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.
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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