In a public library where I work as a system administrator, I got a task to renew the whole WiFi system. Before it was like two consumer routers (some older Linksys), each in every floor (the library is a 2-story building). It was quite lame, I admit. Also because there was also two different WiFis, not very pleasant for library users. They constantly had to switch to the other router’s WiFi when moving from one floor to another.
Anyways, I decided to upgrade the whole WiFi network to Ubiquiti UniFi. So there would be the same WiFi SSID for all the access points. I still had to use two access points, each on every floor as well. That’s because of the thickness of the concrete. Well, at first, I tried to cover the whole building with one, but the signal just couldn’t penetrate from one floor to the other. So I had to use two of them.
But the question was which UniFi access points to use. I struggled between UniFi AP AC Pro (UAP-AC-PRO) and Unifi AP AC Long Range (UAP-AC-LR) . In the end, I decided to use the LR (Long Range) version. Here’s why. 🙂
What is the difference between UAP AC Pro and UAP AC LR?
One is no brainer the max throughput as you can see in the comparison table:
24V Passive PoE
Last update on 2021-01-22.
Another difference I would emphasize that the AP AC PRO version is also water-resistant so it can be used outdoor as well. So if anyone plans to put the access point outside, then LR is not a good idea if there is no safe place from the rain.
It is also worth to mention that the PRO version has also an additional ethernet port for various purposes. For example the PtP bridge.
Anyway, if my decision would only be based on the max throughput (at 5GHz band), I would obviously want to use the PRO version. Especially because the library is on 1-gigabit fiber optic internet and could be useful for some newer devices with 3×3 MIMO on 5GHz band.
But the visitors’ devices are mainly small tablets and smartphones. These small devices have limited space for the antennas. They have no problem with receiving the signal from the access point but they do have with transmitting the signal back to the AP.
And here comes Long Range version into play. Ubiquiti designed AP AC Long Range with special antenna design especially for cases like this.
It turned out to be an LR version a great choice. I managed to cover every single corner of the library. And there was no smartphone I tested that couldn’t be able to maintain a quality connection to transmit back to AP (upload) at high speeds.
This is the screenshot of a speed test (on 5Ghz band), made on Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone. I was standing like 15m away from the UAP‑AC‑LR access point:
If you need the access point to be outside, go for the PRO. If you need a secondary ethernet port (for whatever purpose), use the PRO.
But if you want to cover an area inside some building and you know that users mainly have small devices to hook up, then the LR version is a great idea. Those small devices are gonna love it.
I hope it helps, take care. 🙂