Wireless AP thoughts for home use

Hi There!
I would like to finally ditch the AP - router combo provided by my isp (just the AP component, still going to use it for routing) so that I get better coverage in a somewhat large home.
I know very little about networking :confused:

I am not based out of the US so the pricing I get might seem high, also I would like to avoid doing construction work at all costs, which limits my deployment options. I also don’t have as many brands available as you might have in the US (mostly Ubiquity, EnGenius and the large corporation stuff from Cisco and Aruba). No licensing or maintenance costs for this use case is a must

Wondering what your thoughts were on good entry level wireless APs with great range.
From what I have seen the options I’m considering are:

  • Ubiquity U6 APs (either the lite or pro)
  • EnGenius wifi6 APs (of an equivalent price point)

The house is about 400sqm split into a lower floor thats about 250sqm and a top floor that is 150sqm and a yard arround the house.
The router/switch from my ISP is centrally located on the top floor and I’m looking for good coverage on the bottom floor.
I have easy access to installing one on the top floor, but would really like to avoid having to deal with cabeling for the bottom floor, that is why I’m primarily looking at antena gain. Ideally I would like to get away with just 1 AP

I have about 10 -15 clients and I have a target of about 200mbs (I get a symmetrical 1gbs from the isp, but don’t need that on every device)

Thoughts on my options? (keep in mind hardware here is considerably more expensive than the US, both APs I’m looking at are 150usd in the US but 250 usd here)
From the spec sheets it looks like my better options are either:

  • U6-pro from ubiquity
  • EWS377AP from EnGenius

Ubiquity has local representation so I would have some sort of support if the unit failed. The EnGenius model I’d have to buy from amazon which means no warranty

edit: I currently get a very weak signal on the floor I want coverage on, but not good enough for working. This is why I think I might be able to get away with just 1 AP

Purchase Ubiquity U6 APs light; if it’s cheaper, the Pro model won’t give you increased range. The only difference between the light model and the pro model is the pro model can handle more people simultaneously. However, since you aren’t going to have 50 or more connections simultaneously, the pro model is a waste of money. I have the light model and a 750 sq feet home. One Unifi unit gives me excellent coverage except for one little corner downstairs where I have to connect to the network on the 2.4 GH band. But the rest of the house gets excellent coverage on the 5gh band.

Thx for the advice!
the pro is listed as having 2 more db of antena gain. I don’t know how much this would affect range though.
The house is quite large so range is my main consideration.
Each floor of the house is about 2000 sq feet.

the u6-light is a lot cheaper (about 160 usd vs 250 usd), but if the range is going to be lower I’d rather not risk it and go for the option that is going to give me the range to cover both floors.
If the light would cover them, that would be a better option for me, just don’t know how much of a difference 2db of antena gain is in practical terms :smile:

My goal is to set it and forget it. How has was the setup process for yours?
Have you had to tinker with eat?

Buy mine?

1 Like

Go for the Unif 6 Long Range APs.

Since each floor is 2,000 sq feet @saguerraty, it will need at least two units. So what I would suggest @saguerraty visit. Ubiquity’s main website has a link to some software where you can load your home blueprint and get an idea of how many units @saguerraty will need.

I don’t think 2db gain is going to make that much difference. When I was deciding which Unifi product to go with, I looked at both the Light and the Pro; I loaded my house plan into their software and found the Pro’s 2db antenna gain didn’t improve my range any; the only advantage I would get with the Pro was I could have more people connected simultaneously, but since I would never have 50 or more people connecting to the device at the same time it would be a waste of money.

