Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
oj88

Ubiquiti UniFi Users?

Recommended Posts

oj88

Sooo... I just ordered one UAP-AC-LR off eBay ($109) and it will probably take til the middle of the month to arrive. Was wondering if anybody else is using any of their products? How is it compared to consumer ones?

 

One thing that's important to me is that the AP needs to be powerful enough (CPU-wise) to handle at least 15-17 active clients. The new AP will be replacing a Cisco Aironet 1231 (a/b/g) which, during its prime, can handle 25+ clients without any issues. But lately, with Plex, Netflix, Rokus, Smart TVs, wireless IP phones & security cameras, along with BYOD/mobile devices using WiFi, this decade-old Aironet is hitting its limit and would sometimes just decide to stop forwarding traffic. The Aironet may be enterprise-grade in 2005 but it's no longer sufficient in this modern age of high-bandwidth clients.

 

I'm hoping that the Ubiquiti (also being marketed as enterprise-grade) will be able to handle what we have and afford me some future-proofing. I only bought one to try out and will just be replacing the one AP that has the most concurrent users. I have three more APs scattered around the house/compound; a 2nd identical Aironet, a TP-Link and an Asus (the last two are running DD-WRT).

 

If this experiment works, I'll very likely replace all the APs with UAP-AC / AC-LR.

 

Any tips, pitfalls, gotchas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
snapper

yep, running a pair of UAP-AC-LR at home.

 

Works well, the LR model has better RX antenna, so for best results, set the TX power on both bands to the minimum you need to get good performance in the area it covers. Start at Low Power and work upwards.

in general, its better to have more APs on lower power than fewer on higher power because wifi is a 2-way signal; you can have a very "shouty" AP but its useless if it can't hear the small transmitter reply in the phone (or whatever...)

 

You can run the controller software and just stop it when you have setup the AP, but I run it full-time on a VM as it gives good info on usage stats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oj88

Appreciate that so much.

 

A couple of questions for you: What sort of added functionality do I gain if I leave the controller app running? In a pinch, can these APs be reconfigured without the app?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
snapper

Appreciate that so much.

 

A couple of questions for you: What sort of added functionality do I gain if I leave the controller app running? 

 

 

Just usage stats really. The controller is a bit of a misnomer as its really just a config and monitoring tool.

If you want to run a portal on there (e.g. paying guests) then the controller needs to run for the integration, but if its a straightforward setup, its not essential.

In a pinch, can these APs be reconfigured without the app?

 

No, you need to use the mobile app (android, not sure about iOS) or windows/linux/osx app for config. IIRC, someone did a port for a NAS, not sure if it was synology though.

That said, you can install the Windows app on your server and only run it when you need it - the APs don't need the app to run.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GotNoTime

The mobile app requires a minimum firmware version on the AP to work. As you're getting this AP from eBay, it may have a very old version of firmware on it. You can upgrade via SSH or just install the controller to upgrade + configure it.

 

The controller apparently runs okay on a Raspberry Pi 2.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GotNoTime

One thing that's important to me is that the AP needs to be powerful enough (CPU-wise) to handle at least 15-17 active clients. The new AP will be replacing a Cisco Aironet 1231 (a/b/g) which, during its prime, can handle 25+ clients without any issues. But lately, with Plex, Netflix, Rokus, Smart TVs, wireless IP phones & security cameras, along with BYOD/mobile devices using WiFi, this decade-old Aironet is hitting its limit and would sometimes just decide to stop forwarding traffic.

Odd. It shouldn't abruptly stop forwarding traffic and the CPU is capable of running the AP at maximum load. It sounds like buggy firmware to me.

 

I'd still advise you to shift as much as possible onto wired Ethernet however. Most of your devices will be 802.11g and 802.11n still so you won't be able to realise the full benefit of 802.11ac.

 

Two warnings however. Band steering was very flakey the last time I tried it and they temporarily disabled it in the controller. Roaming on UniFi APs isn't great but it sounds like you're unlikely to be affected by this anyway.

 

If this experiment works, I'll very likely replace all the APs with UAP-AC / AC-LR.

Don't buy the old big square UAP-AC. Only buy the new round UAP-ACs. The big square one has issues...
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oj88

I'm thinking that my current AP's problem is possibly due to failing hardware. It only started acting up during the past month or so. These Cisco Aironet 1231 APs, even with the aluminum housing, gets pretty hot to the touch while in operation.

 

I'm thinking of running the controller app in WHS2011. I don't suppose it requires too much resources, does it? If it does, I can spin up a Win10 instance in ESXi, alongside pfSense (HP N40L host). But that's another OS to maintain. I do have a RasPi 2... hmmm. 

 

I try to put everything on wired gigabit as much as I can, but not all parts of the house have them. And certainly not the IP cams that was only installed as an afterthought.

 

I'll take your advice about not getting the square UAPs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GotNoTime

I'm thinking that my current AP's problem is possibly due to failing hardware. It only started acting up during the past month or so. These Cisco Aironet 1231 APs, even with the aluminum housing, gets pretty hot to the touch while in operation.

Sounds like it. If you did want to replace it with another Cisco then I'd suggest something like a 1702i which is the equivalent of a UAP-AC. The Cisco APs are much nicer to use with a WLC though. It will work without as you know but functionality is limited and the standalone mode GUI is pretty awful.

 

I don't suppose it requires too much resources, does it?

It consists of a Java app that is the actual controller and a MongoDB server for the storage backend. It is fairly lightweight assuming you don't set the retention time on historical data to be huge.

 

I'll take your advice about not getting the square UAPs.

Search the UniFi forum for UAP-AC and buggy. A lot of the promised "it'll be fixed/added in a firmare update" never happened. Most of the new development work went into the new round UAP-AC Pro/Lites. I've got one of the first gen square UAC-APs and whilst it does work, it isn't reliable. The second gen square UAP-AP is supposedly slightly better but still not rock solid. YMMV. Edited by GotNoTime
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rotor

I have just recently installed 2 x UAP AC Pro (the latest generation round ones) at home, and I am over the moon with them. Rock solid so far, WAY better coverage than my 802.11ac Airport Extreme (which in itself had been doing a stellar job for 2 years). I was initially planning to get them professionally installed on the ceiling of the ground and 1st floors, but running them on top of a surface (one on the ground floor, one on the 2nd floor), has given me amazing coverage in my 3 storey house, so I don't think I'm going to bother with the expense of running the cabling for mounting them properly on the ceiling.

 

I haven't tested throughput from a single client, but I don't care about that. I want something that will take everything I throw at it, be super stable, and basically not break a sweat. So far, the UAP AC Pro does that in spades.

 

Highly recommended.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oj88

Appreciate your feedback, rotor. That's reassuring to know.

 

I'm also not after the best throughput. I think that's what many review sites only care about. What's equally important is that it should handle a surge of concurrent connections using any radio standard without a hiccup. Many consumer-grade APs/wireless routers would typically start to become unstable when the number of wireless clients gets into the double digits.

 

And for what it is and what it can do, Ubiquiti's pricing is probably the best thing. Let them people go crazy with the latest Wireless-AC router from Asus or D-Link, which incidentally costs 50-100% more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...