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Wireless Reviews

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lite

802.11ac Dual Radio Access Point
At a glance
ProductUbiquiti 802.11ac Dual Radio Access Point (UAP-AC-LITE)   [Website]
SummaryInexpensive AC1200 class access point
Pros• Many features including airtime fairness and band steering
• Relatively inexpensive
Cons• Meh performance
• Can be hard to find features in Unifi GUI

We reviewed Ubiquiti's UAP-AC-Lite and PRO APs early this year, but retested them with the current Revision 10 process for this roundup. The Lite seems to be the product to beat, at least in the hearts and minds of the many SNBForum denizens who recommend it. But that could change by the time we're done.

The Lite is a smallish smoke-detector format AP measuring a little over 6" in diameter. It has a single gigabit Ethernet port and is powered only via PoE, which is now standard 802.3af vs. the passive 24V system originally used. Ubiquiti shared that is "silently" added support for 802.3af into Lite's manufactured starting September 2016. A 24V passive PoE adapter is included with each AC-Lite.

The AC-Lite uses a QCA9563/Ubiquiti U-AME-G1-BR4A combination. As in the EAP225, the third RF chain in the QCA9563 is not used. The OpenWRT wiki makes a good case that the Ubiquiti device is a custom-labeled Atheros AR9888.

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lite board

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lite board

The rest of the key components are summarized in the table.

  UAP-AC-Lite
CPU Qualcomm QCA9563 3x3 802.11bgn wireless SoC
Ethernet Atheros AR8033 Gigabit Ethernet PHY
RAM 128 MB
Flash 16 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - In QCA9563
- Anadigics AWL9293 2.4 GHz front end (x2)
5 GHz radio - Ubiquiti U-AME-G1-BR4A
(Custom labeled Atheros AR9888?)
- Anadigics AWL9581 5 GHz front end (x2)
Firmware tested 3.7.40.6115

The full review describes Ubiquiti's UniFi management controller, which is available for Windows, MacOS and Debian and Ubuntu Linux. There's also the option of using the $80 Cloud Key controller. There's now an online UniFi demo you can check out, too.

UniFi controller dashboard

UniFi controller dashboard

Ubiquiti continues to evolve UniFi and tweaking features. Unfortunately, they did not respond to our questions for this review, so the features shown below may not be accurate for the current UniFi 5.6.24 release. In general, the UniFi system has many features, although you may need to dig for them in the multi-level interface. Like Open Mesh, UniFi supports wireless AP backhaul.

Features
Port TypeGigabit Ethernet
Ports1
PoE 802.3af
CPUQCA9563 3x3 802.11bgn wireless SoC
SwitchAtheros AR8033 (Ethernet PHY)
RAM (MB)128
Flash (MB)16
Firmware3.7.40.6115
Captive Portal
Y
Cloud Mgmt
N
Web Mgmt
N
S/W Controller Mgmt
Y
AP Controller
N
VLAN
Y
Wireless Backhaul
Y
Client Bridge
N
Mesh
N
Notes- Inexpensive Cloud Key hardware controller also can be used for management
Wireless
ClassAC1200
# of streams2
BandBoth
Band Steering
Y
AP Load Limiting
Y
Roam AssistNone
Auto Tx Power
N
Auto Channel Mgmt
Y
DFS
Y
MU-MIMO
N
Client Isolation
Y
Radio 12.4 GHz: In QCA9563 + Anadigics AWL9293 2.4 GHz front end (x2)
Radio 25 GHz: Ubiquiti U-AME-G1-BR4A + Anadigics AWL9581 5 GHz front end (x2)
FCC IDSWX-UAPACL
AntennaInternal bent-metal dipole
Antenna Upgradeable
N
ConnectorN/A
RADIUS
Y
Schedule
Y
SSID #4
NotesSeparate controller required for setup and some features
QoS
TypeB/W
DirectionBoth
Auto
N

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