In early July, Ars ran a syndicated piece from The Wirecutter on the best consumer-grade Wi-Fi extender. Ars readers as usual were quick on the comment button, and a number of folks left feedback on the article saying that even the best consumer-grade Wi-Fi extender is barely functional trash, and that if you really need to expand beyond a single access point, the way to do it is with enterprise-grade gear. Cisco gear came up a couple of times, but more than anything else Ars commenters kept bringing up Ubiquiti Networks and its UniFi line of wireless access points.
Ubiquiti has just announced a re-vamp of the UniFi wireless access point product line, with new models all featuring 802.11ac as standard. Three of the four new models are priced extremely competitively even when considered for home use (the fourth model is for educational institutions only):
|POWER OVER ETHERNET||24V passive||24V passive||802.3af / 802.3at||802.3at|
The dead-easy configuration and extremely granular customization options are hella neat; the level of control over your WLAN and the clients on it is even better. This is the exact same system often used by small businesses or hotels when building out a large WLAN, and it even lets you customize a guest portal and generate vouchers to hand out to your friends for access (or force them to pay you $10 for using your Wi-Fi for a few hours), and it turns out that it makes a hell of a home system as well.
One thing it’s not, though, is a firewall or NAT router—so, you’ll have to bring your own router.
I have the Unifi AP now as my home access point and love it!