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[How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
2015-03-04, 16:34 (This post was last modified: 2015-03-07 13:15 by Briain.)
Post: #1
[How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)

Please ignore this post for now; it is still a rough write and I've loads of sanity checking to do, editing to do, etc, etc!

Recently, there have been a few threads relating to discovery issues (using ISP routers like the somewhat questionable BT Homehub) and there have also been a few questions about how to use a wireless bridge to feed a Linn DS. As I have just bought a used Billion 7800n router from eBay (immaculate, one year old and only £50) I thought I'd test it in use as a typical DS installation (and not so typical) to see if it was a viable alternative to ISP issued problematic ones (in brief; yes, it seems very good, but I'd still prefer a Draytek, but sadly, a Ubiquiti AirGateway bridge will not work to a Draytek's wireless section).

Also, whilst I have all the bits kicking about, I thought I'd test how well a Ubiquiti AirGateway unit (set up as a bridge) negotiates with the Billion router (in brief, yes, it performs well) thus covering both areas in one post.

I use the bridge in an unusual set up where the WAN side of my Draytek does not connect directly to the internet (as it would in most people's houses) but instead to an AirGateway wireless bridge, which then 'connects' to the wireless LAN side of another router, the WAN side of that then connects to the internet; the layout is as below.

NAS,DS's,WAP -> Draytek -> AirGW -> WAP/router -> Internet

With the above, for the WAP/router I've used a Sky router and had no issues. I've also used a second AirGW into the Sky's LAN port and had no problems. Using the Billion in place of the Sky/AirGW is the latest set up and whilst it works fine, there's the occasional glitch (my NAS occasinally reports not finding the NTP time server) so I'd still caveat all this with a note (see end of next paragraph). That said, when I tested it all as a bridge to a DS, there were no indications of any problems, so it still looks very plausible as a solution.

Since setting a bridge up isn't trivial (if you get a setting wrong, nothing can connect to it, so you just have to perform a full reset and start over; it can be quite a Tourette inducing job), so I have built a configuration file which can be uploaded (then settings changed to suit your own network and wireless credentials). Note that the best way to get a highly reliable bridge is to use the same make of devices at each end, so the best results would be to use a Ubiquity WAP (instead of the router's one) and a Ubiquity AirGateway as the bridge to it. This is not a bad thing as the Ubiquiti WAP's are absolutely first class, and cost only about £60.

I've created the bridge config file to install settings that will suit - as much as possible - the Billion's default settings (so if getting a Billion from eBay, flash it with current firmware and select to perform a factory reset to bring it back to its defaults). In fact, all you need to is to change the Billion to using WPA2, enter the proposed password, then install the config file to the bridge and it will all just work (though I tend to use far more complex passwords than I've used for this instruction sheet). As part of the instructions, I'll explain where to change these values to suit existing networks (or just to make them more complex, for tighter security reasons).

The Billion 7800n is quite old, so be careful to buy a relatively recent one in (check with the seller if not mentioned in the advert, but also check the pictures to see if it looks white, not yellowed with heat and age). Also note that this is an ADSL/ADSL2 router (so suitable for standard broadband lines with a 24 Mbit/s speed) and thus won't be suited to 'fibre to the cabinet VDSL services, though you could plug its WAN port into an existing VDSL router's LAN port and use it that way; remember to tell it that's the case (the EWAN socket needs to be told it's a WAN; the default is ADSL).

It has a basic settings and comprehensive settings option. That's good as the basic will likely be fine for getting folks going and the comprehensive (advanced) one contains loads of additional features.

Billion 7800n set up

Default Billion settings (i.e. what you get following a manufacturer reset) are as shown below:

login: admin
password: admin

ILAN settings
IP Address of router:
DHCP range: to

Wireless settings
SSID: wlan-ap (this is the identity of the radio network)
PSK: (see below)

The PSK (wireless password) is not set and security unset. Select to change it to WPA2 and for the PSK, I've used -radiolink-

Note that Billion have labelled the PSK as 'WPA Shared Key'

You can of course chose your own SSID and PSK as that info can also be changed in the bridge settings (so it will talk to your wireless router's changed SSID/PSK), so no need to use my example; these are just set to get it all going for a new installation based on the Billion's defaults.

