Okay... so several threads got me thinking about upgrading my network infrastructure again. I see lots of members talking about and/or recommending Ubiquiti gear. I've thought multiple times about moving from consumer to professional gear, but I'm admittedly cheap, even though I don't have to be.
So... I have thoughts and questions.
In case you haven't read it elsewhere... my current setup is 4x Google OnHub set up in a mesh. It covers about 5k sq ft across 3 separate floors. Overall, the Google OnHub mesh provides a very stable and easy to manage system. I don't have any hard wired AP, they all use wireless for the back-haul.
My server, TV, Nvidia Shield, and other media devices, are all hard wired off the main router AP. I have my personal computer on the second floor hard wired down to the basement using a MoCa adapter and satellite coax cables that were already in place. The rest of the devices (23 at last count) connect to the wireless mesh.
Problems I've run in to:
- Routing options are limited. Simplicity comes with sacrifice in this case. It's great for 99+% of users out there, and even 95+% of my needs.
- You can not use the Google mesh without also using the routing feature. Putting the network behind another router kills the mesh, and everything just becomes a normal AP. I don't want to go back to that.
- I lost the ability to have a simple VPN to access my home network though the router. This has been overcome using a rPi or by using Wireguard through my Unraid server. I really don't like having it go through my Unraid server. I'd rather have something more simple/reliable just in case.
- Losing internet kills all network administration. Because the Google mesh admin is cloud based, no internet = no admin. This hasn't happened often, but if/when my ISP goes down, I lose all administration of the local network.
I'm perfectly happy to stick with the Google mesh for the moment, but I'm starting to consider my options.
So some questions:
- I looked at basic Ubiquity routers (EdgeRouter) in the past. Why should someone go with the UniFi Security Gateway (USG) over say the EdgeRouter 4 or X?
- My entire wireless setup would have to be replaced. What APs would work best in this situation? I see that Ubiquiti offers a lot of choices. Not sure I really want to ceiling/wall mount everything.
- What about WiFi 6? I know I don't really need it yet... but is it on the near horizon for Ubiquiti gear? Should I hold out until that comes along?
- What the heck is a cloud key, and what does it do? Do I even need it?
- I don't have a PoE switch. Are there other options for powering the AP? Do they come with the AP, or do you have to use something like an injector at an additional puchase?
- Is there a better or more cost effective solution? I've also looked in to pfSense in the past, but it seems that USG would be on par with that?
I know that's a lot of thoughts and questions. I'll probably have more as this conversation goes on.
Convince me make the switch.