50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
We have a wireless network based around the CISCO 5500 series controller at work. There was no way I could afford this for home.
After reading the reviews I opted for this kit. I have one in the house, one in a 3,000 sq foot detached workshop, and one at our horse stables. All tied together with 4 Ubiiquiti NanoStation M5s, two Ubuiqiti NanoStation2 Locos, and a Ubiquiti UniFI AP. The system links 19 security cameras, multiple servers, gate control systems, and a wide array of desktops, servers and handheld WiFi devices, on our small ranch.
The Ubiiquiti solutions work flawlessly. Never skip a beat. Just perfect. They are not really aimed at novice home users, as they require some good networking skills. I just updated the firmware on an AP, and noticed its uptime was 284 days! You just don't get that with your NetGear or other consumer grade APs. These are priced consumer grade, but 100% Enterprise class in stability, features, and design.
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2013
I have a background in enterprise networking, including a wireless network for a hospital that had over 200 access points.
I don't consider this an enterprise-class product because it doesn't work well in a segmented network. The UniFi system is designed to operate on a flat network that isn't divided up into different zones with routers and firewalls, which is what you normally find in an enterprise network. Another black mark is the Power over Ethernet they use isn't compliant with the 802.3af standard found in enterprise switches, requiring an (affordable) adapter.
Unless I missed something, there's no way for the access points and the management software to talk to each other across a router or firewall. They need to all be on the same subnet. If you know what this means, then you know whether or not that's a deal breaker for you. For me, it's not a huge deal.
For the average home or small business user, this system will give you a lot of powerful features that are normally only found in much more expensive enterprise products. You can set up multiple SSIDs, with different security and access features. You can restrict the ability of each SSID to access specific network addresses within your network, giving you some of the benefits of a segmented network without needing the routers or firewalls you'd find in a big company. You can set up a "hotspot" network, where users can be forced to accept a user's agreement and even to pay for access.
The system is essentially auto-configuring. You plug the access points into your network, then fire up the software on a computer (Win, Mac, or Linux) that's on the same subnet. The software is actually a Java-based web service that's accessed from a web browser (on the same or remote network), and it's quite nice. It automatically detects the access points and arranges them in a list, ready for you to drag them into the onscreen map.
Speaking of the map: you can import your own map, or you can use Google Maps and use the aerial view of your site right from the software. Very slick and fast to get running.
The software gives you all sorts of statistics, like the user who's using the most bandwidth and the most popular access point. There's a log of alerts that can be emailed to you as they happen. There's charts for number of users and bandwidth used over time. There's a diagram of the estimated range of your signal, which is really handy when you're using the Google map feature. And it all looks very slick and professional.
One good feature is that you don't need to leave the software running. Once you've got everything configured, you can turn off the UniFi server and the WiFi network will continue to run. This is an advantage you don't usually find in an enterprise wireless system, which requires constant supervision by a server somewhere.
Another thing you don't often find in enterprise wireless - the server software is free of charge.
The hardware is well made, attractive, and easy to set up and install. You don't need to cut a huge hole in a ceiling tile - just a small hole for the Ethernet cable and four little holes for mounting screws. You can mount it on the ceiling or on a wall. The access points run a version of Linux called Busybox, which helps explain their power and affordability.
The wireless range is enormous. I thought I'd need three of the APs to cover our facility, but it turned out to only need two, leaving me with a spare in case of problems.
The UniFi system gave me the features I wanted, more range than I expected, and a stunningly low price. The problems were minor and easy to work around. I will be sure to consider other Ubiquiti products in the future.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2013
I have been trying to get enterprise results in my business with very little success until now. I received my order and within an hour had all of the access points installed and running. They are powerful, fast, easy to install and easy to manage. Guests and employees can now walk from room to room and building to building without having to log into another access point. One network SSID to remember and one password to remember. I no longer get complaints from guests about an inability to connect to the network. WOW! My search for an enterprise class system is over and I couldn't be more satisfied. I would gladly recommend Ubiwuiti UniFi to anyone wanting a powerful easy to manage and use wifi system.
