Mesh Wifi: Ubiquity Amplifi Reviewed

 

Ubiquiti Labs is a new player in the consumer router market. But it is no babe in the woods. It is a division of Ubiquiti Networks. It is a well-regarded manufacturer of enterprise. And it is service provider networking solutions. It is an early player in the mesh wifi market. The company announced its first consumer product back in May 2016. The Amplifi HD Mesh WiFi System is the most recent router. They outline it to earn arrangement out in the open.  It consists of a dual-band 802.11ac router. It comes pre-paired with two 802.11ac mesh nodes.  Ubiquiti calls them “meshpoints”. The router is an attractive 4-inch cube.  It has a circular 2 inches in diameter color LCD touch screen on its face. It has a gigabit WAN port and four-port gigabit switch in the back. There is also a USB port on the back.  But it is currently dormant. There is a white LED around the bottom border of the router. But you can dim its brightness. You can turn it off altogether. There is a night mode setting. It will turn the LED and the LCD off automatically.

 

Features

The Amplifi HD Home Mesh WiFi System is the latest Wi-Fi system. It employs mesh networking to bring wireless coverage to areas of your home.  A standard router cannot reach on its own. This stylishly designed system comes with a dual-band router cube. It can’t match the overall performance and feature set of a traditional midrange router.

The Amplifi HD mesh wifi nodes are unlike anything else. They plug directly into an AC outlet. They have 7-inch long enclosures. It mounts on a magnetic ball attached to the AC adapter. A stack of five blue LEDs glow to confirm the connectivity with the router. Signal quality is shown in the Amplifi application. The ball enables the antenna to rotate toward any path.  So you can fine tune its reception with the Amplifi smart phone app.

 

Installation and setup

You can perform the earliest installation steps on a Mac with a web browser. But you will need to use the Amplifi app. there are Android and iOS versions. You will also need the app to get to the nitty-gritty settings. You can get down to levels of details .you can set up a guest network with its own unique password. There are provisions for port-forwarding rules. But it does not allow you to assign one wireless client higher priority over another.

You can also create profiles. You can assign networked devices to those profiles. And then you can establish schedules. You can create multiple quiet times for each profile by day or group of days.   This feature is based on a 24-hour clock. The user interface will confuse you at first glance. But you will quickly realize how clever it is. You do not want to hassle with setting up profiles. You can easily “pause” any client device from accessing the internet. There is a button. It will temporarily block internet access for every device .It is a handy feature. Parental control is not available.

 

Performance

It is easy to install and configure and has dedicated band control.  With four LAN ports it serves good throughput. It has range performance and is a very compact router. Finally it has a color touch screen and comes with plug-in mesh extenders.

But it is expensive. It has limited settings. It has large mesh points.  The USB port does not support external peripherals. There is no desktop admin software.

It has the ability to move three concurrent streams of data. The AmpliFi HD router uses beam forming to tailor transmissions to a connecting device’s needs. It lacks MU-MIMO for efficient network management. That technology is on the AmpliFi HD’s road map.  AmpliFi has a theoretical throughput of 1.75 Gbps. It uses IxChariot software in a crowded Wi-Fi environment. A single AmpliFi HD router is capable of a combined throughput of 368.2 Mbps at 5 feet.

This is a good time to be in the market for a new Wi-Fi router. It is very attractive. It has a four-port switch. It’s easy to set up. Its companion app is very easy to use. The mesh network provides good coverage with three nodes. Amplifi HD is attractive from a cost perspective with a three-node system.

 

Conclusion

The Ubiquiti Amplifi HD Home Wi-Fi System is the most robust mesh router. Its performance is good. The router is stylish. It delivers solid throughput on both bands. It is simple to install and manage. The mesh points are relatively large.  But they take seconds to install. It offers good range performance. You get a bit more control over your network with the Amplifi HD. But it misses parental controls and QoS settings. The Amplifi HD is still a good choice. You have a house big for your network. The Ubiquiti Amplifi HD Home Wi-Fi System is easy to set up. It uses mesh technology to blanket your home with wireless connectivity. It may not be the fastest or cheapest mesh networking kit around. In any case, the Ubiquiti Networks AmpliFi HD Home WiFi System is one of the most effortless approaches to dependably fill a home with Wi-Fi.