I work at a company of about 50 people. Generally people are very dispersed over our 12 UniFi APs & various buildings. In this case the system works great. Every once and awhile we have a meeting together so all 50 people are in the same area some with both phones and computers on the WiFi network. In this case they overload the APs this that building. They generally are web browsing with lots of tabs open and their phones are uploading and downloading apps and photos. There are 3 APs in that building... all UniFi AP-Pro's. I am debating replacing the 3 UniFi AP-Pro's with 3 UniFi AP-AC-Pro's or just adding an additional (4th) UniFi AP-AC-Pro to the current mix. Does anyone have an opinion which of these options would work out better?
First question(s) you have to ask:
- Where is the bottleneck and how much total bandwidth is in use?
- How much spectrum do you have available and how do you use it?
- What is your budget?
Your bottleneck could be from client to AP, it could be the link out of the building, it could be the internet connection. Are you 100% sure the bottleneck is between client and AP? How much traffic is being used by the APs in the building?
If you don't have available spectrum, you won't be able to add more APs without removing APs or lowering TX power on existing APs. If you have mostly AC-enabled clients, upgrading to an AP that supports AC will give you more wireless bandwidth.
When it comes to budget, you can get almost twice as many UAP-AC-Lites as you can UAP-AC-Pro devices. Assuming you don't have a majority of clients that support 3x3 MIMO, the 2x2 MIMO of the AC Lite might just do everything you want.
If I were in your shoes, I'd pick up a trio of AC-Lites and test them out. Even if they don't do what you want during those meetings where performance is an issue, they will likely do just fine for day-to-day use elsewhere in your environment.
The older non-AC UAPs will always be outperformed by newer AC units, especially the dual band ones. If that's the only place you hold meetings like that, a single UAP-AC-Pro would help but an AC-HD would easily handle the traffic and more - we have had AC-HDs handle 150-200 clients each in multiple situations if you turn bandsteering on to push most of the traffic to the 5GHz band.
"Humans are allergic to change..They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. "Admiral Grace Hopper, USN, Computer Scientist