage equipment if you’re not careful. If you don’t have one already, I’d recommend Ubiquiti’s U-PoE-AF, a PoE switch, or a standard 802.af PoE injector from a reputable brand for the WiFi 6 Lite.

WiFi 6 Long-Range (U6-LR)

Wi-Fi 6 (5 GHz radio only)
4x4 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 600 Mbps
4x4 MU-MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 2400 Mbps
Indoor only
PoE Required: PoE+/802.3aT (30W) or 48V Passive
PoE injector not included
MSRP: $179

The UniFi 6 LR is the best Wi-Fi 6 model available right now, if you can find it in stock.

It’s the same size as the AC-HD, and uses the same mounting equipment. Like the U6-Lite, it only supports Wi-Fi 6 on it’s 5 GHz radio. 2.4 GHz still uses a 4x4 802.11n/Wi-Fi 4 radio. It also drops the included PoE injector. It boasts a wider range than the Lite model due to it’s higher EIRP limits and higher gain antenna.

The U6-LR requires a separate PoE+ power supply. Use a PoE+ switch or a 30W 802.3at injector from a reputable brand.

AC Wave 1
3x3 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 450 Mbps
3x3 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1300 Mbps
2 Ethernet ports. 1 for uplink, 1 for bridging
Indoor/Outdoor (not for direct weather resistance)
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W) or 48V Passive
MSRP: $149

The AC-Pro is the flagship of the AC Wave 1 lineup. The AC-Pro includes 3x3 SU-MIMO radios for both bands, and adds a 2nd Ethernet port for bridging to another device. It also has the benefit of being mounted outdoors — think under a porch roof, not somewhere directly exposed. It also features a USB port, which was used to support the speaker on the discontinued EDU version.

It’s the best 802.11ac Wave 1 AP that Ubiquiti offers, but all of my advice about future support on Wave 1 APs still applies.

AC Wave 2
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
4x4 MU-MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
1 Ethernet port
Indoor only
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
MSRP: $179

The nanoHD is the entry model for 802.11ac Wave 2. It’s the cheapest AP that supports MU-MIMO and 4 spatial streams in the 5 GHz band. Those features allow AC Wave 2 models to send traffic to multiple devices at once, increasing multi-user throughput. 2.4 GHz performance isn’t as impressive, so you’ll probably want to use band steering or other methods to keep clients on 5 GHz when possible.

If you value fast 5 GHz performance, the nanoHD is a good compromise between the cheaper Wave 1 APs, and the more expensive AC-HD. The introduction of the WiFi 6 LR for $179 has muddied the water a bit. If you can find it in stock, I’d suggest the U6-LR over the nanoHD. The nanoHD is still a good option though, especially if you find it around or below MSRP.

FlexHD

AC Wave 2
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
4x4 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
1 Ethernet port
Indoor/Outdoor
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
MSRP: $179

The FlexHD is easy to understand. It has the same radios as the nanoHD in a different form factor. It has a slightly higher-gain 5 GHz antenna, but otherwise should perform the same. It has a customizable RGB ring around the top which can be set to different colors in the UniFi controller.

It is also rated for outdoor use, unlike the nanoHD. Tabletop, wall, and pole mounting brackets are Included, and Ubiquiti sells an optional Ceiling Mount kit. It also makes for a good mesh AP.

AC Wave 2
4x4 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 800 Mbps
4x4 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
2 Ethernet ports. 1 for uplink, 1 for bridging or uplink
Indoor/Outdoor (not for direct weather resistance)
PoE Required: PoE+/802.3at (30W)
MSRP: $349

The AC-HD is the flagship of the AC Wave 2 line, exceeded only by the specialty UAP-SHD and UAP-XG. It offers the best speeds UniFi offers on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It also features an antenna specifically designed for small cell spacing and vertical coverage, and dedicated hardware offload for QoS, Guest Control, and Client Management.

The antenna difference is important. The AC-HD will not cover as widely as an other omnidirectional APs. It is meant for dense deployments, not broad coverage. If you need to cover a lot of devices in a small area, these are good APs to get. They are good for homes too, just keep the antenna in mind when considering placement and quantity.

The AC-HD has two gigabit Ethernet ports. The 2nd can be used to bridge to another device, or combined into a 802.3ad-based link aggregation to support 2 Gbps uplink. This model requires 802.3at PoE+, so make sure you have a PoE+ switch or use the included power injector that is capable of that.

