Wireless Access Point Recommendation

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by acascianelli, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    Looking at the following two access points. Having trouble deciding between the two. I already have all Apple products so that's why I'm considering the Apple AirPort, but I've heard alot of good things about the Ubiquiti units.

    Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC LR
    Apple AirPort Extreme

    I've been looking at the Ubiquiti models for a while now, and I might even opt for the Pro model that supports 1.3Gbps over the LR models 867Mbps. They also support PoE which would make for a cleaner installation in my house. The Apple AirPorts are more expensive, and likely have a much smaller feature set. But from what I've been reading they do perform very well and have good range and speeds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  2. thrash408

    thrash408 Limp Gawd

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    I love my UBNT AP.
     
  3. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm a little confused and worried about how much the PC Java application is required for using and managing the access point. I've read that in order to use some of the advanced features you need to have a PC running the app all the time.
     
  4. Mopower

    Mopower Gawd

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    I think that is for zero handoff and stat tracking. Like how much bandwidth devices have used and such. Otherwise the Unifi Controller is used to configure the AP. For the love of god I wish that would dump that aspect of it and just let us connect to the AP directly and configure it like any other AP on the market.
     
  5. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    I'd vote for the UBNT AP, I've been using one for over a year now, and never had a single problem.

    You don't need the app running 24/7 for anything really except the data tracking (and handoff if you have more than one). I put the controller software on a spare Raspberry Pi myself just so I can keep an eye on the stats.
     
  6. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    So the AP doesn't have a traditional web interface then?

    That's probably exactly what I would end up doing. I have a few spare RPi's laying around.
     
  7. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I vote the UBNT AP. I love my AC Lite. POE is great. Comes with its own little POE injector brick. You do not need to run the controller all the time, just at setup and when you want to look at stats etc.. I run mine on my 24/7 Plex server. Range is pretty good.
     
  8. Mopower

    Mopower Gawd

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    No. You add it to your network and run the Unifi Controller on a PC on the same network. It see's it and allows you to configure it. I have ran into Java issues running the controller on older PC's but using Win 10 I have the controller on my main PC and run it when I need to do something to the AP. The controller can be installed on a Raspberry Pi or other device like a Linux VM on a VM host. The controller allows you to configure multiple AP's. So you log into the controller and it will list all the AP's on your network and you can do stuff from there. The AP's are built for corporations to have 10's of them installed. You can even install them in different locations and have Amazon Web Services host the controller software. Then you can log into that and configure AP's in multiple locations. I have the AC Lite. Love it.
     
  9. scobar

    scobar .

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    I put the controller on a server and run it as a service.
     
  10. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    Be careful with the LR units. As stated in other posts, radio strength in some devices may not be able to get back to the AP. As for the controller, CloudKey is an option as well.
     
  11. diizzy

    diizzy 2[H]4U

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    I run a bunch of TP-Link WDR3600 based APs (LEDE project firmware) and they are all very reliable and most users have Apple phones and/or tablets, 11n however.
     
  12. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'll have to look into that more, I didn't think it would be an issue. I was looking at the LR unit mainly because it had a little bit better 2.4ghz performance.
     
  13. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    Has anybody tried using the iOS app for the UniFi access points? How well does that work for managing the AP's?
     
  14. scottatwittenberg

    scottatwittenberg 2[H]4U

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    I setup 2 Unifi Controllers, one for a client who own about 50 apartment buildings. One for my small IT company. I then made them available over the internet and created http://unifi.ourdomain.com DNS records. On both systems, I am able to centrally manage dozens of WAPs and sites.

    They have a hardware device now, UniFi Cloud Key - UniFi - Ubiquiti Networks Store


    I used it a few times, it is new, so it doesn't have all of the features. I would not use it to setup a new one, because it probably lacks some needed configuration options.
     
  15. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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  16. thrash408

    thrash408 Limp Gawd

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    I installed that cloud key at a side client, worked PERFECT. I can remotely manage that site's switch and AP from anywhere, and it was easy to install. Well worth $80 imo
     
  17. Nate7311

    Nate7311 2[H]4U

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    This entire discussion is why I stopped using UBNT gear and have begun to exclusively deploy Open Mesh stuff. Cloud managed, easy to setup, stable and fast. My Business clients love them for the easy Facebook WiFi integration also.
     
  18. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    Care to clarify?
     
  19. scobar

    scobar .

