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Ubiquiti UniFi U6 Enterprise Access Point Review: An Excellent Wi-Fi 6E Upgrade

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At $290, Ubiquiti's U6 Enterprise is easily one of the best Wi-Fi 6E access points (APs) you can get.

As the name suggests, this is a serious business AP designed to work with a UniFi controller, like the UDR or UDM. But it can also work as a standalone access point for those needing just one unit. And that's likely the case for most homes or a standard SMB office.

While the U6 Enterprise indeed works with the UDR or UDM, neither is a good match since they are Gigabit routers. Equipped with a 2.5Gbps PoE port, the new access point works best with a Multi-Gig controller.

For that reason, and like the case of other similar APs, this review focuses mostly on its role as a standalone standard access point.

Update: I paired it with a high-end UniFi controller and a Multi-Gig PoE++ switch in a separate review.

Here's the bottom line: If you're looking to upgrade your network to Wi-Fi 6E specs -- applicable to the case when you already have an existing, preferably Multi-Gig, router and a PoE switch -- the UniFi U6 is an excellent buy. Get one today!

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
Here's the Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point in action. Note its ring of status light.

UniFi U6: A bulky compact access point that packs a bunch

Out of the box, the UniFi U6 looks like a typical business access point.

On top, it comes with an LED ring that changes color between White and Blue to show its status, and on the bottom, there's a single covered 2.5Gbps PoE+ port and mounting grooves.

Like other business APs, the U6 includes mounting accessories and nothing else. There's no PoE injector, and it doesn't even have a power port -- PoE is the only powering option.

You need a, preferably Multi-Gig, PoE+ injector, such as this one, or switch before you can use it.

You'll also note that it has two large metal pieces as part of its mount. And that's a good thing since the AP runs quite hot in my trial. The mount pieces are likely dubbed as its heatsink. There's a price to pay for being compact yet packing a bunch.

Indeed, compared with those from other vendors, the U6 Enterprise is definitely not bulky. For example, the similarly specced Netgear WAX630E is at least 30 percent larger. It seems Ubiquiti has tried to cramp a lot into a tight package.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
The Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise is noticeably smaller than its lesser Netgear WAX630E counterpart.

Still, those used to Ubiquiti hardware will likely find the U6 largest and heaviest among UniFi access points. Sizes are all relative.

The U6 Enterprise is Ubiquiti's latest UniFi access point with 4x4 Wi-Fi 6E specs and a Multi-Gig PoE port. Previously, there were already a few similar-looking Wi-Fi 6 Gigabit U6 APs -- including the U6 Pro, U6 Long-Range, and U6 Lite -- with smaller physical sizes.

Ubiquiti: UniFi vs AmpliFi

UniFi and AmpliFi are two major networking product lines from Ubiquiti. They serve two demographics and have different architectures.

The UniFi family -- represented by the Dream Machine (UDM), UDM-Pro, the Dream Router (UDR), or UDM-SE... -- aims at business/pro/enterprise users. They are comprehensive consoles acting as the central controllers of various products, of which networking devices are only part of the picture.

On the other hand, the AmpliFi family, represented by the HD Wi-Fi system or the Alien, is for the home environment. They are simple Wi-Fi routers, easy to use but with a limited feature set.

The UDM is the first UniFi product that works well as a home router, thanks to its friendly design. In a way, it's a bridge between the two product lines. The UDR further solidifies that approach, making the UDM-Pro or UDM-SE applicable to demanding homes.

Eventually, Ubiquiti might phase out AmpliFi to focus on UniFi as its only encompassing platform.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise vs Netgear WAX630E: Hardware specifications

There are few Wi-Fi 6E business access points, and the Netgear WAX630E is the only one I've tested with similar specs. Of the two, the U6 Enterprise has a faster 6GHz band yet requires lower power consumption.

Unbiquiti U6 Enterprise Negear WAX630E
ModelU6 EnterpriseWAX630E
NameUbiquiti UniFi U6 Enterprise Access PointInsight App Managed Wi-Fi 6E Tri-band Access Point
Wi-Fi StandardsTri-band AXE11000Tri-band AXE7800
1st Band
2.4GHz
(channel width)
2x2 AX
Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2x2 AX
Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
5GHz
(channel width)
4x4 AX
Up to 4800Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4x4 AX
Up to 4800Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
6GHz
(channel width)
4x4 AXE
Up to 4800Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
2x2 AXE
Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Backward Compatibility802.11ac/n/g/a/b802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Power over Ethernet 
(PoE)
802.3at
(PoE+)
802.3bt (PoE++) or
802.3at
(50% 5GHz performance)
Power Consumption22W27.64W
Network Port1x 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig PoE1x 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig PoE,
1x Gigabit
SecurityWPA, WPA2, WPA3WPA, WPA2, WPA3
Local ManagedNoYes
Cloud-ManagedYes
(free)
Netgear Insight
Premium or Pro
Mobile AppUniFiNETGEAR Insight App
ModeAccess PointAccess Point,
Bridge,
Repeater Mode
Dimensions 
(W x D x H)
Ø7.76 x 1.38"
(Ø197 x 35 mm)
10.49 x 10.56 x 2.18 in
(266.6 x 268.3 x 55.5 mm)
Weight1.01 lbs (460 g)
or 1.32 lbs (600 g) with mounting accessories
2.31 lb (1050 g)
LEDColor-changing (White/blue) LEDPower and Cloud,
LAN speed,
2.4GHz status,
5.0GHz status,
6.0GHz status
US Retail Cost
(at launch)
$290$349.99
$369.99
(with power adapter)
Hardware specifications: Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise vs Netgear WAX630E

