Question Need recommendations for in ceiling POE WiFi access points.

Nov 26, 2020
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Dear forum members,


6000 sq ft 2 story house. There are 3 in ceiling WiFi access points - one on 2nd floor and 2 on first floor. Small back yard.

Media closet in 2nd floor where router will be placed with other equipments.

All of the rooms were wired with a single coax line and two Cat6 lines.

I am looking for in ceiling POE WiFi access points. I under stand only available will be WiFi 5 and dual band for this set up. I understand it's better to have system which will be wired back haul. I understand it's better to have wired access points if possible hence I got house prewired.

I need recommendations - which brand and model no. Will it come with router?

I will have spectrum internet.

The person who wired in ceiling wifi access points suggested eero mesh network but I am wondering then why did he make me spend money on in ceiling wifi access points?!!

Thank You
 
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Go with a ubiquiti system and their access points. It has excellent results in a set up like yours. The person wiring the ceiling wifi points shouldn't be used as they don't know even the basics of networking. Hopefully they are not terminating the jacks or you'll have trouble for years to come.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Go with a ubiquiti system and their access points. It has excellent results in a set up like yours. The person wiring the ceiling wifi points shouldn't be used as they don't know even the basics of networking. Hopefully they are not terminating the jacks or you'll have trouble for years to come.
Thanks for the reply.

Which ubiquity model do you suggest? Will need separate router too?

What does it mean when you say, "Hopefully they are not terminating the jacks"?
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
The person who wired in ceiling wifi access points suggested eero mesh network but I am wondering then why did he make me spend money on in ceiling wifi access points?!!
That guy doesn't know what they're talking about. Hardwired it, but wants you to get a mesh system???????

Ubiquiti works great and they do have wifi 6 versions coming out now. They are still considered beta though and wifi 6e is just around the corner(just a frequency change). If your house isn't in a congested area, I wouldn't worry about wifi 6e. The current frequencies are fine. You might want to buy all LONG RANGE versions of the access points. That house is really big.

The Ubiquiti fast roaming works great, and handoff between devices is seamless in my house. As long as all the hardware is compatible with fast roaming (Windows 10 computers, iPhones and newer Android Phones), it works well.

Buy a Cloudkey to manage the access points, it'll give you smartphone access with their app as well and get a network switch with POE outputs for the access points. You can buy a small server rack that mounts on the wall or in a cabinet to keep it all tidy. Running all the wires to a patch panel on the same rack would also make it professional looking. They also make cloudkey 1u server rack mounts as well.

The only problem I see is that Ubiquiti isn't the most user friendly setup. It's a clean UI, but it's language and design assumes you have some networking knowledge before hand.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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The only problem I see is that Ubiquiti isn't the most user friendly setup. It's a clean UI, but it's language and design assumes you have some networking knowledge before hand.
Ubiquiti works great and they do have wifi 6 versions coming out now. They are still considered beta though and wifi 6e is just around the corner(just a frequency change). If your house isn't in a congested area, I wouldn't worry about wifi 6e. The current frequencies are fine. You might want to buy all LONG RANGE versions of the access points. That house is really big.

The Ubiquiti fast roaming works great, and handoff between devices is seamless in my house. As long as all the hardware is compatible with fast roaming (Windows 10 computers, iPhones and newer Android Phones), it works well.

Buy a Cloudkey to manage the access points, it'll give you smartphone access with their app as well and get a network switch with POE outputs for the access points. You can buy a small server rack that mounts on the wall or in a cabinet to keep it all tidy. Running all the wires to a patch panel on the same rack would also make it professional looking. They also make cloudkey 1u server rack mounts as well.

The only problem I see is that Ubiquiti isn't the most user friendly setup. It's a clean UI, but it's language and design assumes you have some networking knowledge before hand
That guy doesn't know what they're talking about. Hardwired it, but wants you to get a mesh system???????

Ubiquiti works great and they do have wifi 6 versions coming out now. They are still considered beta though and wifi 6e is just around the corner(just a frequency change). If your house isn't in a congested area, I wouldn't worry about wifi 6e. The current frequencies are fine. You might want to buy all LONG RANGE versions of the access points. That house is really big.

The Ubiquiti fast roaming works great, and handoff between devices is seamless in my house. As long as all the hardware is compatible with fast roaming (Windows 10 computers, iPhones and newer Android Phones), it works well.

Buy a Cloudkey to manage the access points, it'll give you smartphone access with their app as well and get a network switch with POE outputs for the access points. You can buy a small server rack that mounts on the wall or in a cabinet to keep it all tidy. Running all the wires to a patch panel on the same rack would also make it professional looking. They also make cloudkey 1u server rack mounts as well.

