For a while now I have been thinking about upgrading my network, and since moving I have been having more and more issues with my 2TB Apple Time Capsule where I am forced to reboot it often. Besides rebooting it I have also been experiencing a poor or often times slow signal now that I live in a much larger than when I lived in Denver.
I finally decided it was time that I make the jump to a business class setup not only for signal, and reliability but also in hopes to boost the overall coverage no matter what room or chair I am sitting in at the time.
Initially, I was looking into something like the Eero, but while it seemed very user-friendly and robust it was lacking in the ability to configure it on a level that I was looking for, making it a bit more entry-level than I was wanting. I also thought of Google Wifi, but even though I rely on them for just about all my online needs, welcoming them into my home to provide the wifi just seemed a little more welcoming than using them for my calendar and email, since they are a search engine and who knows what other data outside of that they would be harvesting and also again the lack of being as configurable as I was wanting.
After recently seeing a few tweets, and reading a handful of blog posts that made mention of Ubiquiti and their hardware I did a bit of research into them, and while their configuration is definitely not for the faint of heart like over-the-counter Linksys, Netgear etc that you would find at Best Buy they seemed to offer exactly what I was wanting. I shopped around and picked out a pretty well-rounded setup which in the end “should” work well, and allow for a decent amount of time before I will need to overhaul the network layer again.
I ended up landing on the following equipment for my build.
- Ubiquiti Unifi Cloud Key – Remote Control Device (UC-CK)
- Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)
- Ubiquiti UniFi Switch 8 60W (US-8-60W)
- Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US)
I was hoping this setup would provide ample ports for all my wired gear and more than enough coverage for all my wifi devices in and around my place… so much for planning accordingly on my part. Thankfully the folks over at Ubiquiti sent me another AP-Pro for my setup which doubles my coverage. Due to my poor planning, I ended up picking up another 8 port switch (Even though I should have just returned the original and gotten a 24 port switch instead).
The overall setup was pretty easy, I configured it all before swapping out my router in order to limit the actual downtime of the wifi. There are many other reviews/articles out there that talk about how to configure and setup everything so I won’t be getting into any of that during this post, but I can confirm while not “plug-n-play” it was pretty straightforward to get everything running in a basic type of setup.
After about a week of having the current setup, I ended up adding yet another AC-Pro on the other side of the house to get a bit better coverage and to remove some load I was seeing on the two other access points.
Ubiquiti is not known to be the fastest most performance-based setup you can get out there, but they are known for their stability and so far I can vouch for that 100%. I have not had to reboot anything for over 25 days and things are just humming along great.
They do offer a level of tweaking and customization that you won’t find with other home routers/networking so when you really want to get your hands dirty on a weekend you can configure all kinds of things. I was noticing for instance that some devices were hanging on to certain APs so I made adjustments to limit that so devices now will only attach if their signal is X which keeps the load down and distributes the devices much better across the network.
Configuring a VPN was really easy, more so than I have found on some home routers even. And might I add very stable as well.
I plan on creating specific VLANs for certain devices to keep everything uncluttered but I am still looking at the best way to implement this while allowing everything to work properly across the board.
Outside of that, I am really interested in checking out their cameras and DVR setup as I think that would really add to my network setup.
So far I have been pushing just about everyone I know to get set up with Ubiquiti so far it works great, and in the end, is not that expensive based on the hardware and configuration that you are getting. And when needing to add a new AP for whatever reason it’s cheap to do.