Ubiquiti UniFi Review

Good centralized management and easy to set up, but technical support needs to be improved

What is our primary use case?

Ubiquiti UniFi is used for deploying Wi-Fi connectivity for staff and students. All of the services have MAC bindings and are whitelisted, and once they leave they can no longer use it. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is how it is centralized. There are two options that you can use, where one is a cloud-based approach and the other is standalone. The cloud-based approach is more flexible and allows me to access it and control things from anywhere.

The coverage is ok, it is stable, and I am able to discover things quickly.

I am able to easily identify who many users are accessing the Wi-Fi, along with which people are connected to which access points. All of this information is available in the console.

What needs improvement?

This solution could be more user-friendly.

Setting up IP generation for something like guest access is pretty confusing and should be improved. The Java support within that is also a problem. The system is able to use the launcher base, and also use the social networking IP generation, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It depends purely upon the Android device in which you are using to access it. Even with a laptop, it will wait for Java and if it is not there or not configured properly then the client will suffer. The UniFi controller or the help guild should report what the Java version is so that I can easily see what is required.

I would like to have better and more structured reporting about individuals. Right now, we can see the user and where they are connected, but it does not give details such as what is being accessed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Ubiquiti UniFi for the past two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say that this solution is stable.

Both the access point stability and controller stability are factors that come into play. The access point stability does not give me any difficulty. However, the controller keeps taking updates and if something goes wrong then I have to reconfigure and reinstall. I don't have the chance to reaccess it, reconnect, or login. It is not allowed. I have to completely take it out. There is a way to back up the current setting in a database, but it is not happening currently. I have written a support ticket about this, but I have not received a proper response from the team.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is based on the capacity of the controller. In our case, it is a small campus that has 18 towers with access points. We have not reached the maximum yet, and getting all 18 devices working has not been an issue. Also, if I add a new device then it will recognize it.

There is a limit to the number of end-users who can connect to each access point. We have found that a maximum of six or seven people can be connected to a single tower with pretty good bandwidth. Beyond that, bandwidth becomes a problem.

Overall, I think that it will work for a small organization, but not a large one.

How are customer service and technical support?

The level of support is limited. When I am stuck with any technical issues, it takes a long time to fix. In fact, the biggest difficulty that I have with this solution is getting the proper level of support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a couple of generalized Wi-Fi towers on the campus before this solution was implemented. These were easily integrated into the current system.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Once you create the master login, you start adding the access points. In standalone mode, you can immediately start the discovery. Whatever is there in the LAN will automatically be detected.

The only thing is that when the configuration for the access points is being done for the first time, it needs to be done properly so that it detects them. For example, if you use a different IP address and it is not being directed properly then you have to re-configure the access point and then wait for a few minutes before you can use the new IP. You sometimes have difficulty with the discovery but it is usually straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options before choosing Ubiquiti UniFi.

What other advice do I have?

This is a solution that I recommend for small companies and organizations. A single controller can handle a maximum of 255 users on a single subnet.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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