Archive for May, 2021

Best Prices for Ubiquiti Unifi Access Points Sale in Nairobi Kenya

05/12/2021 12:08 UniFi is Ubiquiti’s line of networking equipment with different models of wireless access points, routers, switches, security cameras, controller appliances, VoIP phones, and access control products. UniFi equipment exists between enterprise and cheap home networking gear. It’s a nice middle ground, offering more flexibility and features than most consumer-grade brands, but lacking the expense and complexity of enterprise. UniFi networks come in all shapes in sizes: from a small apartment, up to thousands of devices in a stadium, and a lot of networks in between. You choose the pieces that you need, and you are not required to have the full UniFi stack. You can start with one device and build it out over time. If you only need Wi-Fi, their access points can be uplinked to any switch, and served packets from any router. If you need a managed switch or security gateway, Ubiquiti makes those too. There are benefits to having all the pieces, but it’s not necessary.

UniFi OS Software and Applications

Software-Defined Networking

Software-defined networking can be a meaningless word, but the basic definition is that the administration is done in software, separate from the actual networking equipment. With UniFi, you use the UniFi network controller. This is free software that can run on Windows, macOS or Linux. You can run the software on any PC you have on a physical server, or in a VM or Docker container. It also runs inside the UniFi Dream Machines and UniFi Cloud Keys. The controller software is used for configuring and monitoring your UniFi network. If you need to make changes to your settings, add additional devices, or upgrade firmware, you’ll do all of that through the UniFi controller. A few things can be done on the command line via SSH, but in general, UniFi devices are meant to be managed through the controller. The primary way of accessing the software is in a web browser. Ubiquiti also make mobile applications for Android and iOS which have some of the functions found on the web interface. Here are some of the bestselling UniFi wireless access points:
  • AC-Lite: The do-everything workhorse. Unless you are trying to push gigabit speeds or have some really heavy wireless needs in mind, this is a good default option.
  • UniFi 6 Lite: The smallest, cheapest Wi-Fi 6 AP. The new baseline.
  • AC-LR: LR stands for long range. Features a better antenna that can reach further distances than the AC-Lite. It’s a good option if you are trying to cover the far corners of a house. The LR is only a small step up in price from the lite, and is another good default option.
  • UniFi 6 LR: The long range version of the UniFi 6 Lite. Steps up to 4×4 5 GHz radio, allowing for longer range and higher speeds than the 6 Lite.
  • AC-Mesh: If you need longer-range mesh or outdoor coverage, this is the one to get.
  • AC-BeaconHD: If Ethernet isn’t an option, this is the best indoor mesh AP they offer.
  • AC-nanoHD: Newer than the Pro, this is the cheapest 802.11ac Wave 2 access point they make. If you have modern devices that support multiple radio chains on 5 GHz, you can get some fast throughput. 2.4 GHz performance isn’t as strong as the Pro, however.
  • AC-FlexHD: Same radios and capabilities as the nanoHD in a different form factor.
  • AC-HD: For really high density and/or maximum throughput. Only buy this if you have the need, or the cash to burn. The HD has the best 2.4 and 5 GHz performance I’d recommend for home use. The only step up from the HD is the UWB-XG, which is intended more for places like an auditorium or sports venues (hundreds or thousands of devices in a small area).
And unless you have a specific need for them, you can also ignore most of the specialty models.
  • UAP-AC-EDU adds a built in loudspeaker and is EoL.
  • UAP-AC-SHD adds an extra radio dedicated to security tasks and RF monitoring, meant for dense and secure environments like a bank, or a hospital.
  • The XG series (UAP-XG and UWB-XG) are overkill for 99.99% of home networks – more on those later.
  • IW stands for In-Wall. In-Wall APs can be used if mounting a traditional access point isn’t an option. Ethernet should still be run to these, but they also have the benefit of providing two or four Ethernet ports for other downstream devices, thanks to a small built-in switch.
  • M stands for mesh. Mesh APs are what you want if you are mounting outdoors. The mesh models (and all 2nd generation or newer UniFi APs) allow you to extend a network without requiring Ethernet cabling, using a power adapter and wireless backhaul. Wireless backhaul will not perform as well as wired, but they can be the best option for certain situations.
Essentially they act as a wireless bridge when you are connected to it. One radio talks to your device, while the other relays that to the next closest AP. This is why wireless backhaul will generally have higher latency and lower speeds than using Ethernet.