I'll not go into advanced settings as these are outside the scope of this post, but it's probably worth going into DHCP lease time (advanced->LAN) and bumping it up from 24 hours to a week (or a month) and you might want to go back later and set MAC/IP bindings to make it easier to find your NAS; these (and better passwords, etc) are really outside the scope of this post.

AirGateway Bridge Options

[Image: airGateway-antenna.jpg]

There are two models (the below config works for either model); AirGateway and AirGateway Long Range (shown above). The former has internal aerials and the latter has an external aerial (the big black pointy bit); both are shown below:

[Image: airgateway-product-model-small.png]

These cost about £20 and £30 respectively. Neither comes with a power unit, but the mains to PoE unit for them is only £8 (chose the 15 Volt version; that's enough and will possibly be more power efficient than the higher Voltage versions).

[Image: poeadapters-feature-device-protection.jpg]

Above shows a different product connected to a PoE unit (it's actually a microwave link) but the connection is the same; just with the wee AirGateway in place of the white unit shown above.

The AirGateway can be plugged directly into the PoE as shown below (which is a standard AirGateway; the one wit the internal antenna).

[Image: airgateway-feature-sleek-mechanical-design.jpg]

It can be dislodged quite easily, but they now come with a clip to hold the two pieces together (so it's still better adding a cable tie or a big elastic band)! Smile

Setting Up AirGateway Unit

The AirGateway comes set up as an access point, so to configure it, you power it up and search foe the wireless network SSID of (wait over a minute after powering it up).

Click on that and connect (the password is ubnt)

Once connected, open the interface page at (and elect to accept the 'trust this site' browser messages and accept the certificate.

user is ubnt
password is ubnt
select your region from the list
Tick the box to say you agree

Next page pops up a box to change passwords or SSID, hit the cancel button.

The unit will restart, then you will likely be re-connected to your own network, so again click on the wireless icon (on your pc) and select the one; it should log you back in as we haven't changed the password.

If at the log in page (still and asked for your credentials, they will again be ubnt and ubnt.

Copy the below text and paste it into Notepad


Save the file as bridge.cfg (Notepad might save it as bridge.cfg.txt; if so, simply rename it to brige.cfg).

When you are into the main page, select the right tab (system) then on the bottom right of that page, hit the 'Chose File' button next to 'Upload Configuration'. Then browse to your bridge.cfg file and upload it by clicking on the 'Upload' button.

Don't do anything else yet (don't hit the apply button at the top of the page).

If you are using the default Billion configuration (IP, range, wireless SSID and my suggested -radiolink- password) as described in the first part, you can now simply hit the 'apply' button at the top of that page and it will restart and work.

If you are not, don't hit the apply button yet, navigate to the wireless page and enter the SSID of your current network, then at the bottom of the page enter your current PSK (wireless password); still don't hit the apply button, yet

Now navigate to the network page and populate it with your own network credentials; the IP address of this device (which must be outside the DHCP pool; I've chosen 200 as the last DHCP one is 199 in the default Billion settings).The net mask will remain as, and the gateway shold be changed to the IP address of your router (the address you use to get to its settings page); the DHCP will again be the address of your router.

Once you are happy everything is correct, you can now hit the apply button and the AirGateway will restart (and should connect to your wireless router).

The settings it will now have are as follows

Web interface page (unless you've changed it):
login: admin
password: -admin-
SSID (unless you've changed it): wlan-ap
PSK (unless changed): -radiolink-

You should now be able to access the bridge settings ( either via disabling wireless in your laptop, then connecting your laptop to the AirGateway's Ethernet port (and your laptop should get DHCP settings from your router, then you should also be able to browse the www over the wireless bridge to your router; a great proof everything is set up and ready to go).

And, you should also be able to access it via connecting your PC to your wireless network (or one of your router's LAN ports) and typing its IP address ( into your browser (this is how you will normally access it when it's plugged into a DS). If you can get the bridge settings page, you know it is working (as you are now talking to it).

If you can't, you will likely have to reset it (hold a paper clip in until its light flashes; about 20 seconds) then start over ( and upload the bridge.cfg file, etc, etc, etc).

Assuming it all works, you can then plug it into your DS and play tunes!

Testing it with several DS's and a 24/192 WAV file

In use with a Billion 7800n, I first tried it out with the below attached to the Billion's Ethernet ports:

Qnap NAS
Magik DSI
Renew DS

Associated wirelessly to the Billion were the AirGateway bridge (obviously) and my iPad 3

Over at the far end of the bridge, I had the AirGateway's LAN port plugged into a Klimax DS. This was quite distant at about 12 metres horizontally and 4 metres vertically. The Billion was in a room with a foil shielded insulation layer in the roof and triple engineering brick wall (so quite a lot for the radio waves to get through).

