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Need help with equipment!!

I am moving into a be townhome that will have cat6 prewiring available for access points (if I choose to install them). This is a 3 level townhome with 2100 sq feet. 

 

My my first question is will access points be over kill? Having good WiFi is important to me. My router will be on the first floor and I am not sure if it will provide signal to the top floor well. 

 

If I do need accsss points, will I need to buy individual switches for each AP? Originally I thought these APs could plug right into the router but now I am in sure if the access points will work as well without the switches. 

 

Any help is appreciated!! Thanks 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

If you're going the Unifi route, which you're presumably considering since you posted in a forum on Unifi stuff, then you would have a USG as your router on the first floor, and some switch providing PoE next to it (maybe the Unifi switch 8-60W), and that switch would be connected to the cat6 wiring that leads to the wifi APs, though exactly how many and where they should be depends on your home layout and materials. So the APs won't plug directly to the router, but you only need one switch.
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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Thanks for the info!

 

I have the potential to install an AP on the second and third level of the home (each connected with cat6). 

 

As of now I’m looking to purchase 2 AP pros, unifi usg, Unifi switch 8-60, and the unifi cloud key. Since all of this stuff will be in the Ubiquiti umbrella, Is there an easy place to go to learn how to set this stuff up? I’m worried I’ll need network experience to figure this out. 

 

Also, since all of this stuff is the same brand, It should be easy to have all the equipment work together to create one large unified network right? 

 

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Hello @Grpa0801 

 

Its always a little hard to comment about what your expected coverage is going to be as there are so many variables that can affect the wifi coverage in different building / houses. That being said, if good and full coverage is important to you, then some added access points can be great.

 

A couple questions for you and then maybe we can give you some better answers.

 

You say that the house is pre-wired. Do all of those cables terminate to one location and is that location the same spot that you plan on putting your router?

 

What kind of router do you have? Can you tell us a little about what the internet connection is that you are getting? (Company and advertised speed)

 

A couple things to think about. All access points need power. The UniFi access points get their power from the ethernet cable (PoE), but it has to be a line that has power on it. This is acomplished either with a network switch that provides the PoE, or you can install a PoE injector in the middle of the ethernet run.

 

Assuming a generic ISP router. It will have 5 ethernet ports on it. 1 WAN port and 4 LAN ports. 

Lets assume that each floor of your house has a ethernet cable running to it and they all run to a panel in the basement. Also in this panel in the basement is the connection from your ISP. So your router goes in this closet. WAN gets connected to your ISP.

You now connect 1 ethernet cable from each floor into the LAN ports on your router. You plug the AP's in on the other end. Nothing happens because you need to provide power. So you would either buy 3 PoE injectors and put them in line between your router and the AP's, or you get a PoE switch. Depending on the cost of the PoE injectors, it may be cheaper to get a PoE switch. It is also a bit cleaner as there are less cables needed. 

Does that make sense?

 

The next question is how much do you want to do with your wifi system once its up and running. Are you the kind of person that likes to tinker and adjust, or for the most part, just get it up and runnning and then set it and forget it.

 

I have installed most varients of the Ubiquiti  products, but if you are more into the "Set it and Forget It" mode, it may be worth looking at the Unifi Amplifi line. the Amplifi HD product is pretty amazing in what it can cover and is one of the easiest things to set up. You don't actually even need the cables that are pre run as the two remote access points are wireless. 

 

If you'd rather have things wired, then the UniFi line has great options and people here can help guide you, but we would need a bit more information. The answers to the above to answer the physical "this is how you connect it" questions, but then also floor plans and expecations would be good so we can help pick which AP's may be the best choice.

 

 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

We are actually building a townhome that will be completed at the end of February. Currently I don’t have any equipment (not even a router yet). I am scheduled to get 1 gig internet provided by century link using fiber optics. 

 

All of the cat6 wiring does lead back to one closet that is on the entry level. This entry level is the only floor in the house that will not have an opportunity for an access point to be installed (which should be fine I think because the gateway/router will be in the closet that is on this floor). The second and third floors have pre wiring strategically placed so that potential access points can easily cover each floor well. 

 

To answer your question about if I want to continuously optimize settings or set it and forget it... I would wish to configure this once and not have to worry about it after. However I would also like to utilize the cat6 wiring that comes standard for this home. 

 

After reading your post, getting a switch makes more sense as opposed to buying individual injectors. What type of switch is needed to power 2 APs ( I assume still the most basic 80w unifi switch?)

 

Also I assume the unifi usg can provide coverage for my entry way level, since there will not be an access point on this level? 

