Ubiquiti $99 Mesh Node Challenges Wireless Competitors

Author: Brian Karas, Published on Jan 05, 2017

Ubiqiuti has become a significant force in wireless video surveillance applications but they have never done mesh.

Historically, mesh has been associated with larger scale systems and larger scale costs (thousands instead of the hundreds for Ubiquiti).

Now, Ubiquiti is launching UniFi Mesh, a wireless radio with true mesh network capabilities for ~$100, potentially allowing them to compete directly with higher priced alternatives. There are some limitations to Ubiquiti's mesh products, which we cover in this report, along with potential optimal use case scenarios. 

Mesh Networking Vs Non-Mesh

In a traditional wireless network there is an access point, which provides connectivity to the wired network. Client devices (like cameras, or other wireless radios that provide connectivity to cameras) need to be able to reach the access point directly, meaning they typically need to be within a few hundred feet at most. If a device is out of range of the access point, it will not be able to reach the wired network. Range can be limited by barriers, such as buildings, between the access point and the remote device.

In a mesh network, there is typically an access point that provides connectivity to the wired network, but each remote device is a sort of mini router as well. If a device is too far from the access point, it can communicate with another device that may be within range of the access point, and in range of itself, using that mid-point device to relay the connection through. This also allows a network designer to "shoot around" an obstruction like a building (the black diamond in the image below), which greatly improves design flexibility.

Each mesh node can link to multiple other nodes that are in range, so that if one link goes down in has a backup route. In the image above, the mesh node with the yellow link has two paths to reach the network, and will automatically choose the best one.

The flexibility and resiliency of mesh networks allow them to solve many common problems with wireless networks for security devices.

Unifi Mesh Overview

Ubiquiti's recently released mesh products come in two form factors, both have similar functionality, but offer different amounts of max throughput.

******** *** ****** * *********** ***** ** ******** ***** ************ applications *** **** **** ***** **** ****.

************, **** *** **** ********** **** ****** ***** ******* *** larger ***** ***** (********* ******* ** *** ******** *** ********).

***, ******** ** ************** ****, * ******** ***** **** **** **** ******* ************ *** ~$100, *********** ******** **** ** ******* ******** **** ****** ****** alternatives. ***** *** **** *********** ** ********'* **** ********, ***** we ***** ** **** ******, ***** **** ********* ******* *** case *********. 

Mesh ********** ** ***-****

** * *********** ******** ******* ***** ** ** ****** *****, which ******** ************ ** *** ***** *******. ****** ******* (**** cameras, ** ***** ******** ****** **** ******* ************ ** *******) need ** ** **** ** ***** *** ****** ***** ********, meaning **** ********* **** ** ** ****** * *** ******* feet ** ****. ** * ****** ** *** ** ***** of *** ****** *****, ** **** *** ** **** ** reach *** ***** *******. ***** *** ** ******* ** ********, such ** *********, ******* *** ****** ***** *** *** ****** device.

** * **** *******, ***** ** ********* ** ****** ***** that ******** ************ ** *** ***** *******, *** **** ****** device ** * **** ** **** ****** ** ****. ** a ****** ** *** *** **** *** ****** *****, ** can *********** **** ******* ****** **** *** ** ****** ***** of *** ****** *****, *** ** ***** ** ******, ***** that ***-***** ****** ** ***** *** ********** *******. **** **** allows * ******* ******** ** "***** ******" ** *********** **** a ******** (*** ***** ******* ** *** ***** *****), ***** greatly ******** ****** ***********.

**** **** **** *** **** ** ******** ***** ***** **** are ** *****, ** **** ** *** **** **** **** in *** * ****** *****. ** *** ***** *****, *** **** node **** *** ****** **** *** *** ***** ** ***** the *******, *** **** ************* ****** *** **** ***.

*** *********** *** ********** ** **** ******** ***** **** ** solve **** ****** ******** **** ******** ******** *** ******** *******.

Unifi **** ********

********'* ******** ******** **** ******** **** ** *** **** *******, **** **** ******* *************, *** ***** ********* ******* ** max **********.

[***************]

  • *** $** ***-**-* ******* ****** ******** ****** ** ** ******* and *** ********* ********.
  • *** $*** ***-**-*-*** ******* ****** ******** ****** ** ** ******** *** *** * ***** *******.