The only problem I see is that Ubiquiti isn't the most user friendly setup. It's a clean UI, but it's language and design assumes you have some networking knowledge before hand.


What does it mean - "If your house isn't in a congested area"?

You might want to buy all LONG RANGE versions of the access points----
-- - should I buy 3 of
UniFi Long-Range Access Point
SKU: UAP-AC-LR-US

or
UniFi 6 Long-Range Access Point
SKU: U6-LR-US
  • PoE injector not included --- for this model I guess I need to buy 3 POE injectors
or do you suggest any other model?

Website says
  • * Please note the 5-pack does not include POE injectors
When I buy 3 individually, I will POE injectors with it. Do I still need network switch with POE outputs for the access points as you recommended?

Do I need to buy a Router? If yes, which one do you recommend?

Do I need to buy UniFi Network Controller

Buy a Cloudkey to manage the access points, it'll give you smartphone access with their app as well - --Can you suggest which one to buy?

get a network switch with POE outputs for the access points - ---can you suggest which one and how many to buy.

You can buy a small server rack that mounts on the wall or in a cabinet to keep it all tidy. Running all the wires to a patch panel on the same rack would also make it professional looking. They also make cloudkey 1u server rack mounts as well -----> all the wires will go to media closet which has HVAC connection. Hence I am thinking of getting a regular rack (without cooling fans) for AV receivers, mode, router etc.

Will I still need cloudkey 1u server rack mounts? If yes, which one to buy?



Thanks for your help.
 
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I would have to disagree that the current frequencies are fine on wifi6. There is not a contiguous block of 160mhz in the 5g band. There are 2 split 80mhz blocks as well as a bunch of other frequecies that are subject to all kinds a rules about power levels and radar avoidance. This is partially why you find some wifi6 equipment that only support 80mhz channels even though the 160mhz is the key factor that give the massive speed increase.

In the new 6g radio band if I remember the table correctly there are 9 blocks of 160mhz that you can use at full power.

This is one of the few time in many years I have actually been excited to see new wifi technology, everything else for years has been mostly marketing and very little true tech.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have Ubiquiti products, so I can provide some "hands on" experience. For ceiling mount, I would get either the nanoHD or the WIFI6 LR. Price is similar. The nano is a more stable (been released longer) product. It is also physically smaller. You will want a POE switch, rather than POE injectors. One POE switch can power all 3 units. The 8 port 60W or the 8 port 150W will work. If you need more wired ports then get a larger (16, 24, or 48 port) switch. It is beneficial to have some device running the controller software. That device can be the Ubiquiti cloudkey Gen2 (don't buy the gen 1 or "original" cloudkey). Or it can be a raspberry PI. I run the controller + PiHole (DNS filter) on a PI4. You will need a router. You can use the ISP router. Or you can use a Ubiquit router. There are multiple versions depending on the WAN speed you have and the other features you want.
The biggest thing about Ubiquiti is that it ISN'T "plug and play". There is a learning curve. This is a hardware/software SYSTEM that is designed for small to medium commercial installations that also works in home environments. BUT it is not designed for home, so things like parental controls on the router DON'T EXIST.
The other thing about not being "plug and play" is that it works best when all the "auto" settings are manually overridden. Don't use auto channel selection, DEFINITELY don't use auto power selection.
 
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gggplaya

Distinguished
What does it mean - "If your house isn't in a congested area"?
If you live close to your neighbors and the home density in your neighborhood is high. You'll have alot of wifi congestion. But if you have a large home lot or live out in the country, you won't be in a congested area.


should I buy 3 of
UniFi Long-Range Access Point
SKU: UAP-AC-LR-US

or
UniFi 6 Long-Range Access Point
SKU: U6-LR-US
I was suggesting the Unifi 6 version. But it's on pre-order, when is your home going to be finished?? Also, make sure you pre-order because the Unifi 6 sold out super quick last time around.

  • PoE injector not included --- for this model I guess I need to buy 3 POE injectors
or do you suggest any other model?

Website says
  • * Please note the 5-pack does not include POE injectors
When I buy 3 individually, I will POE injectors with it. Do I still need network switch with POE outputs for the access points as you recommended?
Yes, the individual packs should come with a POE injector. But if you need to buy a network switch, it's recommended you spend a few extra bucks and get a POE switch because it makes everything much cleaner of an install. Otherwise you'll need to use the 3 POE injector bricks on the outputs of the switch to these access points.

Do I need to buy a Router? If yes, which one do you recommend?
Yes, you will need a router, you can use any router you like but if you buy the rack mount Dream Machine Pro, it'll integrate things into the Ubiquiti System nicely. If you buy the Dream Machine, you WON'T need to buy the Cloud Key since the dream machine runs the Unifi Controller in it.

