when you can't wire an house, go for amplifi?

  • I started the discussion in the Unifi forum but wanted to have some feedback from the amplifi team and users.

    So I'm living in an an old house (1870) 3 stories, with stone and brick walls that can't be wired and has no drop-ceiling access (that's an old house 😉 ). While the current amplifi system I have, works well I was wondering if i couldn't go to a full unifi system since I have already a controller and a switch for some cameras (others connect via wifi). Also I noticed that somehow the support is faster in unifi world than with amplifi.

    Apparently amplifi devices are better designed for usage on desk and home when you don't have any wire (except using powerline) and no drop-ceiling access. Is this really true ? How much it differs from other unifi devices? Are the radiation patterns available? Can someone from from the amplifi team provides more details about it?

    For those who switched to unifi, did you put the devices on the wall?

  • to give an idea of the setup with a unifi AP on the wall :


    that big plug on the wall is a powerline, other is for POE. I could easily replace it with one from devolo with POE: devolo.com/dlan-pro-1200-… which would free the powerplug and let one cable. still have to hide this cable. Anyone with the same setup? I’m feeling to stick with amplifi at the end even if it means forgetting the pro support and awesome software with all the stars

  • Hi @benoit-chesneau - nice house!
    You might consider a 3rd option in the near future as the Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine should come out of early access status and be released
    The UDM will also have Beacons similar to AmpliFi MeshPoints

    You can find a lot of discussion about the UniFi Dream Machine online

    At least one AmpliFi beta tester is looking at using HD Routers as WiFi extenders for a UDM which should be made possible by the next AmpliFi firmware release (currently beta 3.0.2rc1) although at this point management would still be separate

    Are you seeking high total throughput and/or low latency WiFi?

    If you have a challenging WiFi environment that cannot be wired for backhaul AmpliFi has two limitations that may be hard to overcome:

    • lack of dedicated backhaul radios
    • inability to turn off bands or adjust band transmission power

    If you can hold off for a while WiFi-6 should start becoming more prevalent towards the end of the year / early next year
    WiFi-6 has features which should improve mesh performance, especially to avoid interference if you need to saturate an environment with access points to get full coverage

  • @derek-saville thanks 🙂.

    So indeed i can’t wire the house with ethernet, or it would be rather expensive according the estimates. The only way to wire is to use powerline plugs, which works reasonnably well with lates 2000 versions. Amplifi works well when i have 2 routers connected by ethernet backhaul between the first and third floor’ the rest meshed (3 mesh points).

    What I tried is also 3 nanohd eaxh connected back to the router using powerline plugs. 3 nano hd are enough (though one ac lite maybe needed on last floor due to the walls. the issue with the nanohd are teh apparent wires and the usge of powerplugs in place they are visible. even if i can make the situation better with ethernet cables on the nanohd it is still not really easy.

    I saw he dream machine plug and router. That would be awesome if they start to be in the mean time i hesitate to go back to amplifias it was quite easier even if a little less powerful 😕

  • @derek-saville

    Are you seeking high total throughput and/or low latency WiFi?

    total throughput is more important i think, why?

  • Hi @benoit-chesneau - AmpliFi HD's are 3x3 (Instants 2x2), single user MIMO, without dedicate backhaul radios
    So wireless hops over AmpliFi access points will always introduce a bandwidth penalty and a latency penalty (versus 4x4 multi-user MIMO with dedicated backhaul radios)

    Your environment for a wireless mesh, in my opinion, calls for a something a little more robust than AmpliFi

    What you can find online about the UniFi Dream Machine = 4x4 AC Wave 2 MU-MIMO + 1.7 GHz Quad Core ARM CPU @ $300 USD
    (only 4 radios and 80 MHz channels according to FCC test reports)
    UDM Beacons have matching wireless specs

    Unless you can make runs of flat or half diameter ultra thin Ethernet cables tucked along baseboards and up walls. which work pretty well actually up to 50m lengths for backhaul if you can space a few AmpliFi routers appropriately

  • @derek-saville I may wait for UDM . Hopefully there will be a european version soon ... Thanks for the help anyway

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