***** **** ****** *** ** **** ** ****** * **** network ** ***** *****, *** ************ *** ** ******** **** at **** ***** ********. * ******* **** **** *** **** to ** ********* *** **** **** ***** ********, *** ****** act ** **** ******* ********* *** ****** ******.

**** **** ******* **** * ****** ******* ***** ** *** feet **** *** ******** ********, *** *** ******* *****. 

*** ***** **** ******* **** ***** ******** ******** **** **** do ******** ******* ******** ** **** **** **** ********* ********* for **** *** **** *******, *** *** ********, ******** ******** radios **** ******* **** ********* *** ** ** ********* **** of *** **** ************* *** ********, ***** ******* ***** **********.

600 **** ***** *****

*** *** **** ***** ******* ***** ***** ** * ********** for ***** *****, ********** ** ************ **** *****, *****, ***. are *******, ***** ***** ***** *** ***** *******. *** "***" version **** ****** ********** ****** ******** **** ******** **********, ** *** antennas *** *****. *** ******** ******* ***** **** ********* * dBi ********, ***** *** ** ******** **** ****** **** **** or *********** ******** ** ******** *** *****. ******* ******** **** the **** **** *** *** **** *******, ********* ******** **** to ** **** ****-******** ********.

Limitation - ********** ***** ** ******* *****

**** ** *** ******** ** ********, *** ** ****** ** mesh ********, **** *** ***** *** ***** *** ******* **** nodes **** ****** ********* ** ** ** **% ** *** available *****. ** *** ******* *****, *** ****** **** ******** to *** ******* ** ******** *** ****** ****** *** *********** would **** **** ********* **** ** ** **** ********* ** any ***** **** ****.

**** **** ******* ******* **** ********* ******** **** ***** **** proprietary ******* ********* ** ***** ******* ** ******** ********** ***** in ****** ********, *** ***** ***** **** ***** ****** ** the ****** ** **** **** *** ** ********* ** *** mesh *******.

**********, **** ******** **** ***** ******* **** *********** ** *** design ** **** ******* ********* *** **** ***** ** **** excessive **** *** ** *******. 

******* *******

**** ********'* ***** ********, ******* ** ********* ******* ****** ******, with ******** ***** *** ******** ** *** ***** ** ***** people. ** ******, **** ********* **** ********** **** **** ** be **** ******* **** ***** **** *** *** ** **** PtP/PtMP *********, *** *** **** ** ****** *******, *** ***-***** design ** ****-***** ************, *** ***** *********** ********, ********** ***** **** are *** *********** **** **** ********.

Primary ************

***** *** ******* ******* ********** *******, *** *** ** **** in * ****** ** ********* ****, *** *** ******** *** most ****** ************ ***** ** *** ********** * ****** ** remote ** ******* (*******, ****** ******* ********, ** ********, ***.) back ** * ******* *******. *** **** ********** ***** **** installers ** *** **** ** **** * ****** *******/******* ******** for ** ****** ***** ******, ** **** ** **** ****** is ****** ************** ***** **** ******* ******, *** ** *** connectivity ******* *** *** ***** ****** ** ********. 

*** **** ******* ** ****-*******, ********** ** *** **** ** do ********** ***** (****** ******* ************* *****) ** ****** **** network *****. ** ******** ****** *** ********* ** *** **** wired *******, *** **** ******** **** **** *** **** **** at *** ***** ****, *** **** **** ************* ****** ** a ***** **** ** ********* ******* ****** **** ******* (******** at ***** * ***** ***** *** ***** ******* ***** ******* access). 

Compared ** ********* *** ********

**** ***** ***** ******** *** ********* ***** ***** ** ******** high *********** ******** ******** ** * ******** ** **** *********** players *** ******** (******** ***** ****** *** ********, ******** *** **** begun ******** *** ***** **** ** ******** ****, *** ** have *** *** ****** ** ********* *** ****** *** *** products). The **** ********* ***** **** **** *** * $*** ****, where *** ******** ********* **** (**** **** ***** **********) ** over twice ** *********.

* ******* ********** ** ********'* *******, ** ****-**. *********** *** need ****** ** ********** ********** ** ***** ******** *** **** it ************ ** ** **** ******** ** ***** *** ** they *** *** ******** **** *** *******. 

