Open Mesh A40 & A60 Access Points Reviewed

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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Open Mesh's new access points and free cloud-based management system are an attractive Ubiquiti alternative.

Read on SmallNetBuilder
 

wchpitt

Occasional Visitor
What does "depending on a cloud service for management" mean exactly?
Will the units continue to function as configured if connectivity to the cloud/internet is lost, or do they cease to function in their entirety (e.g. eero)?
 

Razor512

Very Senior Member
My worry is what they will consider the lifetime of the access point to be?

For example, what if they device that the life of your AP, is 3 years and then kill the cloud access as the product is now end of life?
 

mokodi

Occasional Visitor
Is it valid to compare the wireless charts to the router charts with the same test revisions numbers? For example the 5ghz downlink profile for the A40 shows 62 Mbps and the GT-AC5300 shows 240 Mbps. Or is that an invalid comparison since they're different types?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
What does "depending on a cloud service for management" mean exactly?
Will the units continue to function as configured if connectivity to the cloud/internet is lost, or do they cease to function in their entirety (e.g. eero)?
I think I covered this in the review. The network will continue to work if connection to the cloud service is down. Same goes for Ubiquiti and now, eero (they fixed the problem).
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
My worry is what they will consider the lifetime of the access point to be?

For example, what if they device that the life of your AP, is 3 years and then kill the cloud access as the product is now end of life?
The cloud service is not needed for network operation. Only for setup and monitoring.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Is it valid to compare the wireless charts to the router charts with the same test revisions numbers? For example the 5ghz downlink profile for the A40 shows 62 Mbps and the GT-AC5300 shows 240 Mbps. Or is that an invalid comparison since they're different types?
Yes. that's a valid coparison.

The four streams of the GT-AC5300 provide better link gain, even with two-stream clients.
 

YeOldeStonecat

Very Senior Member
Not to start a pissing contest...but might as well be factual..there's enough misinformation about Ubiquiti's support out there. And to be fair...we used Open Mesh a lot....well before we got big into Ubiquiti..so I'm not biased against Open Mesh....especially since we're Datto Elite partners.

Your article states "Open Mesh has an advantage over Ubiquiti for support.......... With Ubiquiti, you have only their community/forums, although I'm told large customers get access to other support options"

This is not true. About two years ago Ubiquiti started ramping up their support. In addition to 24/7 e-mail support which they had had going back several years, in Dec 2015 they launched Live Chat Support on their website, and starting some time around last winter, they added Live Chat Support right within your Unifi controller (assuming you keep your Unifi controller somewhat updated). There's a chat bubble in the lower left corner to bring up the live chat support. I have used it...I forget the details but something relating to a Mongo database upgrade in the early versions of their Cloud Key.

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/Ubiqu...nches-24-7-365-Live-Chat-Support/ba-p/1418588

For more corporate/enterprise clients that need priority support....Ubiquiti introduced their new "Elite" support program last winter. Many IT guys avoided Ubiquiti because of a perceived lack of support and RMA processes (although I never had issues with it in the past...you just had to research and learn how to use it). So many IT guys stayed with Meraki, Ruckus, Aruba, etc...paying those higher prices to get that priority support. So Ubiquiti released a similar program last year...Elite. You enroll in it through your Unifi controller..and enable devices you need priority support on. It's a "per device" thing. Gives you top level support, stable releases, and priority RMAs.

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi...rt-Warranty-Service-Announcement/td-p/1829545

Early on when Ubiquiti first came out, their model was...sell through certain partners...and only to IT professionals that don't really need support..those that have enough networking experience that they can just roll up their sleeves and setup/deploy/support the hardware. And they had classes and training programs for their big users..I've been to, they're great.

But I suppose with their success, demands have been strong for broader, easier support...for the masses..so they have listened, and added a lot to their support for the general public and entry level IT guys.

And coming down the road soon...Rob Pera has some new things coming. One tip..keep an eye out for their next gen security cameras. Their first and second gen cameras were not that great. Their 3rd gen cameras got decent...their NVR software is incredible, but their 4th gen cameras should have them exploading into this market.