AC-SHD

AC Wave 2
4x4 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 800 Mbps
4x4 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
2 Ethernet ports: 1 for uplink, 1 for bridging
Indoor/Outdoor (Not for direct weather resistance)
PoE Required: PoE+/802.3at (30W)
MSRP: $549

The AC-SHD is similar to the AC-HD, but adds a 3rd radio for real-time monitoring. It supports airView and airTime, which gives you real-time visibility into channel utilization and the RF environment.

It was originally designed to monitor for security issues with UniFi’s Wireless Intrusion Prevention System, but that feature was never implemented in the UniFi controller. That makes the AC-SHD kind of an awkward product. I’d only recommend it if the real-time monitoring features are worth $200 to you.

AC Wave 1
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
2x2 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 867 Mbps
3 Ethernet ports. One for uplink, two for bridging
Indoor only
PoE Required: PoE+/802.3aT (30W)
PoE Pass-through: (1) 48V Passive, cannot be disabled
MSRP: $99

For some reason, this model hasn’t been discontinued yet. If mounting an AP inside a electrical wall plate is what you are looking for, the In-Wall HD is a better option.

I wouldn’t recommend the regular AC In-Wall unless you’re OK with its limitations, or you really need one Passive 48V PoE out port. This model is coming up on it’s end of life, and shouldn’t be consider for most new installs.

AC Wave 2
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
4x4 MU-MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
5 Ethernet ports. One for uplink, Four for bridging
Indoor only
PoE In Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
For Pass-through: PoE+/802.3at (30W)
PoE Pass-through: (1) 48V Passive
MSRP: $179

If mounting an AP inside a electrical wall plate is what you are looking for, the In-Wall HD is your best option. The HD model has 4 Ethernet ports, 1 of which supports PoE pass-through. It’s AC Wave 2, meaning it offers more performance and has more future software support than the regular AC In-Wall.

For PoE pass-through to work, you need to provide the In-Wall HD with PoE+, so make sure your switch or PoE injector supports that. The In-Wall HD doesn’t come with a power injector and is meant to be installed in a electrical wall box with Ethernet run to it, so make sure to consider that before purchasing.

AC Wave 1
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
2x2 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 867 Mbps
1 Ethernet port
Indoor/Outdoor (Weather resistant)
Poe Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
MSRP: $99

If you are looking to mount an access point outdoors, the mesh line is the best option. All 2nd generation and newer UniFi APs can use wireless backhaul to function as mesh APs, but the mesh models have antennas that are better suited for the task. The AC-Mesh is the cheapest (and oldest) mesh AP.

Wireless backhaul will always result in some trade-offs in performance. If you want the best performance, always run an Ethernet cable to your access points, including the AC-Mesh. For basic outdoor coverage, the AC-Mesh is still a good option. The FlexHD is a newer model to compare against.

UAP-M-Pro.jpg

AC Wave 1
3x3 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 450 Mbps
3x3 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1300 Mbps
2 Ethernet ports: 1 for uplink, 1 for bridging
Outdoor (Weather resistant)
Poe Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
MSRP: $199

If you need more outdoor mesh performance, the AC-Mesh-Pro is a good option. Like the AC-Mesh, the FlexHD is the newer option to compare against.

The AC-Mesh-Pro steps up to 3x3 radios for both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and adds a 2nd Ethernet port for bridging. According to Ubiquiti it features a ”proprietary, MIMO-optimized, omnidirectional Super Antenna for exceptional 360° coverage, providing symmetrical long-range communications of up to 183 meters.”

I think the marketing department went a little far there, but it does offer additional performance over the standard AC-Mesh. With that extra performance comes a much larger size. The AC-Mesh is easy to hide, but the Pro model is more like a big white lunch tray. Seriously. It’s huge.

AC-Mesh-Pro Dimensions: 343.2 x 181.2 x 60.2 mm (13.51 x 7.13 x 2.37")

AC Wave 2
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
4x4 MU-MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
No Ethernet ports
Indoor only
Powered by standard AC wall outlet
MSRP: $199

The BeaconHD is newest mesh model, designed to work with the UniFi Dream Machine or any other dual-band UniFi AP. It consumes an electrical outlet and turns it into an access point and night light. The light can be disabled.

There are no Ethernet ports, so it cannot be wired, or provide a bridged connection to another wired device.

