UniFi Express thoughts…

Thought the first: my current setup is just one old Unfi AP pro covers whole house plus a pi running controller and a protectli running pfsense. Would I go with just an express as router and Wi-Fi 6 AP and ditch everything else, or maybe mesh the old AP to improve coverage upstairs and the garden?

Thought 2 - same as one - but keep pfsense (or the other one - still in quandary over that)

Thought 3 is 2x2 enough - current AP is 3x3 - clients - dozen or so…

Thought 4 Security- pfsense vs UniFi firewall? At £120 that makes the low end netgate boxes look way expensive

Thought 5 Express is limited to 5 devices - not an issue for me, but could be close to breaking that if I swap my 3 old net gear switch for UniFi - think 10 would be a better number - hack anyone?

For most homes and even small offices this is all that might be needed. I currently use Pfsense and Unifi Cloud Key Plus controller, switches, access points, and cameras. I just bought an express to become familiar with the routing/firewall portion and to see how effective the express is overall. I can always deploy it as an access point.

1 Like

Considering one for my parents on a CGNAT / IPV6 900/900 service in the UK. Currently there is a pfsense 2.7 install and a three tp-link deco S4 units.

Considering as it’ll be easy to manage via the UniFi portal, equally managing pfsense is a bit more tricky due to CGNAT, but it works.

Is the above the best performance for my parents, no. Is it reliable and meets their needs, yes.

I could but the tp-link into router mode, but rather pfsense/Opnsense option.

For me it’s about manageability and simplicity and the express may tick that. Problem is I’d have to purchase more APs for coverage if I wanted 100% UniFi eco system. So it’d still be a hybrid express/tp-link…

Waiting for the reviews and UK availability. Not wasting money on extra shipping and a PSU. Heard it could be end of Jan for availability.

Re the original post, can you do wired backhaul to existing AP? Can the express be placed in a location for good coverage,

Backhaul - don’t think I can do it tidily - did have a Cat 5 (?) link installed to my “office” about 20 years ago, but office is now kids room and I can’t get to the blanking plate to re-instate it - small room, big bed!! Would be great as she has an Xbox!

What connection speed are you on, as we all look at shiny stuff and then find we’re on a 60/20 connection or something. I’m currently on a 500/50 Virgin connection / £23pm, so that’ll suffice.

On a 1Gb FTTP connection - because I can and I WFH (+kids etc) - might drop it down a bit when I retire. But work kit + gaming PC are wired - so only possible need is to get faster wifi for girls Xbox upstairs - that’s a “just because” thing though - she says she’s way faster than her mates!

That’s pretty much my setup too atm, although I flip between firewall installs. Again, Express is of interest for same reasons.

The express documentation says it can do wired or wireless connection as an AP.

The other bit of interest if replacing of the shelf routers in my Mums or Mother-in-law - latter doesn’t yet have internet - but if we have to enable streaming to get her Rugby coverage sorted (Ok on Sky at moment, but…) and/or BT rip the copper to her house…

Still puzzling over this gadget. Couple of points which maybe you can confirm?

  1. It must be all or nothing - router/gateway + controller it can’t be a controller for the APs etc only - e.g. with pfsense as firewall? Or it’s just another AP.

  2. Also seems that it’s CPU is on the strangled side - 1Ghz, dual core. And so wireguard specificly is slow…

Correct on your first point. It’s either a controller/router/access point OR an access point for an existing UniFi system where the gateway/controller already exists. If you just need a network controller, get a cloud key.

Regarding the cpu/memory…it’s fine. Takes a bit longer to boot up, about 5 min, but once running it performs as well as most home routers.

1 Like

I like it. I wouldn’t replace my Pfsense, but I installed it at my girlfriend’s apartment. I love the fact that I can remote in and change everything. Auto update is good (until Unifi messes up something.)

I agree with the boot time. It’s quite slow, but other things are ok. Surprisingly, it has much better coverage than some consumer equipment with external antennas.
VPN speed is ok, I was able to saturate the 10 Mbits/sec upload speed.