Jump to content

I’m confused about ubiquiti


Recommended Posts

I get that ubiquiti is very well rated on this forum. I’m not entirely sure for what it is rated well, as it seems to do a lot of things that I really don’t understand. I went into their website to try to learn about what they sell and what it could do for me and I got even more confused.

 

I have a three story house, cross section below.

D1FEC2E7-39DD-4E41-86DC-A120931718C1.thumb.jpeg.43093ab898858a2fd13e2a5271fef857.jpeg

 

I want good wifi coverage everywhere, and I also don’t want to have to use any aspects of the Virgin Media “superhub” router that I can avoid. I hate that thing. Whenever there is an issue with the network it can only ever be resolved by a reboot and then it literally can take anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes (and sometimes another reboot) to get the thing working again.

 

My electrician put a couple of extra Ethernet cables into the house when he was re-wiring in case I wanted to have some wifi access points. I didn’t ask him to do this, but it was a pleasant surprise when I found out. I told him I was just going to install a mesh system but he said he thinks wireless access points are better and that he has a ubiquiti system at home that he is really happy with and offered to install one for me.

 

But I’m confused as to what exactly I need to achieve my goals. The ubiquiti website is just written in a language I don’t understand.

 

R shows the location of my Router (or the location it will be once installed next week).  E shows the points where I have Ethernet. I can only give up the one on the first floor and one of the ones on the ground floor for access points. Well this be enough?

 

What hardware do I actually need and what the hell is a ubiquiti dream machine?


And can the access points go in cupboards, or will their ability to spread the magic suffer?


Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would put ethernet to each room, the ethernet outlet can be combined into a TV socket.  That way there is little or reduction in internet speed across the house. Then you have a good place to hook up a WiFi access point, one on each floor would give coverage for a good cost.  If you have a blind spot easy to add.  TVs are better connected to ethernet.

 

If you don't understand there we site, why bother giving them money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

R shows the location of my Router (or the location it will be once installed next week).  E shows the points where I have Ethernet. I can only give up the one on the first floor and one of the ones on the ground floor for access points. Well this be enough?

Really hard to know from a single cross-section like this.  They have a design tool that you can use to give you a good idea, it is fairly conservative though and is only 2D, not 3D.

 

31 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

What hardware do I actually need and what the hell is a ubiquiti dream machine?

Depends what you want to use Ubiquiti for:

 -  If you just want wifi then you need access points, something to power them with and somewhere to host the controller software.  To recommended way to power them is from a PoE switch, which means they can just run on the other end of your pre-installed ethernet cable and don't need ay power adapters.  The controller software to manage the wifi networks can be run anyway (including a PC or a raspberry pi etc.) but the "dream machine" products have it pre-installed so you don't need to host it.

- Another thing you might want to use Ubiquiti for is as a router. If you do, then the "dream machine" products are also routers.  Alternatively you might want to use a ISP supplied router or a product from an alternative manufactuer. 

- If you also want to Ubiquiti for CCTV, the "dream machine" products (particualry the ones that accept hard drives) can be used and an NVR.

 

31 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

And can the access points go in cupboards, or will their ability to spread the magic suffer?

They can go anyway.  Ours are in ceiling voids.  But there will be some amount of impact on sigan`l if you hide them away too much. so you do need to be aware of that.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd echo everything @Dan F has said.

 

Until about a year ago I had a mish mash of wifi routers and access points, linked through a Virgin Media Superhub, in an attempt to get decent coverage through the house and share the "theoretical" 350Mb broadband connection. Having endured the whining and compaining about poor wifi from the rest of the family during the first lockdown I did some research and replaced it all with a Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro and 2 Wifi 6 Lite AP's and only using the Superhub as a wired internet gateway and not a wifi router.

 

Whilst the hardware is very good at the "prosumer" level the controller software is a little quirky and there's a bit of a learning curve to set it up correctly. Fortunately there are some decent YouTube videos out there and some very good and helpful online forums and discussion groups on Reddit etc. so I never found it a problem.

 

Have to say, once set up and configured (several VLAN's etc) it's been faultless, running 24/7 since install. I have one AP in the loft and one in the hallway cupboard. I get complete wifi coverage and a consistent 350Mb connection. What it has highlighted is how absolutely rubbish my Virgin modem box was with drop outs and slow speeds, even on a 350Mb connection.

