UniFi AP Comparison – 2021

Ubiquiti makes in my opinion the best access points that you can buy these days. They offer a wide variety of Access Points (AP) in their UniFi product line that gives you the best value for money. But which access point should you buy? I am going to help you with the comparison of the different models.

We have, for example, the UniFi NanoHD, Lite, Long Range, Flex HD, and now even Wifi 6 devices. All great products, but which one do you need for your home or office network?

In this UniFi AP comparison, we are going to take a look at the differences and help you pick the right access point for your network. In the tables, you will find all access points compared on range, speed, price, and more.

UniFi AP comparison

At the moment of writing, you can buy 17 different access points from Ubiquiti. There are also 3 new models available in the early access store. That is a lot to choose from, so we are going to divide the different models into groups.

Ubiquiti started this year with releasing the Wifi 6 access points. Wifi 6 increases the efficiency and multi-devices performance of the access points. Wifi 6 still operates in the same 2.4 and 5Ghz band, but it can now transmit to multiple devices at the same time.

Also, most new mobile phones and notebooks support Wifi 6 these days, so if you are looking for a new access point I really recommend picking a Wifi 6 model.

Ubiquiti access point for Home and Small Offices

Let’s start with comparing the UniFi access points for homes and offices. With pricing starting around $99 the Unifi access point are quite popular for use in home networks and small offices.

In the UniFi access point comparison table below you will find the current range of access points that are suitable for home and small office networks. I have left out some of the older models, like the old Unifi Lite, because for $10 more you get the Wifi 6 version of it.

The new Wifi 6 Long Range version is a bit more expensive than the old one, so I added the old one as well.

  Unifi Access Points Comparison
U6 Lite
U6 LR
U6 Pro
LR
FlexHD
In-Wall hd
nanoHD
BeaconHD
MSRP Price $99.00 $179.00 $149.00 $109.00 $179.00 $179.00 $179.00 $129.00
Ealy Access
Wifi 6
2.4 Ghz Speed 300
Mbps
600
Mbps
573
Mbps
450
Mbps
300
Mbps
300
Mbps
300
Mbps
300
Mbps
5 Ghz Speed 1200
Mbps
2400
Mbps
4800
Mbps
867
Mbps
1733
Mbps
1733
Mbps
1733
Mbps
1733
Mbps
Concurrent Clients 300+ 300+ 300+ 250+ 200+ 200+ 200+
MIMO 2×2
OFDMA
4×4
OFDMA
4×4
OFDMA
3×3 2.4ghz
2×2 5ghz
4×4 4×4 4×4 4×4
Max TX Power 2.4Ghz 23 dBm 26 dBm 22 dBm 22 dBm 23 dBm 23 dBm 23 dBm 25 dBm
Max TX Power 5Ghz 23 dBm 26 dBm 26 dBm 24 dBm 26 dBm 26 dBm 26 dBm 30 dBm
Antenna Gain 2.4Ghz 2.8 dBi 4 dBi 4 dBi 3 dBi 1.6 dBi 1.8 dBi 2.8 dBi 4.5 dBi
Antenna Gain 5Ghz 3 dBi 5.5 dBi 6 dBi 3 dBi 4 dBi 3.4 dBi 3 dBi 5 dBi
MU-MIMO
Outdoor
IP54
Sec. Ethernet Port 4
Skins
Buy now Buy now Buy now Buy now Buy now Buy now Buy now
Unifi AP comparison

UniFi 6 Lite – U6-Lite

The first access point that we are going to take a closer look at in this UniFi AP comparison is the UniFi 6 Lite access point is the entry model of the UniFi Access Points. Its compact design allows you to easily mount it and with custom skins, you can make it fit in with the rest of your house. The new Wifi 6 models don’t come with a PoE Injector, so you will need to buy a PoE switch to power the access point, like the US-8-60W.

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 1200 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø160 x 32.65 mm

This is really your go-to access point for in-house usage. It’s affordable, small, and comes with excellent performance. It’s better to buy 2 lite models and spread them throughout the house than one long-range model.

unifi 6 long range

UniFi 6 Long Range – U6-LR

The long range model of the UniFi 6 access point is slightly bigger and is design to cover a wider range. Its antennas have a high gain allowing it to pickup the weaker wireless signal of your mobile over a greater distance.