It has 4x4 5 GHz radio, and 2x2 2.4 GHz, which is equivalent to a nanoHD. It does have higher-gain antennas than the nanoHD though, which make it better suited for a mesh network. The BeaconHD is another good way to extend the coverage of your UniFi system without running Ethernet cabling.

If you want more details, read my full review of the BeaconHD.

AC Wave 2
2x2 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 300 Mbps
4x4 MIMO for 5 GHz, up to 1733 Mbps
1 Ethernet port
Indoor/Outdoor
PoE Required: PoE/802.3af (15W)
MSRP: $179

The FlexHD was already listed, but I’m adding it again here because it’s good to compare against the other mesh AP options. The FlexHD is flexible, it can be indoors or outdoors, operating as a normal omnidirectional or a mesh AP. It has the same radios as the nanoHD in a different form factor. It has a slightly higher-gain 5 GHz antenna, but otherwise should perform the same. It has a customizable RGB ring around the top which can be set to different colors in the UniFi controller.

Tabletop, wall, and pole mounting brackets are Included, and Ubiquiti sells an optional Ceiling Mount kit. It is the top of the line mesh AP until the WiFi 6 Mesh (which uses the same form factor) makes it out of Early Access.

AC Wave 2
4x4 MIMO for 2.4 GHz, up to 800 Mbps
Dual 4x4 Mu-MIMO for 5 GHz, both up to 1733 Mbps
2 Ethernet ports. 1 with support for 10 Gbps
Indoor/Outdoor (Not for direct weather resistance)
PoE Required: PoE++/802.3bt (60W)
MSRP: $799

Need is always a tricky word when discussing purchasing advice. For all I know, you might actually need 10 Gbps uplink, dual 4x4 5 GHz radios, a 4x4 2.4 GHz radio, a dedicated security radio, and support for up to 1500 clients. Of course, if you just want the best, costs be darned, there is the UAP-XG-US. It will require a 10 Gbps capable infrastructure to support it, though.

WiFi Basestation XG (UWB-XG)

AC Wave 2
Small Cell for large, Dense Venues
No 2.4 GHz Radio
(3) 4x4 Mu-MIMO 5 GHz radios, up to 1733 Mbps each
2 Ethernet ports. 1 with support for 10 Gbps
Indoor/Outdoor (IP67)
PoE Required: PoE++/802.3bt (60W)
MSRP: $1499

If you’re building a Wi-Fi network for your house, this model makes no sense. If you’re designing a Wi-Fi network for a stadium, this is an interesting option for high gain, small cell coverage. These are the most specialty of specialty models. If you are planning a network which requires the use of the UWB-XG, you probably don’t need advice from me about model selection.

Search for an Amazon product to display. Learn more

The UniFi Dream Machine combines a 4x4 AC Wave 2 AP with a 4-port switch, built-in UniFi controller, and a security gateway capable of IDS/IPS performance of 850 Mbps. It is a convenient and easy way to get into the UniFi ecosystem. The UDM also has a new mesh AP model to go with it, the UAP-BeaconHD.

If you want more details on the UniFi Dream Machine or UniFi Dream Machine Pro, check out my reviews of those devices.

The only Wi-Fi 6 access points Ubiquiti sells right now are the UniFi 6 Lite and UniFi 6 Long Range, with a few others in early access. I have not heard any rumors or seen anything suggesting Wi-Fi 6E APs are coming soon, but I will update this guide when that happens. I don’t think Wi-Fi 6E support is imminent, as Ubiquiti tends to be a little slow with adopting new standards. Even their first two Wi-Fi 6 models (the 6 Lite and 6 Long-Range) have had a slow rollout and limited availability.

I expect to hear more about Wi-Fi 6E UniFi APs in 2022, and hopefully see some progress on WiFi 6 model availability before then.

Ubiquiti PtP and PtMP Comparison Charts

All my charts for comparing Ubiquiti’s models of point to point and point to multipoint wireless radios. Includes all AirMAX, AirFiber, LTU, 60 GHz Wave, LiteBeam, NanoStation, NanoBeam, PowerBeam, Rocket, Bullet, and GigaBeam models.

