Product Review: Ubiquity UniFi Access Point

Christopher Lentz | November 05, 2014 09:13 AM

More and more users are going wireless at work, which explains the recent boom over the past few years to develop faster, more reliable wireless networking. One such company in that fight is Ubiquity Networks. Ubiquity Networks started in 2005 in San Jose, California just a short drive from us. Their product line includes both indoor and outdoor units from consumer level up to business level, making them great for any application purpose. We decided to try out their UniFi product and test the things we think that make a great wireless access point.

Setting It Up

Setting up the UniFi is perhaps one of the easiest processes we have experienced in setting up a new access point. Depending on which model you get you will need a PoE switch with 4w or 6w of power on the line. If you do not have a Power over Ethernet switch, they also include a handy AC power adapter to inject power into the line for you. The 4w model, also know as the UAP, provides 20 dBm of transmission power. That much TX power translates into better coverage at further distances from the AP. The 6w model, know as the UAP-LR, increases that to a TX power of 27dBm. The UAP-LR is for larger areas like warehouses and factory floors where a wider coverage area is necessary. After you have the AP in the location you want and connected to your network it is as simple as launching the Controller software from the included CD. The software will automatically locate the AP on your network and launch a web browser to begin the confiuration.

Multiple SSIDs and Networks

If you don't have a flat network, the UniFi can handle that too. Through the UniFi Controller softtware you can configure mutliple SSIDs, each of which can be on thei own separate networks. Unlike older network access points, the UniFi distributes its signal in 360 degrees instead of the 2 planes that previous APs used. This means that cover is extended even further and people in corners are not left out from the blazing quick speeds of these Multi In Multi Out (MIMO) wireless access devices.

Manage All Devices In One Place

The UniFi Controller software also allows you to manage multiple devices from a single interface, thus reducing the time administrators spend configuring devices. This frees them up to address more pressing and important issues around your business. You can also create multiple areas from the controller so that different APs handle different networks or SSIDs. This is by far the most diverse and configurable access point we have ever seen, all while remain insanely easy to configure. 

The Best Part

By now I am sure you are thinking that this access point must cost a fortune for all these great features. You would be dead wrong! The UAP version runs around $70 or so dollars, while the UAP-LR version will cost you just another $15 dollars or so depending on the supplier. Best of all, with the UniFi you don't need to purchase a separate hardware controller to manage the devices. The folks at Ubiquity have thought of everything when it comes to the quality and usability of their products. We are proud to put them at the very top of our list for Hot Products to improve your network.

 

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