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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Enterprise AP for Home Solution

[ Edited ]



I've been reading through the forums to find the best solution for our next home. I've been ncountering your posts/replies so wanted to reach out directly to you. Not sure how to to DM you so I'm gonna do it here. Other users feel free to chime in as well, looking to get educated/crash course =) I've read some things already but on a high-level, but obviously will have to delve in more when configuring the network settings. 


Some Background info:

  • I'm not a network guy, but I am a SFDC Adminstrator (so a different type of technical)
  • I did/do configure my home Wifi network (Airport Extreme, AsusOnhub - which sucks)
  • Location is in SF/Bay Area
  • Looking at the AC-LR and the AC-Pro (reason, home mesh network on smartphones and tablets keep buffering, or completely stop, video streaming on Macbook pro also buffers and stop). Home has some thick walls.

What I'm looking to do for WiFi:

  • Looking at the UAP-AC-Pro for Mesh network, looking at 3-4 AP (at least 1 on each floor)
  • Hate Google Wifi and home mesh networking it's not working for me

What we will be doing:

  • Streaming multiple devices (SmartPhone, PS4, SmartTV, tablets)
  • Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, SlingTV
  • Streaming music 
  • Amazon Echo, Google Home, Smarthome devices
  • Downloading music 
  • Want to have wired ethernet ports on each floor to be able to support desktops and SmartTVs, I would like to hardwire where I can and leave WiFI for guest smartphones, tablets, and laptops)



  • Either Sonic Gigabit Fiber or Comcast Cable or Fiber

The Home:

  • Will be moving into a 3-story home (currently being remodeled and hoping to get information and hardware in time to take care of wire management)
  • 1st floor - garage and room
  • 2nd floor - living, dining, open area with some walls
  • 3rd floor - master bedroom with patio/deck.
  • House Length is about 30-50 steps from front to back. 
  • City homes tend to have a lot of interference and thick walls as well

Based on the information provided, do you think I'll be okay with just the 3 AP's? Maybe something else? Would I need any additional hardware, such as a switch or the EdgeRouter Lite. I'm pretty determined to go with AC Pros, but not too sure what else I would need for that solution. 


If this goes well, I might be setting something similar at a small buisness wearhouse! Thanks in advanced all and definitely looking forwrard to hearing back and learning from everyone! =) 


Posts: 9,416
Registered: ‎01-10-2012
Kudos: 5845
Solutions: 385

Re: Enterprise AP for Home Solution

Hey @travietime - I kept meaning to come back to this; apologies for taking so long! 


Also no need to direct it just to me - there are lots of smart folks on the forum here Man Happy


The AC-Pro and AC-Lite can do uplink - one hop - not a "mesh" or multiple-hops.  And you don't want to mesh with Unifi anyway since it only does it over 5GHz, it's the same 5GHz that is shared with the clients too and every hop cuts the rate in half so you quickly murder your effective throughput for the whole system if you have too many hops. See:


If you really need mesh, you would be far better off using a solution that has a dedicated 3rd radio for mesh.  I know Orbi has a third, dedicated radio for backhaul I'm not sure if Amplifi does.  If you want to stick with Unifi, then I would use some Airmax radios for the backhaul.  The AirgGateway LR (external antenna) would be perfect for this.  Once you set them up, you pretty much ignore them so that they aren't integrated with Unifi really isn't a big deal.  They just act as a "wireless ethernet cable" essentially.  


However if you have thick walls and clients have a hard time talking through them, mesh APs or other wifi will also have problems too.  


If you really can't run cable then I'd highly recommend you look at the modern power over ethernet kit.  UBNT has their own that's currently in the Early Access store (was beta store) - a base station and three remotes.  In the past powerline adapters could be problematic if everything wasn't on the same electrical phase without a bridge (US homes have two 110V phases for most outlets and lights and are combined to run larger appliances like dryers, air conditioners, stoves, etc).  The new stuff apparently uses some spread spectrum technology and other wizardry to not only transparently deal with phase issues but provide a lot better performance than the older systems.  The tell is the new generation gear will be at least in the $200 range.  I haven't tried it myself but after I expressed my doubts about people like @eejimm chimed in and validated that no, this new stuff really doesn't suck Man Happy


Wired is always better, even if it's power over ethernet Man Happy  And if you are in the Bay Area and not out in the 'burbs your radio spectrum is probably pretty crowded - even if you use a third radio to backhaul for your APs if you don't have enough open channels that aren't all over utilized it still won't do you much good.  


Another relatiely inexpensive way could be the ethernet over coax.  The DirecTV branded adapters are cheap!  And they work with anyting, not just DirecTV gear (you can see in the Q&A section).  If you have coax to each floor that may be the easiest way to get networking throughout your house.  My parents have DirectTV and I can verify they really do get 100 Mbs.  If you are on the thinner rg59 cable (DirecTV usually installs rg6) then you may not get full speed - for $9 I'd still give it a whirl.  


Anyway just a few of my thoughts if I were you.  Mesh would be my absolute last resort - I'd set up a seperate backhaul with Airmax radios before resorting to mesh if coax or POE was out.  

When you receive a solution to your question/issue, don't forget to mark your thread as solved and to give kudo's to the people who have helped you out!

Having wifi problems? Take a look here first:
Posts: 9,416
Registered: ‎01-10-2012
Kudos: 5845
Solutions: 385

Re: Enterprise AP for Home Solution

Also I have one AC-LR covering my whole house.  It's 2800 Sq feet the first two floors w/o the basement, but I get pretty good coverage from it even in the basement.  I do have a VERY open floor plan - my family room is two stories and even though I'm sitting on my couch I can see my AC-LR mounted to the ceiling in my 2nd story hallway, so as with most things wifi it will depend greatly on your homes layout and construction.  


You may get away with two or you may need more - it just depends.  The best thing to do is get a couple of APs and temporarily mount them, then measure and see how they cover.  The best thing to do is get a long 1x2 or 2x4 and gently wedge the AP to the ceiling from the floor with the stick of wood.  Let's you place APs, measure, move them, mesure again and see where the best mounting points are.  I ended up adding an AC-Inwall-Pro in my basement (mainly to play around with it) and the only thing that connects to it routinely is my Sense power monitor thats 2GHz only and about 20 feet away in my electrical panel.  Although half the time the Sense will connect to my AC-LR still (!!).  My UVC-Micro camera which isn't known for the strongest wifi prefers the AC-LR even though the Inwall Pro is only about 20 feet from it.  The Inwall is "around the corner" a bit from the camera since it's at the end of a utilty room that's behind my garage - no basement under the garage.  But the garage floor blocks a clear line of site to the AC-LR too so you never know how these things are going to react in your environment until you test them Man Happy 

The nice thing about Unifi is you can expand the system if you really need to.  I'd start with two (signals will go through floors - maybe easier than your walls depending on construction) and go from there.  Unless you can by from a place with easy returns and you won't have to pay for, say, return shipping - then sure, get three and if you don't need all three you can always return one.  

When you receive a solution to your question/issue, don't forget to mark your thread as solved and to give kudo's to the people who have helped you out!

Having wifi problems? Take a look here first: