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Ubiquiti Amplifi HD 802.11ac Mesh Wi-Fi Review

By: Tyler Bernath | Routers & Access Points in Networking | Posted: Sep 5, 2016 4:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Amplifi

Wireless Range

 

Over the last few months, I have been testing different solution that would give a visual on wireless router range. While this solution isn't perfect, it is one where you can compare for yourself if you have an Android device.

 

ubiquiti-amplifi-hd-802-11ac-mesh-wi-fi-review_44

 

 

In this test, we are looking at the "Home" network, and I have left the Amplifi HD in its default setup. The first scan starting from the left is right in front of the base station, and we achieved 100% signal at -56dBm. Moving out to 15ft, we start to pick up one of the first mesh points as the signal stays at 100% at -48dBm, another 10ft out we are in between mesh points and the signal stays at 100% at -46dBm. The last two we are more than 50ft away from the base station and 10ft away from the nearest mesh point, still 100% at -56dBm and last in the garage, where Wi-Fi has never really been the greatest, 84% at -58dBm.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The Amplifi HD is platform number 38 that I have tested in the last three years. That's a one per month on average and as frustrating as it can be at times, I have always tested these routers in my own home network for at least a two-week period. This usually gives me an idea of the router's performance with multiple devices, how it handles streaming, and local network content.

 

The Amplifi HD arrived last Monday, so I have had a touch over a week to spend with it and in that time I have formulated a few opinions on the unit. First, the build quality is second to none; it started with the packaging and the presentation that goes with it making you feel special, that you really got a top tier product in your hands. They have continued that feeling into the device itself as it has that soft silicon feel to it similar to the Colossus chassis from Bit-Fenix years ago. The touchscreen is more responsive than I have ever seen on a router and it's interestingly enough one of the best features of the base station - with a touch of your finger, you can check your monthly data usage, how many devices are connected, and current throughput.

 

Second, the performance of this platform is simply amazing. And I'm not really talking about pure numbers here, it's more about what you feel when you use your smartphone around the house or have your laptop out on the deck or patio, you feel connected. I was able to achieve top performance via LAN at 952 Mbps, while WAN dropped slightly to 933 Mbps. Wireless performance was in the middle for 2.4GHz at 119 Mbps and near to top third for 5GHz at 439 Mbps peak. The range tests show the true performance of a mesh network as I was able to keep a 100% connection through most of my testing.

 

In closing, I must say mesh is the future; it's what we have been waiting for, but no company has been able to provide it on a consumer level. As you may have noticed with recent announcements, all the major vendors are jumping on this bandwagon - and, if they don't, they are irrelevant, because the traditional router setup is almost dead.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance93%
Quality including Design and Build96%
General Features98%
Bundle and Packaging98%
Value for Money92%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: Throw away your legacy routers. Mesh is everything you have always wanted and the Amplifi HD has nailed it down perfectly.

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