Ruckus Wireless as an Unifi alternative?

Vesalius

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Nov 25, 2019
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I'm in the process of looking for unifi alternative myself and Ruckus is on my radar. Can anyone running Ruckus at home enlighten me on how management of multiple AP's works? Is there a subscritpion cost associated with the management software? I'm not willing to part with a single controller interface for configuring and managing all my AP's so I'm quite curious if this could be a drop in replacement for what I'm running now.
Unleashed is no upfront cost or subscription fees. A separate controller is not used for unleashed, one of the AP will take over as master and the others will be slave. if the Master goes down one of the slaves will be promoted to Master. Unleashed will manage all your ruckus AP, caveat as long as all on the same software version, and wlan's via one interface. Changes made there populate to all AP. Mesh in Ruckus terminology, is only for when you use wifi for the connecting backhaul. If using ethernet backhaul, then "mesh" not desirable. All AP will still interface with each other, adjust signal strength, and channels without mesh (wifi backhaul) as expected.
 

klui

Active Member
Feb 3, 2019
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Newer versions of Unleashed, as of 800.9 has a license feature for URL filtering. It retails for $60/3 years/AP and if you enable it you get a 90-day trial license for up to 120 APs.
 

neb50

Member
Aug 28, 2018
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Newer versions of Unleashed, as of 800.9 has a license feature for URL filtering. It retails for $60/3 years/AP and if you enable it you get a 90-day trial license for up to 120 APs.
What is the purpose or benefit to doing the URL filtering in the AP and not on a firewall or DNS server?
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
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As someone who recently spun up a Ruckus Unleashed WiFi network (3x 750's, 1x 720 as mesh) instead of a Unifi-based one, I would claim that the Unleashed interface is a simple, single point of management interface. The first AP (usually) becomes the master and it's IP address is the address of the controller interface. Any subsequently added AP is managed through this interface. There is no cost for Unleashed and it does work reasonably well. The docs are also pretty clear (https://docs.commscope.com/bundle?l...alue=&rpp=10&sort.field=title&sort.value=asc#)
Thank you very much for this feedback.


Unleashed is no upfront cost or subscription fees. A separate controller is not used for unleashed, one of the AP will take over as master and the others will be slave. if the Master goes down one of the slaves will be promoted to Master. Unleashed will manage all your ruckus AP, caveat as long as all on the same software version, and wlan's via one interface. Changes made there populate to all AP. Mesh in Ruckus terminology, is only for when you use wifi for the connecting backhaul. If using ethernet backhaul, then "mesh" not desirable. All AP will still interface with each other, adjust signal strength, and channels without mesh (wifi backhaul) as expected.
Thank you, this is helpful feedback.
 

klui

Active Member
Feb 3, 2019
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Guess it's more for those who don't have a more advanced firewall/server to do this stuff on.
There's a little more to it than that and I can understand the added cost. Their team categorizes URLs into 4 broad categories out of ~85 individual ones like "nudity, sports, etc." and you can optionally select from each individual one and create a custom one. You can get an idea by going into WiFI Networks [Edit], Show Advanced Options > Access Control > Enable URL Filtering [+].

The issue for a home is the license covers 1 AP not installation.
 

neb50

Member
Aug 28, 2018
55
14
8
I'm in the process of looking for unifi alternative myself and Ruckus is on my radar. Can anyone running Ruckus at home enlighten me on how management of multiple AP's works? Is there a subscritpion cost associated with the management software? I'm not willing to part with a single controller interface for configuring and managing all my AP's so I'm quite curious if this could be a drop in replacement for what I'm running now.
The Unleashed is fairly easy to work with and has most of the same features as the Unifi for the AP's. Once you get the AP's and load the Unleashed firmware, then everything just works. The firmware is free, but you may need an account to download it from their site.

One difference that I found was you are not able to set Wireless networks per AP and per band like you could do in Unifi. I think there is a way to do it using AP groups and by CLI into the controller.