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 600 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 2400 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø220 x 48 mm

You can also place the U6-LR in a semi-outdoor environment because it’s IP54 rated. If your house has multiple floors, or when you can only place one access point, then the U6-LR is a really good choice to mount on the ground floor (and use the lite models for the other levels).

unifi 6 long range ap comparison

UniFi Access Point Long Range – AC-LR

This is the older version of the long-range model and with a list price of $109.00 is it really affordable. If we look at the specifications then the LR is slightly better than the new Unifi 6 Lite access point. But only on the 2.4Ghz band.

Another advantage of the LR is the sensitive antenna that allows it to pick up clients at a longer distance. If you don’t have much budget, then use this “older” long range model near your living area and the 6 lite of the other locations.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 450 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 867 Mbps
  • Indoor/semi-outdoor – IP54
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø175.7 x 43 mm
ubiquiti access point comparison

UniFi 6 Pro –  U6-Pro

At the moment of writing is this access point only available in the early access store. I added it to this Ubiquiti access point comparison so you have a complete picture of all the (upcoming) models.

The Unifi 6 Pro is the next-generation high-performance access point for home and enterprise users. It’s capable of reaching 4.8 Gbps over the air with the 4×4 5Ghz channel, ensuring a reliable and fast wireless network connection in dense environments.

Like the other WiFi 6 models, only the 5Ghz radio is based on WiFi 6, but the performance on the 2.4 channel is more than fine.

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 600 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 4800 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø197 x 35 mm
ompare unifi ap flexhd

UniFi FlexHD

Not everybody can mount their access points to the ceiling or wall. That is where the Unifi FlexHD comes in. This small and sleek design allows you to place in sight, on a cabinet for example. It’s also possible to buy a ceiling or wall mount for the Flex HD.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø48 x 160 mm
  • Indoor and outdoor use

Best is to place your access points on the ceiling or high on a wall if the ceiling isn’t possible. If both really are not an option for you, then the FlexHD might be a good solution. Keep in mind that furniture between the user and access point also limits the signal strength.

In the early access store, we can also find the new Unifi 6 Mesh, which has the same design as the FlexHD and is likely going to replace the FlexHD in the near future. Read more about it in the outdoor section.

ubiquiti in wall hd access point

UniFi In-Wall HD – UAP-IW-HD

The In-Wall HD access point is designed to convert an Ethernet wall jack into an access point with two ethernet ports. Even though the specification looks good, the effective range of the access point is limited. This is because you place the in-wall access point at a really low place, so all your furniture will block/lower the wireless network signal.

The older UniFi In-Wall access point is obsolete, which means it won’t receive any functional or security updates anymore, so I have let that model out of the Unifi AP comparison. The advantage of the HD model is that it comes with 4 ethernet ports and a high 5Ghz speed. Also, the build-in antennas have a higher gain and transmit power than the older model.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 1200 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø160 x 32.65 mm

A good use case for the in-wall access points is to fill in the black spots in your wireless network. Where your signal is too weak. For example, in your office or bedroom.

ubiquiti ap comparison nanoHd

UniFi nanoHd – uap-nanoHD

This was one of the most popular access point from Ubiquiti. The nanoHD has a small diameter and great performance. The advantage of the nanoHD was always that you can get custom skins for it, and it supported a lot of concurrent clients.

But with the release of the Unifi 6 Lite, I think that is about the change. Both have almost the same throughput, only the 5Ghz is a bit faster. But the advantage of the 6 Lite is that it supports WiFi 6 with OFDMA allowing it to handle more clients simultaneously.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø160 x 32.65 mm
Ubiquiti UniFi nanoHD Compact 802.11ac Wave2 MU-MIMO Enterprise Access Point ( UAP-NANOHD-US)
Four stream 802.11AC Wave2 technology; Supports 200+ concurrent users; 802.3af PoE compatibility
$194.30
ubiquiti access points

Unifi BeaconHD – UAP-BeaconHD

If you need to extend your wireless network, but don’t have the room for an extra network cable, then you can use an UniFi BeaconHD. It’s basically a repeater for your wireless network. It’s better to place a normal access point connected with an Ethernet cable, but if that really isn’t an option then you can use a repeater.