Read More →
Sours: https://evanmccann.net/blog/2021/1/unifi-ap-guide
  1. Atlas tractor pulling parts
  2. Hp 14 laptop blue
  3. Ram 2500 decal kits
  4. Wilsonart high gloss laminate
  5. T mobile lg cases

Ubiquiti makes in my opinion the best access points that you can buy these days. They offer a wide variety of Access Points (AP) in their UniFi product line that gives you the best value for money. But which access point should you buy? I am going to help you with the comparison of the different models.

We have, for example, the UniFi NanoHD, Lite, Long Range, Flex HD, and now even Wifi 6 devices. All great products, but which one do you need for your home or office network?

In this UniFi AP comparison, we are going to take a look at the differences and help you pick the right access point for your network. In the tables, you will find all access points compared on range, speed, price, and more.

UniFi AP comparison

At the moment of writing, you can buy 17 different access points from Ubiquiti. There are also 3 new models available in the early access store. That is a lot to choose from, so we are going to divide the different models into groups.

Ubiquiti started this year with releasing the Wifi 6 access points. Wifi 6 increases the efficiency and multi-devices performance of the access points. Wifi 6 still operates in the same 2.4 and 5Ghz band, but it can now transmit to multiple devices at the same time.

Curios about the WiFi 6 Performance of the new Unifi 6 Access Points?

Read my full review of the new Unifi 6 Lite and 6 Long Range in this article, including performance tests.

Also, most new mobile phones and notebooks support Wifi 6 these days, so if you are looking for a new access point I really recommend picking a Wifi 6 model.

Ubiquiti access point for Home and Small Offices

Let’s start with comparing the UniFi access points for homes and offices. With pricing starting around $99 the Unifi access point are quite popular for use in home networks and small offices.

In the UniFi access point comparison table below you will find the current range of access points that are suitable for home and small office networks. I have left out some of the older models, like the old Unifi Lite, because for $10 more you get the Wifi 6 version of it.

The new Wifi 6 Long Range version is a bit more expensive than the old one, so I added the old one as well.

UniFi 6 Lite – U6-Lite

The first access point that we are going to take a closer look at in this UniFi AP comparison is the UniFi 6 Lite access point is the entry model of the UniFi Access Points. Its compact design allows you to easily mount it and with custom skins, you can make it fit in with the rest of your house. The new Wifi 6 models don’t come with a PoE Injector, so you will need to buy a PoE switch to power the access point, like the US-8-60W.

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 1200 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø160 x 32.65 mm

This is really your go-to access point for in-house usage. It’s affordable, small, and comes with excellent performance. It’s better to buy 2 lite models and spread them throughout the house than one long-range model.

UniFi 6 Long Range – U6-LR

The long range model of the UniFi 6 access point is slightly bigger and is design to cover a wider range. Its antennas have a high gain allowing it to pickup the weaker wireless signal of your mobile over a greater distance.

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 600 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 2400 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø220 x 48 mm

You can also place the U6-LR in a semi-outdoor environment because it’s IP54 rated. If your house has multiple floors, or when you can only place one access point, then the U6-LR is a really good choice to mount on the ground floor (and use the lite models for the other levels).

UniFi Access Point Long Range – AC-LR

This is the older version of the long-range model and with a list price of $109.00 is it really affordable. If we look at the specifications then the LR is slightly better than the new Unifi 6 Lite access point. But only on the 2.4Ghz band.

Another advantage of the LR is the sensitive antenna that allows it to pick up clients at a longer distance. If you don’t have much budget, then use this “older” long range model near your living area and the 6 lite of the other locations.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 450 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 867 Mbps
  • Indoor/semi-outdoor – IP54
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø175.7 x 43 mm

UniFi 6 Pro –  U6-Pro

At the moment of writing is this access point only available in the early access store. I added it to this Ubiquiti access point comparison so you have a complete picture of all the (upcoming) models.

The Unifi 6 Pro is the next-generation high-performance access point for home and enterprise users. It’s capable of reaching 4.8 Gbps over the air with the 4×4 5Ghz channel, ensuring a reliable and fast wireless network connection in dense environments.

The U6 Pro support WiFi 6 on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz band, unlike the other WiFi 6 models.

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (both 2.4 and 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 600 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 4800 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø197 x 35 mm
ompare unifi ap flexhd

UniFi FlexHD

Not everybody can mount their access points to the ceiling or wall. That is where the Unifi FlexHD comes in. This small and sleek design allows you to place insight, on a cabinet for example. It’s also possible to buy a ceiling or wall mount for the Flex HD.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø48 x 160 mm
  • Indoor and outdoor use

Best is to place your access points on the ceiling or high on a wall if the ceiling isn’t possible. If both really are not an option for you, then the FlexHD might be a good solution. Keep in mind that furniture between the user and access point also limits the signal strength.