Update: October 31, 2013. I ran an advertised update for this equipment. One of my six access points quit working immediately. Nothing I could do would get it to work. I had to request an RMA from the manufacturer and I had to pay shipping to return the product. I really didn't appreciate having to pay for the shipping because it was their update that seemed to cause the problem and it was still clearly under warranty!
Update: November 8, 2013. They sent me a brand new one in the box and just like the originals it was easy. I am still amazed that I had to pay shipping to return something under warranty! Still love the product just not the support.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2014
Really cool. There are some things you should be aware of:
1) the documentation is always out of date. For example, if you "block" a user, you must use the "Insights" tab to unblock them. The Insight tab isn't even mentioned in the documentation. So the documentation does NOT match the product. This means you have to do a lot of detective work.
2) reconnect is cool. it bumps the user off the AP so he can re-connect, ideally to a closer AP.
3) it will AMAZE you to see how your devices aren't connecting to the AP in the same room but often connecting to an AP somewhere else (if you have several with the same name).
4) Use only channels 1, 6, 11 with HT20. I set all mine to high power. The screen visually showing the pattern is cool. Make sure that if you have two APs on the same channel that they are far apart from each other to avoid interference.
5) it is SO cool to capture my house from google maps and place the APs on it. LOVED that.
6) to set up the ultra cool zero handoff roaming (which is why I bought these things in the first place), see the link at http://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Wireless/Zero-Handoff-Configuration/m-p/567019/highlight/true#M45829 or you'll never figure it out. It's hidden. And the manuals are NOT current. So the support forums are critical.
7) when you enable zero handoff, all the APs are on the same channel and appear to have the same MAC address as far as your wireless devices are concerned
8) If you are using zero handoff, you will notice the signal strength appears erratic on your phone. That's because you are hearing remote access points talking to remote clients, not to you. When you are transmitted to, it will be from your closest access point. It took me a while to figure that one out. They didn't warn you. So you have to learn to ignore the signal strength meter unless you have a lot of traffic on all access points.
9) If you have trouble with adoption, you may have some sort of bridge in the way. Adoption failed for me, and I discovered I couldn't ssh to the access point and get a login prompt. The reason is because I hooked this access point to the "computer" port of my AT&T microcell. I had no idea that that port was bogus: it will not pass the MAC address of the access point and it won't pass ssh (the port is blocked). So I connected the access point DIRECTLY to my switch and it adopted just fine.
10) if an AP with wireless uplink is ISOLATED and can't be configured, you need to plug it into the LAN again.
11) You cannot use wireless uplink on a WLAN configured as zero handoff. So if you need wireless uplink for any AP, you'll be FORCED to use a non zero handoff WLAN (such as the Default WLAN).
12) Having >1 WLAN in my home is a VERY bad idea. It means devices on each WLAN cannot talk to each other. So if you are in a house with TVs, etc. you want to make sure all the APs are on the same WLAN. That way, every device can talk to each other.
13) I ended up needing wireless AP, so I ended up ditching the zero handoff feature and everyone is on the default WLAN (which doesn't support zero handoff).
14) The "Guest" network means your Guests are restricted to accessing the Internet and not any hosts on your WLAN. So I had a guest who came in and tried to give me a demo with his iphone talking to his laptop and it didn't work. Duh...he was on the guest network. So once we put him on the real WLAN as a non-guest, he could see other local devices. They don't talk about the Guest network restriction at all in the manual so this tip will save you a lot of time figuring out why that didn't work.