But make sure that that the wireless network signal strength is strong enough where you place the beacon. Because if you BeaconHD has a poor connection, then the clients downstream won’t benefit at all.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Only power needed
  • 170 mm x 112 mm x 32 mm
Ubiquiti Unifi Access Point BeaconHD | UDM-B-US
UPC: 817882027892; Weight: 1.100 lbs
$228.95

Ubiquiti UniFi Outdoor Access Point

Ubiquiti offers a couple of UniFi access points that can be used outdoor. I have written a more detailed guide about the outdoor access points that you can find here. To keep all the UniFi ap comparisons in one overview I will also briefly mention them here.

There are some models, like the UniFi 6 Long Range, that are semi-outdoor rated (IP54). They can be placed under an eave or porch for example, but they are not true outdoor access points. (You can expose them to rain)

If you are really looking for an UniFi outdoor ap then the UniFi Mesh and Mesh Pro are really the best options. Also, the FlexHD can be installed safely outdoors.

If you are looking for a Wifi 6 outdoor access point from UniFi then you will have to wait a bit longer. There is a new mesh access point coming out, the Unifi 6 Mesh, which is currently available in the early access store.

  Unifi Outdoor Access Points Comparison
Mesh
6 Mesh
Mesh Pro
FlexHD
MSRP Price $99.00 $199.00 $199.00 $179.00
Early Access
Wifi 6
2.4 Ghz Speed 300
Mbps
300
Mbps
450
Mbps
300
Mbps
5 Ghz Speed 876
Mbps
2400
Mbps
1300
Mbps
1733
Mbps
Concurrent Clients 100+ 300+ 250+ 200+
MIMO 2×2 4×4
OFDMA
3×3 4×4
Max TX Power 2.4Ghz 20 dBm 23 dBm 22 dBm 23 dBm
Max TX Power 5Ghz 20 dBm 26 dBm 24 dBm 26 dBm
Antenna Gain 2.4Ghz 3 dBi 3 dBi 8 dBi 1.6 dBi
Antenna Gain 5Ghz 4 dBi 6 dBi 8 dBi 4 dBi
MU-MIMO
Wall mount
Pole mount
Fast mount
Buy now Buy now Buy now
unifi mesh outdoor access point

Unifi Mesh – UAP-AC-M

At the moment of writing is this really the goto access point from Ubiquiti for outdoor installation. The advantage of the UniFi Mesh models is that they have antennas that are designed for long-range mesh performance. Making them great to cover large outdoor areas. Keep in mind that wired is always better, but that is outdoors not always an option.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 300 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 2×2 MIMO at 867 Mbps
  • 2 RP-SMA connectors
  • 353 x 46 x 34 mm
Sale
Unifi 6 Mesh

Unifi 6 Mesh – U6-Mesh

At the moment of writing is the 6 Mesh still in early access. With a similar design as the FlexHD and given the name, I think the Unifi 6 Mesh is going to replace the FlexHD and Unifi Mesh in the near future.

The specification of the access point look great, and the mounting options are really versatile (desktop, wall, pole, and ceiling)

Specifications

  • Wifi 6 (Only for 5Ghz band)
  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 600 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA at 2400 Mbps
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Ø48 x 159 mm
Unifi Mesh Pro

Unifi Mesh Pro – UAP-AC-M-PRO

The Mesh Pro has 3 dual-band antennas, making it capable of reaching higher speeds. But the 3 antennas make it also a good base station for your outdoor mesh network. With a mesh network is one radio used to talk to the other access point (creating a wireless bridge), and the other is used to connect to the clients.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 450 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 3×3 MIMO at 1300Mbps
  • 2 Ethernet ports
  • 343 x 181 x 60mm

UniFi Access Point for Enterprise and High Densitiy Areas

The last access points that we are going to take a look at in the UniFi AP comparison are the high density and enterprise models.

These models are normally not needed in a normal home network or small/medium office. The access points are designed for a specific purpose, for example, to handle a high amount of concurrent users or to cover a large area.