The DS and NAS discovery were perfect on an iPad3, so it all looks pretty cool!

The bridge connected at between 81(ish) Mbit/s, though it occasionally popped down to 54 and often up to over 130 Mbit/s. Below shows the bridge streaming a 24/192 WAV file (ie about as big as it gets) to the KDS. The album played perfectly with no sign of any drop-outs.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=8051]

As a second test for functionality (though mostly just for fun), I attached the AirGateway to a switch and thus had the below set up attached to the router's Ethernet ports:

Qnap NAS
Magik DSI
Renew DS

And associated wirelessly to the Billion, were the AirGateway bridge (obviously) and my iPad 3, plus the below devices at the far end of the bridge:

Far end of AirGateway -> Ethernet switch
Plugged into switch was a KDS and an ADSM

Again, no problems discovering anything despite there being 4 Linn DS units and two of these were at the end of a wireless bridge!

Note that this is in part (in fact, in all parts) due to the Billion being a pretty good router! Most home routers will not be happy about issuing more than one IP address to a wireless bridge (they can't understand why a wireless device would need more than one address). Of course, with the bridge itself having a fixed IP address, the router is only having to issue one address (for the DS). This can even work with a BT Homehub (though it certainly can't cope with more than that) but it is even possible that some ISP routers just won't cope with a bridge. I have also tested the bridge with a few Sky (Sagem) models (but just with one DS) and they were absolutely fine, but I do know (for sure) that they don't work to a Cisco 1252 WAP set in 'root bridge with wireless clients' mode (they associate to it, but DHCP isn't passed over the bridge and thus to the client, be that a laptop or a DS).


Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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2015-03-05, 12:18
Post: #2
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
Curious observation about iPad's wireless behaviour (this was all before I performed the bridge tests).

When I first set the Billion up, it was as a stand-alone system (i.e. router with NAS and DS's attached, but nothing on the WAN side; in other words, no internet connected). I noticed something I'd not seen before in that the iPad popped up a captive portal type page, which showed my router's web configuration page. It wasn't like a standard Safari browser page; just a blank top section (no tabs or URL field, but a line of text stating Apple portal).

I simply closed the above using the iPad's home button and it dropped the wireless connection. I again joined the network and it appeared again, so I found an option to ignore and keep using the internet, so selected that and it closed (wireless now maintained).

It all worked after doing the above, but whenever I 'slept' and then resumed the iPad, the wireless would briefly drop out and then re-establish itself (which caused Kinsky to lose the DS's). I also noticed a couple of additional switch options in the settings for that wireless network (not present in any other of the wireless connections that I have) to always connect to that network and resume connection to that network. I switched them both on, but still it appeared to briefly drop the wireless connection when resuming the iPad.

I then connected the Billion's WAN port to my network and everything worked perfectly (and these two switch-able options vanished from the wireless settings page; it now looks identical to the other wireless connections). I then tested it over the evening and it worked absolutely flawlessly; the wireless signal icon was there when I resumed the iPad, it didn't (ever) briefly drop out and Kinsky worked flawlessly every time (all DS's and NAS discovered almost immediately).

My guess is that this is an iPad feature for dealing with captive portals (i.e. for logging on to corporate networks where you get a login page; in other words, a RADIUS based system). Whether this was triggered by the iPad not seeing the internet (and thus assuming it was a corporate network) or the Billion's captive portal feature being invoked due to it not seeing an internet connection, I don't know (though I suspect it was to do with the Billion).

Anyhow, the portal page is a side issue, this post is about the wireless drop-outs and as soon as I'd sorted out an external network connection, it was all totally resolved, but it makes me wonder if the iPad gets a little 'out of sorts' when it doesn't see a valid internet connection to be available (when you first attach it to a new wireless network).