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise: No web user interface, simple setup as a standalone AP

Unlike most business access points I've tested, the U6 Enterprise doesn't have an onboard web user interface. While that's disappointing, it's not a huge deal considering the alternative.

To set it up and manage it as a standalone AP, you'll need to use the UniFi mobile app, which is also the app for any UniFi controller, such as the UDR, though you'd want a Multi-Gig one, such as the UDM SE.

The proper way to take advantage of the U6 Enterprise or any other UniFi APs is via an UniFi OS-powered hardware controller. Alternatively, you can also download and install the UniFi Network Application to turn a computer into a controller, similar to the case of TP-Link Omada. In this case, the AP works as part of the controller's Network application.

That's the only way you'll get the most out of the AP, including its mesh functionally, the support for up to 8 SSIDs per band, and many more. It's also the general way to build a scalable robust mesh system for a large business.

It's worth noting that, unlike Netgear Insight Managed, you will not need to pay a monthly subscription to use an UniFi controller. The only cost is the hardware itself.

But a controller is not required. You can use any UniFi access point, including this U6 Enterprise, as a standard standalone AP with any existing router.

In my case, the UniFi app quickly detected the AP -- via its built-in Bluetooth or a network connection -- and the setup process took just a few minutes. After that, the access point was ready.

Ubiquiti U6 Enter Prise UniFi app Firmware UpgradeUbiquiti U6 Enter Prise UniFi app
The UniFi app is an excellent and the only tool to set up and manage the U6 Enterprise -- or any other devices in Ubiquiti's UniFi family. You can use it to manage the AP's Wi-Fi networks and its handful of settings available when working as a standalone broadcaster.

As a standalone router, the U6 Enterprise is a stripped-down access point. You can use the app to create a unified Wi-Fi network -- or three of them, one for each band --, update its firmware, view connected clients, and a few other functions. And generally, that's enough for a small home or SMB Wi-Fi network.

Note that the UniFi mobile app requires a login account with Ubiquiti. Effectively, once set up, the U6 Enterprise -- or any UniFi hardware, for that matter -- remains connected to the vendor at all times for you to manage it remotely. You get this convenience at the expense of privacy risks.

Ubiquiti and your privacy

All Ubiquiti's UniFi hardware requires a login account to work via a mobile app or a cloud-based web interface.

Generally, that's also the case with the company's AmpliFi family

Consequently, opting for Ubiquiti means you'll inherently face potential privacy risks. Online privacy and security are a matter of degree. Different companies handle their users' data differently.

Here's the link to Ubiquiti's privacy policy.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise: Detail photos

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
The Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise includes only mounting accessories, of which the metal pieces are likely meant to help dissipate the heat.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
The Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise comes equipped. It includes this little handly level bubble.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access PointUbiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
The top and bottom sides of the U6 Enterprise. Note the network port cover.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
You must remove the cover to see the AP's sole 2.5Gbps PoE+ port. The U6 Enterprise doesn't include a PoE injector, and it doesn't use a power adapter.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access PointUbiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
Here's the U6 Enterprise's underside without and with a network cable in its PoE port.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise: Excellent performance

For this review, I used the U6 Enterprise extensively and was happy with it. As a standalone AP, it proved to be a reliable and straightforward Wi-Fi broadcaster -- it passed my three-day stress test with zero issues.

And the performance was excellent, too, as shown in the charts below. It was one of the fastest on the market, easily beating its main rival, the Netgear WAX630E.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Long Range Wi Fi performance Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Short Range Wi Fi performance
The Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise access point's Wi-Fi performance

While it's hard to put the Wi-Fi coverage in numbers, the U6 Enterprise had about the same range as other high-end Wi-Fi 6/6E access points I've tested.

When placed at a center, you can expect it to blanket some 2500 ft2 (233 m2) area. Your mileage will vary, and the range will change depending on what band you use.

Note that the AP's 6GHz band was the shortest and didn't penetrate walls well. But the combined coverage of all three bands is excellent.

The U6 Enterprise worked well with all standard PoE switches and injectors I tried. Generally, if you have a PoE+ or PoE++ power sender, it'll work with no problem.

Runs a bit hot

It's worth noting that the AP ran quite hot in my trial -- I used it without the metal mount piece.

