Quality Home Wi-Fi Networks with Ubiquiti UniFi

Many of us simply rely on the router from our ISP to provide our home wireless Internet access.  However for others with larger homes, thicker walls, multiple users or guest network requirements, that’s often not enough.  In addition, most routers are plugged into the master socket in our houses which can be in a location that’s far from optimal for providing WiFi coverage to the rest of the property.

We’ve been looking around for an enterprise quality wireless access point that can provide an extended mesh Wi-Fi network and the Ubiquiti UniFi range looks just the ticket.  Amongst the models available are 802.11a/b/g/n and ac support, plus 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands and features including extended range units, PoE, ceiling and wall mount options and outdoor rated units too.

While the features are enterprise grade UniFi has more consumer grade pricing with the very capable basic Access Points starting at around £55.00 and the latest  all singing all dancing 802.11ac wap topping out around £240.

This new 802.11ac version (Gigabit Wi-Fi) of the hardware was announced earlier this year and can deliver more than three times the data transfer speeds of the current 802.11n protocol in addition to improved network robustness, reliability and RF bandwidth utilisation efficiency for demanding applications such as HD video.  Check out the webinar video below for more details.

Ubiquiti’s new UniFi 3.0 software offers unique and innovative “Zero Hand-Off Roaming” technology that enables mobile users to roam anywhere and seamlessly maintain their connection as they switch to the nearest AP. Whereas existing roaming solutions require negotiation with the client device and may cause latency and/or interoperability problems, Ubiquiti’s Zero Hand-Off Roaming makes multiple APs appear as a single AP, so it can work with any client and require no interaction from the client device.

UniFi 3.0 builds on previous UniFi releases, which offer comprehensive hotspot management and a flexibly deployed software controller. The controller can run on-premises, in a private cloud or public cloud. New features of the UniFi 3.0 software include:

  • Multi-site management capabilities, enabling a single controller to manage distributed deployments and multi-tenancy for managed service providers
  • Detailed analytics, which can be used for managing large user populations and for faster troubleshooting
  • WLAN Groups for flexible configuration of large deployments
  • Wireless mesh capabilities so that APs do not require a wired uplink

Ubiquiti UniFi Dashboard

ubnt.com/unifi   :   Available from Amazon

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5 Comments on "Quality Home Wi-Fi Networks with Ubiquiti UniFi"

  1. davidMbrooke | June 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

    I’ve also been looking for an affordable enterprise-grade WiFi solution for my new house and I’ve also settled on the Ubiquiti range as the leading contender. Availability of the new 802.11ac models seems to be rather limited at the moment, and hopefully the price will come down a bit once those become more mainstream.

  2. I have wanted proper hand off between base stations in my house for years – it’s impossible with normal wifi routers. I was so excited when I saw this post that I immediately bought a 3 AP pack from Lintix. You need to upgrade to a beta version of the firmware to get the auto handoff between base stations, and the beta version is not completely without issues, however I’ve had it up and running for just a day, and it’s working amazingly so far. It’s brilliant being able to move round the house and not loose connection. Thanks so much for posting about this.

  3. Martin – thanks for the update. We’ve ordered a couple of units to try but they haven’t arrived yet so that’s good to hear.

  4. Have 3 of these at work. After experimenting with it, it seems that the accesspoints have to have good RF visibility of each other to turn the radio on in zero handoff mode, if the APs are out of site, one will turn on its accesspoint and the others will just sit there doing nothing. It also seems that it has issues handing off between 2 accesspoints that are out of RF range of each other, even when a third one is visible to both, but not to the client device which is moving. Im assuming there is some management happening over the air between accesspoints rather than over the ethernet to allow for the zero handoff to work.

  5. Thanks Richard, good to know. I was going to buy some for zero handoff connected over ethernet but not all of them would have RF range of each other (long line of 4) so looks like the solution won’t work.

    Lucky for me nobody has any stock to I haven’t been able to order any!

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