An Outdoor Access Point is Different & Special


An outdoor access point is different from an indoor access point because it is weather proof, it can be left outside the house (by mounting it on a wall or a pole) – nearer to where people are accessing the network, it has a longer range than consumer-grade indoor access points and can form wireless backbone networks with other access points around it (some do).

You thought you could buy a normal access point and put it outside, where-ever  coverage is required, didn’t you? That can also be done, but in place of two consumer-grade access points, one specialized outdoor access point is not only cost-effective but creates a more efficient/interference-free network.

If you need to cover large backyards, camp grounds, pools, lawns or marinas, especially with multiple access points, look no beyond the Ubiquiti UniFi Outdoor+ AP.

Highlights:

  • Grade: Outdoor Access Point
  • Range: 183 m (600 feet)
  • 802.11b/g/n – Supports up to 300 Mbps (2.4 Ghz)
  • 2 x 6 dBi omni-directional external antennas included for higher gain
  • 2 x Ethernet ports
  • POE is supported through the provided POE adapter
  • Power consumption/Tx power: 8 W/28 dBm
  • Mounting: Wall, Pole mounting kits included

One of the biggest advantages of Ubiquiti UniFi APs is its software controller. Hitherto available only in enterprise deployments (hardware based controller, very expensive $$$), a controller has become indispensable for any wireless set-up due to the following reasons –

Ubiquiti UniFi Controller features:

  • Non-dedicated software controller that can be run on any computer/even on the cloud (for multi-site monitoring). The controller need not be always running, but is required during set-up, monitoring, etc.
  • The wireless system is scalable and there is no need to upgrade hardware, as you increase the no. of APs.
  • Roaming is possible ~ You can move with your laptop/smart phone anywhere in your premises and the access points will coordinate among themselves to transfer the connection (within them) without disconnection/re-connection.
  • Heat-map ~ You can see the actual Wi-Fi coverage areas and their connection strength, on a map. Useful for planning and troubleshooting.
  • Statistics ~ Sessions, user connection details – who is connected, to which access point they are connected, etc.
  • Guest portal for providing limited network access to guests (Internet only, for example) and keeping them on an isolated network; Hotspot support to provide web log-in; time-based/charge-based access to clients (Paypal gateway for managing payments).
  • Multiple Wireless LAN Groupings ~ Separate and isolated networks for users, based on the group they belong to (for security).

Perhaps the most important feature of the controller is to facilitate coordination among APs deployed in a region to ensure that no two neighboring access points operate in the same channel, thereby reducing the possibility of wireless interference. If you have experienced frequent disconnection and low-bandwidth, it is most probably due to wireless interference, from neighboring access points.

The Ubiquiti Unify Outdoor+ AP also supports QoS  ~ WMM (to prioritize video/real-time traffic); bandwidth control ~ set the max. number of connections per AP, set bandwidth limits per user/group (to discourage heavy users from chocking the network); VLAN grouping ~ Isolate certain networks/user-groups from others; Manual transmit power settings ~ Low, med, high, custom; and other such useful features for an outdoor access point.

The included external antennas provide additional coverage than internal/built-in antennas. These APs look elegant and white color goes well with any kind of background. They are easy to set-up and the controller software needs to run only once (during set-up) or occasionally (during trouble-shooting) ~ No need to dedicate a computer for it.

Further info/Spec-sheet: Ubiquiti UniFi AP data sheet.

Buy From (US)/Price (USD): Amazon product page for,

*** Ubiquiti UniFI AP Outdoor+ 2×2 MIMO Access Point 802.11b/g/n ***

Alternatives:

1. Ubiquiti UniFI AP Outdoor 2×2 MIMO Access Point 802.11b/g/n (Older model with similar features, great price.)

2. Ubiquiti UniFI AP Outdoor 2×2 MIMO 5GHz 802.11n/a (5 Ghz model. Great product for interference-free browsing, but buy it only if you are confident that all your clients are 5 Ghz or Dual-band enabled. While new computers/tablets/phones are dual-band/5 GHz enabled, some old products may not support that band.)

3. Ubiquiti Networks UniFi UAP-AC Outdoor Enterprise WiFi System (If not for the high price, this is easily the best outdoor access point. It supports the latest 802.11ac gigabit wireless standard. Buy it if price is not an issue for you and your set-up will have a lot of users accessing the net simultaneously.)

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