The adventure road, has a little gravel…

So far here’s what I don’t like about UBNT and the little things that bug me.  First lets show a little love to the USG PRO-4. Much smaller than I thought, BUT the power cable. Using that damn, what I call mouse ears power cable. I’m not sure what the technical reason behind this is, however, how many people have that type of cable laying around Maybe that could be changed? Not a show stopper. (The USG does come with the cable needed).

Now about this Cloud Key cable, odd, but kinda cool looking. I dug around on Twitter and Instagram looking for what other people did. And, they just plugged it in and left the Key hanging off a switch port. Hmm. I’m not a big fan of that. The cable is thick and can stay in a bent shape. Which would keep it a little out of way. I ended up using a two foot Belkin CAT-6 and placed it on top the Switch. Maybe they could have an accessory that would mount into a 1U space that would hold the Cloud Key. Otherwise, some double-sided velcro is in the device’s future.

Now for this part, I’m sure nobody cares, however, that was the first thing I noticed when I placed the units on top of each other. Where the device name and square logo light is at. I think that should all be in the exact same spot so when the products are stacked up, it looks nicer. As for the LED color looking like a different shade of blue, I’m pretty sure it was just the angle of the picture. I don’t remember those being different blue shades.  I did like how the LED is white until the device is “Adopted“, then it becomes blue.

IMG_2800

Our walls need APs, right?

So I wanted to do a quick little physical comparison between two wall-plate style Access Points. I think this market is pretty open, maybe not so much for greenfield projects, but this fits in a nice place for the brownfield folks.  Lots and lots of hotels need wireless access. And I think cost is a huge factor. If you have people paying $50 to $600 a night for a room you want excellent wireless connectivity. That might be hard for the hotels/motels that have been around for 30+ years. Hence why I think wall-plate APs are a very good fit. And, it goes well with “don’t put the APs in the hallways” chant.

So I have an AP from two different folks, one from UBNT: AC IN-WALL and the Cisco Meraki MR30H. (I think the MR30H sounds like MR38, should be renamed to MRH30)

Now this is just a physical comparison, nothing about performance, setup etc… or any other metrics have been done yet. I just wanted to show what they look like and because I think these units fit two different needs, and I’ll explain that thought a little down the road.

Alright, picture time. (UBNT is the smaller of the two)

They are roughly about the same size, however the MR30H is much heavier. If you tossed it in your backpack–you’d know.

For thickness they are roughly the same. One thing that is interesting about the UBNT is how it mounts. The AP is actually inside a plastic mounting “case”. You can see the little plastic push part at the top that you press to remove the top half cover. The back half is then mounted to your wall or junction box, or whatever. The AP has a couple screws to secure it to the back cover, then the front cover snaps on. It’s actually pretty difficult to pop off, a few times I thought it was going to break by the amount of force I was using on it. I would say it’s pretty secure–but if you are determined to get into it, well whatever, you’ll get into it.

The MR30H has a metal bracket that is mounted, then the AP connects to that, you have to use a special tool to release a little bracket, then the AP tilts off the bracket. I think this is a little harder to remove, because you need a specialized tool.  But you’ll need a screwdriver to remove the UBNT unit from the back cover too.  So bottom line is—for maintenance, a tool is needed. Not really a big deal.

And here is the UBNT unit…

And as for what comes in the box, MR30H has more, typical foam/sponge(Meraki does this with other products) that holds all the little screws etc, normal docs and mounting plate.

The UBNT is very minimal also, tiny little bag of a few screws and a little folded install, setup guide.

I mentioned early, I think these fit two different areas. On one hand, you could install a couple UBNT vs. one MR30H. What does that mean? Well, it’s the price. List price on UBNT is just under 100 US Dollars and the other is around 400.  Now, the MR30H does have four network ports. Personally I can’t remember the last time in five years I plugged into a hotel network port. But then again, my hotel stays have been in large metro areas. Good thing they do have networks ports though, as I always see some type of IP phone in the hotel room. Lets say one CAT cable is ran, you then have an AP and IP telephony. Cool.

Also, one requires a “cloud license” and the other a “controller” of some type.  If you’re reading this blog, then you know how one operates. But, the other can do local, cloud, or a hybrid controller. I think UBNT is fitting the perfect need of the smaller hotel/motel. As you know you need wireless access, but how? And, budget is a huge deal. Maybe you only have 75 or less rooms? If your facility is older, you probably have cinder block walls which equals nice attenuation. So you do one AP per room, drop the power or do whatever(but seriously though, do a predictive model–if you can).

So basically this is it, you just became a little more familiar on some wall-plate Access Points.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

You have to love a little Monty Python in this adventure.  And, that new adventure is Ubiquiti Networks.

We’ll call them UBNT for short(typing the full name is a pain–no offense), because this will be the first post of many. So far I have taken about 100 pictures. You know, to get all the little details that might be missed until you actually have it in your hands. I know other people will be focusing on how this gear will stack up, i.e. Lee Badman aka @Wirednot will be doing a more high-end approach, well because, frankly, he sees networks that handle 10’s of thousands of people. I think last he said his daily network usage is around 50K in devices. Yeah, nice!  And, mine well maybe 75/monthly. Sad Panda.

However, I do have access to multiple 1Gbps up/down WAN links. Which makes this a little more fun. And, an easier network to tear apart and put some of our devices behind.

So the meat of this will be focusing on the Cloud portion, i.e. Cloud Key, and the Security Gateway. So the USG should handle around 900(and some change)Mbps w/ DPI on.  Good thing for us we have access to Google Fiber.  So stick around the next few days, we both could learn something.

Stack.png