Wifi Access Points

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alex1002

Member
Apr 9, 2013
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Good day,
I currently got the unifi N access points and they are total crap. Anyone can recommend me some good AC access points.
Thank you
 

bds1904

Active Member
Aug 30, 2013
271
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Tell us a little more about your needs.

Do you need more than one ap?
Square footage?
Outside coverage?
What will the WiFi be used for? (General access, video streaming, large file xfers, etc)
Existing wiring/switches?
What type of POE is desired?
Are you able to run additional wiring?
Is seamless roaming desired/required?
General design of house/building materials?
 

alex1002

Member
Apr 9, 2013
519
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I have about three floors 1,000 sq ft each. No need for outside. Wireless will be used for a mix of file transfer, video, general. Poe switches are available. I can run additional cables.
 

bds1904

Active Member
Aug 30, 2013
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I have only had decent luck with the original unifi pro access points. The rest of the lineup has been buggy and slow. The 1st generation ac series had terrible range, was buggy and had no zero handoff. The current ac line firmware is also very buggy. The hardware is there but the software is unstable.

I have have very good luck with the open-mesh lineup of om5p-an and their mr1750 also. The mr1750 is 802.11ac, but as of now they have not enabled the higher nitrates because of some firmware issues they are working out. They still run 900mbit just fine and should be fully enabled pretty quick.

Another nice thing about open-mesh is the seamless roaming, it just works. I can walk end to end roaming to different access points without dropping a VoIP call. Very nice. The manager is also nice because it is free and offsite. Again, it just works. My 2 favorite parts of the manager is email notifications and a set maintance window. No random firmware updates in the middle of the day.

As for the downside to open-mesh, it only supports 4 SSID's. Other than that you can do everything 97% of people need to do. Splash pages, force DNS servers, vlan, guest networks, throttling, etc.

As far as the layout, if your house is rectangular I would suggest one on each level, slightly offset to one side of the house in a staggered pattern. This will enable good coverage to every space, even at the far edge of the house.
 

Pete L.

Member
Nov 8, 2015
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Beantown, MA
I really like the EnGenius Line of APs, they are stand alone, very fast, lots of configuration options and provide great coverage in my experience. I've installed them in several locations without any issues whatsoever. I haven't had any complaints about them ever / No Reboots needed in well over a year in a few locations.
 
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Terry Kennedy

Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2015
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www.glaver.org
I've been using Cisco Aironet 1252 APs for most deployments - they are dirt cheap on eBay from sellers like Eli Systems for $44.10 in Qty 1 down to $31.41 in Qty 100. These things are built like battleships - cast aluminum frame, etc.

The only thing you might need to be concerned about is the Cisco IOS command line, although these units have a web interface that should let yo configure everything that way if you prefer.
 

maze

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
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Whats your budget?

I have no experience with Ruckus brand. But Cisco and Meraki are rock solid stuff. Meraki will run you without a controller (cloud based controller unit) but they charge a subscription fee though.

I've been using Cisco Aironet 1252 APs for most deployments - they are dirt cheap on eBay from sellers like Eli Systems for $44.10 in Qty 1 down to $31.41 in Qty 100. These things are built like battleships - cast aluminum frame, etc.

The only thing you might need to be concerned about is the Cisco IOS command line, although these units have a web interface that should let yo configure everything that way if you prefer.
They wont let you roam though.. running them in autonomous mode - if you want proper roaming you'll need to run a controller (either physical or virtual) if im not totally off my beat.
 

wildchild

Active Member
Feb 4, 2014
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Whats your budget?

I have no experience with Ruckus brand. But Cisco and Meraki are rock solid stuff. Meraki will run you without a controller (cloud based controller unit) but they charge a subscription fee though.



They wont let you roam though.. running them in autonomous mode - if you want proper roaming you'll need to run a controller (either physical or virtual) if im not totally off my beat.
Actually they will, provided you use wpa2 enterprise/radius
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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Disclaimer - I did have a team doing a project at Ruckus before leaving PwC in 2015.

