Empty Promises and disappointment: Abandoning the platform

  • Longtime Amplifi user here, I'm finally tossing in the towel and abandoning the platform. I figured for sure a company with Ubiquiti as their parent would have tremendous technical expertise, deep pockets, and would continue to innovate. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. I had such high hopes, especially since the Amplifi system was touted by several high ranking friends over at Microsoft.

    There were several factor leading to my decision to do this (and I hope Amplifi is listening):

    • Empty promises related to the Teleport device. Time and time again we've been told we'd get higher speeds, and this never happened. 10mb/s is not nearly fast enough to live up to the ideal of having access to your home network for streaming, much less using it as a viable VPN solution. The complexity of setting the device up is also way too much for the average user.
    • Severe network slowdowns when deploying mesh points into an existing wifi network, with no answers as to why this was the case.
    • No true "bridge"mode for router, and the router also didn't work behind various brands of gateways.
    • Poor integration into networks with existing IP services deployed (no ability to turn off DHCP?)
    • Unused USB port for file sharing/other expansion possibilities.
    • Very poor web UI/too much reliance on the mobile app, which is a huge single point of failure (if the app can't connect to the router, you effectively have a useless system and have to reset)
    • Inability to turn off radios when using routers in backhaul scenario.

    The amount of bugs I've seen reported on the forums is also pretty staggering. That combined with virtually no new major features in almost a year leads me to believe that the platform is stagnating. This is all very unfortunate as I felt Amplifi was really on to something, especially when combined with the Teleport device.

    I will also have to retract my prior recommendations for this system as well...in fact, some friends of mine who have purchased this system on my advice have had nothing but problems, and have been forced to eat the cost and purchase other systems. Personally I feel like whatever testing processes Amplifi has in place are not adequate enough to ship a quality product as is evident by my own anecdotal evidence from friends and colleagues, as well as the sheer number of bug reports on these forums.

    The good news is that Ubiquiti won't be losing me as a customer, I've made a large investment in some Unifi equipment. The bad news is that I'll be taking a bath on the $600 worth of Amplifi equipment I purchased. I do wish Amplifi the best of luck, and I hope they can make a better product in the future, and would love to see the Teleport concept make its way into their professional level products.

  • Sorry to see you go @jayson-knight - but I completely understand

    I believe AmpliFi has an identity crisis

    If your familiar with Ubiquiti and on this forum then there is a very strong likelihood that you want AmpliFi to be a ‘prosumer’ product line

    And that wasn’t the intended maket segment - they want to serve the non-technical user only

    So Teleport should never have been launched as an AmpliFi product if that is the case

    Ubiquiti really needs to come out with a more advanced line of consumer grade network gear = AmpliFi Pro

    I wish you well Jayson

  • @derek-saville It'll be a win-win for me if you remove money from the equation, and I'm sure I'll be quite happy with my new equipment. You're right about the identity crisis, and unfortunately I placed too much faith in the Teleport device in the end. I really do hope Amplifi figures it out b/c I think their equipment is the best on the market for the segment they are in. But it's a crowded segment with some big players, so they need to do something, and fast.

  • @derek-saville said in Empty Promises and disappointment: Abandoning the platform:

    Ubiquiti really needs to come out with a more advanced line of consumer grade network gear = AmpliFi Pro

    I would love this sooooo much!!

  • Got my Ubiquti Unifi equipment up and running over the weekend, and my only regret is that I didn't switch sooner. Drop dead stupid simple to set up, I have a feeling if more people knew about the nanoHD, it would cannabilize sales of Amplifi equipment. Even just setting the nanoHD up as a standalone AP is a better option than Amplifi IMO (I'm using their Controller software, which is fabulous, but well beyond the scope of everyday users).

    Amplifi: Please talk to the Unifi engineers and incorporate some of their ease of use into your software.

  • Hi @jayson-knight - are you using a USG?
    Would you be willing to share details of your setup and the steps to get it running?
    "Stupid simple" sounds pretty good to me...

