Ubiquiti wireless Unifi tutorial / newbie questions trying to understand the basics

Posted on 2014-10-10
Last Modified: 2014-10-24
Please bear with me and I would appreciate any advice and pointing to existing docs that I haven't found.

I've used Unifi UAC-LR for a while now in different home or small business situations with great results. Usually just 1 of them per site.

 Trying to set up wireless in a big home and having some questions and wonder if I am doing anything wrong or what is best practices vs. what I have done:

I have 4 of these UAC-LR, 1 on each floor (basement and 3 above ground floors). they are staggered from each other on each floor (the basement is more to the front of the house, the 1st floor is more to the back of the house, the 2nd floor is more to the front, etc.)

 In the controller software, everything is set for auto (power, channel, etc.) I didn't override anything in the settings (all have the same SSID, etc.)  Wireless encryption is turned on (what settings do you recommend / best practices to ensure most devices can speak to the access point and still have secure communications?  Not WEP, I know that : )

Trying to connect with ipad air and iphone 5 and 5s. The house has Cablevision internet connectivity.  Cablevision supplied the router which is connected to a netgear 10 / 100 unmanaged switch with cat 5e cable throughout.

 All the devices do get on the wireless network.  I will use and get varied speeds from minute to minute.  sometimes as good as 25 down and 10 up.  a few minutes later, that can jump around to as low as 5 down / 3 up).  Desktop machines get a more consistent test results (yes, I am only testing 1 device at a time).

some questions include

I was directly under the 2nd floor AP when doing the tests at one point.  Looking at the controller, it showed those devices connected to the 1st floor AP, which was farther away.

a) is there a way to force a connection to the closer / stronger AP?

b) is there a way to tell other than going down to the machine running the controller software to know which AP a user is connected to (I suppose I can remote desktop into that machine to save walking to the PC with the controller software

c) I see signal strength and other numbers...  what are 'good' numbers for each type of measurement?

d) in another post, I saw how someone said that it is bad to run several LR units and better to run lower power standard UAC units?  The thinking was that a phone connects to 1 AP, then as you move closer to another AP, the first LR is still powerful enough to reach the phone so the phone doesn't switch to the closer access point? The power level is set to auto... does that solve that problem?  Or should I manually set the power to a low value?  What value would you use?

e) running UAC-LR and iphone 5 & 5s.  Looking at the controller, all the connections are on the 2GHz network.  No connections on the 5GHz network.  Is that normal / typical for that hardware? Do I need to enable something?  This happens even when in the room under the UAC-LR (I read that 5GHZ doesn't go far through walls, so outside the room you will expect to connect with 2GHz).

Thank you and any advice / comments would be greatly appreciated.
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

Aaron Tomosky earned 500 total points
ID: 40374944
Correct about not using LR aps. With other brands you can get around this by only allowing the faster data rates and disabling slower data rates. This forces the clients to roam earlier to the better access point. I'm not 100% ubiquity has this feature but I would think it does.

5ghz bounces more than 2.4 so while both go through walls, 2.4 does so better. However bouncing can sometimes work better so it's best to check your actual situation.

If you have a laptop, run inssider to see connection status, I don't think the iphone has anything like that available.

Author Comment

ID: 40374996
forgot to mention - I am using an old droid running insider.

Have to read the docs, but curious what the 'I am optimizing this' check box is for / how to optimize things : )

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