Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC LR and Lite review



1)Intro
2)Features
3)Setup
4)Wireless configuration
5)Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
6)Closing Notes

Intro: The Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC LR and Lite are enterprise level wireless access points that are extremely affordable for small to medium businesses, has lots of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that enterprises require.
Review Note: I have been provided two APs The AC-Lite and AC-LR or Long Range. They both work together on the controller software that works on windows, mac, and linux called UNIFI. The app requires Java runtimes so please keep that in mind. Also for the controller to see the APs and adopt them you must have the controller on the same VLAN segment as the APs and you must let windows firewall or whatever firewall you use allow them.


Features: The Unifi AP AC LR and Lite features the following:

I am providing a comparison table for both units for this review:
























Setup:

1)Power brick was a POE injector. Allows for just one cable into the AP.
2)Instant setup was Smooth with installing the controller software (.exe) on my windows server 2012 machine


Let's take a look at the really helpful status page that tells us all our status.




Wireless Configuration:

Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings:




The Unifi AP AC LR and Lite supports WPA/WPA2 and supports PSK and Enterprise authentication types that can be different for each SSID. Selecting “Enterprise” allows you to use RADIUS Authentication, which allows you to define a username and password rather then a static key, allowing for more fine control over your wireless network. User based controls allow you to define limits PER USER so that if let’s say, they get fired, you just delete thier user account and not have to change the ENTIRE NETWORK’S encryption key.


Roaming:
The roaming works ok, however, the band steering does not work very well.



Throughput Tests: (Wireless) (AC-LR/AC Lite)

I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.

Test environment: (Set 1)

Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.

Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as theAPACLR/Lite: Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Asus AC53 USB WLAN (note: The Amped ACA1 does not work in that machine anymore and is unfit for tests till further notice and is no longer a recommended adapter)

AC LR:
5Ghz 802.11ac mode: Channel 149 -75dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec



2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -59dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 7Mbytes/sec or 56Mbits/sec



AC Lite:
5Ghz 802.11ac mode: Channel 44 -74dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 13Mbytes/sec or 104Mbits/sec



2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -70dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 7Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec


Test environment: (Set 2)

Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the Unifi AP AC LR and Liteis located.

Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theAPAC-LR/Lite): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN

AC-LR:
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -71dBm

LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 4Mbytes/sec or 32Mbits/sec



AC Lite:
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -40dBm

LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 1Mbytes/sec or 8Mbits/sec : Note: Issue completing test and unstable



Test environment: (Set 2a)

Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theAPAC-LR/Lite): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/300 GB HDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/Edimax AC600

AC-LR:
5 GHz 802.11anac mode: Channel 149+ -70dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 9Mbytes/sec or 72Mbits/sec



AC-Lite:
5 GHz 802.11anac mode: Channel 44+ -61dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 9Mbytes/sec or 72Mbits/sec





Conclusion:

Pros:
Decent management software with lots of options
Decent coverage and throughput

Cons:
Very cheap
No external antennas
Sticky client issues
Band steering issues
Unstable 2.4Ghz performance


Rating:  7/10
Recommended: Yes









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