Ubiquiti Unifi access points review

Manage your Wi-Fi

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Internals

After performing our test procedures, we took apart the Ubiquiti Unifi AP, AP-Pro, and AP-AC to the best of our ability. We can't help but notice that the integrated hardware is, unlike the looks and the implementation of the devices, not exactly worthy of the Enterprise label. We find chips that we've over the last few years encountered in quite a few consumer grade routers.

Ubiquiti Unifi AP
Ubiquiti Unifi AP

Upon opening the single-band Ubiquiti AP, we're confronted with a modest PCB devoid of fancy stuff such as heat spreaders. The SoCs have been manufactured by Atheros. The device is powered by an AR7241 CPU, and an AR9287 is responsible for keeping the 2.4 GHz network alive. These aren't particularly new chips; Qualcomm, which acquired Atheros back in 2011, isn't even mentioned on them. Samsung manufactured the device's memory module, which has a capacity of 64 MB. The two antennas indicate that we're dealing with a maximum theoretical throughput of 300 Mbps.

Ubiquiti Unifi AP-Pro
Ubiquiti Unifi AP-Pro

We also find a pair of Atheros chips on the AP-Pro's PCB. The AR9344 acts as a CPU and maintains the 2.4 GHz connections, whereas the AR9580 is responsible for the 5 GHz band. We've also encountered the latter in devices such as TP-Link's WDR3600, so it certainly isn't a high-end chip. The memory modules were manufactured by Winbond, are have a total capacity of 256 MB. At a glance, the antenna configuration appears to be fairly standard. There's three antennas connected to the AR9344 and two to the AR9580. As such, there's a maximum theoretical throughput of 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, and 300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. However, this is the opposite of what you'd likely encounter in a consumer product, where an N750 device offers 300 Mbps over 2.4 GHz and 450 Mbps over 5 GHz. We find this to be a sensible decision for an enterprise environment, given that 2.4 GHz has greater range, meaning that you need less access points to provide full coverage.

Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC
Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC

We didn't fully take apart the AP-AC, as we were required to return our test unit at a later point in time. We do know from other sources that this device, too, contains components that we already know from consumer products. More specifically, they can be found in the first generation Broadcom-based 802.11ac products that were released onto the market about two years ago, such as the ASUS RT-AC66U. The CPU is a BCM4706, and a BCM4331 chip handles 2.4 GHz connectivity. A BCM4360 is responsible for 802.11ac. There's 256 MB of memory, which is sourced from Hynix.


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