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

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...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Access Control Course Fall 2018 on Sep 06, 2018
Registration IS CLOSED ends this Thursday. Register now. If you are looking to strengthen your ability to design and deploy access systems or...
Ligowave Wireless Profile - Ubiquiti Competitor on Aug 27, 2018
Ubiquiti has become the most common choice for wireless in video surveillance (see Favorite Wireless Manufacturers) but not without controversy and...
Assa Aperio Wireless Access Reader R100 Tested on Aug 23, 2018
Wireless access control is frequently promoted by manufacturers as a way to cut installation costs. Perhaps the biggest proponent of this is mega...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...
Security Sales Course January 2019 on Jul 31, 2018
The next IPVM Security Sales Course will be held in January 2019. Register now and save $50. This sales course is customized for the needs and...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
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...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

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