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Thread: Home Network & Ubiquity

  1. #1
    Joe Appleby's Avatar
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    Home Network & Ubiquity

    I've been procrastinating on this thread for a bit...

    I am interested in everyone's input on the home network setup I plan to do.

    Background:
    I've moved house and now live in a terraced house. There are three floors, living room on the ground floor, two housemates on the first floor, two more rooms on the second floor. Pretty much all of us are nerds and wired ethernet is necessary on all floors. The walls seem to be reinforced concrete, I had to borrow my dad's hefty rotary hammer to get simple holes into the wall.

    Current situation:
    The Vodafone supplied router/wifi AP is awful and along with the building material used, wifi reception on the top floor is non-existent. So far there's a janky ethernet cable running along the stairs into a 5 port switch which supplies my room, my housemate's room and a cheap wifi AP I had lying around. Both APs broadcast the same SSD, but handover between APs is rather crappy.

    Plan:
    My school is running Ubiquity and I've read that some of you guys run Ubiquity as well and I have not heard anything bad about it. So I had a look at how I could do a proper network. The only issue is that it's expensive and quite overkill. But as a nerd I don't mind the overkill, and money isn't that much of an issue.

    I came up with two options of how to set up the network:

    Red denotes PoE cables, the hifi system is downstairs in the living room. Room 2 on the first floor doesn't need ethernet, as the housemate only has a laptop.

    Version A has a PoE powered switch on each floor.



      Spoiler:
    Top floor has an access point that could be PoE powered, but needs an injector in this configuration according to Ubiquity. As far as I can tell, the combination of AP and switches don't allow it to be powered. I could switch the main switch and upstairs AP to something more powerful, but that would be a bit too much.


    Version B has only one switch on the ground floor and runs a cable through the house to each device.



    I am leaning towards A, as it is the easiest to expand should more ethernet ports be needed. So far no bridges for lights or whatever are in use, but who knows. Smart home stuff is a thing. A NAS or home server might be coming as well.
    B is tricky to pull off due to the nature of the walls. I can't easily hide cables, so the less cables I have to use, the smaller the cable canals can be. The longest cable run is roughly 20m.

    Sooooo, how much of a stupid idea is this?
    nevar forget

  2. #2
    GeromeDoutrande's Avatar
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    Is this your house?

  3. #3

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    It's probably a bit overkill, although that reinforced concrete makes it maybe less so.

    I don't have experience with that material and Ubiquity, but I run a single Ubiquity AP, and that covers my entire house (150 sqm, two floors, but wooden stuff between the floors and mostly plaster walls. That single AP provides decent coverage, but it depends on your needs. For me, it provides about 200mbit speed on a semi-cheap wifi-dongle on my desktop, and 21ms ping. This covers my needs, and I haven't bothered with Ethernet, even though it would let me get maybe a few ms lower ping and use the entire 300mbit line. With kids, the usage on the network is pretty heavy, frequently have 3-4 kids (no, not all are mine) playing Minecraft on the network, with my wife and I working from home, me using video conference a lot.

    My advice would be to setup some requirements. Number of devices matter with the switches and the AP. Ubiquity has a lot of products, and mostly geared towards prosumer/enterprise stuff, so they can handle the traffic. I use a Unifi AP HD, which has a theoretical bandwidth of 800MbPS @ 2.4 Ghz, and 1733 MbPS @ 5Gz. If you can live with lower speeds on the network, 2.4 Ghz is a lot better for range and signal strength.

    I'm no expert though, but I'm sure there are a lot of them here. If you're not worried about costs and overkill, I doubt you can go wrong with Ubiquity. Unless you've got really specific requirements, I'm not really sure anything **needs** ethernet these days, but it's a tradeoff between amount of work and the result I guess. For me the cost/benefit was not in favor, but YMMV.

  4. #4
    Joe Appleby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeromeDoutrande View Post
    Is this your house?
    No, but German renting laws are super robust. As long as I can return it to the prior state, I can do it. So running cables in the concrete slabs is ... tricky.

    Quote Originally Posted by morpheps View Post
    2.4 Ghz is a lot better for range and signal strength.
    The current wifi APs are on 2.4Ghz and the downstairs signal does not reach the top floor. Nor do I have 4G/3G/UMTS inside the house.
    nevar forget

  5. #5
    Mashie Saldana's Avatar
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    Option A is looking good and it is similar to my setup.