I actually like the graphs and displays better on Unleashed using the web and the phone app works fairly well.
 
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IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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One difference that I found was you are not able to set Wireless networks per AP and per band like you could do in Unifi. I think there is a way to do it using AP groups and by CLI into the controller.
Hmmm, this could be a problem. Because I have certainly wireless network that are only on 2.4GHz right now and some only on 5GHz. That's a pretty important feature to me.
 

neb50

Member
Aug 28, 2018
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Hmmm, this could be a problem. Because I have certainly wireless network that are only on 2.4GHz right now and some only on 5GHz. That's a pretty important feature to me.
You can set a wireless network to be on one band only and it will be that way on all AP's.

It is just not as easy to put SSID1 on AP1 both bands, AP2 2.4 only, and AP3 5 only. Or to put SSID2 on AP1 and AP2 but not on AP3.
 

TXAG26

Active Member
Aug 2, 2016
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Hmmm, this could be a problem. Because I have certainly wireless network that are only on 2.4GHz right now and some only on 5GHz. That's a pretty important feature to me.
I’m pretty sure this feature is available through Groups. You can also override certain features per each AP.
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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Is there a youtube video or article you can link me to that shows the Ruckus controller webui at all?
 

Kev

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Feb 16, 2015
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Ooof. That interface is looked daaaaaaaaaaaated.
I am so happy that Ruckus is set it and forget it kind of device setup. I don't need a single pane of glass to keep on tweaking my wifi to get better handoffs, etc. Also, the ruckus has so many enterprise features like built in guest portal with guest pass printout or social media auth.
 

neb50

Member
Aug 28, 2018
55
14
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Ooof. That interface is looked daaaaaaaaaaaated.
I'm with Key. It gives me the info that I need and they just work. Once they are setup, you really don't need to mess with them.

Also, the full web interface is running on one of the AP's along with the controller software for the rest of AP's so it does pretty good for what it is.

I went from 5 Unifi AP's, with 3 in my basement, to get good wifi coverage in my house to 3 Ruckus AP's and might have been able to go to 1 or 2 since the signal and coverage is so much better. The Unifi AP's had issues working around the metal ductwork and beams that go across my basement. Now the R750 in my 2nd story attic is able to cover almost anywhere in my house, including the basement, with decent performance.
 

klui

Active Member
Feb 3, 2019
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My general interface to all my systems is typically some dashboard from an NMS but main interaction is through cli. I have to admit the Ruckus cli is quite daunting.
 

hmw

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Apr 29, 2019
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Are there any reviews or performance tests for R720/R750? I haven’t seen any

every vendor has their own test supposedly beating the others - that includes Cisco, Meraki, Ruckus and Ubiquiti

Would be great to see an impartial test for these APs
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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While each brand will claim better than the other take a look at the spec sheets and evaluate power and sensitivity and signal propagation or coverage maps. What you will see is the better enterprise devices age worlds ahead of the cheap consumer type radios. Cisco, Ruckus, Aruba for example seem to stand above the rest.

reviews to me are not all that useful as some designs of antenna for example of say a Cisco device may be better to be ceiling mounted in an office but the Aruba device works better in a warehouse, maybe the meraki does best in congested environments and ruckus has the best distance antenna’s.

afraid it’s just not a simple answer
 

hmw

Active Member
Apr 29, 2019
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And we still have reviews and tests else people - especially in enterprises - cannot make “informed” decisions. It’s not just spec sheets and power ratings (in a congested/high density environment, higher power ratings aren’t as useful anyways)

What I’m saying is that I haven’t seen any tests of enterprise WLAN APs - wonder if there’s language prohibiting that in the T&C/licensing ...
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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For sure not saying more powerful is better but generally more sensitive is. Anyway in a congested high density environment you want your AP’s set to low power and all the various options to promote early hand off.

I can say having being a little involved in a Cisco vs Aruba comparisons there isn’t that much difference. Most companies will pick an AP provider based on what they use for network or security.