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Wireless Networks Thread, Ubiquiti Unifi in Technical; Hi Everyone, We are a small primary (8 classrooms) and looking to upgrade our current simple wireless network. As we ...
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    rok
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    Ubiquiti Unifi

    Hi Everyone,

    We are a small primary (8 classrooms) and looking to upgrade our current simple wireless network. As we are likely to be introducing more mobile technology, eg tablets, in the near future it sounds as if some form of managed network would make sense. I guess we need to be able to support, ultimately, up to 30 devices connecting at the same time, and then being used within a single classroom. The available in-house technical support is not a network expert, so simplicity of management would be a benefit. Of course, cost is always a factor.

    I have been trawling the site and it appears as if the cheapest and simplest option would probably by one based on Unifi, and that the more elaborate solutions would be unnecessary for a small school with, say, 10 access points. Is this a reasonable conclusion?

    Assuming we go for Unifi, would it be installable by any old network support company, or is there some sort of Unifi-authorised installer list?

    As you can probably gather, this is a all a bit of a dark art as far as I'm concerned, so any guidance would be welcome.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We've just bought a pack of 3 to give it a test. We're a large secondary but just wanted an easy manageable solution that wasn't like our current setup (lots of random WiFi APs)
    We're still in very early days as we've only had them a couple of days but it looks promising. Range is extremely good on them, they look unoffensive and would sit on a wall or on/in ceilings easily and they offer a very nice guest wireless system built in. The software is simple but works well - some neat little ideas like importing a map of your school and plotting the points on them with one click management therein. And that software is extremely unobtrusive.
    I am without doubt quite a fan of Ruckus (when it's installed properly!) but it's easy to see where money soon goes with them even with special offers taken into account - controllers and licenses, then the AP's themselves. You should be able to get 9 unifi APs (3 packs of 3) for around £500 easily enough so it's a substantial saving.
    And frankly if you know what you're doing with your school's network then you will have no problem installing these with the aide of your site super.

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    rok (15th October 2012)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Speak to Wireless Network Wireless Bridge Wireless WiFi Ethernet Bridge Specialists

    Your situation sounds like a good candidate for Unifi,

    It does not need a registerd installer, but somone will have to understand it to do a decent job.

    Rob

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    rok (15th October 2012)

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    Re: Ubiquiti Unifi

    Without knowing the layout or having a site survey done it is impossible to say whether or not you need 10 or 50.

    Also it may be worthwhile having various companies do a site survey. They're usually free and it will give you an idea of what you want.

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    rok (15th October 2012)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Bit of thought would solve that without surveys - one per class, staff room and communal areas perhaps.in a large school then yes but an 8 class primary I think it's wasting time and someone's resources.then again it's not your time so it's then just up to conscience!

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    rok (15th October 2012)

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    You could use the aerohive site survey to do it yourself, at least then you have an idea. We got Xirrus in to do a site survey for free so i could get a feel of what we needed and i was surprised to be fair however good job i was sat down though when i got the report and quote through.

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    rok (15th October 2012)

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    PM @m25man He's had ample experience of installing and using the Unifi kit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rok View Post
    Assuming we go for Unifi, would it be installable by any old network support company, or is there some sort of Unifi-authorised installer list?
    If you are in any way handy with a drill and some trunking you could do it yourself - we have!

    We are now running 12 of them and its fine, the controller is a little temperamental at times, but given that unless you have a multiple ssid/guest access config the units will operate happilly without the controller at all.

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    rok (15th October 2012)

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    I installed 60 Unifi Pro points over the summer at a total cost of around £10k. This was replacing a failing 3COM managed system that was about 5 years old and was falling over regularly and not coping with the increase of iPads and general WIFI connectivity. Although it was a big investment we have around 2300 students and 200 staff all of whom are able to BYOD. We also have 300 college laptops/tablets in constant use so it is heavily used. Just looking on the stats of the Unifi and it says we have on average 600 users connected at any one time in the day and around 30GB of data transferred per day. So far it’s been flawless but its early days I guess. We were quoted around £50k -60k from Aerohive plus ongoing yearly maintenance on top which wasn’t cheap for the same kind of setup so I think so far it looks like we made the right decision but I guess time will tell.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I have to ask where you paid 10k for them - 60 points currently would be a shade under 7k! Unless of course thre's other management/install costs/bigger models in place

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    lmgtfy's Avatar
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    We did buy the Unifi Pro point in the summer when just came out to EU market. We paid around the £170 mark each, they may have come down a bit now but really 60 points for 7K who is your supplier?

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    I've just added another 3 Unifi Pro's to our top floor office refurb and added another SSID and VLan for the Samsung Smart TV's
    I only have about 30 users on these 3 APs in this location but we are going to be feeding them all with IP TV from our new CODFM MUX boxes most users are Press/Digital Media so that's going to be interesting!

    If anyone is interested these are what we are using to stream our TV channels Pro Video Instruments HD Video Distribution Systems - Pro Video Instruments not cheap but will modulate any source onto DVBT for normal distribution whilst providing a Unicast or Multicast IP stream.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Average selling price just about anywhere currently is a pack of 3 for £160+VAT


    Who can spot who's *really* crap at maths?

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Average selling price just about anywhere currently is a pack of 3 for £160+VAT


    Who can spot who's *really* crap at maths?
    @chrisrowlands used the UniFi Pro access points which support 2.4ghz and 5ghz, gigabit uplinks etc..

    Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-PRO 3 Pack

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    £518 for a 3 pack of pro ones from the link above so that's a shade over £10k.

    Ben



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