It was never hotter than Ubquiti's specified operating temperature range, from -22 to 140Β° F (-30 to 60Β° C), but warmer than any other APs I've tested.

The heat might affect the hardware in long-term use. Mounting it in an open space using the metal base is recommended.

Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise's Rating

8 out of 10
Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise Access Point
Performance
8.5 out of 10
Features
7.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Top-tier Wi-Fi 6E support, excellent performance; part of the robust UniFi family with lots of features when hosted by a controller

2.5 Gbps PoE network port

Simple setup and management via helpful UniFi mobile app, lots of features

Cons

No PoE injector included; no power adapter option

No local management or web user interface; UniFi app requires vendor login; limited features and settings as a standalone AP

Runs hot

Conclusion

The minor heat issue and the lack of a built-in web user interface aside, Ubiquiti U6 Enterprise is an excellent Wi-Fi 6E access point. If you need to upgrade your Wi-Fi network to Wi-Fi 6E or get more coverage, it's an excellent buy, whether you'll use it for a home or an office.

And if you want to go full Ubiquiti -- that's when you already have a Multi-Gig UniFi controller -- this access point is a must-have to build a robust enterprise-grade Wi-Fi 6E network. For more on that, check out the review of the UDR or come back later for my take on a high-end UniFi controller.

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18 thoughts on “Ubiquiti UniFi U6 Enterprise Access Point Review: An Excellent Wi-Fi 6E Upgrade”

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  1. How do you set this up for a small office with no USM? Can we go direct from Cox ISP mosem to 12-Port EdgeRouter to UniFi PoE+ injector to Unifi U6 Enterprise? No switch needed if all other clients don’t use PoE?

    Reply
  2. Hi, Dong.

    About this,
    “once set up, the U6 Enterprise β€” or any UniFi hardware, for that matter β€” remains connected to the vendor at all times for you to manage it remotely”:

    Does this mean if my internet service goes down (for any random reason) I can’t manage those APs at all?

    Also, did I understand this bit of your post correctly?
    You need a hardware controller running Unify software to enable mesh functionality, correct?

    Reply
    • That’s correct, Kerry. But UniFi controllers (routers) have a local interface which you can access even when there’s no Internet. This interface is accessible over the WAN, too, when the Internet is available via the account with Ubiquiti.

      The mesh motion is also correct.

      Reply
  3. I just got this AP. When using the 6 GHZ radio your only option is WPA3. So if you want a triband set up every channel will use only WPA3 and will no fall back to WPA2. As you know many older devices do not support WPA3. I understand not falling back might be part of the WPA3 specs but still, in my case, makes using 6E impractical. I would have to set up a separate SSID for 6 GHZ which would prevent roaming. Bummer.

    Reply
    • That’s how it is with the 6GHz band, Tom. You can simply create a separate SSID on this band with the same name and password as the other two bands.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the reply. This is what I am finding on the web:

        Transition Mode for WPA2 backward-compatibility is not supported when the wifi2 radio (6Ghz) is enabled per release notes. This is working as designed. Wi-Fi 6E (WPA3) devices and legacy devices that require WPA2 cannot be on the same SSID.

        I have the Dream Machine SE as well as the U-6E. I really just wanted the better radios in the enterprise AP (4×4 vs 2×2 etc) but 6E would be nice since it is built into the AP. So I could create a separate 6GHZ network but it appears as though the devices will not roam unless they support WPA3.

        Reply
        • As mentioned in the previous reply, that’s how it is with the 6GHz band, Tom. It requires WPA3. More here. Being emotional, having wishful thinking/assumptions, looking for bias confirmation, etc. won’t change that fact. πŸ™‚

          If a device doesn’t support WPA3, it will not support the 6GHz band anyway. So, leaving this band out of your SSID will allow you to use the older WPA and WPA2 for that SSID and there’s nothing to lose in doing so.

          Using the same SSID and password for the 6GHz band allows supported devices to use this band and automatically use other SSID(s) of different bands when the 6GHz is out of range or weak. The band switching doesn’t always work as you’d like but better than having different SSID names, which you can also do.

          Reply
  4. I want to replace my AX11000 with a separate firewall, switch and Wifi 6e. I was thinking about unifi enterprise with a Netgear MS108 poe switch.

    1. Do you think this is a good idea?
    2. What about power consumption. I’m afraid it will be higher …

    Thx Serge

    Reply
  5. Hi Dong! When you test Unify AP units do you hang it on the ceiling as they recommend or have you tried putting it vertically on the table? How is the reception/performance when it is mounted on the wall or table top vertically? I am interested in these APs, but mounting them on ceiling is not practical for me. I know UI.com has radiation patterns, but I can never understand them.

    Reply
    • I just got one of these this month (October 2023). The online instructions for mounting included vertical wall-mounting instructions, so Unifi definitely doesn’t expect everyone to stick them on the ceiling. πŸ™‚

      Reply

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