802.11AC WAVE 1 VS. WAVE 2

The Lite, LR and Pro models are all 802.11ac Wave 1. The HD models are all 802.11ac Wave 2. Wave 2 brings a few majors changes which allow for higher performance. Wave 1 AP’s can only use SU-MIMO (Single-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) to communicate with only one client at a time. Wave 2 APs can use MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) to communicate with multiple clients at the same time — significantly increasing multi-user throughput. MU-MIMO also increases wireless performance and/or serves more clients at the same performance level. At any single time, a 4×4 Wave 2 AP can communicate with the following:
  • Four 1×1 clients
  • Two 2×2 clients
  • One 2×2 client and two 1×1 clients
  • One 3×3 client and one 1×1 client
Another benefit of Wave 2 is that up to four spatial streams are available, and more channels can be bonded together. Both of those feature’s help achieve higher speeds. Deciding if the added costs and abilities are worth it is up to you. ANTENNA DIFFERENCES One more thing to keep in mind — while a lot of models have equivalent radio performance, there are differences in their antennas, and how those antennas perform. Generally speaking, the LR, mesh and HD models have higher-gain, and more sensitive antennas. Equivalent radios with better antennas lead to better performance. If you want maximum performance in one area, you can have one Pro or HD covering that, and use AC-Lite’s or mesh APs to extend the network into less used areas. Alternatively, if you want to expand coverage in the future, you do not need to match the AP’s you currently have. You can add any of them at anytime, anywhere you need them.

What is a Cat6 Cable?

05/10/2021 11:09

Category 6 cable, also commonly known as network, LAN or Ethernet data cable, is a 4 twisted pair sheathed copper wire cable which can support data transfer rates of up to 1 gigabits (1,000 megabits). This higher bandwidth allows for quick transferral of large files in an office network.

It is compatible with fast Ethernet 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX and Gigabit networks, and is backwards compatible with previous iterations, such as Cat5/5E and Cat3.

Either end usually has an eight-position eight connector (8P8C) RJ45 jack which is used to connect two devices together with the Cat6 cable. It’s important to use jacks that meet Cat6 rating in order to get the full performance it delivers.

As with all Ethernet cable, it can be identified by the labelling on the outer sheath.

What are Cat6 Cables Used for?

In most cases, Cat6 cable is used for connecting a computer to another device like a hub, router or switch in order to allow the sharing of files across a network or for accessing the Internet.

It can also be used for connecting computers to other devices together such as printers or scanners, or for incoming and outgoing LAN connections on patch panels.

Cat6 Cable

Cat6 Types, Frequency and Distance Usage

There are two types of category 6 cable:

Cat6 TypeFrequencyMaximum Distance Usage
Standard Cat6 Cable250MHz55m unshielded for 10GBASE-T
Cat6a Ethernet Cable (also known as Augmented Cat6)500MHz100m on 10GBASE-T

What is the Difference Between Shielded Twisted Pair and Unshielded Twisted Pair?

Depending on where you are installing your Cat6 cable, in a factory instead of an office building, you may have large amounts of electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI can be caused by certain types of lighting, air conditioning, printers, motors and generators.

Cat6 cable uses twisted pair cable as standard to minimise the amount of crosstalk to reduce the noise created by electrical interference. Two types of twisted pair cable are available – shielded twisted pair (STP) and unshielded twisted pair (UTP).

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cat6 Cable

Standard twisted pair cable might not be enough for some environments, and shielded twisted pair (STP) Cat6 cable needs to be used in order to combat this.

This shielding usually comes in the form of a foil shield wrapped around the twisted pairs, which is in turn wrapped by a PVC or low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) sheath.

Largely, STP is more expensive and is stiffer, making it harder to install. Any jacks and couplers used also need to be shielded, further increasing the cost.

STP Cable

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable

Conversely, unshielded twisted pair cable (UTP) Cat6 cable is basically your standard cable, without this foil shielding. It does reduce some EMI on its own but doesn’t effectively block interference as well as STP.

UTP Cable

What is the Difference Between Cat6 and Cat5/5e Cable?

Essentially it comes down to quality, speed and price.

A network will always run at the speed of the slowest device or component, so mixing the two will cause the entire network to run at the speed of the one with the lowest specification.