    What speed is your internet connection?
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    Here are two long articles about Ubiquiti from ArsTechnica's Senior Technology Editor (aka "the hardware guy") you might find interesting.

    The first (from 2015, but still) is both a review of the products and an explanation of the Hows and Whys of the setup:
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015...wi-fi-gear-is/

    He wrote a follow up in 2018, basically a "Lessons learned" post mortem:
    https://arstechnica.com/information-...with-pro-gear/

  7. #7
    Joe Appleby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
    Option A is looking good and it is similar to my setup.

    What speed is your internet connection?
    Nominally 1gbit through cable, but obviously I measured less than that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hel OWeen View Post
    Here are two long articles about Ubiquiti from ArsTechnica's Senior Technology Editor (aka "the hardware guy") you might find interesting.

    The first (from 2015, but still) is both a review of the products and an explanation of the Hows and Whys of the setup:
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015...wi-fi-gear-is/

    He wrote a follow up in 2018, basically a "Lessons learned" post mortem:
    https://arstechnica.com/information-...with-pro-gear/
    Cool beans, I shall take a look later.
    nevar forget

  8. #8
    GeromeDoutrande's Avatar
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    In terms of the basic setup, option A is better than B in a "might as well do it properly" sense. Maybe someone could give an indication how much time it takes to properly configure and then to maintain a unifi installation?

    I personally do not enjoy this sort of stuff at all and would just spam mesh wifi routers "until it works", but cabling in the way you describe is definitely much more reliable (and faster, but you probably won't use the extra speed).

  9. #9

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    I run Ubiquiti (amplifi) mesh AP's at home. It's absolutely brilliant, though overkill in my case (and possibly in yours) but like you, it's super cool and affordable so we went for it and don't regret a second. My Router to Ap#1 is done over gig PowerLine, with the other AP covering the dingin room / garden / shed in Mesh mode, and it's absolutely fine for us. The meshed Ap is perfectly capable of runnign my wife'#s NHS VPN/Teams/Zoom while i'm caning the wired lan with steam downloads.

    Your #1 is probably better, but needs a lot more infrastructure. Can you do a 1.5 bypassing the POE Switches by using Powerline ?
    Please don't teach me what to do with my pc.

  10. #10
    Joe Appleby's Avatar
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    I have my main gaming rig upstairs and would prefer to have it wired rather than over wifi. If only for those game installs. Powerline is pretty bad with ping, isn't it? I'm not a hardcore gamer, but from what I've read, it's bad for ping.

    Mesh would be possible if this building wasn't a reinforced concrete bunker with 10cm+ indoor walls. Not to mention the reinforced concrete floor slabs.

    I used a metal detector for these kinds of walls and it's... A lot of metal. Studs in US walls are further apart than the metal bars.

    Tapapapatalk

    Esit: when I first had the idea of going ubiquity, I spoke with the tech that deals with my school's network and asked him about how complicated it was to set up. He said it wasn't complicated at all and the centralized control over all network hardware was super nice.
    Last edited by Joe Appleby; October 14 2020 at 01:49:11 PM.
    nevar forget

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Appleby View Post
    I have my main gaming rig upstairs and would prefer to have it wired rather than over wifi. If only for those game installs. Powerline is pretty bad with ping, isn't it? I'm not a hardcore gamer, but from what I've read, it's bad for ping.
    Cable is obviously superior to WiFi, but these days WiFi speeds are good enough for almost anything. One thing that helps with WiFi speed: depending on the number of other WiFi APs in your neighbourghood, switching from the default channel to one that isn't occupied that much. I'm living close to a student resiency (Studentenheim), where are obviously lots of other WiFi APs. The Fritz!Box provides a nice dashboard showing how many APs occupy which channel, so with that information, it's easy to switch to/pick a better one. I do all installs over WiFi. Gnerally speaking, unless you're on fibre or someting similar, most of the time the actual (A)DSL line speed/bandwidth is the bootleneck, not the WiFi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Appleby View Post
    I have my main gaming rig upstairs and would prefer to have it wired rather than over wifi. If only for those game installs. Powerline is pretty bad with ping, isn't it? I'm not a hardcore gamer, but from what I've read, it's bad for ping.
    It's fine. Are you XxXCompetativeXxXKILLAxx ?

    They are also like 30 for a TPLink set, you can always jsut try it, and RMA them if it's shit.
    Can you think of a site i could use to check my ping ?
    Please don't teach me what to do with my pc.