Comments (15)

**** *** **** **** * **** ******** ** ***** *** "MESH" ******, * ***** *** *** **** *** ***** ********. These *** ******** *** **** ***********.

*) **** ** *.* ***** ****. ** *** ** *** 2.4 *** **** ** ** ** **** *** ****.

*) **** ** *** ****** ****. ** **** **** **************** and ** ****-***** ****-***.

*)***** ****** *** ******** *** **** ***********. ********* ** *********** over ***** **** ******* **** *** **** **** *** ** communicate ******* *.* ****** ** *** **** **.

**** ** *.* ***** ****. ** *** ** *** *.* for **** ** ** ** **** *** ****.

*******, *** ***** *** **** ** *** **** ** *.* anyway? *.* ** ********* ********* ** **, ***/**?

***, *.* ** **** ********* *** ** *** *** ***** to *** ** *** ***** *** ******** *** ***** *** both ******. ******* ** *.* *** **** ** *.*.

**** * ***** ********* ** *** **** ***** ***** ***** radios *** ********* *** *** ** *** ***** *** ******** like **** ****** **** ***** **** ** *** **** ***.

* **** **** **** ****** ** ******** **** *** ***** and *** *** **** *-* ***** **** **** ***** ******** exclusively ******* *** ******** ** ************* ******. ***** ***** ** great *** ******** **** ********* * ******* ******** ****** *** price ***** ** *** * ***** ************* *** ** ** is *********** ** *** ******* *** ** **** *****.

*** * **** ******* *** **% ** *** ******** *** IP ***** *********!

* **** **** ** *** ******** ******** *** ** ***** starting **** ********. * **** ****** **** ****** *** ********. I *** **** *** **** ********** **** ***** *********** **** radios *** **** *** * ******* *** ******* *** **** to *** ******* ***** ********* *** ***** **** **** ***********. There ** * **** ********** ** *********** ** **** ****** between * $ ** ***** *** * $ *,*** *****. I ***** **** ******* ****** *** **** ** ********** ********* many **** **** ******* **** *** ***** **** *** ***** loading * **** ****** ** ***** *** **** *******. ** at *** ******** ****** **** ******* ***** ** *****-*****.

*****, *** *** ********* ** *** ***********?

**** * ***** *****, ** ************* ** ***** *** *** core ********** ** ******** * **** ****:

*) ********, ****** ** *** **** ** ******, ************ *** number ** ************ *** *** **** ** *** ****** **** can ******* ** ***-*********** ********/*****

*) *** ******** ********* **** ******* *** **** *******, ***** has ********* **** ***** * **** **** ** *** *&* for *** "******" ********* *** **** *****.

*** ******** **** *** ********* ****** **** ******* ** ****** years, *** ** *** ******** **** ******** **** "*.*.*.*.*.*" **** **** **** **** ********** ** ****.

*** **** ** *** ***** ***** ******* * $** *** a $*,*** **** ***** ** *** ************ ****** ** ****** R&D, *** *****/******* ***** **. ****** *********** **** ****** ***********?

***** - ***** *** **** *********** ******* ******* ***** ****** and *********** **** *** ******* ******. ***** *** *** **** factors ** **** *** **** ** *** **** *********** *** on ***** *** **********, ******** *****, ******* ********** *******, ************ immunity, ******** ***** *** *********** / ***********, *** *************** ( allows ******* ******* ******* / **-*** ), ******** ******* ********** and ******* ******** ************.

*** ******* * **** ** *** ** ****** *******. *** can *** * **** ** $**.** ****** ******* ** **** Depot ******* * ****** ****** **** *** *** *********** ********* costs ******* ** $*,***.**. *** $ **.** ****** **** **** to * ****** *** ** ** *** ** **** ** the ************ ********** ***** ******.

