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Wireless Reviews

UniFi AP-AC
At a glance
ProductUbiquiti UAP-AC UniFi AP-AC   [Website]
SummaryBroadcom-based draft 802.11ac AP with PoE and biz-grade management system
Pros• 802.3at PoE powered (injector included)
• Inconspicuous wall and ceiling mounting options
Cons• Poor 5 GHz range
• Relatively expensive

Typical Price: $285  Shop Amazon

Overview

Ubiquiti has gained a reputation for making reasonably-priced, high performance wireless products. Although they cater primarily to businesses and service providers, some of their products have attracted a "prosumer" following. We've previously reviewed the (now defunct) PowerAP N and most recently its EdgeRouter Lite.

This time we turn our attention to Ubiquiti's first draft 802.11ac access point, the UAP-AC. This review will cover the AC's hardware features and performance. We'll be doing a separate in-depth review of Ubiquiti's UniFi 3.0 system that all its APs run under in a few weeks.

The UAP-AC is an business-grade access point managed via software installed on a Windows, MacOS or Linux computer vs. a hardware controller or built-in web interface. Included in its package are a mounting bracket, ceiling backing plate, various screws and nuts, power cord, 48V PoE GigE adapter and Controller CD with user guide.

The UAP-AC is meant to be installed on a wall or ceiling and includes brackets for mounting. Being an enterprise-level access point the exterior is all business. The human-facing side of the access point has an LED which shows the various states of the access point. The back side includes two switched Gigabit Ethernet ports.

A reset button is also included which allows for restarts as well as returning to factory defaults. Beyond that there is only the locking clip which prevents easy removal of the access point.

Ubiquiti UAP-AC front and rear panel callouts

Ubiquiti UAP-AC front and rear panel callouts

Inside

The board design of the UAP-AC looks very clean and compact.

Ubiquiti UAP-AC inside

Ubiquiti UAP-AC inside

Removing the heat spreaders provided a good look at all the main components, which are summarized in Table 1.

Ubiquiti UAP-AC inside - naked

Ubiquiti UAP-AC inside - naked

The table shows that the design sticks closely with the key components used in all first-generation draft 11ac routers. The table includes the D-Link DIR-868L— a second-generation AC1750 class router that I will be comparing performance to later. Note that only the CPU is different.

Ubiquiti UAP-AC D-Link DIR-868L
CPU Broadcom BCM4706 Broadcom BCM4708X
Switch Broadcom BCM53125 In BCM4708X
RAM 256 MB Hynix H5PS1G63JFR (x2) 128 MB
Flash 16 MB Winbond 25Q128FVFG 128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - BCM4331KMLG
- SiGe 2605L (x3) 2.4 GHz Hi Power WLAN power amp
- BCM4331
- Unidentified external power amplifier (x3)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp w/ Power Detector (x3)
- Broadcom BCM4360
- Unidentified power amplifier (x3)
Table 1: Access Point component summary and comparison

The AC is powered only via 802.3at Power over Ethernet. But Ubiquiti nicely includes a 48V, 0.5A PoE adapter.

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