Ubiquiti U7 Pro – The Lowest Cost Wi-Fi & Enterprise AP in the Industry

Last month Ubiquiti launched the U7 Pro, purported to be the industry’s lowest cost Wi-Fi 7 enterprise AP currently on the market. 

How Much is the new Ubiquiti U7 Pro?

This new device is a 6-stream ceiling-mount AP delivering a total of 9.3 Gbps across the three bands, with a price of £143 + VAT.

Why are industry professionals about the price point on this unit? Well, this new Ubiquiti AP at this price means that every enterprise will be able to embrace the introduction of Wi-fi 7 technology, even smaller businesses. 

Rumours have it that Apple’s next iPhone will be Wi-Fi 7 compatible, meaning that businesses across industries will need to be embracing Wi-Fi 7 and making sure their devices and Wi-Fi are compatible.

What’s the Spec of the Ubiquiti U7 Pro?

The Ubiquiti U7 Pro is a ceiling-mounted Wi-Fi 7 AP with 6 spatial streams and 6 GHz support for interference-free Wi-Fi in demanding, large-scale environments. You can find the full specification on the Ubiquiti website here

  • WiFi 7 with 6 GHz support (in these countries only)
  • 6 spatial streams
  • 140 m² (1,500 ft²) coverage
  • 300+ connected devices
  • Powered using PoE+
  • 2.5 GbE uplink
  • Multi-Link Operation (MLO) capability is coming soon and will be provided via software update.

Ubiquiti U7 Pro – Hardware Specifications

  • Networking interface – (1) 1/2.5 GbE RJ45 port
  • Management interface – Ethernet
  • Power method – PoE+
  • Power supply – UniFi PoE switch
  • Supported voltage range – 44—57V DC
  • Max. power consumption – 21W

Ubiquiti U7 Pro – Software Specifications

  • WiFi standards – 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be
  • Wireless security – WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise (WPA/WPA2/WPA3/PPSK)
  • BSSID – 8 per radio 
  • VLAN – 802.1Q
  • Advanced QoS – Per-user rate limiting
  • Guest traffic isolation – Supported
  • Concurrent clients – 300+

Ubiquiti U7 Pro – Application Requirements

  • UniFi Network – Version 8.0.26 and later
  • UniFi OS – Version 3.2 and later

The Ubiquiti U6 Pro vs U7 Pro – What’s the Difference? Which is Better?

Trying to decide whether to put the U6 Pro or U7 Pro to regular use in your enterprise? Let’s take a look at some real-user experiences since Ubiquiti launched their U7 Pro. 

According to some in the Wi-Fi community, issues have been reported of difficulties with 6Ghz performance.

6GHz Performance with the U7 Pro

One UI Community user noticed that the 6 GHz performance on the U7 Pro seems to be worse than the U6 Enterprise. They said:

‘In real-life performance, I’ve noticed the transfer speeds to be more variable on the U7 Pro; with the U6 Enterprise it’s possible to consistently saturate the gigabit backhaul that I currently have. The U7 Pro tends to be more unstable, that is, it will hit 112 MB/s and then drop down to the 40s and back up again multiple times during a large transfer.

If I check the RSSI in the Network Application for the U6 Enterprise, it reports my client device as -53 dBm. If I swap it with the U7 Pro and leave everything in the same physical location the RSSI drops to -64 dBm. The RSSI on the client side is pretty much the same with both APs (roughly -46 dBm) so it only seems to be the AP’s ability to receive from the client device that’s inhibited. This only seems to affect 6 GHz, my 5 GHz devices show similar stats with either AP.

Could this be related to the U7 Pro being a 2×2 device compared to the 4×4 on the U6 Enterprise?’

They’re not the only user to experience this. Suggestions were made as to the reason for this issue as well as possible resolutions:

  • A difference between the U6 being a 4×4 device compared to the 2×2 nature of the U7 (and should the U7 Pro therefore be called the U7 Lite instead?)
  • Issues with custom transmit power, solved by sticking with the ‘auto’ option on the U7
  • A possible resolution with further firmware updates

Boost In Throughput with the U7 Pro

One Reddit user reported a 10-15% throughput boost to their MacBook Pro (M1) and MacBook Air (M2) (both were WiFi 6, non-E). 

Previously, whilst using the U6 Pro,  they had never been able to break 600 Mbps with either one whereas now using the U7 they routinely hit 650 Mbps, and occasionally break into the low 700 Mbps on occasion. These speeds were tested using iperf3.

U7 Pro Offers Higher Bandwidth, More Quickly

A Reddit user noticed that the U7 Pro seems to ramp up to higher bandwidth more quickly than the U6 Pro, according to iperf3. 

The user reported seeing 1-2 seconds at around 150 Mbps before getting into the 500 Mbps range using the U6 Pro. 

With the U7-Pro, the first second is already at 500 Mbps and then achieves over 600 Mbps for the remainder of the test.

(The Bandwidth tests above were using the same manually-configured channels (11@20MHz, 149@80MHz) on the U6-Pro and U7-Pro).

Note: These claims (both positive and negative) are unverified via various user experiences on Reddit and UI Community platforms. 

The Ubiquiti U7 Pro can be Installed Using Pre-Existing Mounting Plates

Users have also noted that the new U7 Pro fits on the AP Pro Arm Mount (UACC-Pro-AP-AM). As per the FAQ’s on Ubiquiti’s new product announcement, the U7 Pro can be installed using the following pre-existing mounting plates:

  • U6-Enterprise
  • U6-Pro
  • U6-LR
  • UAP-AC-Pro

U7 Pro is Backwards Compatible

U7 Pro is fully backwards compatible with Wi-Fi 6E and earlier client devices. A Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 client device is required to utilise the 6 GHz band.

U7 Pro is managed with UniFi Network 8.0.26 and later.

U7 Pro is powered by PoE+ with a 2.5 GbE uplink. Ubiquiti recommends pairing U7 Pro with a UniFi PoE switch that features 2.5 GbE performance and PoE+ output, such as Pro Max and Enterprise PoE switches.

Customise the Appearance of the U7 Pro 

The Ubiquiti U7 Pro has a fully customisable cover which will be available in the second quarter of 2024.

How Do I Decide Between the Ubiquiti U6 Pro and the New U7 Pro?

Really, the only person who can answer this question is you. You know the needs of your enterprise and how your current Wi-Fi performance is working for your business. 

There is a fine balance between prioritising what works well for you today, as well as what is going to work well for you in the future. Some things are worth investing in now in order to future proof your Wi-FI, keeping your business running smoothly and up-to-date with the latest technology. 

Call the Experts Here at Geekabit

If you’re unsure what the best Wi-Fi solution would be for your business, then get in touch with our Wi-Fi experts today. Our wireless engineers can look after you from the Site Survey stage all the way through to deployment. 

Don’t let poor performing Wi-Fi hold you back.