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*** Official Ubiquiti Discussion Thread ***

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by RoyMi6, Apr 10, 2016.

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  1. RoyMi6

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2010

    Posts: 2,607

    Not sure how I lived without these bad boys.

    Just got the pair to replace my N66U that I was using purely as an access point.

    Don't take this image as an exact replica of my coverage. The top and ground floor obviously aren't placed side by side like that.
    [​IMG]

    Ars did a better review than I ever could: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015...-realize-how-terrible-consumer-wi-fi-gear-is/

    For me moving from a dual band 2.4/5GHz router to just the 2.4GHz versions was a no brainier. The walls in my 100 year old house just stop 5GHz dead and even the perfect placement under the stairs on the ground floor (slap bang in the middle of the house) wasn't enough to make it usable - unless you were under the stairs next to it :)

    I've always said that I'd never use extenders as I've never seen it work correctly. Best solution with consumer grade stuff has always been to just name them differently so you can manually select which hotspot to use. But these things allow you to move between them flawlessly.

    Even when I make a FaceTime call I'm able to walk from ground to top floor and have it switch in the background without dropping more than a second or two of video.

    Even disconnecting the AP I'm connected to results in a seamless switch.

    Love it and highly recommend them (after 48 hours of usage...)
     
  2. adamau5

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 1,986

    they are excellent aren't they. I use 2 to cover my house, and an edgerouter lite for routing duties.

    Great gear.
     
  3. Hyburnate

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 29, 2011

    Posts: 14,242

    Location: NN4

    They're absolutely excellent bits of kit. Every customer of the company I work for loves them.
     
  4. Randell Floyd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 22, 2004

    Posts: 1,695

    Location: United till I die

    I've just purchased one after the rather disappointing range of the Billion 8800AXL I have. I was having issues with using plug wireless extenders for when we have guests, so having got fed up of messing about all the time I purchased the LR version.

    We have a high wall on the staircase that's just a nothing space, so I had used a long ladder and drilled to the outside of the house. 15m of exterior CAT6e later and some swear words due to drilling some old school bricks we now have a a single LR sending very good signal all over the house.

    It's 4 bedroom detached with a mixture of 1900's build and 2000's extension to all sides so it's no mean feat to have been able to supply the whole house. The fact I've not had to touch anything since installation is a credit to it's fix and forget!
     
  5. Rabtech

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 27, 2003

    Posts: 1,074

    Location: Preston, Lancs

    We swear by these at the office for small-medium size clients, just plug in, configure and forget. I like the seamless hand off they do between the access points too if you are moving about.
     
  6. adamau5

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 1,986

    The edgerouter lite is also a superb piece of kit. So quick and so configurable
     
  7. Sp00n

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 18,073

    Location: Brighton

    I am a big fan of the Unifi kit [​IMG]
     
  8. fezster

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 7, 2007

    Posts: 440

    Been reading up on these after seeing your post, and I like the zero handoff (seamless handoff?) feature. I currently have 2 wifi access points in the house sharing the same SSID, but this is hit and miss, depending on your device. The unifi's apparently are able to create one virtual AP from multiple physical APs, and so as far as any devices are concerned, they are connected to a single AP, and the unifi software takes care of transitioning them from one phycial AP to another. All very cool.

    My question, though, is about multiple SSIDs. My current setup using ddwrt consists of an SSID for the kids, which uses DHCP to assign OpenDNS addresses for filtering, a guest SSID which has no access to my local LAN, and my main SSID which I connect to. I'm sure the ubiquiti kit can achieve the same (found some posts on their forums indicating this), but do you need the edgerouter lite (or other ubiquiti router), or are the APs alone enough? Has anybody tried something similar?
     
  9. RoyMi6

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2010

    Posts: 2,607

    I can take a stab at answering some of that fester.

    So first of all, the zero handoff is actually something you don't need to enable with the Unifi kit.

    Your experiences match mine when it comes to AP roaming with consumer gear, it just never seems to work and you end up being kind of "stuck" to a slow AP with weak signal even though you're right next to another AP.

    With the Unifi kit that just doesn't happen.

    From what I understand, because the two AP's talk to each it can tell when the signal drops for one AP and check if the other AP has got a better signal, then do the switch.

    This all happens WITHOUT "zero handoff".

    The limitation with this is that in the background there may be some lost packets, but the way almost every device, and piece of software, is designed these days means that it isn't an issue to loose a couple of packets or two.