Quick thoughts on the enterprise segment:
  • Ubiquiti - their business model is basically push all development to whatever ODM/ chipset manufacturer they use. Their corporate structure/ controls have been so thin that they let $47M be transferred out of the company. Given the size of the company (~$600M/ yr in revenue) that is a huge sum. If you used that same percentage on old HP revenue of $100B or so, it would be like HP just let $7.5-8B be transferred out of the company and had no controls to stop it. I use Ubiquiti at home but I would not use them at work after what I learned. Super easy to use and deploy in SOHO/ SMB settings though.
  • Meraki - this is really dominating the corporate Wi-Fi network world right now. People that are Cisco network folks buy these like crazy. The old knock is that the per-AP management fees are high and you need to keep paying to keep the APs alive. If you look at the growth rate of the product, easy to see why it is doing well.
  • Ruckus - they pretty much specialize in radios or what they call "having the best RF" - they had BeamFlex before beam forming was big. If I lived in a crowded apartment building and just wanted to beat out interference, I would probably go Ruckus. Their lower-end Xclaim line (more of a competitor to Ubiquiti) is growing fast.
  • Aerohive - focuses on Education segment
  • HP/ Aruba - not really focused on the SMB/ SOHO space.
I use Ubiquiti at home and I have recommended it to others. I might be inclined to get some of their cheap LR AC AP's for now, then get ready for 802.11ac Wave 2 this year before getting something higher end.
 

Diavuno

Active Member
Disclaimer - I did have a team doing a project at Ruckus before leaving PwC in 2015.

Quick thoughts on the enterprise segment:
  • Ubiquiti - their business model is basically push all development to whatever ODM/ chipset manufacturer they use. Their corporate structure/ controls have been so thin that they let $47M be transferred out of the company. Given the size of the company (~$600M/ yr in revenue) that is a huge sum. If you used that same percentage on old HP revenue of $100B or so, it would be like HP just let $7.5-8B be transferred out of the company and had no controls to stop it. I use Ubiquiti at home but I would not use them at work after what I learned. Super easy to use and deploy in SOHO/ SMB settings though.
  • Meraki - this is really dominating the corporate Wi-Fi network world right now. People that are Cisco network folks buy these like crazy. The old knock is that the per-AP management fees are high and you need to keep paying to keep the APs alive. If you look at the growth rate of the product, easy to see why it is doing well.
  • Ruckus - they pretty much specialize in radios or what they call "having the best RF" - they had BeamFlex before beam forming was big. If I lived in a crowded apartment building and just wanted to beat out interference, I would probably go Ruckus. Their lower-end Xclaim line (more of a competitor to Ubiquiti) is growing fast.
  • Aerohive - focuses on Education segment
  • HP/ Aruba - not really focused on the SMB/ SOHO space.
I use Ubiquiti at home and I have recommended it to others. I might be inclined to get some of their cheap LR AC AP's for now, then get ready for 802.11ac Wave 2 this year before getting something higher end.

Spot on.
another tid bit, Miraki guarantees there equipment for LIFE!
.... with a continual active subscription (not the cheapest)

Ruckas has lifetime as well, but you'll need to but controllers in some deployments.
Upfront is similar to miraki, but no subscription means you'll save in the long run.

Ubiquiti, has been reliable, but they only back it up for a year.
At their super low cost I'll buy a couple in case one goes down.
 

Patrick

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Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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I should add that the Netgear guys now have a cloud controller solution that looks interesting.
 

alex1002

Member
Apr 9, 2013
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Right now we use ubiquiti. But they seem horrible. We paid $350 per device and been nothing but nightmare. Slow connections. Lots of drop outs.
 

maze

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
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Right now we use ubiquiti. But they seem horrible. We paid $350 per device and been nothing but nightmare. Slow connections. Lots of drop outs.
The main reason I dont recommend ubiquiti more than I do to customers, is the fact that the controller software is somewhat limited to tweaking and troubleshooting - imo - compared to the more enterprise related stuff.
 
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Jon Massey

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Nov 11, 2015
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I've got a couple of Linksys LAPAC1750 which have been very simple to set up, perform well and have been super reliable
 
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FRPII

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Dec 2, 2015
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I know this thread is getting on a bit but I wanted to throw my experience in.

I've been using Ruckus APs at home for a good while now and I love them. I started with a 7982 (their top-tier .11n box) standalone and currently run an R700 with a ZoneDirector 1100 controller. I also own a R500 and R600 and have ran various combinations of standalone APs, their Unleashed firmware on the R500/600 and more recently with the controller. My neighborhood has the typical WiFi congestion that kept my old TP-Link setup from working effectively however with the Ruckus gear my WiFi feels like a wired connection (neglecting large file transfers of course). I don't even bother to plug my ThinkPads into the LAN anymore. Real world results with my .11n ThinkPad on the far side of the house went from 1-2mbit/s with poor stability with the TP-Link to 150+ solid with the 7982.

The hardware can be had for a fraction of new off eBay in excellent condition. I'll be putting some of mine back up for sale as I'm done experimenting.

I highly recommend them for home use. I'll never go back to consumer WiFi hardware.

Edit: I should note Nest thermostats don't seem to play nice with Ruckus APs.
 
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