  Unifi Access Points Comparison
HD
XG
SHD
BaseStation XG
MSRP Price $349.00 $799.00 $549.00 $1499.00
Wifi 6
2.4 Ghz Speed 800
Mbps
800
Mbps
800
Mbps
5 Ghz Speed 1733
Mbps
2x 1733
Mbps
1733
Mbps
3x 1733
Mbps
Concurrent Clients 1000+ 1500+ 1000+ 1500+
MIMO 4×4 4×4 4×4 3x 4×4
Max TX Power 2.4Ghz 25 dBm 25 dBm 25 dBm
Max TX Power 5Ghz 25 dBm 25 dBm 25 dBm 25 dBm
Antenna Gain 2.4Ghz 3 dBi 6 dBi 6 dBi
Antenna Gain 5Ghz 4 dBi 8 dBi 6 dBi 15 dBi
MU-MIMO
Outdoor
IP54

IP67
Sec. Ethernet Port 1 1 1 1
Buy now Buy now Buy now Buy now
Unifi HD Access Point

UniFi HD – UAP-AC-HD

The UniFi HD is designed for high-density environments, like a school or concert venue. The UniFi HD has two ethernet ports, where 1 port can be used to bridge to another access point or as an extra uplink.

The antenna design of the HD is different compared to the other UniFi access points. It’s designed to cover a lot of clients in a small area. So the wireless network won’t spread as far as the other access points. Keep that in mind when you are placing the UniFi HD.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 800 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP54
  • Ø220 x 42mm

Dedicated hardware offload for QoS, Guest Control, and client management ensures high throughput and reduced latency.

Ubiqiuiti shd ap

Unifi SDH – UAP-AC-SHD

This is the secure version of the Unifi HD. The main difference between the two is that the SHD is designed for secure areas, like hospitals and banks. The SHD is designed with a dedicated dual-band radio to constantly monitor and protect the wireless network traffic.

It also comes with airTime and airView. The first provides real-time visibility into channel utilization at packet level and the latter provides real‑time visibility into the RF environment across all available channels.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 800 Mbps
  • 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP54
  • airTime
  • airView
  • WIPS
  • Ø220 x 42mm
Unifi XG

UniFi XG – UAP-UXG

If 1000 concurrent clients are not enough then we have the UniFi XG as the last step. This access point is designed for very high-density environments, think of concert halls or large auditoriums, where you have a lot of people in a really small space.

It comes with the same security features as the SHD, and 2 4×4 5Ghz radios, resulting in a combined throughput of 3466 Mbps.

You will need a 10Gbit Ethernet infrastructure to get the full performance of the UniFi XG.

Specifications

  • 2.4Ghz 4×4 MIMO at 800 Mbps
  • (2) 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP54
  • airTime
  • airView
  • WIPS
  • Ø228 x 50mm
Unifi BaseStation XG

UniFi Wireless BaseStation XG – UWB-XG

If you need to cover a large area with a lot of people, like a venue or stadium, then the Wireless BaseStation is the access point that your need. It has an amazing throughput of 5 Gbps and can support up to 1500 concurrent clients.

The BaseStation only offers a 5Ghz Tri-band radio, so no 2.4Ghz radio. You can choose between Small Cell and Large Cell setup, allowing you to optimize the installation for maximum coverage.

Specifications

  • (3) 5Ghz 4×4 MU-MIMO at 1733 Mbps
  • Indoor/outdoor – IP67
  • airTime
  • airView
  • WIPS
  • 471mm x 275mm x 95mm

Wrapping Up

I hope this UniFi AP comparison helps you to pick the right Ubiquiti access point for your network. When possible go for the WiFi 6 models, they are a bit hard to get at the moment, but you are ready for the future with these new models.

If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.

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6 thoughts on “UniFi AP Comparison – 2021”

  1. Hi Rudy

    Thanks for the feedback

    In EU maybe its easier to purchase an UAP-AC-M than a beacon, it’s 2×2 instead of 4×4 but can be wired both directions 🙂

  2. Hi Rudy,

    Do you know if Beacon-HD will have an UE plug version ?

    I just bought an UAP-AC-IW if I understand correctly it’s the one who will not receive anymore upgrade and security patch ?

    Regards

    • Hi,

      There is no Beacon-HD EU version, but you should be able to get it working with a normal adapter. “Supported Voltage Range 100 – 240VAC”
      Yes, the IW is end-of-life: source

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