  13. #13
    GeromeDoutrande's Avatar
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    Powerline adapter performance really depends on how your place is wired up. I can't get over 20mbit speed with powerline in our house regardless of the spec given for the adapter set. If there is any sort of electric circuit separation between floor levels that will significantly reduce the bandwidth you can achieve.

  14. #14
    GeromeDoutrande's Avatar
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    I don't like cables, but a wired network backbone at least absolutely has advantages over wifi. The speed is faster, reliable and there are no problems with interference from all of your neighbours' wifi setups or loss of practical available bandwidth when thinking of mesh setups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeromeDoutrande View Post
    I don't like cables, but a wired network backbone at least absolutely has advantages over wifi. The speed is faster, reliable and there are no problems with interference from all of your neighbours' wifi setups or loss of practical available bandwidth when thinking of mesh setups.
    I've run these things on the same power strip and struggled to get 10% of the claimed speeds. They are total turds.

    Only think I would say on you rproposed setup, is why bother with cloudkey and gateway, get a dream machine pro for not much more and get more functionality and future proof (can add unify cameras and have unify protect). My good friend is crtified in this stuff and its what he reccomends 10/10. Judging by your proposed set up you are not too ahrd up for cash.

    Dream Machine Pro: $370

    Cloud Key 2 + Gateway: 180 + 120 = 300

    It also works as an 8 port switch right there which saves another 100.

    For me its the most cost effective solution.

    Withr egards to setting it all up: this guy has some great videos.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVS...LZvjsvhcbiDzjw

    My amte who is certified in this stuff raves about him and hes easy to lsiten to.

  16. #16
    Joe Appleby's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't really trust the wiring in this place to be good for powerline. Not to mention the massively differing experiences with that stuff.

    Equium Duo: good stuff, I was looking at gen1 cloud key etc, but dream machine makes for less clutter as well.

    Speaking of clutter, patch panel and ethernet outlets in a surface mount box or just straight ethernet cables?

    Tapapapatalk
    nevar forget

  17. #17
    Mashie Saldana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Appleby View Post
    Yeah, I don't really trust the wiring in this place to be good for powerline. Not to mention the massively differing experiences with that stuff.

    Equium Duo: good stuff, I was looking at gen1 cloud key etc, but dream machine makes for less clutter as well.

    Speaking of clutter, patch panel and ethernet outlets in a surface mount box or just straight ethernet cables?

    Tapapapatalk
    The Dream machine Pro will be needed since you have a 1gbit/s connection if you want to enable features such as deep packet inspection and threat management as that will reduce the throughput to 80mbit/s on the regular security gateway. The DMP will happily run with that enabled way above 1gbit/s.
    How to tell the difference between Machine Learning and AI:
    If it is written in Python it is most likely Machine Learning.
    If it is written in PowerPoint it is most likely AI.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Appleby View Post
    Yeah, I don't really trust the wiring in this place to be good for powerline. Not to mention the massively differing experiences with that stuff.

    Equium Duo: good stuff, I was looking at gen1 cloud key etc, but dream machine makes for less clutter as well.

    Speaking of clutter, patch panel and ethernet outlets in a surface mount box or just straight ethernet cables?

    Tapapapatalk
    IM going to be building my home in the next 12 months and I am going patch panel route. It just seems so much neater.

  19. #19
    GeromeDoutrande's Avatar
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    artist's impression of the setup:


  20. #20
    Joe Appleby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itiken View Post
    It's fine. Are you XxXCompetativeXxXKILLAxx ?

    They are also like 30 for a TPLink set, you can always jsut try it, and RMA them if it's shit.
    Can you think of a site i could use to check my ping ?
    speedtest.net does ping as well. As I said, it's less about ping.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Appleby View Post
    Equium Duo: good stuff, I was looking at gen1 cloud key etc, but dream machine makes for less clutter as well.
    The Dream machine Pro will be needed since you have a 1gbit/s connection if you want to enable features such as deep packet inspection and threat management as that will reduce the throughput to 80mbit/s on the regular security gateway. The DMP will happily run with that enabled way above 1gbit/s.
    Good to know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Equium Duo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Appleby View Post
    Speaking of clutter, patch panel and ethernet outlets in a surface mount box or just straight ethernet cables?

    Tapapapatalk
    IM going to be building my home in the next 12 months and I am going patch panel route. It just seems so much neater.
    Indeed. Might as well do it right.
    nevar forget

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