All in all, great purchase, but it was more difficult to configure than I thought. However, armed with all the tips above, it should make your life much easier and save you hours of time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2013
Coverage is great too. I'd consider myself moderately tech-savvy and I installed the 3 AP's at our church in just a couple of hours. I'd recommend this system for sure. The monitoring software is pretty advanced, but also user friendly.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2012
Firmware/software that came with the 3 pack did not work correctly. Had to search numerous message boards to find the software I needed which happened to be a version of the software that was about 2 years old. Once i figured out that's what i needed and installed it the system has worked fine. Calling tech support only gets you an answering machine and emails pretty much go unanswered so make sure you are somewhat techy before purchasing this product.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2013
I just bought 9 of these for my company, and now have coverage over the entire plant and front offices. The management software is where this product really shines, not just distance and throughput. The whole process of getting a private and guest network up and running was very easy. I replaced our Cisco Aironets for these babies, and I haven't looked back.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2014
Pro(s): If you don’t use Apple products to use Airplay to stream music, video, or images to TV’s or receivers, or the Apple TV, and you own a home PC or laptop, these access points will impress. I’ve installed over 40 of these units at homes and small businesses all over Arizona. The range, tools, and ease of setup and expansion is unmatched at this price point.
Con: Airplay! Airplay! Airplay! – So after weeks of back and forth with Vivian at Ubiquiti support, and hours of searching forums it comes down to this, Unifi AP’s do not do well with the Apple Airplay technology after controller software version 2.4.1. Any controller software versions after that have intermittent streaming issues and will drive you nuts. You can improve the problem by having only one SSID (Drop any guest SSID’s on controller version 2.4.6 and 3.2.1), but it will not eliminate the problem 100%, it will just improve the drops. The newest version of controller software 3.2.5 (beta) is the worst so far, doesn’t matter what you do, Airplay is just terrible. I attempted working with support trying different configurations and providing screenshots, but Vivian at support eventually told me to get on the public forums, which has complaints about this same problem since December of 2012, hence when 2.6.4 was released (3.2.1 didn’t fix the issue). So if you plan on using these AP’s and you use Apple’s Airplay to stream media, best of luck using the newest controller software!
Con: The units are “controller” based, so you will need a PC or laptop that will run software to configure and make changes to them, you cannot access them via a web browser like most consumer products. There is no mobile app for iOS or Android for controller setup as these AP’s get there firmware from the controller PC.
Con: I had one unit “brick” when upgrading the software when changing firmware versions per supports advice. The unit was not fixable via SSH, so it required it to be returned.
• If Ubiquiti would like to further troubleshoot with me, I’ll be happy to help, I’ve been doing Enterprise networking for 13 years now, sending me to a forum that has this issue already discussed and unresolved, didn’t really help me. I’ll upgrade my rating to five stars if we can get Airplay to be consistent with the newer controller versions.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2014
I'd love to give a good review, but I can't. While these products do work "okay", as soon as you have an issue, or need clarification on something, support is next to non existent. You have to send an email, and while it doesn't take too long to get an initial reply, their reply tells you what you already told them didn't work.
So you respond. Then you hear nothing. So you call the almost non published number, and its impossible to get anyone. Not for support, not for sales, not even for investor relations. This company exists solely by email, and thats it. And if they don't like what you have to say by email, you get no response....ever. Good Luck, you're gonna need it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2014
Background: 5 years of experience in technology related fields, 2 in IT, Bachelor of Information Technology & Security, and MCP.
My first encounter with this model of access point was when I purchased an individual unit from Amazon (UAP-LR-US). The box included a CD with the controller software, and I had no issues with setting it up to replace my current home wireless infrastructure.
The second time I encountered this access point was when the company I do contract work for purchased this pack of 3 and wanted me to install one into a residence for a customer. When I opened the box I quickly noticed there was no CD included. I checked the list of package contents and noticed this particular 3 pack wasn't listed to have any CDs within the boxes. I decided it wasn't a big deal and downloaded the latest version (2.4.6) of the controller software and drove to the client's house to install the AP.
What I expected to be a half hour set-up ended up taking 2 1/2 hours. To make a long story short: the set of access points we received ended up needing version 2.4.4 of the controller software to locate the access points on the network. All 3 access points had software OS 2.4.5.
I was hoping the AP controller software would be compatible with older versions of the AP OS version or at the very least match version for version. But in this case, I had to use controller software version 2.4.4 to configure access points with OS version 2.4.5. This is the only reason the product would not get a full 5 stars. Otherwise, the coverage area and everything else is phenomenal.