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    He is saying the other stuff he is using is even easier to deploy, sounds like he is some sort of an It provider and is hooking his sites up with this stuff and not UBNT gear.
     
  20. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    I gathered that much. I'm curious what makes it so much easier. I didn't think it really got any easier than UBNT gear, but i'm always looking for the best products.
     
  21. scobar

    scobar .

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    It its that meraki stuff iirc, it is 100% cloud based so theres nothing on premise other than plug it in, AFAIK. I am also interested, personally not a huge fan of the cloud. There are guides to do the unifi controller in AWS, I guess if you're new to AWS and have prime you can get free time as well?
     
  22. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    Currently run a private Unifi cloud controller with no issues. I like the choice to either use isolated, or cloud, as do my customers.
     
  23. Nate7311

    Nate7311 2[H]4U

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    There have been no less than 5 threads about this subject discussing the same subject (cheap APs) in the last 3 weeks. Ubiquiti always shows up because that been the most popular budget AP vendor on the [H] for years. That's where I first found Ubiquiti as well, way back in the day 5ish years ago. My point is that I've stopped deploying UBNT APs for my clients because I've run into so many issues between flaky java-based software and hardware failures over the years, so I've begun to deploy Open-mesh gear with great success. This is all publicly accessible gear, and they offer a free cloud management solution as part of the purchase price of the AP that works quite well. Open-Mesh | Cloud-Managed Wireless Networks is their website and CloudTrax | A cloud-based network controller is the management portal

    I started with the original UAPs and UAP-LRs that have been bulletproof. The Pros had random hardware failures for me and dismal 5Ghz range. The 1st Gen AC stuff was utter crap. Took 8 weeks to replace my **DEMO** AC unit 3 times to find an operational unit (Documented in Forum history). Between that and the issues that I've had with the controller software over the years, I just dropped it. Ultra cheap isn't always the answer. To be honest, I haven't purchased much of the 2nd gen AC stuff other than 2 or 3 at a request, and they seem much better on functionality, but time will tell with reliability.
     
    scobar likes this.
  24. scobar

    scobar .

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    Excellent objective feedback.
     
  25. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for the clarification. I will get some Open Mesh test units to give them another shot to see if they are better now.
     
  26. Nate7311

    Nate7311 2[H]4U

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    I deploy the crap out of the OM2P-HS units (equivalent to the UAP-LRs), for locations that just need 2.4Ghz. Sometimes you can find them used on eBay for $60ish. That what I did with me early test gear, used on ebay for eval purposes. The MR1750s are definitely pricier than the AC-lites, but are 3x3 rather than 2x2, so the pricing evens out quick. You'll also find that wireless performance is better with the OM gear, not to mention automated true roaming, not zero-handoff.

    My biggest issue with the UBNT gear was the config software, Especially if the client needed the stats or Hotspot functionality, and almost all were strictly windows environments. So that meant the Windows version of the software that was designed to run in the user-space (who does that?!), and adapted to run as a service. I played with building a linux-based cloud controller, but it was still flaky for me. Beyond that, the dual band units (even with horrible 5Ghz range and performance) didn't get band-steering until WAY late in the game! Everyone else in the industry has been doing that for 2 or 3 years now. Lately, my early gen UAPs have begun to fail as well.

    Ya gotta admit too, that the [H] does get a bit fanboi-ish! :D
     
  27. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    I think in every sector there are fanboi attitudes. I'm ok admitting when a product is better, or worse. I myself haven't had a single issue (knock on wood) with Unifi. The controller resides on an Ubuntu server in our datacenter, and has been absolutely rock solid. I agree that the local controller is garbage, and shouldn't even be an option. Thus why they likely came out with the CloudKeys.
     
  28. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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  29. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    Got the new AP setup yesterday, I was able to get it up and running with the iOS app. I'll be setting up an extra Raspberry Pi in the next few days with the controller software.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  30. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    I wanted to kill my ESXI server, so I went with a RPi too. It's been quite solid. I will say I've never had any issues with UniFi on linux like some other here are claiming. I have had a hardware failure or two, but nothing dramatic. Overall UniFi for me is crazy reliable. So I'd definitely recommend getting that controller on RPi.
     
  31. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    Had a chance to stress test the AP last night. Multiple HD NetFlix and Hulu steams along with a torrent running. Maxed out my Internet bandwidth and none of the video steams skipped a beat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  32. boss6021

    boss6021 Limp Gawd

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    That's awesome! Glad to hear you are enjoying your setup.