There are few pieces of gear in this world that excite me as much as Ubitquiti’s long-range wireless products.

For ~$100, you can have a miles-long point-to-point link that will carry data far faster than the money should allow.

This post gives overviews for a few of the projects I have completed using their gear.

Cheap gear!!!

For those not familiar, Ubiquiti is a company devoted to ‘disrupting’ the indoor and outdoor wireless industries. Their offerings range from an extensive line of stand-alone routers and switches, to managed wifi and mesh networks, to long-range fixed wireless equipment for backhaul and ptp purposes.

Their equipment is fitting of the term disruptive, allowing us commoners access to hardware previously reserved to telco/enterprise service. They have solutions for problems you don’t know you have yet, and the cost is almost the equivalent of free, considering what you get.

For example, the NanoStation m2 LOCO (I venture to guess LOCO could be LOw COst) can be had for less than 50 dollars on Amazon, yet has an immense breadth of usefulness. Two of them can be used for a short-to-medium range Point-To-Point link, and will carry over 100mbps in full-duplex. You can use it as an access point, supplying a rather large area with WiFi. They can be used a client device, allowing connection to a rather distant access point, and provides data to devices connected to it’s LAN port.

The intended use for this device, however, is not such menial ventures. As part of their AirMax series, it is intended to be used as a client device in a large, point-to-multi-point, fixed outdoor wireless internet deployment. Mimicking cellular networks, AirMax equipment is designed to allow construction of large-scale networks at low-cost, with as many features as possible. The radios operate on either standard 802.11n or ac, depending on generation, but you can enable the Airmax TDMA protocol and serve many more clients than pure 802.11 networking would allow. The AC generation has an maximum speed of 450mbps, in optimal conditions.

Of course, I have never experienced optimal conditions in my entire life, in any situation.

The real world sucks, especially for wireless.

Over the course of the last two years, I have been asked to provide solutions for wireless links in environments designed by people that hate wireless radios. I have a link, 800 feet, attached to 4x4s clamped to the top of the walls in a WWII hangar, 2 feet from the wall. It gets 250 mbps. It is 100% stable. It is perfect. It is something I would have run away from 2 years ago.