First some background information: although my current job position could be described as system integrator, the job no longer tickles my “practical IT muscles” enough. Which I do need as I am a software engineer by education (30 years ago). It means that I am always on the lookout for new things to try and keep up. It also means I often have requirements for new equipment that my friends and family do not have.
In May 2023 our home was finally connected to fiber. I had been waiting for that for quite some time, because I tinker with servers, software, etc and especially the slow upload that comes with VDSL was a let down. It did cause a problem: having a 1Gbps/1Gbps connection made my old wifi access points the weakest link (pun intended). So I started looking for new APs.
I had a few requirements:
- Must be able to setup multiple SSIDs
- Must be able to define VLANs for those SSIDs
- Must be fast
When comparing possible candidates I came across Alta Labs’ AP6 Pro and that appeared to check all the boxes (and more). As I wanted to ask some questions before buying I tried to register on the Alta forum, which was a problem. That was actually a lucky incident as I got to experience first hand the responsiveness of Alta Labs support: fast and to the point. Once registered advise on the forum made me understand that you can actually layout your (wifi) network in the management interface before even owning a device! Color coding your setup seems like such a simple and obvious choice: once my order arrived adding the 2 access points to my network and making them operational took only a few minutes: add the detected access point to your account, assign earlier mentioned setup color to this new access point and Viola!
I had such a struggle with setting up my wired switches (from another brand) and because of that it took a bit longer to actually get the VLANs to work: but even that showed how much easier it is to manage the AP6 Pro: I just added a new color code for a temporary solution. One that can be removed when the temporary solution is no longer needed.
At some point I started realizing that Alta Labs actually created an access point that not only met all of the requirements that I had but that I would also advise to the aforementioned, not so tech savvy friends and family. The management interface is fast, clean and easy to understand.
I don’t know how well the Alta Labs switched perform but I have the feeling that they would have given me less of a problem than my current switches. So that is the only thing I am not too happy about: Why were these Alta Labs switches not available at the time I bought my current switches
I will at least be advising Alta Labs to anyone who asks about new network equipement. And I will tell them how well my access points work.