In the early access store, we can also find the new Unifi 6 Mesh, which has the same design as the FlexHD and is likely going to replace the FlexHD in the near future. Read more about it in the outdoor section.

UniFi In-Wall HD – UAP-IW-HD

The In-Wall HD access point is designed to convert an Ethernet wall jack into an access point with two ethernet ports. Even though the specification looks good, the effective range of the access point is limited. This is because you place the in-wall access point at a really low place, so all your furniture will block/lower the wireless network signal.

The older UniFi In-Wall access point is obsolete, which means it won’t receive any functional or security updates anymore, so I have let that model out of the Unifi AP comparison. The advantage of the HD model is that it comes with 4 ethernet ports and a high 5Ghz speed. Also, the build-in antennas have a higher gain and transmit power than the older model.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 1200 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø160 x 32.65 mm

A good use case for the in-wall access points is to fill in the black spots in your wireless network. Where your signal is too weak. For example, in your office or bedroom.

UniFi nanoHd – uap-nanoHD

This was one of the most popular access point from Ubiquiti. The nanoHD has a small diameter and great performance. The advantage of the nanoHD was always that you can get custom skins for it, and it supported a lot of concurrent clients.

But with the release of the Unifi 6 Lite, I think that is about the change. Both have almost the same throughput, only the 5Ghz is a bit faster. But the advantage of the 6 Lite is that it supports WiFi 6 with OFDMA allowing it to handle more clients simultaneously.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø160 x 32.65 mm

Unifi BeaconHD – UAP-BeaconHD

If you need to extend your wireless network, but don’t have the room for an extra network cable, then you can use an UniFi BeaconHD. It’s basically a repeater for your wireless network. It’s better to place a normal access point connected with an Ethernet cable, but if that really isn’t an option then you can use a repeater.

But make sure that that the wireless network signal strength is strong enough where you place the beacon. Because if you BeaconHD has a poor connection, then the clients downstream won’t benefit at all.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Only power needed
  • 170 mm x 112 mm x 32 mm

Ubiquiti UniFi Outdoor Access Point

Ubiquiti offers a couple of UniFi access points that can be used outdoor. I have written a more detailed guide about the outdoor access points that you can find here. To keep all the UniFi ap comparisons in one overview I will also briefly mention them here.

There are some models, like the UniFi 6 Long Range, that are semi-outdoor rated (IP54). They can be placed under an eave or porch for example, but they are not true outdoor access points. (You can expose them to rain)

If you are really looking for an UniFi outdoor ap then the UniFi Mesh and Mesh Pro are really the best options. Also, the FlexHD can be installed safely outdoors.

If you are looking for a Wifi 6 outdoor access point from UniFi then you will have to wait a bit longer. There is a new mesh access point coming out, the Unifi 6 Mesh, which is currently available in the early access store.

Unifi Mesh – UAP-AC-M

At the moment of writing is this really the goto access point from Ubiquiti for outdoor installation. The advantage of the UniFi Mesh models is that they have antennas that are designed for long-range mesh performance. Making them great to cover large outdoor areas. Keep in mind that wired is always better, but that is outdoors not always an option.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 867 Mbps
  • 2 RP-SMA connectors
  • 353 x 46 x 34 mm

Unifi 6 Mesh – U6-Mesh

At the moment of writing is the 6 Mesh still in early access. With a similar design as the FlexHD and given the name, I think the Unifi 6 Mesh is going to replace the FlexHD and Unifi Mesh in the near future.

The specification of the access point look great, and the mounting options are really versatile (desktop, wall, pole, and ceiling)

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 600 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 2400 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø48 x 159 mm

Unifi Mesh Pro – UAP-AC-M-PRO

The Mesh Pro has 3 dual-band antennas, making it capable of reaching higher speeds. But the 3 antennas make it also a good base station for your outdoor mesh network. With a mesh network is one radio used to talk to the other access point (creating a wireless bridge), and the other is used to connect to the clients.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 450 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 1300Mbps
  • 2 Ethernet ports
  • 343 x 181 x 60mm

UniFi Access Point for Enterprise and High Densitiy Areas

The last access points that we are going to take a look at in the UniFi AP comparison are the high density and enterprise models.

These models are normally not needed in a normal home network or small/medium office. The access points are designed for a specific purpose, for example, to handle a high amount of concurrent users or to cover a large area.

UniFi HD – UAP-AC-HD

The UniFi HD is designed for high-density environments, like a school or concert venue. The UniFi HD has two ethernet ports, where 1 port can be used to bridge to another access point or as an extra uplink.

The antenna design of the HD is different compared to the other UniFi access points. It’s designed to cover a lot of clients in a small area. So the wireless network won’t spread as far as the other access points. Keep that in mind when you are placing the UniFi HD.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 800 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP54
  • Ø220 x 42mm

Dedicated hardware offload for QoS, Guest Control, and client management ensures high throughput and reduced latency.

Unifi SDH – UAP-AC-SHD

This is the secure version of the Unifi HD. The main difference between the two is that the SHD is designed for secure areas, like hospitals and banks. The SHD is designed with a dedicated dual-band radio to constantly monitor and protect the wireless network traffic.

It also comes with airTime and airView. The first provides real-time visibility into channel utilization at packet level and the latter provides real‑time visibility into the RF environment across all available channels.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 800 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP54
  • airTime
  • airView
  • WIPS
  • Ø220 x 42mm

UniFi XG – UAP-UXG

If 1000 concurrent clients are not enough then we have the UniFi XG as the last step. This access point is designed for very high-density environments, think of concert halls or large auditoriums, where you have a lot of people in a really small space.

It comes with the same security features as the SHD, and 2 4×4 5Ghz radios, resulting in a combined throughput of 3466 Mbps.

You will need a 10Gbit Ethernet infrastructure to get the full performance of the UniFi XG.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 800 Mbps
  • (2) 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP54
  • airTime
  • airView
  • WIPS
  • Ø228 x 50mm

UniFi Wireless BaseStation XG – UWB-XG

If you need to cover a large area with a lot of people, like a venue or stadium, then the Wireless BaseStation is the access point that your need. It has an amazing throughput of 5 Gbps and can support up to 1500 concurrent clients.

The BaseStation only offers a 5Ghz Tri-band radio, so no 2.4Ghz radio. You can choose between Small Cell and Large Cell setup, allowing you to optimize the installation for maximum coverage.

Specifications

  • (3) 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP67
  • airTime
  • airView
  • WIPS
  • 471mm x 275mm x 95mm

Wrapping Up

I hope this UniFi AP comparison helps you to pick the right Ubiquiti access point for your network. When possible go for the WiFi 6 models, they are a bit hard to get at the moment, but you are ready for the future with these new models.

If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.

Tags access pointsubiquitiunifiSours: https://lazyadmin.nl/home-network/unifi-ap-comparison-2021/

Q&A: AP-Only vs. Complete UniFi Network

Originally Posted: May 27th, 2021

Question:

We just moved into a house with Ethernet cables throughout the house. I just purchased two UniFi 6 Lites. Is all that I need to set up a Wi-Fi network, or if I’m missing anything?

Answer:

Yes, you can get away with only using UniFi APs in what’s called “standalone mode” — See Ubiquiti’s help article on that. This is your option for setting them up without a UniFi Controller. All you need is an Internet source and Ethernet connections leading to those APs. You can also setup them up as wireless mesh APs if you don’t have Ethernet available. You’ll also need PoE injectors or a PoE switch since the Wi-Fi 6 models don’t come with power injectors.

If you want to get a bit more out of those APs, you can add more pieces to your network. The biggest part is getting a UniFi Controller setup. There’s a few ways to do that:

You don’t need all the parts to make a UniFi network, but it’s easier if you do.

A UniFi Controller isn’t needed to run those APs, but it provides most of the benefits of going with UniFi. It lets you change all your settings and monitor your network. If you get the UDM or UDM-Pro, you’ll also be able to use it to control your networks, routing, and firewall settings. You can also add UniFi switches if you want to extend it those networks to other ports in your house.

It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole and spend a whole bunch of money and time on it, but the short version of this long answer is that there’s nothing wrong with just using the APs on their own. Read up on standalone mode and look at the Controller options and see if they’re worth it to you.