Given that it (flaky wireless reconnection) happens at all, now makes me wonder if that strange behaviour can be kicked off under certain other circumstances (causing perceived DS discovery problems). As I say, it all worked flawlessly all evening - after giving its WAN a route to the big bad world - so I was still impressed at the Billion's potential as a suitable router for a DS customer. Personally, I still prefer the Draytek's settings pages (specifically the WAN statistics page and the MAC/IP bindings settings page), but the Billion has got that basic/advanced settings option and the basic one makes it very simple for non-technical folks to very easily get it up and running without any pain (and the advanced pages do have a lot of great features available through them) whereas the Draytek would likely require some guidance (or at least a look at the manual).

Anyhow, I just thought it worth pointing out this weird resume and wireless drop-out behaviour with the iPad not seeing a internet connectivity (and how it is resolved by providing internet connectivity). I've had to deploy the Billion in its intended roll (on the WAN side of my existing Draytek) so I can't test it with DS's, any more (though I can attach the iPad to it and there are still no wireless drop out issues).

Interesting, eh?

Bri Smile

PS I will re-arrange and tidy up my bridge post (to convert it into a more instruction-like post) when time permits (maybe later today).

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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2015-03-08, 20:43 (This post was last modified: 2015-03-09 10:38 by Briain.)
Post: #3
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)

I don't yet have time to edit the first post (and I am waiting to see how things go in a new installation, just to find out it's all as good as I assume it should be) but just a quick note to let y'all know that immediately following this afternoon's experiments, I'm now well impressed with the Billion 7800n router! After an entire Saturday trying to find what was going wrong, the issues I had with my own [two router; ADSL -> Billion -> Draytek] network appear to all be down to a bug in the current Draytek firmware (they will soon be getting a long email; this isn't the first time they've released a problematic firmware, but this one is a more fundamental issue).

Anyhow, I fixed my Draytek by reverting to a 1012 firmware (the interim one I tried had a different bug; all rather shoddy stuff for a SMB grade type device) and I have temporarily installed a 'hacked' Sky router as my 'outer' one, to free up the Billion for the below useage:

I've just installed the Billion at at a friend's house (who owns an EXACT system). The Billion has replaced a Huawei router (with TalkTalk firmware on it) as not only can the Billion deal with 0/38 and 0/65 (for the Internet and YouView streaming live IPTV services), but as discussed in my first post, it can also deal with transparent wireless bridging to the Ubiquiti AirGateway products (this was the reason I had to install it; to remove a cat5 running through his hall, to feed the network to his YouView box). The Billion's wireless section now flawlessly links to an AirGateway (set up as a transparent bridge) to feed network to the YouView box in his TV lounge - his TV now has an appendage and an extra antenna - and thus far, that all seems to be working well. Just for a bit of fun (and also to test DS bridge viability), I also installed yet another AirGateway bridge to feed his Klimax Exakt DS, and thus far, that also seems to work well (so he will be able to assess how reliable it all is; I've only just finished installing it all).

Basically, a mega-huge thumbs up for the Billion router; IMHO it is really pretty awesome! Early days yet, but it will be really fascinating to see how well it works, over the next few days (to verify that DS and MinimServer discovery works 100% reliably and that wireless works well with the iPad/Kinsky/Kazoom; I very strongly suspect that it will all work flawlessly, but let's wait and see, just to be sure). I've also now switched off his main Ubiquity WAP, as the wireless section of the Billion (which has three external antennas) seems to be covering the place perfectly well; again, a big thumbs up for Billion (so two that's at least thumbs used thus far; I seem to be rapidly running out of thumbs)!

I'll post back with the findings in a few days, then amend my first post once I'm totally sure that it's all a cool system to use.

Bri Smile

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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2015-03-09, 10:58 (This post was last modified: 2015-03-09 10:59 by avalon.)
Post: #4
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
Very Very interesting Brian, loads of work and I had to read this three times to understand half of itBig GrinTongue, I have been a long sufferer of Ds network discovery issues that are partially solved but not completely. I dont think Linn want me to send any more Logs regarding my issues as the last couple of attempts did not generate a reply.
I am using home plugs connected to a netgear switch at my Ds for kazoo and kinsky discovery and a home plug in my living room connected to sky box for catch up tv and other sky download services. My router is a homehub 3. I know its not perfect as the download speeds can be slow.
Ds discovery is better but not perfect, in that Linn Control points do not always find my Ds. Turning off the Ds always fixes the discovery problem, but i could be working on a two week playlist that i didnt save, so its a pain. I never ha dthis discovery problem with my previous Akurate Ds and it was the same network.
Interesting stuff Brian maybe it can help me in the future.


