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PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
17093 posts

Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
Ok, so I’m trying to decide on the best way forward for my parents, and how to set up their new house.

They’ve downsized from our family home into a house that I believe is around 1,700 sq. ft. The house has been wired with cat6 cabling throughout the rooms, and all wires originate in a closet where the fiber line comes into the house. They will be using the ISP provided fiber optics network unit (ONU) which essentially acts as a modem that will then have an Ethernet line out to whatever router I choose.

Which leads me to my questions...After realizing they won’t be able to use their current modem/router combo I’ve started to research online for other options, and since the hookup point for all of this is in a closet I started wondering if they wouldn’t be better off having a wired router in the closet with a wireless access point plugged into an Ethernet port in a more central location in the house, instead of a traditional wifi router being stuck in the closet?

So that led me to the EdgeRouter X from Ubiquiti. . So if I bought that and paired it with one of their wireless access points for home WiFi, and used an unmanaged switch to connect all of the wired Ethernet rooms would that be a better option than going with one of the mesh systems from google or eero for example?

Or am I just overthinking this and should I just buy something like the eero mesh router, connect that to a switch for all of the wired Ethernet ports and then use one more erro node placed in a more central location and call it a day?

Oh, my parents have also decided to go with YouTube TV, which means at most there will be two streams simultaneously and browsing on their phones. I think their new plan is for 200mbps speeds. I’m thinking that should be enough, because the next speed that the ISP offers is gigabit which would definitely be overkill for them.







TLDR: Should my parents go with a simple mesh system & unmanaged switch or should they use the ubiquiti edgerouter X with a ubiquiti wireless access point and an unmanaged switch for their needs?


bluebarracuda
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2011
15481 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

Or am I just overthinking this and should I just buy something like the eero mesh router, connect that to a switch for all of the wired Ethernet ports and then use one more erro node placed in a more central location and call it a day?


As a ubiquiti/cisco user, this is the easiest route


PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
17093 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.


Is there a specific mesh system this board recommends?


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Hopeful Doc
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
12241 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
Edge router is probably not a great solution for them.


1) it doesn’t talk to the UniFi Controller which is what makes the access points work and do things. Put a little more simply: any dumb router will work as well with unifi Access Points as an Edgerouter. LINK so you’re going to manage it like you would a normal router (typing in the IP address into a web browser) and it isn’t going to see/talk to the AP inside of its interface. It will provide internet to it and be a DHCP server, but it’s not the “typical” unifi solution.
2) be careful with which PoE is on the edgerouter if any. Most edgerouter products still use passive 24v I believe. Most of their AP use 48v now (802.11af/at).


If you want internet in a 1700sqft house, you can probably put any modern router centrally and do fine.


If you want a mesh system, there are 10-15 good options.


If you want a scalable solution that will allow you to add more AP over time, use subjects or VLANs, possibly add (overpriced) camera/monitoring, and (in the future) VOIP that all gets controlled from one device, then you want unifi.


One thing worth trying in this situation would be a Unifi Dream Machine LINK
$300 router that has one of their AP, one of their small controller modules, and their firewall/security gateway all in one box. Or in other words, it has all the pieces of a router you would expect PLUS scalability (though with this one, you can’t add talk or video. That one is the UDM pro which subtracts the AP, adds space for a hard drive, and doubles the Ethernet ports).


You’ll spend less and get probably as good/better results with basically any Mesh system that allows you to connect with an Ethernet cable IF you don’t want multiple SSIDs, vlan support, and managed switch ports (I am 99% certain the UDM allows you to do this. If you know what this is, you’ll care enough to check that out. But I’m being lazy, and it’s probably not something you need). TP Link Deco m5 is what I know a handful of folks using with good results. If you go this route, you need a switch in addition to the 2-4 AP.


UDM would give you the ability to tie 4 rooms together before needing another switch, which would probably be sufficient in most use scenarios. The one sort of cool thing these have is in-wall AP that I think tend to look better than most mesh appliances, but that’s a matter of taste. It’s also much more expensive, so if the Ethernet port is uncovered in the middle of a room, maybe something worth looking at. But if they’re already tucked in cabinets or behind walls, there’s probably no aesthetic advantage (though they have options for 2 and 4 port switches on some of their AP which may or may not be of use).



TLDR:
I wouldn’t do it like you proposed if I did unifi
I would probably buy a UDM and add an AP if necessary
You could get as good/better results around half price with TP link m5 deco and your favorite brand of $20-40 8-port gigabit switch.


PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
17093 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
Very thorough. Thank you. It sounds like my parents definitely don’t need the added controls unify products would give them, and would do just fine with a mesh system.

And this might be just what I do...
quote:

You could get as good/better results around half price with TP link m5 deco and your favorite brand of $20-40 8-port gigabit switch.



I am also wondering if you can add a simple 5 port switch to one of the wired in wall Ethernet outlets that feeds back to the original switch containing all of the wired in wall Ethernet outlets? Essentially daisy-chaining switches together, or would that cause performance issues?

This post was edited on 11/19 at 11:02 pm


LSUtigerME
LSU Fan
Walker, LA
Member since Oct 2012
2634 posts
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re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
This sounds like you were originally waaaay over complicating this.

Buy a good wireless router that’s simple to use and be done. 1700 sqft shouldn’t need much more than that. I put my parents on a lower end Nighthawk router it covers their similar sized house fine.

