I don’t know that AmpliFi is much better than Orbi, but based on the specs I don’t see how it could be worse. I am curious if you attempted to use any of your AmpliFi HD devices to act as wireless access points off the UniFi? As of this writing, Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and greatest wireless standard, and it provides significant improvements over the older 802.11ac Wave 2 (Wi-Fi 5) standard — even aside from the less-confusing naming convention. Great Article! That was a wired test. 1. 99. I am looking between the Unifi 6 LR AP, Unifi 6 Lite or the nanoHD. Several days ago, we got our first glimpse into Ubiquiti’s enterprise networking gear lineup when we reviewed the Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC PRO, an impressive Wi-Fi access point which delivered enterprise class performance and enterprise class features at a reasonable price.Today we’ll be reviewing a significantly different product in the Ubiquiti UniFi lineup, the Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway (USG), which despite its … I’ve used the UniFi network at home for a 2 or 3 years, added to it over time with a USG and CloudKey. The USG and the switch both came with wall-mounting hardware, so it was fairly simple to get everything put together. Thank you, Hi Alexandre! i’ll just leave some links in case it’s helpful. I moved in January and now don’t have AT&T at the new location. What are your thoughts? The System LED on the UniFi Security Gateway … Yeah, the Alien would certainly work in your scenario but you might need 3 if the distance between the main Alien (connected to the modem) and second Alien (in your office) is too far. Additionally, I had two wireless MeshPoints positioned in the middle of the house for additional coverage. Ability to add additional access points, if necessary. Someone in the comments mentioned that I don‘t need a UniFi Controller or Cloud Key if I use the nanoHD APs, is that true? Beyond that, it does DHCP and the routing for all the devices connected to it. I kept the fourth base station in our master bedroom, until it broke and I decided not to replace it. That also means that as long as I have my UniFi switches connected to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), I don’t have to worry about my Wi-Fi shutting down when I temporarily lose power. My recommendation: If raw LAN performance is your primary concern, stick with UniFi. The DPI feature is incredible though so I’m willing to take the hit. Same with your mobile devices, you get an encrypted network (though those can connect to L2PT VPN, so I didn’t lose that by switching to the USG). Welcome to UniFi Mesh Technology; The UniFi AC Mesh can be mounted on a pole, wall, or Ubiquiti high-gain antenna. Thank you! The UDM looks like a normal home router. I have 5 access points spread over 4 floors and an outbuilding. What I figured out afterwards was the Cloud Key is basically a mini-computer running the Controller on its own. I have just turned off all features on the Arris modem that I could turn off and get it as close to “a bridge” as possible. Yes, Wi-Fi or range extenders reduce the performance of your wireless network. it’s worth reading because they go over how the USG manual configuration presented in the taylorsmith post can be simplified because most of the necessary options are now exposed in the unifi controller GUI in newer versions (like 5.8.x stable), so your manual config file (config.gateway.json) doesn’t need to have much in it. Thanks. Michael, AWESOME article…thank you very much for taking the time to create it!! also, they talk about IPv6 troubleshooting. You can probably manage each AP directly and without deploying CK. But I like new tech including MIMO-MU and more clients. Michael, thank you for the quick response! That’s just my humble opionion of course, but if you go poke around the Amplifi forums, you’ll see a lot of complaints, minimal communication from the Amplifi team, which just doesn’t cut it in an already crowded market with much more recognizable names in the consumer mesh market (eero, google, and now Linksys as well). If you know what you’re doing and you need detailed control over advanced networking features, go with UniFi. About a week later, I logged in to my Ubiquiti Network Manager Controller and saw that my Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway (USG) was no longer sending over data to the controller … The nanoHD hadn’t been released when I wrote the article, but I’ll add it as an option. yes, you’re absolutely right! 4x better throughput per user in dense or congested environments. Note that UniFi offers more expensive, and thus more capable, hardware than I had the opportunity to test. They have a Cloud Key also. In the time since I left this comment, all my equipment arrived and I went through the (very painful) process of getting IP Passthrough configured correctly on the Arris. I would be very grateful if you an answer a few questions: I’ll have a look into that a bit more. Better handover and roaming capabilities, so that devices — such as mobile phones — quickly connect to the access point with the strongest Wi-Fi signal. UniFi offers business-class performance and flexibility that you usually don’t see in products at that price point. Below is a high-level, side-by-side comparison of AmpliFi and UniFi based on the hardware that both brands offer as of December 2019 (and that are in the price range of the equipment I’ve used). Regarding powering your APs, it depends on the total power consumption of all APs and the power output of your PoE injector. How did you find the USG compared to your CUJO solution? I’ll be doing that with the AmpliFi Alien, however (review in progress, so stay