Ubiquiti sent me two of their newly released Unifi Access Point WiFi 6 Long-Range (U6-LR) units – long range access points that support the Wi-Fi 6 standard. I’ve been using the setup Ubiquit sent me about a year ago which included a Unifi Access Point nanoHD (UAP-nanoHD). I was going to start by changing that over to one of these newer units to see how it went.
First, the unboxing. I don’t bother about this too much usually when reviewing hardware, but there’s a fair bit of attention to detail here. A mounting guide for the screw holes that includes a tiny spirit level, the detailed hole explanations on the plate, and the hardware kit – an assortment of screws and brackets that come in a nice sleeved foam holder, so you don’t inevitably drop something when you would normally find these in a plastic bag to rip open.
The size difference of the Access Point nanoHD vs Access Point WiFi 6 Long-Range is substantial (and is a bit over 3x as heavy):
Comparing the specs between the two:
- Four-Stream 802.11ac Wave 2 Technology
- Simultaneous Dual-Band Radios
- Supports 200+ Concurrent Users
- 5 GHz Band 4×4 Multi-User MIMO with Radio Rate of 1.733 Gbps
- 2.4 GHz Band 2×2 MIMO with Radio Rate of 300 Mbps
- Powered by Gigabit 802.3af PoE
- 1.3 GHz dual-core processor (now upgraded to support full-duplex 1 Gbps TCP/IP performance)
- Four-stream high-efficiency Wi-Fi 6 technology
- 5 GHz band 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA with radio rate of 2.4 Gbps
- 2.4 GHz band 4×4 MIMO with radio rate of 600 Mbps
- Powered with 802.3at PoE (PoE injector not included)
Both units at the time of writing are the same price of $179US. Beyond the Wi-Fi 6 functionality on the U6-LR, the radio rates are higher and denser on it too. It’s worth noting the U6-LR has a the updated PoE requirement (also known as PoE+) and does not come with a PoE injector; if you’re already using a PoE+ switch like I am, this isn’t an issue. Otherwise, order a US$12 PoE Injector with the 802.3at standard
Swapping over the units was incredibly easy – I hadn’t mounted the NanoHD since moving, and may end up mounting this one once I’ve been using it for a bit and know I’m happy with it.
When I say it was easy; after swapping the network cable over, I logged onto the UniFi Dream Machine (UDM) web interface, went to the network devices page, and clicked ‘Adopt device’ that popped up. About a minute passed, and the device was now under control:
There was an update available, which upgraded the device from 18.104.22.16877 to 22.214.171.12480. I decided to add the second U6-LR on, but this time it would take over the Wi-Fi duties of the UDM; I adopted it into the UDM, then went into the WiFi settings for both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz networks, created a new AP Group, and ticked all but the UDM and applied (I have separate WiFi network names for the different bands due to an issue with a 2.4ghz only device that wouldn’t work when both bands were used on the same name).
Once I had done all this and let the connections settle down, the experience across each wireless AP was 92% or better. My Samsung Galaxy S21 shows a little ‘6’ next to the WiFi symbol.
I’ll take a few days living with this to see if there’s any issues that pop up, or if I notice any improvements (one sore point was a Chromecast that would dip in video quality now and then).
It’s been going very well. No dropouts or hiccups of any sort, and I’m noticing on my mobile that I stay on 4 bars around the house rather than dropping to 3 in some areas – which makes sense now being on a long range access point.
Also I found this video also looking at the UniFi 6 LR which has some extra info and visuals: