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Review: Ubiquiti Labs' AmpliFi Routers Have Fast Setups, Gorgeous Designs, and Rock Solid Mesh Wi-Fi Coverage

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Apr 12, 2001
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Ubiquiti Networks' consumer technology brand, Ubiquiti Labs, began making a name for itself in late 2016 with the launch of the AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi Mesh Router. Similar to other mesh systems, the AmpliFi HD comes with a centralized router and two "MeshPoints" that provide blanket Wi-Fi coverage throughout a home, but Ubiquiti Labs' device is unique thanks to its circular, full-color touchscreen on the main unit.


Ubiquiti Labs began expanding its product lineup this fall, in October announcing the AmpliFi Instant and in November revealing the AmpliFi Gamer's Edition. The former router is a pared down version of the AmpliFi HD with a smaller size and miniaturized capacitive grayscale touchscreen, while the latter option is essentially the AmpliFi HD with low latency support, WAN quality-of-service features, and other additions aimed at users who play a lot of online games. Each router features 802.11ac with self-configuring, dual-band 2.4 GHz/5 GHz Wi-Fi radios.

Over the past few months, I've been relying solely on Ubiquiti Labs' trio of mesh routers for all of my internet needs, with the majority of my time spent using the AmpliFi Instant and AmpliFi HD routers. In my time with the routers I've yet to find any real flaws or noticeable drawbacks to using AmpliFi, and as someone who has been researching mesh networks for years but was too inundated with various options to make a decision, I can say that the AmpliFi routers are a great option for anyone looking to transition away from a single router system and into mesh.


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Article Link: Review: Ubiquiti Labs' AmpliFi Routers Have Fast Setups, Gorgeous Designs, and Rock Solid Mesh Wi-Fi Coverage
 

MarcKerr

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2012
34
28
Indiana
I've had the AmpliFi HD setup for about 1.5 years and it's been flawless. It's the best setup process I've seen even better than the old Apple WiFi gear. The range has been very good also. I've got one of the mesh points out in my detached garage about 100' away and it gets good signal.
 
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chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
7,324
4,584
I have this too, and love it. It was a great replacement for my old Airport Extreme.
 

Nabby

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
190
54
Can I set this up going from router to mesh point to mesh point, or does each mesh point need to link directly to the router (some kind of linear topology vs. a star topology). I've got my router at one end of the house and lot of brick walls to get the signal through to the back of the house. I could see linking the router to mesh point 1 and then extending to back of the house by linking mesh point 1 to mesh point 2.

I have a wired connection to the back of the house where the office is and all those devices on a switch, but I'd like to improve the wireless at that end of the house. I've considered the Orbi, but haven't made any decisions at this time.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,167
15,133
Central U.S.
I will consider this brand for my next router to replace my AirPort Extreme WiFi 5, but I'm waiting until WiFi 6 mesh systems are available before dropping a lot of money on an upgrade. I need to move to mesh now that I've got really fast internet at my house.
 
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joecomo

macrumors member
Jul 10, 2010
49
86
I don’t see the benefit of the mesh stuff (I do have ethernet in every room). I am using the classical Unifi-Access points and am very content with them. Roaming works nicely, in contrast to the Apple Access points where it never worked.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,819
3,403
Is AmpliFi HD a true mesh network? That is, do MeshPoints function closer to how a repeater would work or are they creating a mesh network for devices connected it, improving overall throughput while reducing latency?

Many technical articles suggest AmpliFi HD is closer to repeater in design than a true mesh network.
 
Last edited:

redscull

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
785
740
Texas
How is it that this technology improves the wifi in a weak signal room? If my devices get spotty connections in a particular room, how does the mesh point make that any better when it too connects wirelessly to the main router?

Also, anyone know how close we are to the next major wifi tech jump? (AC is the current greatest right?) Is now a bad time to drop hundreds of dollars on wifi tech if I've held out on mesh for this long?

My current router is the tall Apple box with beaming tech or some such. But just the one unit. And it sucks when more than one device tries to connect to it from the bedroom (though signal is pretty decent when only one device tries to actively stream from it). Do these mesh networks make multiple device streaming work a lot better? Would it make sense to plug in both of the satellites to the same room to enable more simultaneous device connections?
 