tuned). Yes, both brands offer mobile apps but there are differences as far as capabilities are concerned. A few days later, supplies in hand, I started with the easy part. You pass your public IP to your EdgeRouter and then set your mesh network device to bridge mode to avoid double NAT. Close. If you’re doing more runs or longer runs than I (my longest cable was a 50ft), you might buy the cable in bulk and crimp RJ45 connectors after you run it, but that looked like a pain, so I went and ordered a 3/4in drill bit too (big enough hole to fit a RJ45 plug). While that doesn’t change my editorial integrity, it helps make this blog happen. They barely even support /k and /r options (fast roaming basically). After measuring and re-measuring at least half-a-dozen times, I was pretty sure I’d figured out where to drill from the basement into the space between the studs on the upper floor. But you certainly could use a USG and UniFi switch in combination within an AmpliFi Alien. Certainly seems like a useful tool for traveling. Advanced routing and firewall features, such as intrusion detection (IDS) and intrusion prevention (IPS). I’m talking about smart home devices, such as light switches, door locks, etc. So you’d have to check out the specs of all devices involved. We have around 30+ network clients (man, they add up) between the two of us, including two Nest Outdoor cams monitoring the back and side of the home, as well as an August Doorbell Cam and lock, all of which have struggled on the periphery of the Extreme’s coverage. For a 2,000 sqft home, assuming you can position the device somewhat centrally, either one would probably work fine. Do you think that only ONE Unifi AC Pro on Ceiling will do a better job? We currently live in a 3,300-square-foot ranch-style home with a rectangular layout. Check out this article in which I describe I had set up my AT&T modem to best work with AmpliFi: https://michaelkummer.com/tech/att-fiber-vs-comcast/. There are UAP-AC-HD, UAP-AC-SHD, and UAP-AC-XG that are much more powerful than the nanoHD. Just trying to decide which 2 APs to buy. Thanks for your articles and comparison, very helpful. As a result, I decided to run CAT 5e/6 Ethernet cables from my office — where I’ve placed the ISP modem — through our unfinished attic and into almost every room of the house. I kept the same SSID and password as my old network, so I didn’t have to re-setup any of my devices. That’s particularly true because my internet uplink enters the house at a corner, which makes it virtually impossible to position a wireless access point somewhere in the middle of the home. While the initial setup of UniFi is a bit more involved, I think you should be alright if you have the patience to read the documentation or ask their support for help. On the other hand, I don’t operate any network-connected file servers in my landscape. Yes, you want to turn off Wifi on the Arris modem and there are no issues with settings retention in case of a power outage. Of course, the Alien is more expensive than the HD. Would it be possible to use the Amplifi HD router and a Unifi LR AP? The modem didn’t have any provisions for wall mounting, so I had to get creative with zip-ties. The first step was planning — we had to decide on final AP placement, and where to put all the routing/switching gear, and the internet service provider’s modem. I know that Ubiquiti made that claim, but it’s simply a lie. Just wondering what app was used to do the network mapping (the image that has the specific ubiquiti products used)? I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking for useful information on Ubiquiti wifi gear (specifically, the differences between the Unifi and Amplifi product lines) and your article would have saved me those useless hours. Now since you own UDM, have you tried to use EAP proxy docker imafe to bypass ATT RG? The HD doesn’t have those capabilities because the hardware isn’t powerful enough. UniFi is not enterprise-class, and anyone who has ever worked as a network engineer in an enterprise knows that. The Extreme put out pretty good speeds, but range could be an issue, and optimal placement meant cables were strung across the floor for an unsightly mess. Spotted typo “192.158” should be “192.168”. Aside, I’ve given up on using public internet speedtest pages… instead I have a 50GB file sitting in Google Drive which I download from a web browser and it seems to saturate my fiber downlink. Thanks Jayson – I’m curious about your last paragraph (re Amplifi long term). My goal with this article is to equip you with enough knowledge about each brand and the major differences between them to make an informed buying decision. Unifi Security Gateway offers PPTP and L2TP VPN servers out of the box but there are better alternatives available like WireGuard and OpenVPN. I’m definitely going to continue to play around with the setup, but at this point, I think we’ve gotten to the part where the system just hums along, doing exactly what we need it to do in the background, not really causing any problems. Looking forward to the update, and I hope it goes as easily as what you’ve outlined here (I also have AT&T gigabit, and the same Arris router…why didn’t MAC spoofing work so that I can get rid of the Arris device?). UniFi offers support for multiple Wi-Fi networks — including guest networks. Speeds in excess of 100/100 Mbps anywhere in the house. Has it been all good for you since installing? I’m recommending this device to anyone who is considering mesh systems since it can be deployed sans the Unifi Controller software as a standalone device. For the price, you can build out a great Unifi system for about the same as an Amplifi system, and the Unifi web app is far superior to the