**** - *** *** *******. ***** ** ******* * ***** a *** ******* ***** ** *** ***** *** ***** ***** range *********** ****** **** *** **-** **** **** **** *** carrier ***** *****. ** **** **** ***** ******** **** *** years **** ************* ********* ** *** ******* *** *********** ** their ******** **** ******** ***** *** ** ****. *** ** our ** ** "******* *** / *** ***" ****** *** the ******* ***** ***. **'* * $***.** *** *** ***** that ***** ************* ****. **** ***** **** ****** ** *** old ******** *** ** **** *** ** ******* ********* *** Motorola ****** ******* **** ***** ***. ***** **** **** *********** were **** ** *** ******** ********* **** ***** *** ******** Canopy *** ***** ** ***** ********* ******. *'* ** ** way ******** ********. **** **** * ****** **** ******* **'* just **** ** ****** ** *** ******* ******* ** *** relationship **** **** **** ***** **** ******* *** ***** ********* track ******. *** ****** **** **** / ****** **** ******* we *** ******* **** ******. **** *** ***** ** **** built ******** ***** ***** ****** ******** ***** ******* *** *** Enforcement, **************, *********, ****** ** ********, ***.

*** "****" ******* ** ****** ****** * *** **** ****** describe * ********* ***** ******. ** * **** **** ***** system *** ********** ******* ** ************* **% *** ***** "***" plus ** **** ****** *** ********** **** *** ****. ***** is * ******* ****** *** ****** **** ************ ******* ** diminished ********** ********* ** ***** **** ****. **** ****** ********* use *** ****** **** *********** ******** **** ***** *** ***** open *** ************ **** ****** *******. ** * ***** ** Multi ***** (****) ****** ******** *** *********** *** ******* **** prone ** ******** *********** ************. **** ** *** ** **** design **** / *** ************ ********* ****** **** ******* *** synchronization ******** ***** ******* ***** ***** ** * ***** ***** topic.

* *** **** *** **** ********** **** ***** *********** **** radios *** **** *** * ******* *** ******* *** **** to *** ******* ***** ********* *** ***** **** **** ***********.

*****, **** *** *******, **** *** ******** (*.*. ******* ****) is *** ******** **** ****** ** ***** ************. * ** sure ***** *** **** ****** ***** ******** ***** ************ ******** systems *** *** **** ****** *** **** ******* ** ******* / '******' *********.

********* **** ***** ******* **** ** ********** **** ******* **** I ***** **** ** ******, *** ** **** * ***** of * ** ****** *****. ** ***** ** **. *** I ***** ****** *********** ** ** *** ******* ** **** particular ***** ** **** **** *** **** ********** **** **, so * ***** ****** ******** *** ************** ** ****** ** work *** ********* ** ** ****. *** *** ******** **** use *** *** ********. (******* ******* ** ********* **** ****.)

* ***** *** ***** **** ****** ** ***** **** ****'* mentioned ** **** ******* ** ** *** ******** *** ** the ******** ******** ** ***. **** ********'* ****** **** ** products **** ** *** ***********, **** ***********, *** ****** *** into *** ****** *** * *** *******. **** **** **** of ******* *** **** *** *** ***** ********. * ***** host * ***** ****** *********. *** *** **** *** ***** Cloud *** ** ****** ** ** ***** * ***** ******** somewhere ** *** ******* ** *********. * ****** ***** ******* over *** ***** *******.

** ***** ** ** *** ******* ** ***** *** ***** Mesh ********. **** **** *** * ****** ***** ** ********** or ****** ** ***** **** ****** *** *** ***** *********** the *******. * **** *** ***** ******** *** ******* **** but *'* ***** *** ** *** ***** ** *** *** UniFi ******** ** ******* ** *** ********** ********* ******* *******/****** on ******* ***** *** **** ** *** *********** ******* *** to ******* *** ******* ** **** ******. ***** ******* *** online, ********** ******* ***** ************ ***** *** ***** ****** ********. For **** ***********, **** ** ** *** ********* ** **** every ***** ****** ***** *** **** ******* ***** ************.

* *****'* ****** ***** ******** ************ ** * ***'* **** if ******* ***** ***** **** ***** ******** ***** ************. *********, that's *** *** ****.

* *** ******** ** ** **** ** * **** ***** scale (*-**** ******* ******, *-**** ***** ******, *** * ****** UAP-AC), *** * **** ** ***** **** *** ***** ***** configuration ******* *** *******. * *** ********** ****** **** ** my ****** **** ******* **** *** **** ** ***** **** changes ** ***** *****, ** * ***'* ******* ** * was ******* ** * ********** ******* *** ****** ** **** changes. **** ***** ** ****** ** *********** *** *** **** on *** ******** ******* *** ************. *****.

