UniFi or EnGenius setup



  • Hello everyone - my first post - and also my first attempt at building my own router/firewall.

    I am looking at ether getting a EnGenius EAP1750H or a Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC and was wondering if anyone already had this kind of setup and could let me know which one would be best to purchase since its the first time I built one of these.

    Just for the FYI the hardware (motherboard) I will be using for the PFSense is the http://tostarcn.en.alibaba.com/product/60033421882-800212522/D52SL_Intel_Atom_D525_6_Lan_Firewall_Motherboard_for_networking_server.html D52SL Intel Atom D525 6 Lan Firewall Motherboard

    Thanks!


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    While I have the unifi AC, and have been very happy with it.  But I have not been able to really put its through its paces with AC.  Only have 1 AC usb dongle and 1 AC pci card.. So its been some test/play but no real world use.

    I can tell you that it performs very wall for my other 15+ wifi devices on both 2.4 and 5..

    With the few dollars difference I see them listed at, I would go with the unifi.  Do you have AC devices now?  Or just trying to future proof?  If you don't really have active AC devices, and won't be seeing any real soon I would prob go with the unifi pro vs the AC model.



  • I do have a few AC devices around the home. Thanks for your input!


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    I would go Ubiquiti over EnGenius based on past experiences with both brands.

    If the UAP-AC devices are upgradeable (via firmware or a comp hardware swap) to AC wave 2, I'd go with them.  If not, I'd get the UAP-Pros and wait for wave 2 hardware before spending more on AC hardware that isn't going to be full-AC in a few months.



  • @Derelict:

    I would go Ubiquiti over EnGenius based on past experiences with both brands.

    If the UAP-AC devices are upgradeable (via firmware or a comp hardware swap) to AC wave 2, I'd go with them.  If not, I'd get the UAP-Pros and wait for wave 2 hardware before spending more on AC hardware that isn't going to be full-AC in a few months.

    Are you saying PFSence doesn't have support (or limit) for AC even with the newest version?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    No. It's the hardware in the radios.  pfSense doesn't care what you use for APs.



  • @Derelict:

    No. It's the hardware in the radios.  pfSense doesn't care what you use for APs.

    How about the EnGenius?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    I've used both.  I wouldn't even look at EnGenius given a similar price point.

    To be fair, It's been a few years since then but at the time Ubiquiti was light years ahead of them.

    But nobody listens to me so why should you.  :/



  • @Derelict:

    I've used both.  I wouldn't even look at EnGenius given a similar price point.

    To be fair, It's been a few years since then but at the time Ubiquiti was light years ahead of them.

    But nobody listens to me so why should you.  :/

    Is it relatively easy to setup the wireless with the UniFi setup with PFSence 2.x?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    pfSense really doesn't care.  It's not much different than plugging in a managed switch and connecting hosts to it.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    What does pfsense care for what wifi AP you use?? Pfsense sees traffic, doesn't know if it came from a wifi client or not.  Its just another mac that it sends and gets packets from.



  • @johnpoz:

    What does pfsense care for what wifi AP you use?? Pfsense sees traffic, doesn't know if it came from a wifi client or not.  Its just another mac that it sends and gets packets from.

    At this point any information is apresheated. But it does look like i will be ordering the Ubiquiti UAP-AC UniFi Indoor Dual Band Wireless AC1750 3x3 MIMO Access Point/Bridge 2x Gigabit Port. :)

    Any more input for anybody else before i push the buy button?


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    I have it and love it..  push the button ;)



  • @stealthrt:

    At this point any information is apresheated. But it does look like i will be ordering the Ubiquiti UAP-AC UniFi Indoor Dual Band Wireless AC1750 3x3 MIMO Access Point/Bridge 2x Gigabit Port. :)

    Any more input for anybody else before i push the buy button?

    Not sure if they managed to fix it but it seems that the UAP-AC has somewhat low 5GHz range.  As a platform, Unifi is leagues ahead of Engenius.

    I used to deploy Engenius APs for customers - mostly EAP-600s, some EAP-300 and EAP-350 as well. The EAP-350 is an odd creature and wasn't at all stable. Plus you'd have better luck asking a brick wall for help than Engenius themselves.

    The EAP-300 & EAP-600 are relatively stable but they have some odd issues - I've had them crap out when placed in a network where IGMP broadcasts were active (there is no way to stop the EAPs from listening to IGMP). Also, they tend not to work as well when certain features (enabled by default) were active - notably CTL, Aggregation & Auto 20/40Mhz. In a high traffic environment, enabling these would cause the APs to go into limbo.

    The Unifi platform is nice and easy to deploy but there's a caveat - you can't manage them as standalone units using a web gui like other APs. You must use their Unifi 3.0 controller software and the APs once adopted by the controller, will only respond to being configured from that machine (unless you manually port the profiles to another controller).

    What the Unifi 3.0 platform does very well is seamless roaming (Zero hand-off), firmware updating (you can update all adopted AP's at once or using rolling update), and also the ability to appoint both site administrators and operators (for vouchering).

    They are also exceedingly stable units in so far as I've deployed for customers (UAP-Pro). Couple of my friends in the networking industry have also tried the UAP & UAP-LR and everyone has nothing but praises for the platform.



  • Done. UAP-AC it is :)

    Thanks for the help all!



  • @stealthrt:

    Done. UAP-AC it is :)

    Thanks for the help all!

    Well done, one hint on top from me, if you change your pfSense box to a greater one a one day
    and/or your Ubiquiti WiFi networks is growing up, you can install a Linux OS on the old box and install
    the Ubiquiti Wireless Controller Software for free an in! So you get a full WiFi Controller and you are
    able to manage the WLAN APs much easier.



  • @BlueKobold:

    @stealthrt:

    Well done, one hint on top from me, if you change your pfSense box to a greater one a one day
    and/or your Ubiquiti WiFi networks is growing up, you can install a Linux OS on the old box and install
    the Ubiquiti Wireless Controller Software for free an in! So you get a full WiFi Controller and you are
    able to manage the WLAN APs much easier.

    ^^ this actually :)

    I'm currently running pfSense and a Linux machine with Unify controller software in Hyper-V 2012R2 without a sweat.

    Unify does need some haggling with Java when you set up the controller, but it works like a charm.

    Running 3 cheapest UniFi AP's here, but without a problem.



  • I've been having trouble with coverage at one end of the house, and devices trying to stay with the wrong AP after I added a cheap AP – so I tried the Unifis (the $60 single band) and the zero handoff is working very well.

    The software is very nice too and I could see how it would not be hard at all to have dozens of APs.



  • +1 for Ubiquity. Have a couple of them. They just work.

    pfSense -> NIC -> VLAN_WAP -> Radius.



  • When you get your Unifi controller set up, dont forget to add DHCP option 43 (string) with a ascii-to-hex converted value of your controller's IP if you want "zero touch" adoption of your WAPs.  pfSense makes this easy (put it in additional bootp/dhcp options area). Here's a neat website that does the IP-to-HEX conversion for you:
    http://www.miniwebtool.com/ip-address-to-hex-converter/?ip=8.8.8.8

    :)


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