Amplifi app. Or going with a Dream Machine Pro but not sure how that would work within my current setup. In a nutshell, AmpliFi is incredibly simple to install and configure, requiring on average five minutes or less. For example, I don’t want to wait for a webpage to load or a device to respond. Nice article Michael. Is there still a local login for the device? you’re right, the base station offers 1,300Gbps only, but if you add the two mesh points, it goes up to a total throughput of 1.75 Gpbs. That would require to create a software bridge on the USG, which isn’t HW-accelerated and likely won’t get close to the speed you are and I are seeing. To adopt it, click Adopt. I saw the Unifi (UDM) dashboard and it looks pretty cool in that it allows you to control a lot of the network and provide threat detection and firewall features. I’m considering adding a nanoHD to my exiting landscape for the same reasons you mentioned. It will be a million times easier to do an install and future-proof when there’s no drywall in the way, but I didn’t have this luxury. My recommendation: If you’re like my parents or grandparents, and you call your child or grandchildren for help every time your computer “doesn’t work,” I recommend sticking with AmpliFi or making sure you get the help you need to deploy UniFi (just don’t call me). I recently came across a UniFi Security Gateway Pro on a job and the customer doesn't have the login. What I’m trying to say is, while I’d love to introduce Wi-Fi 6 to my network, I’m not terribly upset that I can’t do so yet. Any other helpful guides out there that you would recommend? Mesh systems have come a long way, but when a 3-pack Orbi system costs nearly what we paid for this and isn’t going to provide as good an experience, if you’re willing to deal with the setup, this will work better, It’s definitely a little more expensive up-front than most solutions, You’ll need a central place to locate all your devices, like a utility room, where you can locate your modem, You’ll probably need to run some cable, which always sucks, Could be intimidatingly complex for the non-tech-savvy. In a nutshell, UniFi offers the following advantages over AmpliFi: As a regular consumer, you will likely never need all of those features to achieve excellent WiFi coverage in your home. It appears that I’ll have to go with Amplifi gear. Unless, of course, you’re trying to get away with using a single networking device. For now, it’s important to understand that UniFi doesn’t yet provide support for Wi-Fi 6, while AmpliFi does via its Alien all-in-one device. They are not really comparable. But if you have more than one AP, router or switch, the CK makes managing them a lot easier. Thanks for the great write up, it was really informative for someone just starting to head the Unifi direction. It’s only been a couple weeks, but the system has been absolutely bullet-proof, which you’d expect for a system you might run in an arena. To setup an VPN to Azure the minimal Unifi equipment you need is the security gateway. I feel it’s a marketing fail on their part, b/c they are unique in that they have what should be the full Ubiquiti portfolio of products and engineers upon which to build, yet they don’t even seem to have some of the basics nailed down. How IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics Forever, Apple Prepares to Launch 5G iPhones Into Unready U.S. Market, Have We Passed the Point of Maximum Useful Tech, # of devices — most consumer routers are only good for up to 50 devices, which, in our increasingly Internet-of-Things-pervaded world, add up fast, Reliability — if someone’s job is going to rely on rock-solid internet, it’s worth the extra outlay, Power — We don’t want any dead spots on the property, and we want good speeds, Future-proofing — the ability to add more access points and switch out modules as technology improved, Advantages over mesh — Anyone who has a little networking knowledge will tell you that wired>wireless, full stop. Where would you have used bridging? I am currently not using CUJO, which I had removed while switching from AmpliFi to UniFi to simplify my network setup. No Wi-Fi dead zones anywhere in the house. A quick note on ethernet cable: there are a number of different specifications of cable available, which are generally interoperable. A powerful and centralized management console. So while such a mixed scenario is possible, it’s clunky and has some technical limitations. It lacks Wi-Fi 6, but it has a lot of other benefits. Excellent info! I think they are great bargains for the money though, I have the 16 port 150w driving 4 of the 8 port passive PoE switches, keeps it nice and clean since I don’t have to waste a plug socket on them. The spots where I had positioned two of the AmpliFi routers were pre-determined by the availability of the Ethernet and power outlets in the house. Also, as far as security/firewall, I saw one introduction video to the Dream Machine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-QvRq6vvf0) see @15:41 and @17:11, where the reviewer just turned on DPI and advanced threat detection. If Wi-Fi 6 isn’t a concern for you and you don’t need to cover a wide area with Wi-Fi the HD will do just fine. The UniFi Dream Machine Pro (UDM-Pro) is the latest security gateway from Ubiquiti. When it comes to per-node data throughput, you can find AmpliFi and UniFi on different sides of the spectrum. Thanks for this article, I decided that AmpliFi was good enough for my needs and it seems ok so far. On the other hand, the Alien has better coverage than the UDM. I am happy I found it and will be purchasing the same setup UniFi setup as you have with the intent of maxing out the fiber connection in a home which is new to me.