 

One tip I picked up from the discussion groups is that if your Ubiquiti set up is working without issues then don't update the firmware or controller software unless its a security update or you need the additional features of the new version. I think the latest version of the Dream Machine Pro now has built in POE ports so you wont need a seperate POE switch to run the AP's and a few other POE devices too if you have them.

 

Bottom line - I would definitely recommend the Ubiquiti kit for a home network setup.

 

Edited by Rob99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks @Rob99 and @Dan F. For a three storey house, do you think one dream machine pro and two APs will be enough? Does the dream machine pro also act as a wireless access point itself (like the Virgin superhub does) ?

 And I was a bit confused by @Dan F’s comment about needing a pc to run the software. Why is that necessary when ubiquiti’s website talks about controlling everything from their app?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Adsibob said:

For a three storey house, do you think one dream machine pro and two APs will be enough?

Hard to know. If they are ceiling mounted though,  i can't see you getting good signal on second floor (from first floor AP) as i think the beams point downwards, if that make sense?

 

Quote

Does the dream machine pro also act as a wireless access point itself (like the Virgin superhub does) ?

Most don't, but i think they may have just released one with an AP incorporated, might need to check EA store though.

 

Quote

 And I was a bit confused by @Dan F’s comment about needing a pc to run the software. Why is that necessary when ubiquiti’s website talks about controlling everything from their app?

PC/Pi to run the management software, but this is only if you don't buy a dream machine.  

 

Edited by Dan F
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Start with a DM and a couple of access point. Add more until satisfied. I think I'm at 8APs and 2 small switches now ? Stupid stone walls acting as faraday cages!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t buy the ubiquiti hype and went TP-Link and their OC200 Omada hardware controller. I know I can play around with the settings etc - it’s all via the app - but being able to mix and match the APs and add them using a 3D bar code is neat. They also have full mesh roaming and you can also create stuff such as guest WiFi on the fly. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most people don’t get that there are many different WiFi standards and speeds . So it’s not just distance from WiFi point ; also connection type - 802.11b / g / x etc etc …

Virgin I always found unreliable ( in 4 seperate properties ) . A ubiquit hardwired back to the router solves range issues as you “ swap “ between them automatically as you roam the property .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the difficulty with any "new" network set up is that there is a huge range of products available, with new ones being launched every month. You just have to decide what it is you need as a minimum and then look around for what meets your needs, bearing in mind that someone will launch "the next big thing" as soon as you've bought all your kit!!

 

In the early days of PC's, with technology advancing incredibly quickly, you often saw in PC publications (little internet in those days!) the advice given to the question "when should I buy a PC?" was "in 6 months time". You can't usually guess what's coming round the corner so have to go with what's available and does what you need today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Rob99 said:

I think the difficulty with any "new" network set up is that there is a huge range of products available, with new ones being launched every month. You just have to decide what it is you need as a minimum and then look around for what meets your needs, bearing in mind that someone will launch "the next big thing" as soon as you've bought all your kit!!

 

In the early days of PC's, with technology advancing incredibly quickly, you often saw in PC publications (little internet in those days!) the advice given to the question "when should I buy a PC?" was "in 6 months time". You can't usually guess what's coming round the corner so have to go with what's available and does what you need today.

I agree with this. I’m basically looking for the best hassle free and reliable way to have relatively fast wifi throughout my house. I have Ethernet points for the TV and two computers, but want good wifi for music and general purpose iPads, phones etc. We will have 200mb Virgin, as that is the fastest affordable option in our neighbourhood. I don’t need 200mb download on the wifi, 90mb will be plenty. But the upload speeds do need to stay close to the Max offered by Virgin, which is only 10mb to 15mb.

I don’t really care about being able to have networked vídeo cameras or sophisticated options to allow guests to use the network. 
A way of blocking pornography for when the kids are old enough to find it would be good, but presumably that can be done on the local devices or within the Virgin settings.

