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Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 11, 2019 12:12PM
I plan on having an ethernet backhaul for my wifi network. If you're dealing with thick walls you might as well - at least if you're willing to run it. And if you're doing that, do you really need a mesh network or just a couple of good access points?

I'm curious if anyone has used Ubiquiti access points in this manner and if there's anything I'm overlooking.



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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: April 11, 2019 01:39PM
I am using a Ubiquiti Edge Router X [store.ui.com] and a Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC PRO [www.ui.com]. I bought it initially thinking I would need an addtional WAP, but the one WAP has been able to cover our house effectively (3700 sq ft wood-framed/drywall home - two story).

My goal was to set up three segregated networks (Home, Guest, and IOT). I came across a person who wrote up an extensive write-up how to set up all of the equipment. It is not for the faint of heart to set up, but now that it is done, I no longer have to reboot equipment like I used to before with my previous router (Apple Extreme Base Station and later a PepWave Surf SoHo). or have equipment that all of sudden is no longer connected. The only time I reboot the equipment is for firmware updates.

The extensive write-up saved me a lot of headaches and made it possible for me to be up and running fairly quickly.

[github.com]

Cost-wise I am in around $180 ($130 for the WAP and $50 for the router). If you want to set up additional WAPs, you need to have switches that are VLAN aware. I use these from T-Link: [www.tp-link.com] so you have to factor that in if your current switches don't have the needed support.

I went this route because I wanted to learn more about networking and VLANs. So, for me $180 was a good price for the learning I gained. And now we have a very solid network in our house to boot.

Good luck!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2019 01:40PM by Gilbert.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: GGD
Date: April 11, 2019 02:17PM
I went for dirt-cheap when I recently upgraded my home WiFi with one access point on each floor. Found these Arris AC-1750 2G/5G routers for under $25 each at Amazon's Warehouse Deals (currently $17.31 each). I disable DHCP, set them all to the same SSID and Password, choose different channels for each location, and connect them via Gigabit Ethernet to my LAN/Router.

[www.amazon.com]
[www.amazon.com]

There are a lot of reviews that mention dropped connections and the need for daily reboots. I have not experienced that, but I am also not using the routing functionality of them, I'm just using them as an access point. I do think that these issues might be why there's a good cheap supply of them at Amazon Warehouse Deals, so YMMV.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 11, 2019 02:23PM
Is there a particular reason why you went with the pro instead of the lite? Everything I've read has stated that aside from close range 3x3 MIMO range users lite will work fine. But maybe models have been updated.

The Edge Router X fills my heart with joy although I can think of almost _no_ reason why I'd need one. Still, the fact that it exists is comforting. Happy little clever box!

I do like the idea of buying access points one at a time until you figure out what you need.

Perhaps someday I'll need more advanced features but thats probably a few years down the road. I'll eventually need to manage my son's digital consumption.



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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 11, 2019 02:40PM
.....only with mesh net.....stockings.....???



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 11, 2019 02:43PM
Quote
GGD
I went for dirt-cheap when I recently upgraded my home WiFi with one access point on each floor. Found these Arris AC-1750 2G/5G routers for under $25 each at Amazon's Warehouse Deals (currently $17.31 each). I disable DHCP, set them all to the same SSID and Password, choose different channels for each location, and connect them via Gigabit Ethernet to my LAN/Router.

As you move through your hose does handover work well? That always seems to be the flaw in multiple access point setups - when your device stays connected to a distant and weak signal.



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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: April 11, 2019 02:44PM
I went with the Pro at the time in hopes it would cover the whole house and I wasn't sure if the Lite would be able to do it. In addition to covering our home, the wifi signal from the Pro reaches into our backyard quite a ways allowing for our two external AirPlay speaker to be used.

I don't think you can go wrong either way. As long as you purchase from a seller with a good return policy in case something doesn't work the way you hope.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 11, 2019 02:46PM
Matt, the secret to roaming networks is to use very different channels for each access point. Most OS's handle the signal strength issue pretty well as long as there isn't contention on the same channel. I applaud the decision to run an ethernet backbone. It's the best solution to futureproof a home network.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: GGD
Date: April 11, 2019 02:58PM
Quote
mattkime
As you move through your hose does handover work well? That always seems to be the flaw in multiple access point setups - when your device stays connected to a distant and weak signal.

I don't really have a lot of experience moving around with an active connection. Usually we're carrying a sleeping laptop, getting settled in a room and waking it up, it then finds the strongest signal. Similar with phones. Take it out of your pocket, wake it up and it finds the strongest signal.

But with WiFi enabled on the laptops/phones there is no need to mess with the settings each time, it just connects to the best access point using the SSID/PW that the device is set to remember, but it could be connected to any of the access points.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 11, 2019 03:06PM
Quote
cbelt3
I applaud the decision to run an ethernet backbone. It's the best solution to futureproof a home network.

Most of the cable snaking will be in an unfinished basement so it should be pretty easy.

Hm, I should research what I'm getting into. I know I could wander my way through it but I should probably do some research.



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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: rouderon
Date: April 11, 2019 03:09PM
Nice link, Gilbert! I wished that I had that info when I set mine up!