Akurate Exakt DSM,2 Akurate Katalyst Exaktbox 6. 2 Akurate 4200 power amps, klimax chakra twin(Dk), Akubarik High Gloss Rosewood speakers,nordost Tyr interconnects, iPad 2 & KazooServer Minimserver and Asset server running on a Qnap 251, backed up to remote Qnap 231. Sonos for multiroom. SPACED OUT
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2015-03-09, 11:33 (This post was last modified: 2015-03-09 11:51 by Briain.)
Post: #5
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
Sorry, it isn't yet arranged into an instruction; I just rattled my thoughts down with a view to sorting it all out later (once the kit had been in use for a while, just to test its performance), so yes, it might not yet be very easy to follow (I've not even proof read it myself, as yet)!

As to your own network, I've not played much with the more recent Homehub as the early ones were such a mega-disaster, that I've not even bothered to look at the more recent ones. That said, as you use a switch, it should help sort such issues out (thoug you are still using the wireless secrion of the Homehub for your control point connection).

After moving to her new place and getting BT (Sky would not move her number, so I had to revert her to BT) mother had a Homehub 3 and other than the bizarre settings interface (which I really disliked) it seemed broadly okay. I did initially use a Cisco bridge for the DS, but I later needed another network connection at the end of it and the BT unit would only issue one IP address via its wireless section, so I had to install Homeplugs. She doesn't often play music these days, but when she did (and when I tested it) DS and MinimServer discovery seemed okay, so I assume it's a lot more sorted than the older versions. That said, after migrating her PC from XP to Linux, the Homehub couldn't any longer deal with the wireless USB dongle (kept dropping the connection and establishing a new one - and with an incremental IP - resulting in a big list of previous connections on the Linux wireless connections list), so I suspect it's maybe of questionable merit. That said, I'm just not a fan of ISP issued home routers; proper ones are far better.

Her flat has a very handy rubbish chute on the landing outside her door, so I 'filed 'the Homehub into that (it's the 4th floor, so I'm sure it worked better by the time it landed; it did make a very satisfying noise on its way down) and I installed a Draytek; problem solved. If doing it now, I'd use one of these Billions and a Ubiquiti AirGW as I'm not - as you likely have noticed - a big Homeplugs enthusiast (due to their potential for causing radio interference).

Bri Smile

PS You mention connection speed and that's an intersting area. I noticed that the Sky router has a more aggressive modem code than the Draytek or Billion one has (so connects slightly faster) and I also noticed that my friend's TalkTalk router connected slightly faster. I think the ISP ones might really be pushing the boat out, as I found that when noise appeared on my line (at my last place) the error rate was very high (to the point where it started dropping the connection) so I think they run them right on the edge to show more impressive download speeds.

When I used the Draytek, I actually opted for a firmware with an even more conservative modem setting than the standard Draytekr eleasw contains, as I wanted total stability and low error rates, not best speed at all costs. That said, under normal conditions, the ISP ones do seem to hold the connection for many days, so it all seems to work (despite there possibly being a very slow error rate present); I just like things that are engineered to be a little more bombproof than a 'working on the edge' system tuned for 'maximum smoke'. Big Grin

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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2017-12-07, 11:55
Post: #6
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
Briain, I have been thinking about swapping out our old style netgear wifi access points and wondered if you would still recommend the Ubiquiti as highly as when you first discovered them and are there preferred models or ones to avoid etc. ?

We currently have 5 dotted around that cover the house and garden and for whatever reason the place we sit most of all (to listen and watch TV) is the worst in the house and the iPad Pro doesn't handle that as well as previous iPads for some reason and is driving me a little crazy Sad

I am pretty sure that we could rearrange everything but that would mean new cabling etc., the old boxes are ugly anyway and I suspect we can probably replace the 5 with a smaller number as the house isn't that big. Someone mentioned the Ruckus products but they look obscenely expensive and although I suspect they are great for installers I can't see they make sense at 5 times the price plus...

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2017-12-07, 13:52 (This post was last modified: 2017-12-07 14:11 by Briain.)
Post: #7
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)

I do have a tip which just might help with your iPad Pro issues (in your existing WAPs, change the DTIM setting from 1 to 3) and I'll cover that at the end. Actually, my understanding is that it perhaps helps iOS 11 devices on all vendors' wireless networks, but all my Apple devices are on iOS 9, so it's not something that I have researched (in terms of its vendor 'globalism') though I am aware that iOS 11 has caused issues with various vendors' products and thus I suspect that this change might be a 'global' solution.

