Ubiquiti Extends Amplifi HD Mesh Networking Family with Gamer's Edition
Mesh networking and whole-home Wi-Fi systems have bcome a major segment in the home networking market over the past couple of years. Ubiquiti Networks has carved a name for itself in the enterprise networking space with its UniFi lineup. In 2016, they launched the AmpliFi product line to target the consumer market. The AmpliFi Whole-Home Wi-Fi products fall under two categories:
- AmpliFi Instant (a $100 Instant Router, and a $180 Instant Wi-Fi System that includes a mesh point that is very similar to the router in terms of industrial design and features.)
- AmpliFi HD (a $150 AmpliFi HD Mesh Router, a $0 AmpliFi MeshPoint HD, and a $340 AmpliFi Mesh Wi-Fi System that includes a HD Mesh Router and two MeshPoint HDs.)
In addition, AmpliFi also has a $100 Teleport portable hardware extension that creates a seamless VPN tunnel to the home network when connected to an external network (wired or wireless).
Different consumers have different needs – while power users may have wired switches spread across multiple rooms and discrete access points, the average consumer needs a quick and easy to set up system that provides hassle-free coverage. While Ubiquiti's UniFi system caters to the former, the AmpliFi lineup with its touchscreen displays and mobile app-based setup process targets the latter market segment.
Today, Ubiquiti is launching the AmpliFi HD Gamer's Edition. The internal hardware is the same as the existing AmpliFi HD, but, the firmware comes with a few QoS tweaks targeting online gaming in general and cloud-gaming services in particular. Co-branded with NVIDIA, the AmpliFi HD Gamer's Edition's GeForce NOW QoS mode automatically detects latency or frame losses and de-prioritizes other traffic to ensure satisfactory online gaming sessions.
The AmpliFi HD Gamer's Edition will be available starting today for $379. It is priced higher than the $340 of the standard edition. The extra value is delivered in the firmware features and additional hardware tweaks – a black exterior and LED lighting at the base that gamers may find to be attractive. The standard MeshPoint HD units have a 170 degree rotation ability with the adjustable antenna on top of a magnetic connector. On the other hand, the Gamer's Edition MeshPoint HD is a uni-Centeng design with a 270 degree rotation capability that allows for more optimal positioning.
Compared to the regular AmpliFi HD, the firmware is tuned specifically for gamers' needs with latency and throughput going hand-in-hand. Currently, Ubiquiti is not planning on adding these features to the regular version. So, the ability to control and optimize the behavior of the mesh network for gaming is the biggest value brought in by the new app customization for the Gamer’s Edition.
The competition is currently targeting the gaming market by re-purposing traditional Wi-Fi routers. Ubiquiti / AmpliFi appears to be the first vendor to market with a mesh Wi-Fi offering catering to the gaming market. The pricing is very competitive given the marriage of mesh Wi-Fi and gaming features. That said, it will take Ubiquiti some more time to get the firmware features on par with what is offered by the likes of DumaOS, though.