 So I think it is a toss up between a ubiquiti DM with two to three access points, or a mesh wifi system like the Deco with three units. Though I see ubiquiti also do mesh so that’s even more to think about.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

don’t need 200mb download on the wifi

Different WiFi have different potential speeds . The WiFi connection ‘type’ will limit your speed 

 

Release date 802.11 version Maximum possible speed
2020–present 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 700 Mbps
2013–present 802.11ac 195 Mbps–585 Mbps
2011–2012 802.11n 180 Mbps–270 Mbps
2007–2010 802.11n 90 Mbps–180 Mbps
Edited by pocster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want a good reliable solution without much admin/config needed then current consumer grade mesh solutions are very good. 

I use 3 Google wifi mesh devices. These are very easy to manage. You get best results if you can hardwire them but even without that they setup a wireless backhaul channel and work reliably. 

Also these are not very big so can be put anywhere in a room. I personally find ceiling mounted APs a bit office like. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

Though I see ubiquiti also do mesh


Mesh is a badly worded term - they are just using a pair of WiFi channels to backhaul between the devices and the one connected to the hub. In reality, all you’re doing is spreading the traffic over the APs and allowing the APs to be further apart. The TP-Link ones are pretty good at distance all directions (through the floors etc) so if you want fire and forget they are worth a look. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Adsibob

If you want simple and robust, and you don’t want to sacrifice any of the installed CAT6 points, the plug n play ubiquity wall mounted AP’s will create local WAP connectivity AND provide you with a LAN connection with data throughput in one device. 
Some have one port, others are mini routers ( juiced up by you installing a PoE injector upstream ), so mega flexible in one small wall mounted device which gets its power remotely. 
 

FA28678E-1A07-42E5-96CE-B913CFA5D41A.thumb.png.35c37a021b36c57cf053d1d623099a38.png
00E9BE29-EB4D-44CE-AE97-449B2D241AC9.thumb.png.051ba08af151b498c677c3db481cd53e.png
 



 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Currently looking to change the one ubiquiti Lite AP on my landing to an Ubiquiti AWiFi 6 Pro (U6 Pro). Hoping to get all of the inside of my 4 bedder covered by just the one AP. Everything fixed in my house now has a cat6 to it, so this is just for iPads / iPhones / guest etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fitted a TP-Link Deco mesh system, as I live in an old stone walled cottage, and it has worked well for the last nine months. I then bought a Meteobridge Nano SD datalogger for my Davis weather station and it didn't work. After reading through a bundle of documents from the suppliers I found in the small print that it won't work with mesh wifi systems. I have now bought a TP-Link AV600 Powerline wifi system which according to the Meteobridge manufacturers should be ok. When my new computer turns up I'll try it out. Shame about the mesh system as it worked well but surprised it's not compatible with everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Nickfromwales said:

@Adsibob

If you want simple and robust, and you don’t want to sacrifice any of the installed CAT6 points, the plug n play ubiquity wall mounted AP’s will create local WAP connectivity AND provide you with a LAN connection with data throughput in one device. 
Some have one port, others are mini routers ( juiced up by you installing a PoE injector upstream ), so mega flexible in one small wall mounted device which gets its power remotely. 
 

FA28678E-1A07-42E5-96CE-B913CFA5D41A.thumb.png.35c37a021b36c57cf053d1d623099a38.png
00E9BE29-EB4D-44CE-AE97-449B2D241AC9.thumb.png.051ba08af151b498c677c3db481cd53e.png
 



 

 

I had seen this a couple of days ago, and I’m very tempted by it. The thing that confused me is that being a ubiquiti product, won’t I either need a dream machine or a pc to run the software mentioned further up (I think by @Dan F)? Or is this just plug and play? And what about doing away with my Virgin router - what is the solution to that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

And what about doing away with my Virgin router - what is the solution to that?


You can’t, just switch the WiFi off in the settings. You need the router to be the DHCP server and give everything IP addresses. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Adsibob said:

I had seen this a couple of days ago, and I’m very tempted by it. The thing that confused me is that being a ubiquiti product, won’t I either need a dream machine or a pc to run the software mentioned further up (I think by @Dan F)? Or is this just plug and play? And what about doing away with my Virgin router - what is the solution to that?

If a single devic3 they’re plug n play. If you get a couple iirc you’ll need a cloud key 2. All the websites etc which discuss this confused the shit out of my non-data-technical brain so I just rang my IT guy and it was up and running in no time. Nothing needed to act as a ‘server’ etc unless you want to start getting silly.

