2020 Ubiquiti Wireless Access Point (WAP) Roundup

Ubiquiti publishes detailed data sheets for all of their products, but it’s hard to find all the information you need in one place for comparison purposes. That’s the purpose of this article.

First Generation Access Points

It can be confusing to distinguish between the generations of UniFi access points; you have to look at the access point label, or access it via the UniFi software to see the version. The performance difference between generations are significant. The datasheet for first generation Ubiquiti UAP wireless access points is still available.

UniFi UAP and UAP-LR (Gen 1)

2×2 MIMO on 2.4 GHz 300Mbps

Standard Data Rates
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 300 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS15, HT 20/40)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

UniFi UAP-Pro (Gen 1)

2×2 MIMO on 5GHz (300Mbps max PHY rate), 3×3 MIMO on 2.4 GHz 450Mbps

Standard Data Rates
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 450 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS23, HT 20/40)
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

Second Generation AC Series

Ubiquiti’s second generated added significant 5GHz and MIMO capabilities, even to the low-end models. Upgrading from a first-generation model to the equivalent second-generation model should result in significant performance improvements with newer endpoints. In addition, the hardware Ethernet port has been upgraded from 1MBps to 1 Gbps. The Ubiquiti AP second-generation data sheet is available online.

UAP-AC-LITE ($89)

2×2 SU-MIMO on 5GHz (867Mbps max PHY rate), 2×2 SU-MIMO on 2.4GHz (300Mbps max PHY rate)

Standard Data Rates
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 450 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS23, HT 20/40)
802.11ac 6.5 Mbps to 867 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2, VHT 20/40/80)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

UAP-AC-LR ($109)

2×2 SU-MIMO on 5GHz (867Mbps max PHY rate), 3×3 SU-MIMO on 2.4GHz (450Mbps max PHY rate)

The UA-AC-LR offers a slight improvement in 2.4GHz connectivity compared to the UAP-AC-LITE, in addition to longer range.

Standard Data Rates
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 450 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS23, HT 20/40)
802.11ac 6.5 Mbps to 867 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2, VHT 20/40/80)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

UAP-AC-PRO: $149

3×3 SU-MIMO on 5GHz (1300 Mbps max PHY rate), 3×3 SU-MIMO on 2.4GHz (450 Mbps max PHY rate)

The AC-PRO also offers a second hardware Ethernet port for bridging. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to support out-of-band management on the secondary port.

Standard Data Rates
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 450 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS23, HT 20/40)
802.11ac 6.5 Mbps to 1300 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2/3, VHT 20/40/80)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbp

Third Generation AC-HD Series

The third generation of access points supports the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard. Wave 2 offers MU-MIMO, which is the ability to communicate with multiple clients simultaneously. MU-MIMO is valuable in any environment in which multiple high-performance WiFi clients need to support high data rates simultaneously.

UniFi NanoHD: $179

4×4 MU-MIMO on 5GHz (1733Mbps max PHY rate), 2×2 MIMO on 2.4GHz (300 Mbps max PHY rate)

The UAP-nanoHD is pretty similar to the UAP-AC-PRO. It offers better 5GHz performance at the cost of slightly a slightly lower max throughput at 2.4GHz. However, MU-MIMO is available, which should make up for the shortcoming in most deployments.

Standard Data Rates
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 300 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS15, HT 20/40)
802.11ac 6.5 Mbps to 1.7 Gbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2/3/4, VHT 20/40/80)
58 Mbps to 1.7 Gbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2, VHT 160)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

UniFi HD: $349

4×4 MU-MIMO on 5GHz (1733Mbps max PHY rate), 4×4 MIMO on 2.4GHz (800 Mbps max PHY rate)

Standard Data Rates
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 450 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS23, HT 20/40)
802.11ac 6.5 Mbps to 1.7Gbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2/3/4, VHT 20/40/80)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

UniFi Dream Machine: $299

Based on its specifications, the Dream Machine is basically a UniFi NanoHD WAP with an integrated Cloud Key controller, Security Gateway, and a gigabit switch. If you need a small “all-in-one” solution that’s much more secure and more easily managed than a typical SoHo WiFi router, the Dream Machine is a great choice.

4×4 MU-MIMO on 5GHz (1733Mbps max PHY rate), 2×2 MIMO on 2.4GHz (300 Mbps max PHY rate)

Standard Data Rates
802.11a 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n 6.5 Mbps to 300 Mbps (MCS0 – MCS15, HT 20/40)
802.11ac 6.5 Mbps to 1.7 Gbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2/3/4, VHT 20/40/80)
58 Mbps to 1.7 Gbps (MCS0 – MCS9 NSS1/2, VHT 160)
802.11b 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps

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