Top positive review
401 people found this helpful
Inexpensive and highly recommended but could be difficult for non-technical beginners.
on July 26, 2013
I'm going to break this review down in segments so bear with me.
~Beginners/Non Techies beware: This is an IT Professional product. I'm not sure this would be easy for someone who isn't "Techy" to setup. You must install the UniFi software on a computer to "provision" the Access Point. Once you setup the software with which SSID's Pass codes, etc.. etc.. you bring the AP into the fold by adopting it. It is a very different concept from just logging into the AP and setting it up directly like mass consumer APs. Once adopted you can make all the changes necessary. There is no easy mode wizard like most consumer grade APs.
~Price: I have installed hundreds of Access Points for the home as well as office environment. The real benefit of this product is the price. Considering what you get (the UniFi software, PoE Adapter, Power (range), and Aesthetics) its a great buy. They actually describe it as "disruptive pricing" compared to similar AP's for IT Professionals. Similar functioning AP's for the IT Industry usually run $250 to $400 dollars (think Ruckus or high end Cisco) but do benefit from dedicated hardware controlling (this is software controlled).
~Aesthetics: This thing looks great, it comes with a mounting bracket and you can install it on a ceiling or wall. At my home I decided to install it on the ceiling. You can turn off the green ring of light using the software, but my wife and I decided to leave it on because of how attractive it looks. It will be flush with the wall/ceiling if you mount it and there will be no unattractive wires if you run the network cable through the wall/ceiling. Using the PoE brick, you can install that near your switch/router and simply run 1 network cable to this thing. It will power it and provide data simplifying placement (no required electrical outlet).
~Range: This particular model is rated for about 400ft. You always have to keep in mind the surroundings of where it will be placed. Wireless signals degrade quickly through a lot of walls, insulation, brick, especially metal buildings. I have found that the best way to get the most range is mount it high and in clear view of your most important areas. Our house is 1500 sq ft and I have WiFi inside and outside of my house both front and back yard. Using the software and the schematics of my home I mounted it directly in the center of the house. If you are looking for more range, consider buying the UAP-LR (LR for Long Range) which has a higher power amplifier and is rated for 600ft.
~Software: The UniFi Controller software is definitely the secret weapon Ubiquiti has for making these so inexpensive. It comes with a CD and the software is very small in terms of footprint. It is Non-Dedicated which means you only need to use it to setup the AP then the access point will operate autonomously. This means the computer running the software does not have to be on all the time for the AP to work. If you are like me and enjoy statistics the software will track the devices connected, how much data they are using UP/DOWN and allows you to see Pie Charts/Graphs. The list goes on and on for what it all does but here are some key things I like about it: Block Devices (with a click), Force devices to reconnect, Guest Network, Up to 4 SSID's per AP, One SSID for Several AP's with device hand off.
~Closing: This is an IT / Office WiFi grade device not made for average home users. If you are confident you can set it up without much grief or are technical I couldn't recommend this enough. It really is the ultimate Access Point. Also if you might need more than one Access Point, adding more and provisioning them is a snap. You can build out a massive Wireless network with one WiFi SSID and travel from one area to another around the office or home without reconnecting every time. Need more WiFi on the other side of the house or across the office? Plug a new one in let it grab an IP from DHCP then using the UniFi controller provision it into your network. Thanks for reading my review!