Tapiture

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2016
1,116
1,680
Been looking at getting one of these mesh wireless kits, like Google WiFi or other, but the price is so high!
 

tpjunkie

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2002
1,250
2
NYC
Can’t speak highly enough about Ubiquiti gear - picked up a wireless access point 6 years ago and I can count on a single hand the number of times I’ve needed to tinker with or reset it (and most of those times it was a service issue, not a local problem), and the interface software is a cinch. Will probably buy again if I need to extend my range.
 
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Apple TarHeel

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2012
77
33



Ubiquiti Networks' consumer technology brand, Ubiquiti Labs, began making a name for itself in late 2016 with the launch of the AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi Mesh Router. Similar to other mesh systems, the AmpliFi HD comes with a centralized router and two "MeshPoints" that provide blanket Wi-Fi coverage throughout a home, but Ubiquiti Labs' device is unique thanks to its circular, full-color touchscreen on the main unit.


Ubiquiti Labs began expanding its product lineup this fall, in October announcing the AmpliFi Instant and in November revealing the AmpliFi Gamer's Edition. The former router is a pared down version of the AmpliFi HD with a smaller size and miniaturized capacitive grayscale touchscreen, while the latter option is essentially the AmpliFi HD with low latency support, WAN quality-of-service features, and other additions aimed at users who play a lot of online games. Each router features 802.11ac with self-configuring, dual-band 2.4 GHz/5 GHz Wi-Fi radios.

Over the past few months, I've been relying solely on Ubiquiti Labs' trio of mesh routers for all of my internet needs, with the majority of my time spent using the AmpliFi Instant and AmpliFi HD routers. In my time with the routers I've yet to find any real flaws or noticeable drawbacks to using AmpliFi, and as someone who has been researching mesh networks for years but was too inundated with various options to make a decision, I can say that the AmpliFi routers are a great option for anyone looking to transition away from a single router system and into mesh.


Click here to read more...

Article Link: Review: Ubiquiti Labs' AmpliFi Routers Have Fast Setups, Gorgeous Designs, and Rock Solid Mesh Wi-Fi Coverage
I have two routers (one set as Ethernet Backbone) and four mesh points (paddles) covering a home over 4K square feet and I get 115mbps speeds anywhere I go and lightning fast downloads, streams, etc. I tried everything and this just works - it's not cheap especially if you have to buy more paddles but its worth it.
 

sc0rch3d

macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2018
12
34
I consider myself the average Wifi consumer with single family home and 10-15 wifi connected devices. You can easily buy a UAP AC PRO access point to cover most of your needs. I have a deskop PC that acts as the "server" with the AP in the living room. Ridiculously fast Wifi speeds, combined with Fiber internet, I can get 300+ down and up pretty easily on most days on wifi.
 
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Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
471
983
UK
Can I set this up going from router to mesh point to mesh point

Yes, you can. Got the HD version and it will automatically work it out once you've positioned the devices.

How is it that this technology improves the wifi in a weak signal room? If my devices get spotty connections in a particular room, how does the mesh point make that any better when it too connects wirelessly to the main router?

Do these mesh networks make multiple device streaming work a lot better? Would it make sense to plug in both of the satellites to the same room to enable more simultaneous device connections?

The signal strength is much stronger thanks to the design of the internal components, therefore giving a stronger signal. I went form the standard router given by my ISP and the speeds were MUCH faster, even in the same room as the router. Previous dead spots in the house (one of the bedrooms) now had fast connections. Also have a cabin in the garden which has modern insulation, which is some sort of space age foil. Before, I was lucky to get 5Mb, and the would drop out all the time. Now get over 100MB in there with rock solid performance, and my lad loves spending time out there to play online games.

all in all, I'd say these devices are like it used to be when you switched from a PC to Mac....you didn't know how good things could be until you've actually went out and got one!
 
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sirozha

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2008
1,189
1,427
Can I set this up going from router to mesh point to mesh point, or does each mesh point need to link directly to the router (some kind of linear topology vs. a star topology). I've got my router at one end of the house and lot of brick walls to get the signal through to the back of the house. I could see linking the router to mesh point 1 and then extending to back of the house by linking mesh point 1 to mesh point 2.