Question:

I was originally thinking I’d want a mesh network so that our devices would switch between our two UniFi access points. Is there a benefit of setting up the two routers in standalone mode versus setting them up as a mesh network?

I tried plugging one of the access points in and nothing happened. Do I also have to buy a poe injector to power the access points?

Is there a benefit of running the software on the computer versus buying a cloud key? I tried reading about the cloud key, but I’m not quite sure I understand how it works or where exactly to plug that in.

Answer:

You don’t need to have a mesh network to have devices move from AP to AP as you move around. The way to think about “mesh” is that it’s relevant when you don’t have Ethernet connections to your AP. Mesh systems are great if you want to have multiple APs but don’t have Ethernet cables in the area. Mesh APs are designed to wirelessly connect to each other and form a single seamless network. The trade off is that using wireless backhaul from AP to AP limits speeds and capacity. Ethernet always wins.

Routers and Wi-Fi access points are two different things. What you have are UniFi wireless access points. These act as wireless bridges, changing your wired Ethernet connection into a wireless connection, and vice versa. Routers allow you to communicate between networks — from the Internet to your home network, and back. UniFi Wi-Fi access points are not routers, which is why you’ll need to use something else as your router. This is likely going to be what your Internet provider gave you, or whatever existing all-in-one Wi-Fi router you were using before.

Yes, you will need something to deliver power to the access points. Typically all UniFi APs come with them, but Ubiquiti decided to remove them from the latest Wi-Fi 6 models, like the UniFi 6 Lite and UniFi 6 LR. It’s a dumb cost-cutting move in my opinion, but it is what it is.

For providing power to the APs, you can get PoE injectors, but you’ll have to be careful about what kind you get. The 6 Lite can take any standard 15W 802.3af PoE injector, but the 6 Long Range requires a higher powered 30W 802.3at PoE+ injector.

I generally recommend looking into a PoE switch when you have multiple APs like this, but that gets into the decision between having only APs, or building out a more complete UniFi network. You can get away with something small like the UniFi Lite 8 PoE that I use at home. If that’s sold out, you can get away with the older US-8-60W, but not the US-8. The switch lineup is confusing, which is why I made these comparison charts, and a few articles talking about UniFi switches.

The biggest benefit of the CloudKey or UDM/UDM-Pro is that the software is always running and you don’t need to leave a computer on. There’s nothing stopping you from installing the software on your computer and only running it when you need to change a setting, but that removes the monitoring and other nice things that come with an always-on UniFi controller. The software is the same no matter how you choose to run it, and the network will continue to work without it running.

The easiest option is to go all in:

  • Add a CloudKey and UniFi PoE switch to your network, while continuing to use your existing router.

  • Replace your router with a UDM/UDM-Pro and add PoE switch.

The cheaper options would be:

  • Continue to use your existing router, buy some PoE injectors, and use the UniFi app on your phone to set up your APs in standalone mode.

  • Continue to use your existing router, buy some PoE injectors, and run the UniFi app on your computer to set up your APs.

No matter which option you pick, once the UniFi APs are up and running, your devices will be able to move between the AP downstairs to the one upstairs without having to worry about it. You’ll roam from AP to AP and get good performance on both because you have Ethernet backhaul to your network.

Further Reading

Ubiquiti PtP and PtMP Comparison Charts

All my charts for comparing Ubiquiti’s models of point to point and point to multipoint wireless radios. Includes all AirMAX, AirFiber, LTU, 60 GHz Wave, LiteBeam, NanoStation, NanoBeam, PowerBeam, Rocket, Bullet, and GigaBeam models.

Read More →
Sours: https://evanmccann.net/blog/2021/5/unifi-ap-only-vs-complete

Ap mesh unifi vs

But, since you are not married, you are not forbidden to feel the free ones. If, of course, the girl will allow. Here is a big fine for a married man for indecency - vira is supposed to be. Just do not try to fuck a free girl, even if she agrees.

Ubiquiti Mesh Wireless

Ah, that's it, muttered Radimtsev. But its not so. You're wrong.

You will also be interested:

Got what I wanted, and now get out - I shouted. Andrey only smiled. In a calm voice he said okay, I really got everything I wanted and began to dress. In the corridor, I silently looked at Andrei, who was putting on his shoes, and his sperm was sticking down my stomach and legs.

This is how it turns out you can just come and get it from me.



1765 1766 1767 1768 1769