Ubiquiti Amplifi Home Wi-Fi System AFI HD Wireless router - review
A simple and elegant solution for those who want to cast their Wi-Fi signal far and wide around the home
What is it?
The Ubiquiti Amplifi Home Wi-Fi System is a router and booster plugs that create a powerful wireless network around your home. Basically it ensures your entire house (and garden) is covered by a strong WiFi signal - so you can watch Netflix with confidence wherever you like!
What does it look like?
The main unit is a very smart looking cube - I suppose it looks like an alarm clock from the future. The booster plugs look a little bit like miniature white cricket bats!
What does it do?
In its simplest form, this good-looking router creates a Wi-Fi mesh around your house to ensure that wherever you are you have a strong signal.
Depending on the size and layout of your home, you may find that the traditional router you get supplied by your Internet Service Provider doesn't always provide adequate signal everywhere in your home. Especially now everyone in the family is connected to the Internet on phones and tablets, there's nothing more frustrating than losing signal when you're trying to stream video or music in the back bedroom, or make a Skype call on the patio in the garden.
The Ubiquiti router and boosters aim to solve this problem by creating a wireless "mesh", amplifying and boosting your Wi-Fi signal anywhere you could possibly need Internet access.
So, does it work?
The simple answer is yes!
It's got to be one of the simplest Internet devices to set-up we have ever come across. You simply take the main router out of the box, connect it to your existing ISP router with an ethernet cable provided and install the iPhone or android app. A couple of clicks later you've set up the network, complete with new password and network name of your choice. Plugging the boosters in at the far extremities of your house creates the mesh. All you do is plug them in and you're away - no setup required.
It took less than 5 minutes to get the system running - and it worked first time.
The result was very impressive. Full 5 bar Wi-Fi connectivity on the network in every corner and on every floor of a 3 floor house which had previously had a number of "dead zones" on all the floors, particularly at the back of the house away from the router.
We even tested the Wi-Fi in the garden and around the outside of the house, and thanks to the booster positioned in the kitchen, we were able to stream Stranger Things on Wi-Fi on a phone over a 100ft away from the house. Now that's pretty impressive.
The phone app allows you to monitor the network in real time to see how the mesh is performing, what devices you have connected and to add guests when friends and family visit. It's a very easy to use interface for a complete beginner - but also has more sophisticated features for those who like to tinker.
The main router is very good looking and something you don't mind having in your house (it has optional glowing lights and a touch screen display that can all be controlled from the app) and the boosters are relatively unobtrusive.
What should you look out for?
On a consumer plug-and-play level there is very little to fault with this device. It extends Wi-Fi.. and then some. It is expensive, but you get what you pay for it seems.
It's worth noting that all the units do have sound switched on them as standard, so it might be worth switching this (and lights) off using the app if you have the units in bedrooms or places that you don't want disturbed. There is also a nighttime setting available.
What's the verdict?
It's rare to find any device involving the Internet that is easy to set-up, but this truly was a doddle. Out of the box, plugged in and you're away.
If you have a large home, unusual shaped house or flat or experience problems with Wi-Fi connectivity on multi-floors or in the garden - this is the perfect device for quickly and effectively solving those issues.
As we continue to add more and more connected devices to our homes, we increasingly rely on them working 24/7 wherever we are on the property - and this device gives you that peace of mind.