Ubiquiti are sometimes referred to as being 'enterprise light' whereas the units from Ruckas are full enterprise grade products. Whilst these are very nice units, they are over-kill for a domestic environment (some would even say that Ubiquiti is over-kill for a domestic environment).

There are easy to get up and running home systems and Ubiquiti now also make a mesh product aimed at the home market (AmpliFi) and I know that there are others at the same game (e.g. eero in the USA and Canada) and likely there are other such schemes aimed at the EU market.

The great simplicity of these home mesh systems will likely appeal to many folks, but I still think the standard Ubiquiti UniFi configuration scheme is very nice for home use, and specifically where there are several access points that need set up (and as to the access points, for what they can do, the prices are excellent). If using Ubiquiti WAPs, I am aware that there are iOS and Android applets to facilitate easy setting up of an access point (or perhaps several access points) but I still use the 'full blown' UniFi to set them up (even though I only have a single access point in my house) as in my system, I use several VLANs and SSIDs to create several segregated networks (one for my phones, one for my private network (including my NASs, DSs and PCs), one for IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and one for guests, so that needs the full blown UniFi to configure it. I also like the full feature set it provides, so I have never even looked at these iOS and Android 'quick set-up' apps).

Essential requirements:

These days, I think it essential to at least have a guest + IoT network separate from your main network and the good news is that many vendors now include that as an easy to configure feature (so you don't need a VLAN capable router and managed switch, nor all the time it takes to configure such a scheme) so that's something to keep in mind when selecting a new WAP product and fortunately, this is also available in the Ubiquiti WAPs.

Recently, I was called to set up a 3 WAP Ubiquiti system in a private house, and I gave the customer the same advice (about having a guest network, but this time it was for the kids to use and thus protect the adults' devices from any malware that the kids might inadvertently pick up on their own machines) and using UniFi, I managed it in a very short time because rather than having to configure each access point via its own web page (which would be tedious) I simply configured UniFi (to add their own SSID and password) then ticked the guest network box (and added a guest SSID and password) then I 'adopted' all three access points (which means the above configuration was applied to them all). I did not have time to test the robustness of this easy to configure guest network scheme (nor have I had time to read up on how it works, though I do have a plausible idea on same) but though I could still see other devices on the network (using a network scanner) the ones with web interfaces could not be accessed, so it certainly appeared to work as you'd hope it would (and heck, anything is better than no protection).

If you do need to retain 5 WAPs, the UniFi system will be quite a bonus to you, as it means you just have to configure the system (UniFi) then adopt the 5 WAPs (in UniFi, by pressing an 'adopt' button against each of the WAPs shown in its list) and that's the job done; you don't have to access each WAP individually and then configure it. Obviously, that's even more of a bonus when doing a small hotel (which might have 20 or more WAPs) so it is a good scheme. Another bonus is that if you ever wish to change anything (like the SSID or password) then you just do it in UniFi (as opposed to having to re-configure each WAP) so there are some great advantages, even for a home user.

Once it is all going, you don't need to have an instance of UniFi running all of the time (even to facilitate the guest network) and can thus fire it up only when you need to change something, or to upgrade the WAP(s) firmware. In a business environment (like a hotel) they do tend to have an instance of UniFi running, not only because it's good for looking at statistics, but also because it enables additional features (like 'guest portals', the web page you are presented with when joining a hotel WiFi network) but these are not things that you require for a home network. Even though I have a more complex network (trunked VLANs and 3 SSIDs) I only fire up UniFi when I wish to update the WAPs or change the configuration (so very infrequently) though if you do want to leave an instance of it running, you can - for example - install it on a Raspberry Pi (UniFi presents a web page, so that can be accessed from any other machine with a web browser; you don't need a screen and keyboard attached to the R Pi) but as I say, there is no need to leave it running, so you can just install UniFi on your main PC and once set up, take a backup of the settings and then simply close it down until you next need to change or update something.

A couple of interesting points to note (very busy networks and an Apple specific problem).

Very busy networks:

A few months ago, there was an issue with the Ubiquiti scheme whereby in extremely busy locations (heavily loaded WAPs) some devices were being kicked off the network. I know that Chris (from Linn) had some issues with the WAP in the R&D area, but I think that has now been resolved (via updated firmware) and again, it wasn't something that you'd likely experience in a home environment (as there simply aren't enough simultaneously connected users to trigger the issue).

