Test of Access Points 2020 | Part 1 | UniFi AC Mesh | Batna24.com

In a nutshell

What access point to choose in 2020?
Which access point is the most efficient?



These questions are very often asked by wireless users, more or less advanced.
Therefore, we decided to carry out reliable tests of several Access Points offered by the top companies on the market.


We have performed (www.batna24.com) a whole series of tests of wireless devices for home, office and industry. A properly selected test procedure allowed to make a precise comparison of all devices under identical conditions and similar configuration.

Of course, Wojtek Repiński, who was responsible for the technical part of the tests and their analysis, helped us in all tests. You know him well from a publication about Ubiquiti LTU.

Ubiquiti UniFi AC Mesh (UAP-AC-M)


We were the first to test Access Point from Ubiquiti Inc. UniFi AC Mesh (UAP-AC-M). A small access point, dedicated to work in the Mesh network topology, but of course it can work like any other access point in the Ubiquiti UniFi. series.
Additionally, UAP-AC-M has received WiFi Alliance certification and has been admitted to Union Wifi4EU project. What made us want to add this Access Point to our test series...
Unifi AC Mesh Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Specification and management



Ubiquiti UniFi AC Mesh may not be the prettiest Access Pointem, but it is made of very good quality plastics and can also be used outside.
Also noteworthy is the very good quality seal for the Ethernet cable. It is so stretchable that we can easily pass through it the turned RJ45 tip (which greatly simplifies assembly).
Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M rj45 Kliknij aby powiększyć!


As part of the specification, it is worth mentioning that this small Access Point supports the 802.11ac protocol (2x2 MU-Mimo for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz), has a 1 Ethernet 10/100/1000 port and is powered by the PoE 802.af standard. We have a whole range of controllers to manage from Ubiquiti Inc.: UniFi Cloud Key, UCK-G2, UniFi Dream Machine and a software controller (for Linux platforms, Windows 7/8/10, Mac OS X) in version 5.4 or later.

Ubiquiti UniFi AC MESH

Mounting positions

The device is suitable for wall mounting and two types of tubular brackets (smaller and larger).
Thanks to the integrated bracket, we can mount Access Point on a relatively small diameter tube. To mount on a larger diameter mast, the adapter is included in the delivery.
Unifi mesh mount Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Such like the wall-mounting option... A very practical adapter with built-in spirit level is included, so that our AccessPoint can be mounted very precisely and aesthetically pleasing. And this is very useful for indoor installation.

Antenna and transmitter measurements

Default manufacturer provides two antennas in the package. It is most likely not a typical dipole, but a micro-band dual band antenna operating at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. We conclude this from the flattened shape of the antennas and very good vSWR.
measurements.
unifi ac mesh vswr Kliknij aby powiększyć!

As you can see, measurements of antennas in the 5GHz band showed even ideal parameters in the range 5400-5900MHz (vSWR below 1.5) and correct results for the range 5120-5400MHz (vSWR below 2.0)..

Equally good results were obtained in the 2.4GHz. band. In the whole range, the vSWR parameter remained between 1.6-1.65.
.

Transmitter performance characteristics

Suspectively the measurement of the transmitter performance characteristics using a spectrum analyzer, showed low noise generation outside the transmitting channel. This is extremely important because many times transmitters tend to interfere with other frequencies.
Therefore UniFi AC Mesh is ideally suited for building high density wireless networks (with a large number of Access Points). And, of course, for building wireless networks based on topology grid (MESH).
Ubiquiti AC MESH Analyzer Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Test environment

The purpose of our tests is to verify the performance of the wireless mesh network created by two Ubiquiti UniFi AC Mesh devices. We check the network for both signal coverage and real speeds obtained in the building.

Let's go! For 2,4GHz connections, we have assumed a maximum channel width of 40MHz, and for 5GHz, a maximum channel width of 80MHz. Although some devices in the 5GHz band can operate at 160MHz, due to the limited number of terminal devices (phones/laptops) supporting such a channel width, we have omitted these tests.