Do I need to buy UniFi Network Controller
The CloudKey or Dream Machine have the unifi controller software built in. I run the Unifi software in my NAS, but as others suggested you can use a Raspberry pi or a PC to run the software.

Buy a Cloudkey to manage the access points, it'll give you smartphone access with their app as well - --Can you suggest which one to buy?
Buy a CloudKey Gen2, the difference between the 2 is that one has a hard drive built in for security camera recording. I'm not sure if that works with aftermarket cameras though. I don't use any of that stuff, I use Ring for my security cameras.

OR you can buy a Dream Machine Pro router which has the same Unifi controller software built into it, instead of the cloudkey.


get a network switch with POE outputs for the access points - ---can you suggest which one and how many to buy.
To save money, you can use the Dream Machine Pro's built in switch and use the POE bricks if you don't mind the extra clutter.

Other wise, any switch that supports 802.3at PoE+ should work just fine.



You can buy a small server rack that mounts on the wall or in a cabinet to keep it all tidy. Running all the wires to a patch panel on the same rack would also make it professional looking. They also make cloudkey 1u server rack mounts as well -----> all the wires will go to media closet which has HVAC connection. Hence I am thinking of getting a regular rack (without cooling fans) for AV receivers, mode, router etc.

Will I still need cloudkey 1u server rack mounts? If yes, which one to buy?
Looks like you got this already figured out.

The genuine rackmount for the cloud key is $100, but you can buy some cheaper homemade ones on Etsy or ebay. But for amount of money you're spending on a $180 cloud key and $100 rack mount, you might as well get the Dream Machine Pro for another $100 which has a router and USG built into it.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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WiFi 6 version is not available at least till end of April.
What should I pick?

Also should I choose cloudkey gen2?
Or dream machine pro as it has router too? or should I choose some other router?

How to complete the set up?

Appreciate help.
 
Thanks for the reply.

Which ubiquity model do you suggest? Will need separate router too?

What does it mean when you say, "Hopefully they are not terminating the jacks"?
Others have chimed in about the models--I wouldn't worry about anything wifi6--the existing stuff will be more than enough.

If the same guy that's recommending mesh is terminating your jacks, he's probably going to do that wrong and you'll have issues like I ran into today of 3" of untwisted wire (well outside of gigabit spec >:|). Better to have him just leave the wire and you terminate it yourself because once it's cut, it's permanently messed up unless you want to run another wire.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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I have option to choose from these available in stock as I move next week (Unifi 6 long range access point is Not available): Need 3 access points -

Unifi 6 lite access point which is cheaper but will it serve the purpose (don't know the range) at 99

Unifi NanoHD access point (don't know the range) @ 179

Unifi Long Range access point which is cheaper (range is 600 ft) but will it serve the purpose @ 109
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Others have chimed in about the models--I wouldn't worry about anything wifi6--the existing stuff will be more than enough.

If the same guy that's recommending mesh is terminating your jacks, he's probably going to do that wrong and you'll have issues like I ran into today of 3" of untwisted wire (well outside of gigabit spec >:|). Better to have him just leave the wire and you terminate it yourself because once it's cut, it's permanently messed up unless you want to run another wire.
So either him or I need to terminate the jack. I have no idea how to terminate the jack. He says he has installed Unifi before including Cloudkey Gen 2. I hope he know how to terminate the jack.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
I have option to choose from these available in stock as I move next week (Unifi 6 long range access point is Not available): Need 3 access points -

Unifi 6 lite access point which is cheaper but will it serve the purpose (don't know the range) at 99

Unifi NanoHD access point (don't know the range) @ 179

Unifi Long Range access point which is cheaper (range is 600 ft) but will it serve the purpose @ 109
I personally wouldn't worry about the high density models unless you have numerous power users in your house that are constantly downloading large files simultaneously. Or you have huge gatherings of people all the time in your house, like 30+ people. The HD models make more sense for business's where this scenario is more common. But for a typical household, a few people streaming netflix even in 4k is not what I consider high bandwidth. Game console updates are high bandwidth, but that happens only once in a while. So a 2x2 antenna used in the lower cost Ubiquiti models should be fine. Your problem will most likely be wifi coverage in your home.

Right now, if I were you, I'd probably just buy the Unifi Long Range Wireless AC access point available now: https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Unifi-Ap-AC-Long-Range/dp/B015PRCBBI

To run your whole system, I'd probably just get the Dream Machine Pro and mount it all in a rack.