  • @derek-saville Am I able to share that on these forums since it's a competing product (even though they are owned by the same company)? I'll go ahead and see what happens (maybe this will motivate the engineers at Amplifi lol)

    I purchased quite a bit of equipment to go full-on enterprise-y, but I wanted to see if it could run as a consumer level setup as well. The best way I can put it is that with their wireless AP's, it's 2 products in one: You get a consumer level product that can be managed completely from a mobile app, as well as an enterprise level product that can be managed with their Controller software (a web application that is extremely powerful).

    I bought the NanoHD, a round wireless AP that is very affordable ($180) but very feature dense: 4x4 MU-MIMO, 300mb/s for 2.4ghz, 1733gb/s for 5ghz, and PoE.

    The AP has a little QR code on the back of it, so you unbox it, download the Unifi mobile app, scan the AP, and that's it. It'll ask you for the SSID/password you want to have, and that's it...as long as it's plugged into your router it'll configure itself and you're good to go.

    If you want to use the controller software, you install it to a machine that is always on (it's java based, so it'll run on any platform), you can buy their Cloud Key for $180 which is a little device that runs the controller software, you just plug it into your network. The Controller software is free, no licensing, no hidden costs, and is very easy to use. Adding new Unifi equipment is very easy, the controller software will automatically recognize it on the network so all you have to do is 'adopt' it with one click, and the controller software configures it for you (I have the NanoHD, and a Mesh point...their mesh points are $80, but can be hardwired in to your network as well if you want). Or you can buy more NanoHD's and they'll operate as a mesh network.

    My wifi speeds are steady at 450mb/s throughout my house, and again I cannot stress how easy it is to get up and running with either setup. The mobile app is plenty good enough, but if you add the controller software, you unlock all the potential. The mobile app is amazing (it has a perfect 5 star rating on the Apple app store), as is the controller webUI (also, the webUI is available from anywhere if you choose to have it cloud-enabled, meaning you just go to unifi.ubnt.com to manage it...they have a demo site setup already for anyone to play around with...you can turn on 2FA for extra security which is very nice).

    The Controller software is full on enterprise level since they compete with Cisco, full support for VLAN's, captive guest portals, etc. I'll post some screenshots if you'd like.

  • @derek-saville Just realized I forgot to answer your USG question: Yes, I am. It was a little tougher to get set up, you have to make sure your existing router (if you choose to keep it) runs on a different subnet than the network that will be on the USG. Or if your provider allows it, you can just use your USG as your gateway, though cloning the MAC address is one of the few things you can't do from the UI yet, you have to edit a .json file. I'm very pleased with the USG as it has deep support for Deep Packet Inspection, so I can get very detailed reports on network usage. It does this with minimal throughput impact since the USG is very powerful. The firewall is also quite simple to configure. I would highly recommend having it on your Unifi network.

  • I'm pretty sure ubnt is a revenue per employee focused company. Rpe companies resource differently as depending on how Amplifi is doing determines the progress. This is their first really foray into consumer products.

    Obviously they have a grand vision of how this would look. Early on it seemed to involve, through the originally marketing material, a modular system with the stackable pods. CES '17 had a security component with wireless cameras (I think they are too late, unless it would include everything). They obviously pivitoed towards the simpler instant series and then the gamer edition which I imagine focuses on prioritizing udp over tcp traffic.

    I too thought with the 2.9.3 ga release and being that I never received it as a beta, that we where in a either a draw down, or they where focused on a hw revision. It was answered here that they released it based on knowing of an issue in 2.9.2 that apparently was easy to correct.

    Maybe the wait now involves a 3.0 coming soon with major enhancements.. maybe not..

    So here's the thing, I too have thought about jumping straight to the mothership. I too see the lack of new features. A need for proper UI strategy (some features in app, some on webpage?!?). My confusing teleport and prt lookup issues... It still feels like an early product.. Maybe slightly less.. But... Of the mesh systems I've had my hands on, it is still the best.

    Even with Google, at first you couldn't change your subnet. Like, wtf.. Orbi also has the same UI identity crisis. With Amplifi I got in early and I still love it. It works for the most part and especially without interruption.

    I could jump ship, get more visibility, more data, more control and I want to, usually twice a month, but in reality I'm not home enough to manage it. Although who knows how I'll feel in a month..

    The system I have is easy, it's easy for my wife to answer "what does the screen say?".

