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Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Nov-19 19:12:21
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Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[link to this post]
 
Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points.

A friend has asked me about WiFi Access Points for a thick walled house. Ubiquiti comes to mind, but what is the way to set them up?

Looking at Broadband Buyer, there seems to be options where you have a "Cloud Key" or other means of accessing via a licence (if I have understood correctly).

I believe that there are other ways of setting up, say a couple of Ubquiti WiFi APs with a software utility on a network connected pc which does not have to be on 24/7

Grateful for any pointers.

Many thanks!

Clive

Andrews & Arnold FTTC DrayTek Vigor 2762ac Cisco PAP2T and HUAWEI E5776 with O2 Data SIM
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Nov-19 20:14:25
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
You generally use a controller to set up the access points as the access points have no web interface for configuration. The controller can be downloaded for free as software for Windows, Mac and Linux or you can buy a hardware cloud key.

You don't need to run the controller in most domestic installations except to configure the access points. Once they're configured, the controller can be switched off and only started again when something needs to be changed.

Very few of the sites I have set up have a controller running continuously - and only two have a cloud key so it's very unlikely that one would be needed in this situation.

You can also set-up access points using the mobile app but I've never done this so can't comment on how easy it is.

There are no ongoing licence or other costs whichever way you set things up unless you have an external third party running a controller on a subscription basis.

Most of the wi-fi installations I do these days are in properties with thick walls and I use Ubiquiti equipment but Ubiquiti doesn't have a magical ability to penetrate thick walls better than any other wi-fi equipment. It still needs hardwiring back to the router to be effective.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs

Edited by caffn8me (Fri 01-Nov-19 20:17:12)

Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Nov-19 20:23:24
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Sarah.

It is the reference to "hardware cloud key" which has had me puzzled. I had ideas of it being a key in the sense of an Product Key similar to that required to activate Windows etc.

I will download the controller and see what it looks like etc.

Thanks again.

Cheers!

Clive

Andrews & Arnold FTTC DrayTek Vigor 2762ac Cisco PAP2T and HUAWEI E5776 with O2 Data SIM


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Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Nov-19 20:32:41
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
The cloud key is just a tiny linux computer in a box with an ethernet connector and a power input (which isn't used if the ethernet connection has 802.3af PoE).

It comes in three models and I think you can ignore it completely. All it does is run the same controller that you can download smile

The controller is very good. If you have any questions, just ask.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Nov-19 21:08:04
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
PS - Broadbandbuyer offers a hosted cloud controller service where they run the controller remotely and ship the access points preconfigured. There's no charge for this for the first three years.

You can choose this option and change to a local controller at a later stage if you want. Using their service does mean that the access points will constantly be sending data back to the remote controller over the internet. That's one reason I prefer to configure things locally.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 02-Nov-19 12:54:56
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
There is an Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR. They are not to expensive and I was thinking of mounting one on the ceiling of my house landing. Do you have any experience of them? Are the 802.11k and 802.11r features likely to work with a Zyxel router which also has these wifi features?

Michael Chare
Standard User victoria1214
(newbie) Sat 02-Nov-19 14:10:32
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
I've got three of the AC-LRs and one AC-mesh. Far prefer the AC-LRs and regretted the AC-mesh... The LRs seem to have a much stronger singnal, however I still needed three to cover the house well and there's still one weak spot in the garage!

Re. roaming between access points, can't comment on different manufacturers and roaming between them but can't imagine it'd be a problem. Roaming between the Ubiquiti access is relatively seamless.

And on the software subject, I'm running unifi-controller on a Ubuntu 18.04 box 24/7 for the stats but if you don't want the stats, just boot the app up on a laptop as and when you want to change settings.
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 02-Nov-19 20:41:27
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
The UAP-AC-LR is excellent and I've used it on a number of sites. It's the access point I use for site wi-fi surveys and is also the standard access point across the main site I work at and home. I really can't comment on roaming between the Zyxel and the UAP-AC-LR as there are all sorts of variables at work and roaming is really controlled by the client.

If you have fast roaming enabled in the Unifi controller it seems to work well on the current firmware with modern clients. Some people experience issues with older devices when this is enabled. I can walk around during a VoIP call with a recent Apple client and have no dropped connection across several access points. Without fast roaming enabled, the client drops the connection for about three to four seconds when roaming between access points.

You can almost certainly do a lot more configuration on the Ubiquiti access point's wi-fi parameters than you can on the Zyxel but you won't necessarily need to stray too far from a basic setup. The more 'advanced features' you use, the more likely you are to break something.

One thing you need to consider is whether the absolute fastest speed possible is important. Ubiquiti access points are optimized for stable connections to multiple clients rather than fastest performance to a single client so they're often not as fast as cheaper domestic access points.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User jabuzzard
(committed) Sat 02-Nov-19 23:20:47
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
I manage mine (and set them up) with the mobile app. Mostly to see if it could be done. There is however a chicken and egg problem that most mobile devices are wifi only and well you need functioning wifi to set it up. I used a usb on the go adaptor and a usb ethernet dongle from my laptop to solve that issue. However it works well in my experience, though I only have the one access point in the house.

My favorite is the AC-LR, and they work well with the Edgerouter X SFP which can power them directly with 24V passive POE.

I can also highly recommend the wifiman app on android devices from Ubiquiti too. Its completely free no need for a Ubiquiti device etc. to work
Standard User gary333
(member) Sun 03-Nov-19 09:23:29
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Re: Setting Up Ubiquiti WiFi Access Points


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
One of the suppliers in America who makes lots of videos of UB gear suggests the LR specific model is a marketing gimmick and that it has little point over the Lite and something they rarely use. He says only to bother with Lite and if not enough move to Pro.

Have you tried the Lite and how did you find it compared to the LP.?

YouTube Channel = Cross Talk Solutions.
Added video link: Ubiquiti AP Video Comparison

Edited by gary333 (Sun 03-Nov-19 09:41:45)

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