Top positive review
A great no-fuss (but no feature) unit
January 4, 2018
For clarity: we have the Router (AmpliFI HD unit) only.
Previous history managing small business networks, currently a lover of pfSense, and formerly owned/used Airport Extreme base stations at home (router & wireless access point) and at work (bridged access point only.)
We were moving into a new place and wanted an updated all-in-one unit for our home. While I work I get to tinker, customize and tweak until my heart's content, well, my heart's not content to do so at home. I just wanted something that works.
I had been very happy with our Apple Airport Extreme (the old white mac mini-like form factor). Say what you will about Apple, this particular model of Router and Wireless Access Point was reliable. Not once needing a reboot or suffering any issues which would require the "unplug it and plug it back in again."
And that's my KPI for home routers. If you have to, even occasionally, reboot and/or hard-reboot it (remove power), then it's a piece of junk. They should work well enough that they are only rebooted for firmware updates and/or power failures.
I picked the AmpliFi because of some previous experience with Ubiquiti products for wireless bridging and had been pretty happy, despite their unwillingness to adhere to the open source software licenses for software they use in their products.
The Meat of the Review
Overall I'm happy with the AmpliFi. It worked out of the box, and our small two-story plus basement home gets full coverage from the unit. Note: it is centrally located.
Our home does not currently have a Gigabit WAN connection (internet service) - so in our case the unit is fast, and reliable.
The controls are limited - but not moreso than the Airport Extreme it replaces. The app you need to manage it is well laid out (relatively). I'd say it provides enough control for someone who's interested but doesn't want to do much manual configuration. It's been slightly less than ideal with our home VoIP setup but that's not AmpliFi's fault - while I'd love more control over the firewall / NAT - if you don't know or care what those are, this device is worth looking at.
It looks nice - which while mostly unimportant is nice for something that you want to be nondescript at home.
For me, the only really flaw is AmpliFi's QoS system (basically an attempt to fine tune how the network behaves when everyone is using it) - unfortunately it has no ability to prevent one user from starving another for bandwidth and that's not great. While again, the device it's replacing didn't either, it's something that even on the simplest device should now be standard. What makes this oversight even more egregious is that the device has a built in speed test which could well be used on setup to define the maximum bandwidth and set some sane defaults for devices. IE. No one device should be able to rob the others of every bit of bandwidth.
The guest network is a great idea that falls flat in practice. You can't set times longer than 23 hours, which is a problem for multi-day guests and seems like a ridiculous oversight - it's either timed (23 hours or less), always on, or off. It's weak enough we don't use it much.
That's really it.
NAT is very basic - but then again - this seems in line with this device's target market. It works for what it is.
If I want to put a more powerful firewall/packet-filter in front of the AmpliFi (and run it in bridged mode) - the Guest Network won't work, but there's enough noise out there that we may see something like this reappear.
Ubiquiti has a community forum and it's reasonably active.
Overall if you were looking for a single, great, router and wireless access point for your home, I'd buy this. Also, note there is much more unhappiness once users add the mesh points - but you can run a second HD unit, via wired backhaul, or wirelessly as the mesh points and that seems like a smarter move to me.