    Are there changes, features, different paths I would take? Yes! But I'll continue with this team driving for the time being as I'll continue to be a test subject.

    All it can be is what works for you. A lot of options out there but this one works for me.

  • Thanks for that @jayson-knight
    I actually picked up a USG but couldn't get it working with the providers PPPoE at the site I wanted it at
    Maybe it's the MAC cloning I couldn't find

    You've convinced me to try some Nano HD's with the app
    I mistakenly thought the Controller was required

    So the only thing missing is a Ubiquiti version of a Teleport?
    But if AmpliFi get's Teleport working, I can just use a dedicated bridged AmpliFi HD to serve it
    And maybe someday they will integrate AmpliFi into UNMS so it could be an additional mesh point?
    It's unfortunate they delayed UNMS for AmpliFi as that was the other thing I was waiting for...

  • @derek-saville

    Makes sense to me to make it consumer friendly. Why? Greater attraction in the market place and more sales. As noted, it does not quite have the flexibility that a "pro" user might access.

  • I too am on the verge of abandoning ship. I spent $ on the AmpliFi HD Gamers Edition (HD-GE) as I needed a high speed, reliable WiFi connection to my relatively high speed ISP service and my old UBNT AP-Lite antennae wouldn't keep pace with more modern equipment capabilities. Or so I thought... the HD-GE has done nothing but disappoint continuously.

    Because I don't trust the paltry security that's built into the HD-GE's router (many lament over this,) I run it in Bridge mode (which should make its life simpler) and use my UBNT ER-X as the entry point router.

    I have a Spectrum/TWC 400Mbps minimum connection (Arris' latest modem) but the most I ever get using the HD-GE's internal speed test runs is 150 and the same when wired to the base (ethernet.) And it's WAY slower (120 on an incredibly blessed day, more like 70 on a normal day) if I run a real "SpeedTest" over WiFi. And this is when the WiFi connection reports a 500+Mbps connection between end point and base - standing just 3 feet from the cube so as not to get picked up by a Mesh Point.

    If I remove the HD-GE and replace it with the default gear that Spectrum supplies (Sagemcom WiFi "chimney,") I get a consistent 400+Mbps over the wire and 250-350Mbps over WiFi. And of course, these are d/l rates; u/l rates are beyond pathetic when using the AmpliFi gear.

    It also seems that any time the AmpliFi gets confused about anything for any reason, the suggested (and usually only) solution is a factory reset and complete rebuild of configuration. That's absurd and intolerable. And to only offer configuration through the phone app vs. also having a portal through a browser is also absurd. (What to do when you've worked with the thing so long your battery dies??)

    I'm tired of constantly having to fk with the thing to get disappointing results at best. Unfortunately I'm just outside my return window, so I guess I'm selling the AmpliFi gear and going with the ISP supplied stuff - something I never thought I'd say about Ubiquiti associated gear. Maybe I just got a lemon of a product but what a waste of time and money...

    On a wider scope, I've been a big UBNT loyalist for a LONG time and so also recently spent a lot of $ on the Unifi camera solution, purchasing cameras and an NVR. Similarly, it seems that the video folks are about as successful as the AmpliFi folks as those products also seem riddled with bugs and require lots of ongoing attention to just get their stated capability on anything that resembles a regular basis.
    I have to say, I'm starting to get worried about the quality of UBNT products in general. Very sad and disappointing; esp. considering how many of their solutions I've installed, referred to others, etc.

  • @chuck-hawks I am so sorry to hear about your recent experience with AmpliFi. We are constantly trying to improve and add more and more features to our products to meet the needs and requests of our customers.

    We have faced specific issues with Spectrum and have been working to provide fixes for these. We were able to address some already in the v.2.9.5 firmware release, but not everything has been addressed yet.

    In doing research online, we have found that other router manufactures are seeing similar issues when being used in conjunction with Spectrum. One recommendation I have found on multiple forums is to request a specific modem because it seems to work the best when using a 3rd party router over the spectrum provided router. If you can, please request the Technicolor TC4400AM modem.

    We will continue to research and provide updates to the AmpliFi product line and with the help of our users by providing valuable feedback and support files we can work to release updates/fixes more often.

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing

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