I have a wired connection to the back of the house where the office is and all those devices on a switch, but I'd like to improve the wireless at that end of the house. I've considered the Orbi, but haven't made any decisions at this time.
The HD main units can uplink with each other via Ethernet. You can just buy two main units.
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
2,462
1,697
Washington, DC
Is AmpliFi HD a true mesh network? That is, do MeshPoints function closer to how a repeater would work or are they creating a mesh network for devices connected it, improving overall throughput while reducing latency?

Many technical articles suggest AmpliFi HD is closer to repeater in design than a true mesh network.

Mesh wifi is defined as having a wireless backbone, not like a zigbee mesh. The routers have a radio for clients and a radio just for talking back to the main router or the next wireless hop.
[doublepost=1544658571][/doublepost]
I don’t see the benefit of the mesh stuff (I do have ethernet in every room). I am using the classical Unifi-Access points and am very content with them. Roaming works nicely, in contrast to the Apple Access points where it never worked.

The benefit is that you don't use repeaters, which cut your bandwidth in half. The mesh works like your ethernet as a backbone for the access points. Your Unifi AP's can do this as well.
 

Polymorphic

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2010
148
430
Since retiring my Airport Extreme, I've been running an Amplifi HD system for about a year, and I can highly recommend it.
 

sirozha

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2008
1,189
1,427
I consider myself the average Wifi consumer with single family home and 10-15 wifi connected devices. You can easily buy a UAP AC PRO access point to cover most of your needs. I have a deskop PC that acts as the "server" with the AP in the living room. Ridiculously fast Wifi speeds, combined with Fiber internet, I can get 300+ down and up pretty easily on most days on wifi.

300 Mbps is NOT “ridiculously fast WiFi speeds”. UAP-AC-Pro is an outdated (Gen 2) piece of hardware with a very weak CPU that was used in consumer-grade routers 5 years ago.

Ubiquiti now sells Gen 3 APs: UAP-AC-HD, UAP-AC-SHD, UAP-miniHD, UAP-IW-HD.
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,510
2,432
How is it that this technology improves the wifi in a weak signal room? If my devices get spotty connections in a particular room, how does the mesh point make that any better when it too connects wirelessly to the main router?

Also, anyone know how close we are to the next major wifi tech jump? (AC is the current greatest right?) Is now a bad time to drop hundreds of dollars on wifi tech if I've held out on mesh for this long?

My current router is the tall Apple box with beaming tech or some such. But just the one unit. And it sucks when more than one device tries to connect to it from the bedroom (though signal is pretty decent when only one device tries to actively stream from it). Do these mesh networks make multiple device streaming work a lot better? Would it make sense to plug in both of the satellites to the same room to enable more simultaneous device connections?
The idea is that the mesh point would be placed in-between you and the router. Meaning if your router is upstairs at the back of the house, you would put the mesh point downstairs in the middle of the house. The mesh point usually connects over a dedicated backhaul frequency which it figures out with the main router, which lets it transfer data back and forth to the main router without wasting much bandwidth and not interfering with the device frequencies. You then connect to the mesh point which given it is on the same floor as you now, but closer, will give you a better signal strength.

It usually works out because 5Ghz can give much higher speeds, but it has a shorter range. The mesh point should be placed within strong 5Ghz frequency range, then it lets your client device connect at 5Ghz from a further distance.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,819
3,403
Mesh wifi is defined as having a wireless backbone, not like a zigbee mesh. The routers have a radio for clients and a radio just for talking back to the main router or the next wireless hop.
But I don't see Ethernet port nor dedicated wireless backhaul on the MeshPoint HD units. I can't easily find the information, which is why I am confused.
 

mwearl

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2014
6
1
Hendersonville, NC
I don’t see the benefit of the mesh stuff (I do have ethernet in every room). I am using the classical Unifi-Access points and am very content with them. Roaming works nicely, in contrast to the Apple Access points where it never worked.

Your setup is ideal but if someone didn't have ethernet in every room or the ability to have this setup, mesh is the next best thing.
 
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