Then in roughly 1-2 years when the Unifi Wifi 6E access points come out, make sure you pre-order those and simply swap the AC access points out.
 
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kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have option to choose from these available in stock as I move next week (Unifi 6 long range access point is Not available): Need 3 access points -

Unifi 6 lite access point which is cheaper but will it serve the purpose (don't know the range) at 99

Unifi NanoHD access point (don't know the range) @ 179

Unifi Long Range access point which is cheaper (range is 600 ft) but will it serve the purpose @ 109
Range is usually NOT a factor of the AP but of the client device. There is no reliable way for anybody to predict your WIFI coverage. Heat maps are just guesses. The LR does have higher gain antennas, so it is more sensative on receive. The nanoHD is newer hardware. Throughput will be similar, but vendor support for the nanoHD will last longer. The 6lite should have similar coverage to the nanoHD.
The important thing is that UniFI is NOT plug and play. You HAVE to tune it. You can't leave everything on "Auto". Your performance will be poor and you will blame the hardware. That is not the case.
If you buy the DreamMachine, you get an additional AP built-into it. Having multiple APs is good when you have to do a firmware update. Clients can move to another AP when one reboots for the firmware update.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
The important thing is that UniFI is NOT plug and play. You HAVE to tune it. You can't leave everything on "Auto". Your performance will be poor and you will blame the hardware. That is not the case.
Yes, to reiterate to the OP. Unifi is not for Novice users. You need to be tech savvy with some networking knowledge to set it up properly.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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I have no networking knowledge. Vendor will install and configure it.

I need parental control with router. Does Unify provide parental control?
 
What feature in parental control do you actually want.

You can do time of day restriction that works ok. Almost everything else no longer works. Almost all traffic is now encrypted so any so called "deep packet inspection" can no longer be done. The other hole of spying on the DNS queries has also been mostly closed by browsers like chrome. All that is left is trying to restrict via IP address which does not work well with all the virtual hosting. Many ip addresses just track back to large hosting companies like akamei or cloudflare.

In addition it takes kids that want to bypass you 10 seconds to find out all about VPN.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have no networking knowledge. Vendor will install and configure it.

I need parental control with router. Does Unify provide parental control?
Generally speaking, NO. That is not the market it is designed for. If you want lots of parental controls, you need a different router. You could still use UniFI access points, but I wouldn't recommend their router, if parental controls is important.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
There aren't parental controls per se, but there is family content filtering to block bad websites.

Since you set up to 8 ssid's, you can dedicate a wifi ssid to the kiddos. With the SSID you can set scheduling, like wifi turns on and off at certain times of the day/week. You can also turn off the wifi ssid if the kids are grounded or something. You can also set bandwidth limits per ssid client, in case you work from home. So they don't interfere with your bandwidth for work.

If you traditional parent control software, you need a consumer grade router, which you can use instead of the Dream Machine Pro router. But you would need to buy the Cloud Key Gen2 to run the Unifi controller software for controlling the wifi access points.
 
And it is important to note that many kids know not only how to bypass parental controls, but even configure things so their parents have the restrictions, lol.

Short of an untangle/pfsense or flat out enterprise solution, you're not going to get what you want with any granular filtering.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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I plan to buy 3 nanoHd for in ceiling wifi access points.

I plan to get Ubiquiti UniFi Switch 8 US-8-60W 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Managed Switch

Since dream machine itself comes with 1 wifi access point, do I still need to buy 3 NanoHD for in ceiling wifi access points?

Dream machine pro will have rack mount but no extra access point and more expensive. Wondering if it will give me any advantage other than its a rack mount
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
I realize stock is an issue right now with the Unifi 6 LR, but a guy on reddit did a direct comparison between the NanoHD and Unifi 6 LR. The Unifi 6 LR blows it out of the water the further away you get: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubiquiti/comments/lrhspp View: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubiquiti/comments/lrhspp/unifi_6_lr_vs_unifi_nanohd_speedtest_and_iperf/


I totally forgot that the Dream Machine had it's own Wifi Access point. I don't think the pro will give you any advantage other than the 3.5" HDD slot for survellance cameras. I just like to keep all my thing tidy and neat with rack mount, so the regular dream machine was never on my radar. But I suppose if you can find a spot in your house where you can place the dream machine and your modem next to each other and it looks nice, go for it. You can use a wall ethernet port to run the dream machine router back to the main switch and everything will work just the same. If you go with the dream machine, you can drop 1 of the NanoHD's depending on how you locate and spread your access points.

The dream machine is sold out on their website. If you have a Microcenter near you, they have plenty of stock in stores locally (my local store has 9 in stock). But most of the other online authorized dealers of Unifi are sold out right now.
 

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