Cat5 is obsolete and has been replaced by Cat5e. Good quality Cat5e (the “e” stands for enhanced) cable can run at near, or at, gigabit speeds, whilst Cat6 is specifically certified for 1-gigabit operation, therefore offering increased speed over Cat5. Cat6 can perform up to 250MHz whilst Cat5e can only operate up to 100MHz. Cat5e is more economical, has almost comparable speeds and comes in many colours to match environments they’re placed into.

If you are looking to buy Cat6 cable, it is better in comparison, but you will pay more for it, and the increases it delivers are marginal in perception. It’s all about making the right choice for the right environment.

What is a Cat6 Cable Tester?

Network Cable Tester

Cat6 cable testers are an essential tool for quickly testing and troubleshooting the integrity of Ethernet cables.

They can test multiple cable types, verifying if cables are correctly or incorrectly connected. They generally vary depending on price, performance and specific use.

Shop Network Cable Testers


Can You Get Outdoor Cat6 Cable (Waterproof)?

Cat 6 cable can be used outdoors as long as you purchase a waterproof variety. This comes with an additional outer sheath in order to waterproof it. As a result, this makes the cable a bit wider and stiffer, which in turn makes it stronger too. It does however mean that the minimum bend radius is reduced due to the increased thickness, so this needs to be taken into consideration.

What is the Difference Between a Cat6 Patch Lead and a Crossover Cable?

A Cat6 patch lead or cable, also known as a straight-through cable, is used for connecting devices of different types, like a computer to a switch or hub.

Ethernet crossover cable on the other hand is used for connecting two types of the same device together e.g. two computers.

When Do I Need Cat6 Plenum Cable?

Plenum cable is used in spaces generally reserved for HVAC areas, usually under raised floors or above suspended ceilings within buildings. It has special insulation giving it smokeless and low flame characteristics.

In general, Cat6 plenum cable costs more as the materials used to create them must meet more stringent criteria. As a result, it is more expensive than standard PVC cable.


Good News……Energy Regulator Cuts Power Costs for Large Users by at Least 20%

05/10/2021 10:38
In a fresh bid to reduce the retail prices, The energy watchdog has cut retail electricity prices for large manufacturers in a fresh bid to make power costs competitive compared with other African nations such as Ethiopia, South Africa and Egypt.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has lowered retail tariffs for big consumers to Sh7.99 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from Sh10.10 a unit, reflecting a 20.8 percent fall.
Manufacturers operating in Special Economic Zones close to the Naivasha standard gauge railway (SGR) station will pay Sh5 per kWh, from the current rate of Sh10.10 and Sh12.
Domestic, commercial and small industrialists have been exempted from the discount as Kenya Power continues to push for higher tariffs. The lower electricity prices for industrialists are meant to boost economic growth, entice investors and rev up job creation. The Kenyan government has been trying to boost investment in the power-hungry manufacturing sector in recent years, including the opening of light vehicle assembly plants by global firms like Peugeot and Volkswagen.
Pavel Oimeke, EPRA Director-General, reckons that the discount will apply to larger manufacturers connected to the 220 kilovolt lines, arguing that the power cut will ease their production costs.
“The large industries will enjoy significant relief from this new revision given that they also have the cheaper time of use tariff and the ongoing rebates plan. We have also come up with a special tariff for the Special Economic Zones,” Mr Oimeke said. The lower time of use tariff applies from 10pm to 6am every day to boost usage of electricity when most households and businesses have shut down.
The new prices are effective from January 30 and will apply to postpaid bills due at the end of February. Taxes and other levies account for about a third of electricity tariffs and manufacturers have been lobbying for these charges to be reduced.
During his second term inauguration, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he planned to increase the share of manufacturing to annual economic output to 15 percent from nine percent.
Kenya Power has consistently sought higher tariffs, arguing that it needs them to cover the capital-intensive nature of building and maintaining a nationwide electricity distribution infrastructure. The listed utility firm has made an application to increase electricity prices by up to a fifth in a review that if implemented will hurt household budgets and raise the already high cost of doing business in Kenya.
Kenya Power is seeking higher tariffs to reverse its reducing profitability and review the temporary reduction of power charges that expired in July. It wants to increase the consumption charge for those consuming less than 100 kilowatts per month to Sh12.50 a unit, up from the current Sh10.
This will apply to approximately 5.7 million customers who use below 100 kilowatt units per month. The law provides that electricity tariffs be reviewed every three years, but the timetable has been erratic as the regulator has often delayed or amended the rates, partly due to the government seeking to ease inflationary pressure on households and industries.
Kenya Power has hinged the recovery of its earnings on the new tariffs after issuing a profit warning for the second year in a row.
The firm in 2018 returned the worst performance in a decade as profits fell 63.7 percent to Sh1.92 billion, denying investors dividends.

