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The Ubiquiti NanoBeam and PowerBeam products are ideal for end points in a Point-to-Point (PtP) or Point-to-MultiPoint (PtMP) long distance wireless network.

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All these units run Ubiquiti's airMAX firmware which offers a proprietary radio link technology that is highly robust with low latency and excellent rejection of standard neighbourhood WiFi signals. They also have built-in directional antennas.

All these units can be operated in Access Point (AP) or Station mode.
  • Station: The unit can only connect with one Access Point unit.
  • Access Point: The unit can connect with one or more Station units. Which these units can connect with multiple Stations, all such stations must be withing the (fairly narrow) beamwidth of the built-in antenna.

airMAX ac Bridge

One of the most common application for airMAX products is as a Point-to-Point (PtP) bridge; effectively a LAN cable in the sky.

This is setup as follows:

  • Set one unit in Access Point (AP) mode
    • Set a fixed IP address
    • Set the SSID (network name)
    • Turn on encryption and set a passphrase
    • Set the frequency
  • Set other unit in Station mode
    • Set a (different) fixed IP address
    • Set the SSID (network name)
    • Turn on encryption and set passphrase to same as AP end

Things to look for

  • Antenna Gain/Size: The bigger the antenna, the bigger the gain and the bigger the range.
  • Band: 5 GHz is generally less congested but requires very clear line-of-sight between antennas. 2.4 GHz is a more congested band, but penetrates minor obstacles (e.g. trees) better.
  • M or AC technology: Products with "AC" in the name have faster links than the similar "M" product, all other things being equal. Having said that - the "M" products are generally a bit cheaper and still operate links capable of nearly 100 Mbps which is faster than most Internet connections.
  • Do you need Standard WiFi: Ubiquiti "AC" products only operate in a proprietary mode and can not participate in a standard WiFi network. Ubiquiti "M" products with the proprietary airMax mode turned off:
    • in "AP" mode can accept connections from Laptops, Phones, etc.
    • in "Station" Mode can connect to normal WiFi APs
  • Isolation Shielding: Some of these products come with a metal shield on the side of the antenna. The purpose of this shield is to block interfering signals that are off to the side. If you are deploying one of these units in a 'noisy' environment with lots of other WiFi signals, then an 'ISO' model is recommended.

Configuration Guides

See airMAX-Configuration for excellent How-To guides.
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