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post #1 of 9 Old 01-07-2020, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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New Network

I really couldn't find anyplace else to post this so if I'm wrong, mods please move..

So here's the deal..



I've been using Asus AiMesh for quite some time with an RT-AC3100 and three RT-AC68u's (two converted T-Mobile TM-AC1900's and my original RT-AC68u). Over the course of the last year I've had issues with Spectrum not dishing out a valid HDCP IP address and my router going to carp with my having to reset and restore from backup, causing hours of headache.



A couple of weeks ago I broke down and got a Router from the Spectrum Store and spend more hours setting the thing up with its lousy UI and limited settings but my network is now up and running again.



I'm done with consumer stuff and am going to sell the Asus Routers which will probably put a decent dent into going prosumer..



I'm thinking Ubiquiti but am not quite sure what hardware to start with. I figure I need a gateway and at least one AP, hopefully Wireless but I can do some pulls to go wired if needed. I should also note that I converted old Cat 5e phone lines in my house to a wired network that covers a good portion of the house, except the dining room and entry area, which are also the furthest from my WiFi Router currently as I don't have the RT-AC68's in Mesh Mode with a wired back haul nearby any longer. This conversion is in a daisy chain fashion with a Gig Switch in each bedroom to move the signal on to the next bedroom. This is not ideal but it is the best I could do as there are no home runs in this existing cabling. I'd like to continue using these unmanaged switches so as to not lay out additional cash.



I am also thinking of pFsense but know even less about it than Ubiquiti except that I believe it even costs more for the hardware. I could be wrong. Either way the infrastructure would be similar in that I want to continue using the unmanagaed switches as described above.



So if you go all TL/DR on me at least read this! I am looking for suggestions to upgrade my network.



TIA

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post #2 of 9 Old 01-07-2020, 07:32 PM
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Go with pfsense. SG-3100 is $350 direct from Netgate and should be more than enough for what you need. You could probably step down a model and be fine as well. Or build your own if you need more power because you want to run IDS/IPS and other packages that hit the CPU.

Is pfsense perfect? No - I've had plenty of issues with hardware(none with the newer SG3100 and up models) and software. I also have A LOT of them in the field so...

Other option is Mikrotik. They cost peanuts and are super reliable. Learning curve can be higher than something like pfsense so how much is your time worth. Both options you will need to rely on community support unless you want to pay up for support.

I like Unifi for Wi-Fi, done it for years. Set up controllers on Amazon EC2, locally, remotely etc. It's cheap and it works, yes they have their bugs just like everyone else. Setting up the controller can have a learning curve if you're not familiar with the process. It's not by any means difficult.

For personal use - you can also look at Aruba and Ruckus on eBay. You can find NIB units for very low prices. I deploy LOTS of Aruba. Would I pay retail price for it, no. I wouldn't even pay dealer price for it. Not when I can get a retail $1300 access point NIB for $350.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-07-2020, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by eatenbacktolife View Post
Go with pfsense. SG-3100 is $350 direct from Netgate and should be more than enough for what you need. You could probably step down a model and be fine as well. Or build your own if you need more power because you want to run IDS/IPS and other packages that hit the CPU.

Is pfsense perfect? No - I've had plenty of issues with hardware(none with the newer SG3100 and up models) and software. I also have A LOT of them in the field so...

Other option is Mikrotik. They cost peanuts and are super reliable. Learning curve can be higher than something like pfsense so how much is your time worth. Both options you will need to rely on community support unless you want to pay up for support.

I like Unifi for Wi-Fi, done it for years. Set up controllers on Amazon EC2, locally, remotely etc. It's cheap and it works, yes they have their bugs just like everyone else. Setting up the controller can have a learning curve if you're not familiar with the process. It's not by any means difficult.

For personal use - you can also look at Aruba and Ruckus on eBay. You can find NIB units for very low prices. I deploy LOTS of Aruba. Would I pay retail price for it, no. I wouldn't even pay dealer price for it. Not when I can get a retail $1300 access point NIB for $350.
This is fantastic advice. I would add Pakedge in with the ruckus and Aruba. Specifically the routers and switches. The eBay deals can be incredible.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-08-2020, 09:42 AM
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I am FAR from a network expert guy, but I really like my Ubiquiti stuff.

Between my own cable modem, my USG router, and Ubiquiti Access Points, I've got a rock-solid network. I haven't sprung for their switch yet, but I may soon. My 16-port TP-link is full.

You also need or want a Cloudkey or a computer to run the Unifi software on. This lets you do all the configuring of everything.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-08-2020, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post
I am FAR from a network expert guy, but I really like my Ubiquiti stuff.

Between my own cable modem, my USG router, and Ubiquiti Access Points, I've got a rock-solid network. I haven't sprung for their switch yet, but I may soon. My 16-port TP-link is full.

You also need or want a Cloudkey or a computer to run the Unifi software on. This lets you do all the configuring of everything.
So you just have the USG and AP's. Is your switch managed? Do I need a managed switch?

Do I need a CloudKey if I run the software on an always on PC? Does this give me access via a smartphone app?

Here's my infrastructure to help out:
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-08-2020, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
So you just have the USG and AP's. Is your switch managed? Do I need a managed switch?

Do I need a CloudKey if I run the software on an always on PC? Does this give me access via a smartphone app?

Here's my infrastructure to help out:
I have Modem --> USG --> Switch --> AP's. Cloudkey plugged in too. I don't have a managed switch. I'm due for an upgrade anyways, so I may do that this time around. Gets more expensive and not sure I really need it.

I have only used the CloudKey but my understanding is that you can run the software on an always on PC. I probably should have gone that route since I have two always-on PC's in my rack, but I didn't for some reason. I don't know about smartphone access, but I can access my system with my phone and the CloudKey. Only locally; I've never messed around with anything VPN or any sort of remote access.

I know just enough to be dangerous about networking. And a little less about pulling cable . . .
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-09-2020, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
So you just have the USG and AP's. Is your switch managed? Do I need a managed switch?

Do I need a CloudKey if I run the software on an always on PC? Does this give me access via a smartphone app?

Here's my infrastructure to help out:
Watch this guys videos on Ubiquiti stuff. It will all be explained and easy to understand.

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-10-2020, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post
I have Modem --> USG --> Switch --> AP's. Cloudkey plugged in too. I don't have a managed switch. I'm due for an upgrade anyways, so I may do that this time around. Gets more expensive and not sure I really need it.



I have only used the CloudKey but my understanding is that you can run the software on an always on PC. I probably should have gone that route since I have two always-on PC's in my rack, but I didn't for some reason. I don't know about smartphone access, but I can access my system with my phone and the CloudKey. Only locally; I've never messed around with anything VPN or any sort of remote access.



I know just enough to be dangerous about networking. And a little less about pulling cable . . .
So I can start with the USG and an AP?

Considering also the Edge Router X but maybe then I need a managed switch?

Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

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post #9 of 9 Old 01-10-2020, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge540 View Post
Watch this guys videos on Ubiquiti stuff. It will all be explained and easy to understand.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_-iuY_xxFY
Sounds like I need the USG Pro for my 450mbs internet?

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