Since the house is hardwired, you’ll just use a switch to connect all the wires to the router. If they need to add a switch at the room side (say a desktop switch by their computer) that’s fine as well. You can daisy chain switches without much issue. There’s a recommended limit to it, but this setup will be fine.


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20808 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

I am also wondering if you can add a simple 5 port switch to one of the wired in wall Ethernet outlets that feeds back to the original switch containing all of the wired in wall Ethernet outlets? Essentially daisy-chaining switches together, or would that cause performance issues?
Yes, that's how they're supposed to work. You won't notice any performance issues, the ISP connection is the bottleneck here. Five devices on a switch sharing one link to another switch is miles better than 5 wifi devices sharing time on an access point.

If you were connecting multiple 48+ port switches and you need high speed throughout your own network (like really really high speed), then you might consider using link aggregation (on switches that support it) with multiple cables between two switches for higher throughput and redundancy. But that obviously only comes into play with large corporate networks supporting hundreds or thousands of simultaneous users.

But just in general connecting switches to each other is not a problem. That's what they're for.


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PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
17093 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
Thanks all for feedback.


quote:

Buy a good wireless router that’s simple to use and be done. 1700 sqft shouldn’t need much more than that. I put my parents on a lower end Nighthawk router it covers their similar sized house fine.
this is initially what I was planning on doing, but my concern was that it was going to be tucked away in a closet limiting the WiFi coverage too much. But with how inexpensive that 2 pack tp link decco mesh system is it seems like a no brainer.


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Hopeful Doc
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
12241 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

add a simple 5 port switch to one of the wired in wall Ethernet outlets



That should work perfectly fine, as highlighted above. Not sure if you noticed or not, but the little router/AP has 2 ports on the back of it, so you have one free Ethernet port even after you plug in to the remote (as in not in the closet) port.

The one thing I would be careful with is not to buy a “fast Ethernet” switch but to buy a “gigabit” switch. You’re talking about a few dollars difference. And it will almost certainly never make a huge real-world impact, but fast Ethernet by definition caps out at 100mbps. So if you are purchasing a 200mbps internet plan, you are cutting its throughput behind that switch to half at best. This probably would only be noticeable on things on a 10/100 switch downloading large files or transferring big files between two computers on a switch.


LSU316
Houston Astros Fan
Rice and Easy Baby!!!
Member since Nov 2007
23099 posts
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re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
Have you checked out the Amplifi mesh system from Ubiquiti?

I've had it for over 4 years now and never had a problem with it. I bought the thing in 2016 and it never turned off or had to be reset until Hurricane Laura.

I've got 250 down from Cox and I easily get 120-150 down over wifi throughout my whole 3000+ sq ft house.


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20808 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

not to buy a “fast Ethernet” switch
I hadn't even considered that they might still make those.

And talk about poor naming. Never call anything "fast" in tech, because one day soon it will be the slowest option available.


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20808 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

Amplifi mesh system from Ubiquiti?

I've had it for over 4 years now
So you have the "HD" one? The cube router with the power socket mag-base access points? Or did they have a different version available back then that is now discontinued?

I'm just curious because I was hoping to hear from someone with the newer "Amplifi Instant" gear. My gut tells me it would beat the other similarly-priced ($180) mesh systems, but I can't seem to find anyone who's got experience with multiple ones.


LSU316
Houston Astros Fan
Rice and Easy Baby!!!
Member since Nov 2007
23099 posts
 Online 

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
Yep I have the HD.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52119 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
hey you should give me a USG Pro4.


Hopeful Doc
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
12241 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

hey you should give me a USG Pro4.



Dumb question:
Why a USG Pro4 over a UDM Pro if you are starting from scratch?


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20808 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
I think he just hasn't checked out their lineup in a while. For an extra $35 I'm not sure there's a reason to not choose the UDM-Pro. Unless you can get the USG-Pro4 pretty cheap.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52119 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

Dumb question:
Why a USG Pro4 over a UDM Pro if you are starting from scratch?


from what i have read, a Dream machine is an all in one package but it does lack some controllability features. Now that you bring it up i might want to look at the DM because I probably done really need that specific controllability.


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CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52119 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
hmmm might need to spend 400 bucks on myself for christmas.


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SG_Geaux
LSU Fan
Googolplex Posts
Member since Aug 2004
69840 posts

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

wouldn’t be better off having a wired router in the closet with a wireless access point plugged into an Ethernet port in a more central location in the house, instead of a traditional wifi router being stuck in the closet?



YES


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Weekend Warrior79
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2014
6334 posts
 Online 

re: Home Networking setup & equipment advice.
quote:

If you want internet in a 1700sqft house, you can probably put any modern router centrally and do fine.

This is basically what I currently have for a 2400 sqft, 1 story home. Fortunately, the modem/router combo is able to be centrally located. I have the 300/30 plan and routinely get 300+ in the room with the modem/router. And, in the far corners I get 180-220; however, I think that has more to do with the soundproofing interference between the modem/router location and all of the bedrooms.

All I did was buy an ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580-AC which would allow up to 1.4G (per packaging). Plus, it gives me 2 separate WiFis that I can hide for a little extra security.

The only downside I am seeing to the combo is I only have 4 ports, so I have a switch by the TV and one in the office. Also, I do need to periodically reset the modem to maintain max speeds, but I think that's a Cox issue.


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