Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ubiquiti: Simple, Fast, Enterprise Wireless

In searching for an Enterprise wireless solution there are a number of factors to consider.  Some may be looking for security features, others best coverage for high-density clients and everyone wants to know how to handle people that bring their own devices (BYOD).  Each manufacturer brings a lot of features, software and custom reporting to the table.

Say you just need a couple APs (or many more) to create a single wireless network and don't really care about advanced features, support or even next day replacement in case of a failure?  If this sounds like you, I'd suggest taking a hard look at Ubiquiti Unifi.  Being a solution provider as well as a reseller, our company can tell when a customer is just looking for basic features and will probably never log into the controller to see whats going on.  In these cases we almost always look at Unifi.

So what are you getting with a Unifi system?
- Low cost wireless APs
- A line up of products to meet client density and placement demands (Indoor/Outdoor)
- A company that keeps up with the latest developments.  802.11ac
- Support is based on a community of users.
- No recurring licensing costs
- Basic features that will get you by.

What are you not getting?
- Support.  If you are going to need help configuring your system and possibly integrating it into other systems on site you may want to look at another manufacturer.
- Replacement.  Say an AP stops working.  Either have one on hand (probably a good idea) or just buy another one and wait for it to get in.
- Native integration for other systems.

One thing to consider is treating your wireless as an extension of the LAN (we hope you are already doing this).  Some customers who take this approach are finding they can purchase an enterprise router/gateway and VLAN group policies directly to a wireless SSID.  Essentially bridging all traffic and allowing the router to handle the heavy lifting for AAA services.  In the near future, I will be creating a post about mixing a Meraki MX60 and Ubiquiti Unifi 802.11ac to handle a number of policy based authentication types.

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