At WiFi Solutions® we provide indoor WiFi service mainly to hospitality customers in Málaga, south Spain. As well, we provide certified PC and Mac repair service to hotels who need their computer running 24x365.
In this case, Hotel Boutique el Tiburon, located in Torremolinos, Málaga (south Spain), with 48 rooms, asked me in april to solve some printing issues, and do a whole start setup of their new computers of reception, accounts and administration. The hotel seemed to be refurbished and it was administrated by a new director.
When I entered the first time to the lobby, while I had to wait for the first meeting with the director, the first thing I did is to look for any UniFi device ( sorry, it´s an insane and weird habit, I know) What a great looking hotel… UniFi would match nice here… and they have to wireless networks… well…
General views from outside - inside
After fixing the minor computer issues and insist for a whole local and cloud backup plan, a few days later I was asked by the director about the WiFi, which was installed a few weeks ago before my first meeting. They had some rooms with weak WiFi reception, low speed with clients´ complaints at the front desk.
I did a visual check with the director, and after asking the WiFi password, with the help Fing´s app discovery, I was able to discover 9 Ubnt devices…. but where they were placed? They just showed me the rack, I saw a CK connected to an neutral routing acting as DHCP server and two AC Pros mounted like this at the restaurant. The other ones were randomly placed in the corridors, the others left were inside the false roof.
Yes! This is how you plan a WiFi hotel install. AC Pros with old CAT5 cable and plastic soho switches of 3€ and no previous site survey. After watching this I felt very sorry for the hotel and told them to ask the people who did that install to fix it, bad coverage and bottlenecks were often when the hotel was full or some one tried to watch a video on Youtube and the other device wanted to send an email or a whatsapp text. The director didn´t understand why the WiFi was not working, having a throughpout of two lines of 500Mbps/500Mbps and they already paid like 3000€ for the WiFi install.
I was reported as well that some guest went to the front desk warnning about their network security, from WiFi guests were able to see server's shared folders and other shared devices as director's network printer!
The director called the company who made the installs, they came after several calls and activated hotspot of the Cloud Key for a few weeks… obviously that was not the solution and it didn´t work…
The other company said that all the UAP seemed as “connected” in the controller and “blue” light was blue, not flashing, so the service was running fine…and they did a lot a install in large homes and they never had any problem with UniFi… I see…
Finally the director asked me to take the control of their network and do my best to offer a good WiFi service to customers, stable and with connectivity ensured everywhere. Director´s word: “We want to give our guests the best service, our average rate is more expensive than other hotels in the area, Do whatever you need to fix it… and well, we have some "routers" of the previous install, if you want to use them".
After gainning acces to the UniFi Cloud Key and the main router I saw what I assumed: all UAP with dynamic IP, settings in auto…channel overlapping.. no QoS…bad UAP placement... mix of UAP AC Lite and AC-PROs... 60% of them not wired.. ( wireless uplink used to avoid cable passing)... no LAN separation...
- Remove 3 UniFi AC LITE, and keep only one for the accounting area.
- 7 UAP AC PRO extra.
- 10 UAP AC LR extra for indoor corridors.
- 1 UniFi 16 150W Switch.
- 1 UniFi AC Mesh ( another one will be installed soon).
- 610 meters of UniFi CAT 6 cable. ( They used the old 7 years UTP CAT5 cable).
- Routing: we used their main router for VLAN and QoS. VLAN 1 - Corporate Network - VLAN 2 - Client´s WiFi.
UAP AC LR with AC M and UniFi Cloud Key being prepared....UFO mode Front Desk UniFi CAT6 Cable X 2Cables and more cables... no more wireless uplinks… Replacing all the old CAT5 and CAT5E cable found from first installInside corridorAnother long corridor ...UAP AC LR covering 3 roomsNice and clean...Room View...Coffe Break....Cheers to all the Ubnt Community! Time to relax with a great coffe...Coffe break without good WiFi? No more... Restaurante now covered with good WiFiLet´s play with PROs...WiFi Solutions at work.. adopting...This is where you belong AC PRO...Accounting area now has WiFi as well... reusing one of the AC Lites...10Mbps/10Mpbs per device. After 101 devices at same time, speed drops to 5Mbps/5Mbps per device...Spot the outdoor device...After 11 days data...not bad!UniFi 16 150 Switch features...Real Booking.com reviews after upgrade Swimming Pool area at night 1Swimming Pool area at night 2
I see these things happen often, even in large hotels. "Professional" self called people who don't know the basics of WLAN design and leave the install with the default config, all channels on Auto and set to High or abusing the "wireless uplink" feature. At the end owners end up assuming it's the manufacturer's fault.
As you see the UniFi AC - well installed and configured, 14 units more at the end - was again the best solution for this scenario. This was my chance to install and try the UniFi AC-IW but there was no communication between the main rack to the rooms. Hope you enjoyed our upgrade story!