Over this past year we've seen huge advanced in the Unifi product line. They have about 1x new update to the Unifi software per month..they're on a fast release of new features. Last year Ubiquiti hired one of the co-founders of PF Sense, Chris Buechler....he is heading up Ubiquitis Unifi division. We've been seeing incredible advances in this product line over the past 9 months due to him. And the road map he has laid out is exciting! A new controller that manages most all of their product line..Unifi, Edge series, Amp, air...is a great new tool.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Thanks for the information. I'll update the article.

I'll just say in looking at the Support landing pages of both sites, you definitely get the feeling that Ubiquiti would rather have you use their Community.

ubnt_support_landing.jpg


open_mesh_support_landing.jpg
 

Razor512

Very Senior Member
The cloud service is not needed for network operation. Only for setup and monitoring.
I understand that from the article and product info, but it does not do much for a user who wants to make adjustments to their network settings or move the APs to a different location and setting them up again.

To me it seems like if they EOL the device and kill the cloud service, you can never make changes or set them up again.
 

Ryan Detwiller

New Around Here
To me it seems like if they EOL the device and kill the cloud service, you can never make changes or set them up again.

Hey - it's Ryan from Open Mesh here.

That's true in terms of making changes, and we don't take that responsibility lightly. We've been around for 10 years and help manage more than 100,000 networks, with many more times that in terms of numbers of switches and access points. We still have devices from 2007 checking into our cloud (though running ten year-old WiFi gear is not generally recommended). It's a pretty strong track record of ensuring our users can keep their networks up and pushing continuous updates to make the management of those networks better over time.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
The Open Mesh stuff is interesting...

Recently had a stay in a hotel up in Santa Clara, CA - due to MWC Americas and other events, it was the hotel of last resort - Driftwood Inn, off El Camino Real, close to Sunnyvale.

WiFi was provided by Open Mesh AP's - the OMP2's to be precise... my first experience with Open Mesh - and perhaps the hotel environment is not suitable for the gear used - but that's what was available.

AP's looked to be well situated - so there was a plan by the installer/VAR that installed them - challenge was that while good RSSI, the MCS rates between my devices were extremely low - usually MCS2 or lower - and connectivity was spotty at best - losing association in mid-session (no WiFi), network connectivity issues when things were working, and we had a total outage lasting three hours on Thursday evening. The front desk folks were at their wit's end, and the location is noted for spotty WiFi/Internet.

@Ryan Detwiller - feel free to contact me privately for more details.
 

Ryan Detwiller

New Around Here
WiFi was provided by Open Mesh AP's - the OMP2's to be precise... my first experience with Open Mesh - and perhaps the hotel environment is not suitable for the gear used - but that's what was available..

You hit the nail on the head: the OM2Ps are single-stream 2.4GHz-only APs and not recommended for a busy hotel environment.
 

80211WiGuy

Occasional Visitor
Has anyone tested/experienced how these SMB APs stand up to client density? I work with enterprise Cisco/Aruba/Ruckus APs mostly, and they all preach that they handle client density much better than other APs of similar specs. I'm just curious if anyone can attest to this as there doesn't seem to be much in the way of independent analysis/reports out there.
 

80211WiGuy

Occasional Visitor
Not straightforward to do to get meaningful results.
What client mix? What loads? What signal levels?
It's definitely a challenge, that's for sure. Maybe start with what we would expect to be a classroom scenario. 30 Smartphones (15 Android, 15 Apple), 30 laptops (15 Apple, 15 Dell?). How to tie them all together to coordinate different application scenarios, I have no idea. Probably one of the most difficult tests to lab up for sure, but also one of the most meaningful for busy wifi environments...
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Maybe start with what we would expect to be a classroom scenario. 30 Smartphones (15 Android, 15 Apple), 30 laptops (15 Apple, 15 Dell?).
Would be interesting. But it's beyond the scope of what we can afford to do.
 

80211WiGuy

Occasional Visitor
Yah. That was a hell of a lot of work and an excellent job.

The only more recent one I could find wasn't a shoot-out, but an Aerohive evaluation with 250 iPads.

Thanks for this. I had a read through but they didn't seem to provide much in the way of raw data.

I found another with lots of data and claiming neutrality but I suspect they may have compared a higher grade of AP to lower grades from other vendors to work in their favour.

http://ruckus-www.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/other/wifi-vendor-video-stress-test.pdf

Regardless, I love the testing methodology though I would have prefered some higher bitrate video streams... 1.6Mbps is pretty low by most people's standards.
 

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