UniFi – Comparison Chart UAP-IW vs UAP-AC-IW


 This article compares the legacy model UAP-IW with the UAP-AC-IW, released in March 2017.


As the original UAP-IW, the UAP-AC-IW was designed for a particular market, those buildings with areas that are pre-wired with wall phones or Ethernet jacks and want to introduce per-room Wi-Fi. Initially for hotels and hospitals, nowadays this same concept is commonly used in the education and business sectors as well. The UAP-AC-IW comes with plenty of improvements—lessons learned from the UAP-IW.

There are differences in details as small as the direction/location of the port: where the UAP-IW’s port was outward-facing, sometimes causing a need of planning where furniture and curtains were involved; the UAP-AC-IW’s port is downward-facing, for a smoother integration with the wall, allowing furniture to be pushed all the way back when necessary. No more bulky cable in the way.

And then there are those improvements that make all the difference: like how many clients can connect to the AP at the same time. The UAP-AC-IW operates on 5GHz 11ac with DFS, allowing coverage in dense client situations, whereas the UAP-IW was only apt for Light-Density situations, which would work in a hotel room with one or two guests, but in a school room for example, would become inconvenient very fast. The UAP-AC-IW has the capability to use 28 independent channels, each servicing 125 clients, so by installing 28 devices in a room where it is known that there will be many concurrent users (library, conference hall, meeting rooms), a total of 3500 users can connect to the network at the same time. A vast improvement over the 75 users the UAP-IW could handle.

Now, if the UAP-AC-IW devices are installed in separate rooms, they can be used to scale to virtually any number of users, like in a hotel, a hospital, etc. However, if there is need for servicing 3,500 users in one same room, the UAP-AC-HD would be a more appropriate choice. Read more about High Density situations in our UniFi – Which UAPs to Use for High Density Situations article.

Take a look at the table below for other changes.

Comparison Table

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 Characteristics Legacy UAP-IW UAP-AC-IW
Ethernet 10/100 10/100/1000
WiFi  Single Band Dual Band Concurrent
1×1 2.4GHz 2×2 2.4GHz 
  2×2 5GHz 11ac 
Throughput 20mbps TCP 500+mbps TCP
Ports 3 x 10/100 3 x gigE
Outward-facing Downward-Facing
Users 25 125 
Mounting Compatibility US-Only All Countries
Density Supported Light-Density Medium-Density
Channels 3 independent 2.4GHz channels

3 independent 2.4GHz channels


25 independent 5GHz channels

Total Channels 3 28 
Users Supported in Dense Situation 75 3500 

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UniFi – Which UAPs to Use for High Density Situations 

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