* **** ******** *** **** *** ***** **** ** ** home, *** * **** ********** ********* ***** *** ** *** surveillance *****. * ***** ** *** **** *** ******* ***** small *** ***** ************** ** * ******* *****, ** ******'* be *** ***, *** *** ******** **** ** ******* ** changing **** *****, * ***'* ***** * ***** ** **.

*** ******* ** * ********* ******** ******* **** ***** ******. I *** *** ************ *** **** ******** **** ******* ******** backhaul ** * ****** ******. *** ***** ***** ***** ******* is ****** **** *** ********* ********** ** *** ***** *** then *****. ********* *** **** ** ******* *** * ***** if *** ****** ******* ** ***** **** ** **** **** require * ******. ******* ******** ******* **** ** ******** *** routers ***'* ******* *** ****** ***** ***** ****** ** * recall. **** **** **** **** ********** *****.

*** **** ***** ***** *** ***** *** ** **** *** really ***'* **** ** ***** *** ******* ***** ********* ***********. I *** ***** *** **** ********** ******* **** ******. **** is ***** ***** ******* ***** ****. *** ******** ** ****** changes **** *************** ** ****** **** ** **** ************ ** an *****. ****** ***** ******* ** ******* ******** ** ********* radios ******* ***** * *** ****** **** *******.

* **** ********* *** ******** ******* *** ******* ******* * location ** *** *** ********** *** ****'* **** * *** of *** ******* ******* ***** *** **** * ***** *** page.

** ********* ** **** ******* ***** ***** *** **** ********'* Unifi ******* ***** *** ***** ****** ********. * ***** ***** Unifi *** **** ************ *** ***** *******:

*. ***** ** '********' ****, ****** ****** ** * ****** MAC ******** *** ******* *** **** * **** ******** **** automatically *********** ***** ******* *** ******** *********** *******.

*. ***** ******** * ********** ** ********* /******. **** *** be ***** ***** (********* * ********* ******** **********) ** ***** using ********** ******** ** * ******** ** ** ***** ********. AirMax ***** *** ****** ********** ****** ** *** ****** - which ** **** *************** *** ***** ***********.

*. ****** ** *** ****** **** *********** ******** ** ***** - **** *** *** *** ****** ******** ****** ******** (****** data *****) *** **** ************** ** ******** ************.

** *** **** ****** ** ******* * ****** ****** * corner *** *******, * ********* (* ** *** ****** ******** back ** ****) ***** ** ******* **** * **** ***** and * ************ **** ****** ********.

******, **** ***********, ******. ** **** **** **** **** ************* for **** ******** *****.

*********** *****! * **** * ******** *** *** ******** **** industry ******* *** *****...

**** ***** ********* ***** ** **** *** ********* (****** ***** critical ************** *** *******). ***** ********** ** **** ******** **** networks ***'* ** ******* - **** *** *** ****** ** disrupted ******* ** ************. *** ****** ******* ** **** ** still *** ****? *** *********** ******** * ******** ********? *** there *********** ****** ** **** ***** ******* ****, *** **** it ******** *** **** ********-******** ************ **** **** ******* ****?

******: **** ******* *** **** ***** ** *** *** **********:*** ******** **** ** *******?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Ubiquiti Protect Video Surveillance Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Ubiquiti has now been in the video surveillance market for 7 years (see our first coverage back in 2011). In that time, the company's revenue has...
Directory Of Video Doorbells on Nov 06, 2018
Video doorbells are one of the fastest growing categories in video surveillance, especially among residences. The optimal placement of these...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Nov 05, 2018
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training exists but none of it...
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Huawei To Be “Top Three Global Position” in Video Surveillance on Oct 29, 2018
Huawei - China’s biggest networking gear and smartphone maker - plans to become one of the top three global video surveillance manufacturers in...
IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
IP Camera Installability Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Oct 08, 2018
What are the best and worst cameras from an installation standpoint? Which manufacturers make it harder or easier to install their cameras? We...
Access Control Lock Guide on Sep 26, 2018
In this guide, we examine locks; critical elements of any security system and fundamental parts of every access control system. Two fundamental...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact