Setting up a powerful home Wi-Fi network used to demand something close to a degree in computer science. 

Configuring multiple routers and Wi-Fi extenders involved delving deep into settings and fiddling with numbers that no one really understands, apart from hackers and that breed known as ‘networking enthusiasts’.

But the latest raft of mesh Wi-Fi systems has changed all this. Earlier this year I looked at Google Wifi, the tech giant’s solution for a stronger, more stable broadband connection around your home, and I loved it. Ubiquiti’s AmpliFi is a similar solution.

Arguably more elegant in design, it gives you a single main hub (unlike Google’s optional multiple hubs) plus two ‘MeshPoints’ that plug directly into power sockets, amplifying your broadband signal wherever they reside.

Add more MeshPoints (at around £130 each) and you’ll get an even stronger connection, covering your home in Wi-Fi, with no reduction in signal between mesh points.

Bear in mind that if your connection coming in is slow, AmpliFi will do nothing to improve the speed, but it will undoubtedly increase the stability of your connection over using the black box your ISP provided you with.

If you’re finding yourself with dead spots, or just want to be able to use your laptop in the garden, Amplifi could well be for you.

Design: a router to be proud of

There’s no modem in the AmpliFi HD router, which means you’ll need to connect it to your usual Wi-Fi hub via ethernet, and then disable the wireless abilities of your ISP-provided box.

But before the setup, let’s look at the design of the AmpliFi HD router. I can only describe it as looking like a rather small, and cute, washing machine. This white cuboid (also available in black) has fantastic build quality and some rather fancy lighting. There's a circular LED touchscreen on the front and light beaming out from underneath, which pulses when any kind of signal is coming through (you can disable this in the app).

This is a bit of Wi-Fi tech that I didn’t want to hide away on a shelf. But it’s not just about looks. The touchscreen enables you to cycle through key data such as your upload and download speed, the amount of data you’ve downloaded and uploaded in the month, what ports are in use and your IP address (oh, and by default it shows the time and date, which is nice).

On the back, the router has four ports for hardwiring your devices if you so wish. The same aesthetic is in the MeshPoints. Five blue LED lights on the front tell you the strength of the signal you’re getting – which is a nice touch – but the coolest thing about the MeshPoints is that they are mounted on a ball, meaning you can rotate, twist, lower and raise the main antenna to find optimum signal, or just fit in a place that doesn’t have much room.

You can actually take the antenna off the base as well – it’s held on by magnets – but since you can’t just buy plugs (which would be handy if you wanted to spend less and move MeshPoints around according to where you are in the house) we don’t really get why. Maybe just for cleaning? Either way, they're certainly fun to play with.

Setup: up and running in ten minutes

From unboxing the AmpliFi HD system to being up-and-running took me around ten minutes. 

I simply plugged it in using the USB-C charger, connected it to my BT Smart Hub using ethernet and used the setup wizard in the AmpliFi app.

Everything is controlled via your iOS or Android device – just download the app and you’ll be guided through the process.

It really was a cinch – the MeshPoints were detected automatically as I plugged them in, and it took a few seconds to tap on the appropriate MeshPoint in the app and rename so you know which room they are in.

In my house, a three bed with stone walls, there’s a blackspot at the far corner of the lounge – but even so, the MeshPoint installed there (pretty much behind a brick wall) still registered as good signal. So far, so good.

Performance: stable and stellar

Here’s the thing – I can’t fault AmpliFi one bit.

Its performance since setup has been absolutely rock solid. Previously, in certain areas of the house there would be no internet connection whatsoever, but now even the garden has a strong signal.

My home broadband speed isn’t the fastest, but the AmpliFi system has made it incredibly stable. I tried everything to lose a signal, and couldn’t once manage it – even in the far left-hand corner of the garden under the apple tree.

It even worked in the shed. And this is something to consider – if you have an outside office which isn’t too far from your house, a mesh system like AmpliFi could be just the ticket.

I just have a shed rather than an office, but if I want to go hide in there I now know I can without losing my Sky Go stream.

AmpliFi with a two MeshPoint setup may be a little overkill if you’re in a one-bed flat; but you can buy just the router and get the benefit of extended range and features to customise your network, adding guests or simply ruining your kids’ fun by scheduling their web connection, with ease via the app.

Stuff says... 

Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD Mesh System review

A rock-solid mesh Wi-Fi kit that'll boost the range and stability of your home network. Go get
£360
Good Stuff 
Fantastic design
Great app
Easy to set up
Rock-solid performance
Bad Stuff 
More expensive than Google Wifi

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