All I did was take The Unifi Light and attach it to a centrally located wall; at the moment, I am in the middle of redesigning my rack and server room, so I don’t currently have the unit working. It wasn’t too hard to set up; a plate and fasteners were included with the Unifi Light. If you don’t have an Unifi POE switch to power the Unifi AP, you will need to purchase an accessory; I will include a link for the type of accessory you need. I forgot you need to use their controller software to configure it, either installing software on your computer or purchasing a cloud key. But as some as you have the unit configured, you will only need to run the software to change its configuration or update the firmware of the AP. Yes, I have tinkered with my unit, but that is because I was running the team, so it isn’t recommended. If you want something truly set and forget it, I recommend replacing your IPS-provided unit with an ASUS router. You will probably need four teams and daisy-chain them or look into a Mesh system.
The accessory needed.

1 Like

@Whizdumb, did they finally release Unif 6 Long Range APs? When I purchased my Unifi 6 Light, the Long Range wasn’t available in my area.

They have in the US

You are going to get better coverage with smaller “lite” AP’s placed throughout rather than one LR model. I don’t know your home use cases but if you are limited to 200mb on your wan and you are mostly doing low intensity stuff like streaming, web browsing, etc maybe consider saving yourself a few bucks and getting better coverage by going with 2-3 last-gen AP-AC-Lite placed throughout your house. Your performance would be better because you are getting the AP’s closer to the clients and since you have a relatively low bandwidth WAN connection you don’t “need” wifi6 unless you are doing some heavy traffic in your LAN.

Honestly just buying @infinitevalence engenius AP’s would probably be a good way to go for you. That is a very fair price for wifi6 AP’s. Then get one of these

Now you are all in in engenius for less than $400 which honestly is a deal for 3 AP’s and a switch.

1 Like

I use this guy and would recommend this over the Ubiquity stuff because it has local management as well as “cloud” management if you want it. It is also Ethernet 2.5Gbps so it will handle more throughput and may last you a bit longer if/when you get/have 2.5Gbps ethernet in the home.

The Engenius kit cost me 200 USD here on the West coast of the USA so 150USD is a steal if you ask me.

Full disclosure, I recommend and install Ubiquity gear in my side job more so than any other brand, but as a power user, I find the ubiquity gear limiting, and more so, I like having local control without the need for extra gear. being able to connect and dump configurations via ssh ans rsync is the bee’s knees for me.

Also, you can take a step down and save some money for gently used.

2 Likes

Thx for all the reply’s folks!

My latest thinking was going with a u6 light and a u6 mesh downstairs, as I can’t run cables downstairs :confused: (personally I’d much rather go wired, but buildings here are not built like in the US and running cable would require major construction work, which would be cost prohibitive).
I’d go with the mesh on looks, because not everyone in the house is going to be welcoming of a white circle in the kitchen.

The EnGenius setup for me would be slightly more expensive that the ubiquiti setup, as there is no local representative and import taxes are about 26%, so I’m slightly leaning towards the ubiquiti setup on costs basis. If the EnGenius had better performance I’d go with that though, but sole on a wifi range criterion.

The LR here is quite expensive, I could buy about 2 AP lights and have spare change for a POE switch and still be less expensive than the u6LR.

I have gigabit fiber, so I would be able to take advantage of a higher performance AP. I just set my goal to get 200mb up and down, but if I get more it would be very nice. (IMO, latency tends to be more of a factor for the experience rather than bandwidth when you go above 200mbs for most home use cases).

The last gen ubiquity stuff is at almost the same price as the wifi 6 stuff and since I don’t plan on upgrading for a while I’d rather pay a little more and get the more recent kit. (I also have seen some negative experiences with the wifi 5 APs while the u6 ones I’ve only seen positive reviews).
I think local reps managed to move a lot of their old stock, because a lot of it is out of stock, that is probably why the lack of a larger price difference.

About the EnGenius route. I’m not networking savvy hehehe.
I’ll probably set the thing on auto and plug the thing into the thing and hopefully it works. What differences would I notice from a cloud controller vs a local one?

edit: one thing I don’t like about the Ubiquity gear is that I get the feeling that chip shortages had a role in defining the specs. I think had covid not happened they might have had more features or 2.5gb nics.

The UniFi wifi6e stuff with the 6Ghz band has 2.5Gb nics but you have to spend more for the enterprise AP