    My testing, without zero handoff - using facetime I am able to walk from the ground floor to the top floor and watch my iPhone move between the two access points. Once upstairs I'm able to physically disconnect the upstairs AP and watch my iPhone flick back over to the weaker signal downstairs. I can even reconnect and I'll jump back to the better signal AP. All this without loosing connection BUT I do get a little choppy video / audio when I make the transitions.

    "Zero handoff" tries to completely avoid these drops and maintain every packet but it comes at the added expense of perfect hotspot placement and more configuration stuff to go wrong. It's also vendor specific with the Unifi kit (at least the non-pro versions) as well as NOT being available with the AC capable AP's.


    Multiple SSID is something that it also does quite well and from my short tinkering with it (I only have one SSID) I think you can do everything BUT the setting up OpenDNS as the DNS server for a specific SSID.

    You might need to have a separate system running DHCP. Unifi will let you assign a VLAN based on the SSID then from that VLAN you could do what you need to do.

    I'll have a look when I get home tonight for you.
     
  10. fezster

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 7, 2007

    Posts: 440

    Thanks for that. Interesting you say it does the transition without zero handoff. I wonder how that works - i.e. how does it force the device to use one AP over another.

    I'm reading a little about the custom DNS also, and from what I've read, it looks like you can configure it for specific SSIDs (using VLANs, as you say), but not through the standard interface, but rather by using SSH and manual config. Would appreciate anything further you find, as contemplating making the investment.
     
  11. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,118

    Absolutely spot-on response. This mirrors my experience at home (I have 2 AP-AC-Pro) and my understanding of Zero-Handoff, which is that it should be avoided like the plague.
     
  12. RoyMi6

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2010

    Posts: 2,607

    EDIT: Slight caveat - This is for the lower end Unifi stuff. I paid £70 for these AP's. They have "pro" versions for £120 which might let you do more.

    Ok, from my understanding (I'm not an networks specialist and only had the devices for 48 hours!) you wouldn't be able to set up OpenDNS servers for just the "Child WiFi" by JUST configuring the AP's

    The most you could do is create a separate SSID and set that SSID to use a different "network" (which I understand to be creating a new VLAN really) and assign that to the child WiFi SSID.

    When you create a new VLAN these are the options you get:

    [​IMG]

    When you create an SSID these are the options you get (note the option to choose which VLAN it uses)

    [​IMG]

    Annoyingly "user group"s are quite limited as well - I thought you might be able to change a little more in there.

    [​IMG]

    If you want to schedule use of the "Child WiFi" that can be quite granular though, which is nice!

    Below is settings on a per SSID basis. When scheduled to be "off" the SSID is disabled completely. So there's no getting around it.

    [​IMG]

    So yeah, long story short - if you want to have OpenDNS set up for just kids then you'll need something inbetween to get it working exactly as you want.

    Alternatively use OpenDNS for everything configured at the modem side of things and that would also likely work fine enough.

    Once thing this has got me interested in is a proper managed switch.

    The idea of being able to schedule devices that are on the wired network (like a childs desktop computer or roku) is appealing :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  13. dubcat

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 5, 2005

    Posts: 671

    Location: South East, UK

    Plan to set up the controller on a model A pi. Any issues with that?

    EXCITED! :)
     
  14. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 10,431

    Easier to use a cloud hosted controller, but it's probably a bit late for that.

    Depending on your planned usage you don't even need the controller running all the time. I've had them where the controller was only ever fired up to upgrade the firmware.
     
  15. the-evaluator

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 24, 2015

    Posts: 1,518

    Installing the controller is a doddle, I've got an Ubuntu VM for that specific purpose and it was just a case of adding the repository and then apt-get installing it.
     
  16. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 9,909

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Order another one (or more!), and then you can play about (and be amazed) by the roaming between access points with no loss of connection :D
     
  17. Benihana

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 16, 2006

    Posts: 1,413

    Location: Copenhagen

    I've heard nothing but bad stuff about the zero hand-off roaming on these units, I only have one of them so cant test it myself but would be interested to hear peoples thoughts/experiences.
     
  18. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 9,909

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Really?

    We have around 20 of them at work (mostly in a warehouse environment, for handheld barcode scanners), and they are faultless - no issues withe the zero hand off roaming.
     
  19. the-evaluator

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 24, 2015

    Posts: 1,518

    It works perfectly for me.
     
  20. Orcvader

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 11, 2009

    Posts: 14,117

    Location: Havering

    As above, I installed two of the Pro models in a client's place and roaming works with no issues for me.