A network equipment specialist offers a mesh Wi-Fi system that minimizes the number of wires – though it won’t necessarily be to everyone’s liking.
|Wireless connectivity||802.11b/g/n/ac (AC1750)|
|The number of adapters in the package||3|
|Wi-Fi antenna configuration||3×3|
|Simultaneous operation in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands||Both (dual-band)|
|LAN connectors||4x LAN (10/100/1000), 1x WAN (10/100/1000)|
|Dimensions||99,5 x 97,8 x 99,6 mm (router), 243,83 x 54 x 57,75 mm (satelitite)|
WIFI MESH SYSTEMS
Ubiquiti AmpliFi mesh system is undoubtedly distinctive. US network specialist has put all his energy into connecting clients wireless, which will become apparent when you find that two satellites in this system, made like flat antennas with a hinge, do not have wired connectors.
Moreover, they do not even come with power adapters, but have a plug located on the bottom of the “chassis” so that the satellites are actually connected directly to a power outlet. If you hate wires, this may seem convenient to you, but we think more about the problems it will create, because many power outlets are in a disadvantageous position – behind shelves and dressers.
Even the absence of network connectors on satellites is not really to our liking. Although it is true that mesh primary purpose of buying is to improve wireless performance, wired connectors on satellites leave users with the option to connect some devices the classic, wired way – HTPC or Android box with an old WiFi card, for example.
The third part of this system is a dice, compact router , on the back of which are four gigabit LAN ports , an additional gigabit WAN port , a USB connector (at the time of testing, it had no function at all) and a USB-C power port. The front is a round color screen that shows things like date and time, traffic usage, IP address, current connection speed, and status of the listed rear ports.
We switch between these functions by tapping on the screen. Interestingly, it can also be used to upgrade a firmware – once you see it available on the screen, you can use your finger to start refreshing the entire system. In addition to the color touchscreen , the AmpliFi router also has a speaker (for notifications and confirmation of selection – you won’t be able to use it to listen to your favorite pops) and a glowing base that illuminates the device subtly and lovingly at night.
Installation of the system is extremely easy. As soon as you connect the WAN port of the AmpliF router to your ISP router and turn it on, the round screen will inform you to download the AmpliFi mobile application, after which you just need to follow the richly painted and animated steps within the application itself. In less than two minutes you will have a mesh Wi-Fi network with the name and password of your choice, just like the ability to have administrative access to the entire system.
The app is beautifully designed and comfortable to use. Allows us to view router settings and satellites, controlling their lighting, checking signal strength between them (and manually switching from 5GHz to 2.4GHz, which no other tested system allows), configuring additional WiFi for guests (with maximum number setting) guests and time-limiting visibility of that network), detailed insight into all devices connected to the mesh system and elementary “parent” controls.
It is not possible to filter the pages and services you want, but we can create groups of devices, that is, users (your children’s cell phones, for example) and determine what time of day they will be blocked from accessing the Internet. Ubiquiti also offers a web interface, but the only potentially useful option within it is to move the router to the bridge mode, where it functions as a wireless access point and wired switch . In short, stick to a fast, smartly organized and intuitive application, because inside it you can perform whatever you need.
The wireless signal strength that AmpliFi provides is excellent, one of the better ones on the test – thanks in part to the fact that the system consists of three devices instead of two. This is most evident from the signal strength measured in the bedroom, into which we placed one of the two satellites, which was otherwise covered by the living room node in the two-node system. Jumping devices between routers and satellites is also smooth and fast. Measured bandwidths are satisfactory, sufficient for all forms of surfing and streaming (including 4K HDR video), although it should be noted that some systems tested, such as Netgear Orbi and Asus AiMesh AC1900 Wi-Fi System, offered significantly more in this regard.
After all, we can’t ignore the fact that, despite being indisputably capable of covering a large space with a good quality Wi-Fi signal, AmpliFi costs too much. You can get mesh Wi-Fi systems from the competition for less money, which will offer you even higher speeds and network connectors on satellites, which is always good to have, even if you don’t plan to use them when planning your home wireless infrastructure.
|Laptop (802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi kartica)||Wireless Signal Power – 2.4 GHz Band||Wireless signal strength – 5 GHz band|
|Study Room (1 meter, no walls)||-20 dBm||-32 dBm|
|Kitchen (5 meters, 1 concrete wall)||-34 dBm||-53 dBm|
|Living room (10 meters, 2 concrete walls)||-21 dBm||-33 dBm|
|Bedroom (15 meters, 3 concrete walls)||-32 dBm||-38 dBm|
|Cell Phone (802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi Card)||Wireless Signal Power – 2.4 GHz Band||Wireless signal strength – 5 GHz band|
|Study Room (1 meter, no walls)||-39 dBm||-45 dBm|
|Kitchen (5 meters, 1 concrete wall)||-56 dBm||-57 dBm|
|Living room (10 meters, 2 concrete walls)||-39 dBm||-40 dBm|
|Bedroom (15 meters, 3 concrete walls)||-59 dBm||-41 dBm|
|Data transfer speed||Average throughput (send | receive)||Average ping|
|Study Room (1 meter, no walls)||22,85 MB / s | 27,84 MB / s||4 ms|
|Kitchen (5 meters, 1 concrete wall)||19,33 MB / s | 24,07 MB / s||2 ms|
|Living room (10 meters, 2 concrete walls)||14,03 MB / s | 19,51 MB / s||2 ms|
|Bedroom (15 meters, 3 concrete walls)||14,2 MB / s | 19,32 MB / s||2 ms|
|Living room (10 meters, 2 concrete walls)||Unable to perform measurement (satellites do not have LAN port)|
|Speedtest (optical link, 200/100 Mbit / s)|
|Mobile (living room)||118 / 122 Mbit/s|
|HTPC (Living Room)||Unable to perform measurement (satellites do not have LAN port)|
|Netflix 4K HDR (Living Room)||It runs smoothly|
|YouTube 4K (Living Room)||It runs smoothly|
|4K Video from Networked NAS (Living Room)||It runs smoothly|
- Excellent coverage and wireless signal strength
- Extremely easy installation
- Appealing router with LCD touchscreen
- An intuitive mobile app
- The satellites connect directly to the electrical outlet
- Satellites do not have LAN ports
- Some competing mesh systems are faster and cheaper