One or two of those strategically positioned should be ample for most homes tbh. 
 

1 hour ago, PeterW said:


You can’t, just switch the WiFi off in the settings. You need the router to be the DHCP server and give everything IP addresses. 

Yup. It’s a piss-you-off that you ( and I ) are stuck with the virgin router…..total pieces of crap. We’re with them because, when it doesn’t need to be reset and we’re not sitting around for 15 mins waiting for it to put its dummy back in, the internet speeds are too damn good to go elsewhere. Plan is to upgrade the router to the latest offering and switch off the Wi-Fi feature so it’s just a router.
One cable from that goes up to the attic eave space and into a PoE switch and then down into each room as required in cat6. Been WiP so only now seeing how limited the Lite AP’s are, so that’s the next planned upgrade. Will report when done ( said with best of intentions lol ). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Nickfromwales said:

you’ll need a cloud key

 

No you don't actually need a cloud key. You can set up the APs using a laptop, or even a smart phone and the app, and then leave them alone to do their thing. A Cloud Key is useful for remote monitoring of network performance, but who does that remotely in a domestic situation (only for professionals handling multiple sites and complicated setups, etc).

 

With the advent of high frequency connections, especially with the forthcoming WifI 6E, the range of APs is reducing while the bandwidth/speed shoots up (2.4 GHz to 5 GHz and, for WiFi 6E, to 6 GHz). Therefore, in my 125 m² new dwelling, I will have three APs. And ceiling mounted too. I am not a fan of low-level APs mounted inside a wall. A rule of thumb is that a person attenuates the Wifi signal about as well as a wall. Overhead works best.

 

I will have a fibre connection to my home capable of 1,000 mb/s. For the wifi speed to match that in the real world I will be needing everything that WiFi 6E can offer at 6 GHz.

Edited by Dreadnaught
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've got the Ubiquiti AP's in the house and garden and was easy to install and provides full download speed all round the house and garden.

Got a PoE switch which is in the AV cupboard in the garage which the BT router plugs into.

Then the 3 AP's plug into this.

Wasnt really much to set up, just customise not having the little light on.

Literally plug and play.

I'm sure there's more that can be done and when we move back in I'd like to set a dedicated guest access, but aside from that for home use I don't see what else is needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Dreadnaught said:

No you don't actually need a cloud key. You can set up the APs using a laptop, or even a smart phone and the app, and then leave them alone to do their thing. A Cloud Key is useful for remote monitoring of network performance, but who does that remotely in a domestic situation (only for professionals handling multiple sites and complicated setups, etc).

Agreed, sorry. The cloud key is for access by 3rd party and my IT guy did indeed set everything up on his laptop. 
I offer all my clients the remote access and 3rd party ‘maintenance by invite’ as most of the installs are complex ( with certain AP’s dedicated to fixed devices such as Ring video doorbell or Ring cameras / others for general use etc ) and we’ve always got to fiddle about retrospectively to fine tune things. 
For the cost of a CK2 it’s just far more seamless for me tbh, as all my projects are a fair distance from my home and it’s just easier to manage these sites that way. The cost of one call out is more than the cost of the CK2 so I just bite the billet and fit these.

Edited by Nickfromwales
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

Agreed, sorry. The cloud key is for access by 3rd party and my IT guy did indeed set everything up on his laptop. 
I offer all my clients the remote access and 3rd party ‘maintenance by invite’ as most of the installs are complex ( with certain AP’s dedicated to fixed devices such as Ring video doorbell or Ring cameras / others for general use etc ) and we’ve always got to fiddle about retrospectively to fine tune things. 
For the cost of a CK2 it’s just far more seamless for me tbh, as all my projects are a fair distance from my home and it’s just easier to manage these sites that way. The cost of one call out is more than the cost of the CK2 so I just bite the billet and fit these.

what is a reasonable cost to pay to have one of these systems set up. All wiring is in place, so would be a case of installing two or three APs, a switch so they can receive PoE, and then configuring them to work? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Adsibob said:

what is a reasonable cost to pay to have one of these systems set up. All wiring is in place, so would be a case of installing two or three APs, a switch so they can receive PoE, and then configuring them to work? 

Probably just a few posts on here tbh. How handy are you? Do you need to make any RJ45 plugs off etc? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...