Categories:Blogs, Policy & Advocacy

Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX Asterisk Appliance

05/10/2021 10:29

Affordability without sacrifice. The s20 VoIP PBX delivers an incredible array of business features and advances Yeastar’s popular line of Asterisk based appliances. the s 20 adds features, and advances both the hardware and software, with one of the best intuitive user interfaces.

Review of the Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX

Yeastar keeps getting it right. The S20 VoIP appliance is everything that a small company might want. With the host of features that came with the MyPBX SOHO like Fax to Email, Voicemail to Email, MOH, Queues, Ring Groups, Time Conditions, etc., the S20 also offers some neat new features like AutoClip, more robust call recording, and SIP Forking.

The S20 comes with 2 on-board slots that can be used for expansion modules, including FXS, FXO, or T1/PRI ports, and can now also now accept a GSM module (new with the S-20). The hardware has been upgraded and includes Texas Instruments voice processors, a Freescale ARM A9 industrial grade Quad Core CPU, 4GB Samsung flash memory, and double the RAM to 512 MB DDR3.

The S-Series PBXs also have an improved software component and uses version 13 of Asterisk. Review of the S20 shows how well liked the redesigned clean Web-interface (GUI) is. In the design form of a desktop, much like Windows, most people will feel quite at home with its look, navigation design and ability to get to the settings that you need. For example, OpenVPN can be found on its own tab in Network Settings. Administration becomes that much easier, as one can work with several settings at the same time, each opened in its own folder. Shortcuts can then be placed on the PC desktop for quick access to frequently used configurations.

Yeastar S series VoIP PBX GUI screenshot.

Another big improvement that the S20 offers over the SOHO has to do with the way the recording function of conversations operates. SOHO only would record conversations in an on demand basis with the recording started after the user’s initiation. With the S20 additional functionality has been added so conversations can be setup to record for a certain user or a specific trunk (record all incoming and outgoing calls). This is a huge improvement for companies that need this ability and recordings can be setup to be stored on an external network drive.

It goes without saying that the Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX is one of the best Asterisk based affordable appliances on the market. Yeastar has improved the MyPBX line (although the user capacity of the S20 is less than the MyPBX SOHO) and done so while keeping the appliance, even when adding a FXO or GSM module card, very affordable. And just like its predecessor, you have a choice of SIP based phones that you can use for your deployment, however using Yealink phones, which offer easy configuration and design compatibilities that the two companies have collaborated on, makes this a top choice for any small to medium sized company.

Review for Yeastar S20 VoIP Asterisk Appliance

Young professional rating the Yeastar ip-pbx system.

The S20 VoIP PBX shows Yeastar has doubled down and improved their extremely popular MyPBX SOHO appliance and now offers one of the best affordable small office phone systems anywhere.

Improved upgraded hardware with software improvements have moved the Yeastar s20 as one of the best asterisk IP-PBX appliances on the market for the small office.

Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX Asterisk Appliance
  • The Yeastar S-Series is compatible withphones by Yeastar, Polycom, Grandstream Snom, etc..
  • Easy Installation and Configuration.
  • Multiple Language Support, Great for International Satellite Offices.
  • An excellent clean intuitive Graphic Interface (Metro UI).
  • Supports up to 20 Users, 10 Concurrent Calls and 20 VoIP Trunks (Less than the SOHO.)
  • Add PSTN Connectivity through the Addition of a 2Port FXO Module(s).
  • Additional application solutions (extra license) such as the Hotel App and Queuemetrics.
  • Call recording, SIP Forking, AutoCLIP, Event Center and Visual Status Monitor installed.
  • No License Fees and Free lifetime software/firmware upgrades.
  • Well written documentation and configuration guides with support through online community, knowledgebase, webinars and Yeastar Academy.
  • Enhanced Security with Built-in Firewall.
  • 3 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Test drive of the Yeastar S series IP PBX