Apple connection issues (with iOS 11 firmware):

Another recent issue is that iOS 11 devices have been having issues connecting (or perhaps being chucked off the network) but I think that was happening with other vendors' products, too. My understanding is that this was down to Apple tweaking things such that they now prefer a more 'aggressive' battery saving wireless network configuration, but the good news is that this is easy to configure in enterprise WAPs (including via Ubiquiti's UniFi) but the downside is that it upsets some very old Android devices (which can no longer see the network).

I only have iOS 9 devices, but I have been running my 'private' SSID with this configuration for a couple of months and I do think that it makes a difference to my iPad's battery life (and yes, my ancient Android test phone can no longer see that network, though it still can see my 'guest' network, which is configured in the more typical way. It could be that you can set this in your own access points (and that might help your iPad Pro) so without going into all the technicalities of it all, what you want to look for is a setting called 'DTIM' and if you find it, likely it will be set to 1, so if you do spot that setting, try changing it to 3 and see if that helps (and check it doesn't upset any older products).

One slight departure into technicalities is that the DTIM of 1 means it's (1 x the beacon period; it's information sent in every beacon) whereas a DTIM of 3 means (3 x the beacon period; it's information sent in every third beacon) so don't change the beacon period; it should be left at the default setting (100 ms). How this is indicated in the settings depends on the WAP vendor and it might be shown as '1' or '100' (or 100 TU) but don't accidentally change that beacon interval setting; just change the DTIM (multiplier) setting from 1 to 3.

So yes, I still like Ubiquiti (and specifically, the low prices for what you get) and as to their capabilities with respect to full enterprise grade (and price) products, I don't think that you'd notice any difference (other than to the damage to your bank account). It might take a little head scratching to initially familiarise yourself with UniFi and configure it, but some of the UniFi vendors (like LinITX) will likely give phone support if you get stuck, though as I have an instance of UniFi installed here, I can easily guide you through the set-up process (via a telephone call).


KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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2017-12-07, 15:11
Post: #8
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
Briain, as ever a wonderful answer and way beyond my expectation which was already set high - thank you.

I immediately checked the DTIM setting hoping it might solve an immediate issue but unfortunately it was already set to 3 and so no answers there unfortunately. I did actually check the dodgy spot with an app and it does read a little lower there (there is a signal sufficient for browsing but not video according to the app (I used Dr WiFi?) I used on my older IPad air. Slightly surprised because although there isn't an AP in the room itself there is one in rooms either side of it with just one wall between them (one is an external stone wall due to an added room but the other is just normal breeze block I think) and I wouldn't expect that to be an issue unless it's contention between the 2 APs.

Anyway - back to topic - I will focus on the Ubiquiti solution and maybe do it in the New Year. Many thanks for the thoughts.
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2017-12-07, 15:37
Post: #9
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
Based on Brian's previous comments about Ubiquiti and specifically the UNiFi AP AC LR I went ahead and bought one.
I had a setup with one wifi access point and a repeater in order to cover my 3 floor house with solid internal walls. My issue was that some devices would try to hang on for dear life to a wifi point as it moved from one to the other. To the extent it couldn't really communicate whilst there was a high strength signal from the other device.
So I went for the UniFi AP AC LR and it covers the entire house with a good signal strength.
So in your situation 1 will probably not do, I suspect it will be less than 5.
I also use the full web interface and find it easy to setup and maintain.

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2017-12-07, 16:31
Post: #10
RE: [How To] Set up wireless bridge (Ubiquiti bridge to Billion router)
(2017-12-07 15:37)peter@57m Wrote:  Based on Brian's previous comments about Ubiquiti and specifically the UNiFi AP AC LR I went ahead and bought one.
I had a setup with one wifi access point and a repeater in order to cover my 3 floor house with solid internal walls. My issue was that some devices would try to hang on for dear life to a wifi point as it moved from one to the other. To the extent it couldn't really communicate whilst there was a high strength signal from the other device.
So I went for the UniFi AP AC LR and it covers the entire house with a good signal strength.
So in your situation 1 will probably not do, I suspect it will be less than 5.
I also use the full web interface and find it easy to setup and maintain.

Thanks Peter - all encouraging stuff.
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