So, Matt - I initially bought the Ubiquiti setup for the last place we lived (very long distance from one side to the other, basement, thick walls). Also, I wanted control over my kid's 'digital consumption' as you put it. The iPhone app is awesome, and I can easily kill/reenable individual wifi connections. I have the Edgerouter X and 3 UAPs (2 AC Lites and an AC-LR). Not sure the LR (long range) is much better than the Lites. I also had some issues with the controller (was using an old Mac Mini). So, I bought a Ubiquiti Cloud Key and have had no issues since (plugs right into the Edgerouter X. I hardwired one of my old Airport Extremes into the mix (bought some dLink 5 port switches) and am using that only to access a shared hdd I have plugged into it. And, I did VLAN two separate networks, one called Homework and the other Freetime. I threw OpenDNS on the Homework network to really lock it down (no shenanigans during homework!). You can set specific times that each network is available, which also comes in handy! I will warn you, though, that there is a definite learning curve to the initial setup. But like Gilbert said, once you get it going, you're golden! My brother uses this system and their cameras, which are also incredible! He showed me live footage a while back and it was crystal clear. If you do go this route, I'd suggest starting with [at very least] the Edgerouter X, Cloud Key, and 2 AC Lites, and then go from there.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: April 11, 2019 04:45PM
If you are running an ethernet backhaul to your switch you do not need a mesh network. In fact, a mesh network will run slower for you as there is overhead.

Handoff will work just fine as long as you are using an enterprise grade solution. The Ubiquity gear will work great with handoff, as will a number of others.

Some tips:
Try and get just a plain modem from your ISP. Not an all in one box with wifi, just a straight up modem that hands off via ethernet to the WAN port of your router.

Depending on how many hardwire connections you need it might be worthwhile to get a sperate router and switch as well. Most routers have 4 ports or less.

I have pretty much the same setup you are looking for. I have my MDF in the basement and have a 12 port patch panel down to terminate the runs that go to every room in the house and to the access point and camera locations.

Here is my setup: Meraki MR33 for access points, MX64 Router, and MS220-8P switch.




C(-)ris
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2019 04:51PM by C(-)ris.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 11, 2019 08:27PM
.....silk....stalkings.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: Cary
Date: April 12, 2019 05:06AM
I !looked into the Ubiquiti offerings, but decided they were over the top for my usage, especially from a cost perspective.

I ended up with the Netgear Orbi 2 pack, which I bought as a efurb, for ~$160. Ubiquity would have been much pricier.

I use Ethernet as the backbone, not wireless.

This setup is much faster than the Asus AiMesh setup i had before, and easy to manage. It's been rock solid since install.

I don't use the access privileges portion (kids are grown), so I can't comment on that.

The idea of having a separate IOT network is interesting. Why? What is the value?
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: April 12, 2019 09:37AM
Hi Cary,

The goal of having a separate IOT network is to have an additional layer of security. Often times, IOT devices are not updated by the manufacturers to address new vulnerabilities. As a result, IOT devices are often the target of network attacks serving as the vector used to gain access to a network. By having the IOT devices on their own separate network, it reduces the chances of someone gaining access to one's primary network through an IOT device.

Is this overkill? Most likely, but it didn't cost anything extra with the equipment I purchased so I went ahead and did it. Would I recommend family and friends to do it? I would mention it, but most won't do it.

I seriously considered the Netgear Orbi offerings. They are great devices but, in my case, were a little more expensive than what I ended up purchasing using Ubiquiti. However, I have recommended Orbi to family and friends for their ease of use/setup and performance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2019 09:37AM by Gilbert.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: April 12, 2019 09:52AM
FWIW, I switched from my eero system (shortly after the Amazon buyout) to the Ubiquiti Amplifi; specifically I got the Gamer Edition via a friend who was moving to a different setup.

Results have been spectacular. The eero was quite good, but hard-to-reach spots in the house were still struggling, even with an additional eero. With the Amplifi, my son was pulling 80 to 100 Mbps where he was barely cracking 20 to 30 with the eero (and before that, 5 to 10 with the Airport). (I'm on a 150 tier via Comcast; my hardwired setup at the base point routinely gets 200 to 250 on a good day.)



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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 12, 2019 05:52PM
Quote
Gilbert
The goal of having a separate IOT network is to have an additional layer of security. Often times, IOT devices are not updated by the manufacturers to address new vulnerabilities. As a result, IOT devices are often the target of network attacks serving as the vector used to gain access to a network. By having the IOT devices on their own separate network, it reduces the chances of someone gaining access to one's primary network through an IOT device.

This is good advice.



It is what it is.
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Re: Anyone using Ubiquiti access points instead of orbi or another mesh network?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: April 12, 2019 10:21PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
Gilbert
The goal of having a separate IOT network is to have an additional layer of security. Often times, IOT devices are not updated by the manufacturers to address new vulnerabilities. As a result, IOT devices are often the target of network attacks serving as the vector used to gain access to a network. By having the IOT devices on their own separate network, it reduces the chances of someone gaining access to one's primary network through an IOT device.

This is good advice.

I just use my Guest Network for IOT devices. There really isn't any reason to have the devices on your primary network if they only need internet access. Updates and vulnerabilities are why I still use AppleTVs for Airplay despite having most other Apple TV features available in Roku. Keep the Roku boxes on the guest network, AppleTV on the internal. I trust that Apple is actively patching vulnerabilities, but not Roku.



C(-)ris
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