 

 

Thank you!!

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

If your budget allows for 2 AC Pros, maybe you could consider 2 nanoHDs instead as the price would be similiar.

For learning how to set them up, things like the quick start guides and other documentation are available for download, online, or might even come in the boxes.

Since the cat6 cabling leads back to the entry level, that's probably the best spot for the switch, and presumably the fiber optic ONT will be there too so your USG will be there. However, neither USG or any Unifi switch provides wifi, so no, the USG will not provide any wireless coverage for your entry way level, but then if you have an AP on the middle level it might provide that coverage. Again, this depends on your building layout and materials.
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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Why do you recommend nanoHds, Are they a step up from the pros? 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Gotcha. If you are getting a 1Gig line, then having hardwired AP's is certainly the way to go.

To answer your immediate question, yes the US-8-60W is a great little switch for $109. 4 ports PoE. 4 ports for other things (note that you can use a PoE port for non PoE things, but its recommended to disable the PoE if you know you don't need it. ) If you have run ethernet cables to any media locations (TV's) then this is great because you can hard wire your TV, or if you have a streaming box, you can hard wire that.

A couple things to consider -
You mentioned a USG as a potential purchase. That will pose a problem for you with a 1 Gig connection. The USG3P is really only good for about 200Mbps, and less than that if you turn on some of the other features. To stay in the UniFi line and get the full 1Gbps, you would need the USG XG, which I'm not sure they are really selling yet, costs above $500 and is way more router than you need if you are mostly in the set it up and just leave it realm.

So at least to start, I would recommend skipping the USG and going with your ISP provided router.

Something else to consider - You mention the first floor being covered by your Router/Modem. You can certainly do this, but there is something to be said about having all of your Wifi come from the same vendor / config as now there is only one thing to control. So it may be worth looking at disabling the wifi from your ISP modem and adding an access point to the service closet.

As for AP's. I agree with @aranelchan that if you are going to spend the money on the Pro's, spend a few more dollars on the NanoHD's.
That being said - "traditionally" those are ceiling mount AP's. The cables you are running, are they run for a ceiling mount? Or to a wall jack at a normal outlet height? Someone else with better knowledge on the radiation patterns of the AP's can chime in, but I would almost go for the UAP-M's (the mesh access points). They can be hardwired, but with their adjustable antenna's might be more appropriate for a more omni directional spread of the signal.

They are a bit cheaper, but for the price of the two UAP Pro's, you can get three mesh AP's including one for your downstair service closet. The mesh AP's are also kind of nice if you do find you have a dead zone as you can also just plug them into a wall outlet and they will pickup and extend your network.


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Re: Need help with equipment!!

This information is awesome!

 

Yes I am planning to mount these access points into the ceiling on the second and third floors, so that shouldn’t be an isssue. 

 

Also so I know the nanoHDs are fairly new, are all of the bugs and kinks worked out with these models? I love the fact that these access points will provide me with the latest technology, however I don’t want to incurr risk if these models are stell in the ‘beta’ or beginning stages.

 

Thank you for your tip on the 200mb limit on this usg. I will probably opt for an Asus router and turn off the network. I like the idea of just having the APs control the WiFi. 

 

Thanks! 

 

 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

While I cannot personally dispute it because I don't remember the numbers back when I deployed an ER-Lite at a previous workplace and now my USG at home works with a 100 Mbps connection, I don't think that there is agreement as to @travisres assertion that "USG3P is really only good for about 200Mbps, and less than that if you turn on some of the other features". For example, consider di3's post here:
https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Routing-Switching/How-much-can-USG-handle/td-p/1574906

I have seen that 200Mbps number being quoted for the USG Pro with advanced features enabled though, so the 3 port USG will indeed likely be worse with the same kind of configuration, but that's not the same as with them turned off (other than DPI).
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Re: Need help with equipment!!

I can highly recommend a USG, CK, US-8-60W, and AC-PRO as that's the same configuration I started out with.

 

In regards to your cat6 drops on each floor, are they on opposite sides of the house? or all on the same side?

 

If all the cables come back to a central cabinet, you can install the switch in there, then plug in the cables leading to the APs into the PoE ports. As long as the CAT6 is not damaged, you will be able to get access.

 

I was able to cover a 3200 sq ft 2 story home with 1 AC-PRO but ultimately went up to 2 for better coverage on both ends of the home.

 

You could definitely try just 1 AC-PRO on your second floor, then scale out from there as needed. Find yourself spending more time on the first floor? Add another AC-PRO on the first floor.

