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Networks Recommend me a wireless solution

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Fingers66, 27 Feb 2019.

  1. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    The 'Cloud key' (or the software running on any spare bit of hardware) is not required for the Unifi APs to operate. You run the desktop software once when you set it up (and if you need to add any additional APs to the network) but otherwise they just run on their own.
     
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  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Yes, and indeed you need to run it again if you want to change the config, but the point is that Mikrotik doesn't need it at all because all the functionality is in the router ... ;)

    Also, the hAP AC is £54 compared to the Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Pro at £127 (Amazon prices) which put affordability right in range!
     
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  3. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    INteresting, does the router hold Access POint info as well? If it does then I might order a load to play with
     
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  4. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Lots of interesting stuff...

    Irrespective of cost, what is the advantage these solutions given the following combinations:

    Asus RT-86U (£196) plus Asus RP-AC66 Wall Plug Extender (£76)
    Asus AC1900 Mesh (2 routers £189)
    Asus AC3200 Tri-Band (£179) plus Asus RP-AC66 Wall Plug Extender (£76)
    Asus AC3200 Tri-Band (£179) plus re-use my existing RT-N66U as an AP.
    Mikrotik hAP AC2 (£59) plus Routerboard cAP AC (£58)
    Unifi USG (£99) plus Unifi UAP-AC-Pro (£127) plus Unifi Cloud Key (£69) (would probably need a POE injector as well)

    What is the functional, performance or stability difference given the scenarios outlined?

    I know the Asus router software/firmware inside out having used it for years but I hear good things about the Unifi control software (and who doesn't like new toys). I don't have any experience configuring a Mikrotik solution.

    Edit: Remembered to add the re-use of my existing RT-N66U as an AP.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2019
  5. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    PoE injectors come with the APs, you can omit the Cloud Key unless you want continuous network performance monitoring and do not want to keep the desktop program running (the Cloud Key is just the desktop program running on its own tiny dedicated box), and you could drop the USG and keep using your existing router.
     
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  6. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I have been thinking and reading loads of reviews.

    I don't think I want to go down the rabbit hole of enterprise level kit with the Unifi stuff, it looks like great toys but I want to keep it simple. I also think that going down the Mikrotk route is over complicated for what I want to do.

    I have also re-thought my choice of a potential replacement Asus router - I am now heavily leaning to getting a more modern Asus RT-AC86U and re-using my RT-N66U as an AP in my son's room (where it covers the back of the house and the loft). I can then replace the Netgear switch in his room cos the N66U has a switch built in...it also means I needn't worry about POE as there is a CAT6 socket and power points in the location in his room where it would be located.

    The N66U as an AP would not give me AC wi-fi (the AC86U would downstairs) but the upstairs clients are phones and tablets, I don't think any of them are AC enabled anyway.

    It would also mean I am dealing with the same Asus firmwware I have dealt with for years, albeit with a much improved feature set and the dual core CPU (the N66U CPU is notoriously weak).

    Anyone have any comments on this?
     
  7. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    The Unifi APs are exceptionally easy to set up for home use: enter the desired SSID (or SSIDs if you want a guest network), the password(s), and off you go. Nothing more complex than setting up WiFi on an all-in-one router/AP/switch combo box.
     
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  8. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I'll keep that as a backup option if I find that re-using my N66U as an AP has problems.
     
  9. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Yes, well to a point anyway. You set up the access point with an IP and then point it to a DNS name or another IP as a CAPsMAN client on the cAP models. Then basically any other RB device - in this case the hAP AC - is set up as the CAPsMAN master. This has all the Wi-fi settings and the CAPsMAN link does all the enterprise mesh stuff across the system.

    I’ve not actually used it in anger but it’s a comparable solution to Ubiquiti only with massively more features if you want them, or not if you don’t.

    Example it’ll do MPLS and routing protocols!
     
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  10. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Just quoted a little part of this. But basically this is probably a really good idea. You can just disable DHCP on the 66 and it’ll work as an access point with a switch quite nicely.
     
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  11. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    The hAP AC is also a couple of clicks in the wizard if you only want it as a 5 port gigabit switch and dual band access point, and the Ubiquiti UAP AC doesn’t have a switch built in, and even the Lite version is more than the Mikrotik :)

    Just remember by taking Ubiquiti or Mikrotik you can roam one logical wireless network around your house instead of having several little ones, that’s the benefit you’re getting with it!
     
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  12. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    In that case follow the KISS principle and go with what you know. You've got to support it after all.

    or grab something like the Amplifi system and just plonk extra units where you need them whilst manageing it from your phone.
     
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  13. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Many thanks all for your input, I have pulled the trigger on a new Asus RT-AC86U for £151, I will use my existing RT-N66U as an AP and see how that goes.
     
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