Networkcheme


The testing device was MacBook Pro A1502, equipped with an AirPort Extreme WiFi card (Broadcom BCM4360 3x3, 1.3 Gbps PHY). Built-in wireless card supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards.
Unifi network scheme Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Before testing the wireless network, we verified maximum performance of the LAN and iperf3 server. The aforementioned laptop was connected with a 10/100/1000Mbps network card to the switch. We obtained the following speeds for a single TCP stream:
  • downloading 894Mbps
  • sending 958Mbps

Access The UniFi AC Mesh Points (AP-1 and AP-2) have been connected to each other in Mesh mode only, i.e. only wirelessly.


AirSurvey signal map


We used AirSurvey software to make a reliable signal map. - This is well known to MacOS users.
  • To correctly read the levels of individual signals, please refer to the color legend at the bottom of the picture.
  • The location of individual AccessPoints has been marked with an appropriate icon.
  • The device on the "ground floor" has been connected to the switch via Ethernet port 1Gbps.

unifi mesh batna24.com Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Ubiquiti UniFi AC Mesh performance tests

Speed tests were performed using WiFiPerf software, while the speed test server was iperf3 software. A series of tests were carried out using the TCP protocol, and the duration cycle was 60s.

Below, the results of the speed tests for individual measuring points.

  • measuring point No. 1

Download 519Mbps
Mesh download 1 Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Upload 437Mbps
Kliknij aby powiększyć!

  • measuring point No. 2

Download 528Mbps
mesh download_2 Kliknij aby powiększyć!

Upload 326Mbps

  • measuring point No. 3

Download 478Mbps

Upload 273Mbps

  • measuring point No. 4

Download 300Mbps

Upload 116Mbps

  • measuring point No. 5

Download 18Mbps

Upload 14Mbps

  • measuring point No. 6

Download 197Mbps

Upload 57Mbps

Summary

In summary. It is quite difficult to present the pros and cons of a mesh network based on Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M access points, but ...
The antennas included in the kit will not stand the time test when used in locations exposed to weather conditions. But you can use a dedicated dual-band Ubiquiti UMA-D antenna, which will probably survive outdoor work without any problems.
You can also stick to an unattractive look, but is that the most important ? After all, there are many devices on the market that do not impress with their appearance, but are very efficient.

The need to use UniFi Controller should be an advantage. After all, with the UniFi Controller, we can manage the entire structure of our network and all Unifi devices. Additionally, all hardware controllers (UC-CK, UCK-G2, UCK-G2-Plus) can be connected to the UniFi Cloud and always have remote access to every network we manage.

Surely the lack of noise generation, outside the actual broadcasting channel, deserves a huge advantage. This allows to create a wireless network with high density (e.g. Mesh).
It is also worth mentioning the possibility of creating up to 8 BSSIDs on each device and VLAN support, which helps to isolate traffic in our wireless network.

Generalizing. UniFi AC Mesh as the first of the devices tested, came out very well. Ubiquiti Inc. showed that UniFi UAP-AC-M is properly qualified for the WiFi4EU project and will be ideal for any wireless network at home, office or industry.
We will see how other companies' devices will work in the next parts of our tests...


You are all welcome to visit our FORUM , where you can exchange your thoughts on our test and the device itself.



The authors:
Leszek Błaszczyk
Wojciech Repiński

PRODUKTY

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M | Mesh System | UniFi, MIMO, Dual Band, AC1200, 1x RJ45 1000Mb/s, PoE
UBIQUITI
Product code:
UAP-AC-M-EU
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112,68 EUR
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Ubiquiti UMA-D | Directional antenna | Dual Band, Mesh, dedicated for UAP-AC-M
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Product code:
UMA-D
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100,89 EUR
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Ubiquiti UC-CK | UniFi Controller | 1x RJ45 1000Mb/s, 1x microUSB
UBIQUITI
Product code:
UC-CK
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98,17 EUR
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Ubiquiti UCK-G2 | Unifi Controller Cloud Key | built-in battery
UBIQUITI
Product code:
UCK-G2
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Ubiquiti UCK-G2-PLUS | Unifi Controller Cloud Key | built-in battery, manage up to 50 devices, 1TB HDD, Unifi Video Server
UBIQUITI
Product code:
UCK-G2-PLUS
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249,61 EUR
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