 

In regards to the networking, it's not difficult to set up. There are plenty of videos online. For a basic network setup, I would recommend Crosstalk Solutions.

 

If you have any other questions along the way of setting up your network, feel free to create a new post for that issue and we'll be here to help.

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Re: Need help with equipment!!


@Grpa0801 wrote:

Why do you recommend nanoHds, Are they a step up from the pros? 


If you're not going to utilize the second bridged port on the AC-PRO, the nanoHD would be a viable choice for an AP.

 

Regardless of nanoHD or AC-PRO, both can be powered from your switch.

 

To give you some numbers, I have 2 AC-PRO and 1 CK connected to my US-8-60W.

 

The CK pulls about 3W.

Each AC-PRO pulls between 4-5W.

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Re: Need help with equipment!!


@Grpa0801 wrote:

To answer your question about if I want to continuously optimize settings or set it and forget it... I would wish to configure this once and not have to worry about it after.


If you just wish to configure it and forget it, then a CK might not be necessary as the CK's purpose after the set up is to monitor and provide stats. You can run a controller from a PC and configure everything. If the controller goes down, the network will remain as it was when it was configured, but you will not be able to make changes without spinning up the controller again.

 

If it's within the budget, I would recommend the CK as it offers a continuous controller at little power consumption. It also saves you from having to boot up a PC and launch the controller each time. You can manage the environment from your phone. You can configure remote login and configure it even while you're out.

 

I know for me personally, I enjoy being able to tinker in the network, so being able to just log into a dedicated device is great.

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Ok and just so I understand , the bridged port feature is only needed if there are 2 APs on one Ethernet connection ( plugged into one port on the switch)?

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Thanks for this advice. I think I will enjoy the CK features at some point once I gain a little more experience and familiarity. 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!


@Grpa0801 wrote:

Ok and just so I understand , the bridged port feature is only needed if there are 2 APs on one Ethernet connection ( plugged into one port on the switch)?


The bridged port would be if you want to utilize a wired connection instead of using wireless. 

 

I use the bridged connection for my office. I have a single cat6 run, so I have that going to my AC-PRO. From the AC-PRO, I then have a connection to a small managed switch, then I have my PCs hard wired to that switch. 

 

I could just use wireless and not need the switch, but I prefer to have it hard wired. 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Hmm interesting. Thanks for noting that @aranelchan .  You are 100% correct that with IPS turned on, they Ubiquiti states the Pro can handle about 250Mbs and the USG3 can handle about 85Mbps. I had it in my head that the USG3P started to cap out at 200Mbps routing speeds even with IPS/DPI turned off, but I seem to be making that up as I can't find it anywhere. That other thread does seem to confirm that at least one person was using a Pro with 1Gig and by spec, the 3P should also beable to handle 1Gig connection

 

In any case, in particular if the OP isn't that interested in settings / looking at the data that a USG provides, with a 1Gig connection, I don't think I would be reccomending a USG3. At 500Mhz and 512Gb of ram, its just underpowered for a 2019 router purchase. While it may work, in a year, maybe IPS will want to be turned on, or Ubiquitu pushes a security update that slows it more. 

 

But thats just me.

 

@Grpa0801 as for the NanoHD vs UAP Pro - Yes, the NanoHD is newer hardware. There are some bugs that are reported on the forums. I have not personally experienced the bugs and have used them without any issues. From browsing the forums, it seems many of the issues are when people turn on band steering and other advanced features. There was a report of apple iPhones having issues, but I know when I was running the same firmware that supposedly had that bug, I didn't experience it.

 

The advantage over the Nano's is that they are 4x4 Wave 2 AP's. The UAP Pro's are 3x3 Wave 1. What does that mean? Simply, and generically, itsupports more devices at higher speeds. Since you have an actual network connection that can reach the upper limits of what the access points can handle, you'll want to get as much of that out of the AP as possible. While the UAP pro has a bit more capacity for 2.4Ghz devices, 

 

 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

The bridged port would allow you to add a second AP via the AC Pro, but it's unlikely you would do that as the APs would be too close, and you wouldn't be able to power the other AP by PoE as it isn't PoE passthrough. You might use it to connect a nearby printer or something, but then again that would be awkward when ceiling mounted.
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Re: Need help with equipment!!

The townhome that we are moving into isn’t exactly big enough to have sides. The access points would be placed in the centers of both the second and third floors.  On the second level, everything is open concept and there shouldn’t be any structural interference. On the 3rd floor there are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms that will have more drywall and structural objects that will reduce signal. 

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Re: Need help with equipment!!

Ok got it, sounds like I don’t need this feature.