Another home/SMB network recomendation request

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Trip

Very Senior Member
@Sharpe - UniFi is a nice ecosystem, more so for their APs and switches than for their firewalls at this point, but if the chief aims is the single control plane and YouTube/DIY-friendliness, then I get the motivation to stick with it for everything.

Just be aware of what you're getting into with the Dream Machine series. Stability has been a mixed bag since inception, and even though they've release a flurry of updates recently (up to 1.8.5 as of 8 days ago), if it were me, even for home, I wouldn't go near it until I saw at least a few months worth of stable behavior for all core networking features, confirmed by a vast majority of the user-base. Until then, I'd probably just run a USG Pro (with Smart Queue and IPS/DPI disabled for internet over 200Mb) plus a CloudKey Gen2 for the controller instance. That said, Ubiquiti may have fixed "enough" of the product by now, plus your risk tolerance may be greater than mine, so as long as you're well-enough aware, perhaps just have at it. They're bound to fix of of the platform at some point soon, at least one would think...
 

Sharpe

Occasional Visitor
@Trip Thanks for your help. Even though the pro's didn't come through for me, I was glad to at least get in someone to help get this started and knock some holes in the house.

Falcon Tech has one REVConnect jack that isn't shielded here. If you think that this would be better, I might be able to swap to these since the Leviton one's haven't shipped yet.

Thanks for the idea of using the 45 degree wall plate. That is another great option.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
@Sharpe - Falcon definitely has more REVConnect 6a non-shielded options. Additionally, the one you picked is a modular field-termination RJ45, not a keystone jack. For a keystone, here's a white, unshielded, REVConnect Cat6a. It will require the REVConnect termination tool. For your use-case, yes, if you can cancel the Leviton's in favor of this combo, I would.

Also forgot to mention that in many instances, yes, most keystones can be re-terminated, provided you can pull the wires out gently enough and the IDCs and teeth aren't too deformed during termination. If physical integrity is questionable, always best to just re-terminate with a brand-new keystone.
 
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Sharpe

Occasional Visitor
@Trip Thanks for looking up that jack. Falcon Tech was able to swap out the Leviton for that Belden. When I searched the site I just went to Connectivity>Belden>Jacks & Blanks, and that's how I ended up with that last link. Going to order the Belden REVConnect universal jack termination tool for this.

Unifi- Thanks for the insights on the UDMP. I did see a lot of unhappy people talking about the software on the UDMP while I was researching in the fall. I'm not fully committed to using it but I was leaning toward it with more recent positive reviews(YouTube influencers could've just been paid to say that), having the controller built in, possiblity of utilizing their Voice offering and the throughput on IPS/DPI. I have never heard of IPS or DPI before the last few months so when I decide on hardware I will probably need some guidance. If I remember correctly, I thought that it was said the IPS/DPI on the UDMP was near gig speed compared to the USG Pro but I haven't found where I saw that. If software stability was not an issue, would you still chose the USG over the UDMP? Their early access store has the next gen Gateway pro, any thoughts on that?

I really do appreciate everyone's help as I crawl through this process.
 

Samir

Very Senior Member
@Samir Thanks again for your help. I really like the idea of having her work network confined to her office. I think it might be possible if/when she leaves the hospital completely and is only doing private practice. The hospital requires so much admin work that she usually does notes/triage in bed at night and on the couch when she wakes up.

Thanks for the recommendation for the surface box. That will be perfect and that is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for here.

On my equipment plans, I have come back to the idea of the Unifi line because I feel that I can learn to use it with all of the YouTube videos on their equipment. So as of today I'm thinking of purchasing modem(arris sb8200), Dream machine pro, one of the 24 pro PoE switches and various aps (disk, flex and in wall). Just so I'm clear and understand, Power over ethernet only happens when a device calls for it? And it wouldn't "fry" something that doesn't need PoE?
This is something I learned a long time ago growing up living at hotels that we owned--a separation of business a person is a must for a good work/life balance. The pandemic has thrust a lot of people into a world I've been all too familiar with, and I distinctly keep work and personal separate. My dad took it a step further where he would literally get ready and put on a suit to go to his 'office' which was literally a room beside his bedroom--but it works.

There are significant health problems with working all the time, especially when working from the couch or bed as those are supposed to be 'rest' areas. Your body and mind get programmed to be in work mode all the time and insomnia, bad sleep, and a host of other problems sneak in. My wife has a bad habit of playing with her phone before sleeping as well as using the bed for work, and my lecture to her is that's why it takes her an hour to fall asleep. She is jealous that I literally fall asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the bed. One, because I'm exhausted, but two because I left my work behind to the bed where my mind and body know is only for sleep, which it does. If I do have work keeping me up, I get up and go back to work until I'm ready to sleep.

Glad the surface box will do what you need. :)

Ubiquiti stuff has such a following behind it. Even when there's a problem there's like a gazillion people that have already figured out the root cause, workarounds, caveats so you've got enough information to do what you need. And I have a source for some very low (below ebay prices) on ubiquti stuff, so PM me and I'll give you the link. (I'm not affiliated with them in any way other than just being a customer that knows how to find deals on their site better than most. :)) Yep, to reiterate, poe only works when a device calls for the power, and non-poe devices can't ever call for power even when in a poe port.
 

Samir

Very Senior Member
@Sharpe - UniFi is a nice ecosystem, more so for their APs and switches than for their firewalls at this point, but if the chief aims is the single control plane and YouTube/DIY-friendliness, then I get the motivation to stick with it for everything.

Just be aware of what you're getting into with the Dream Machine series. Stability has been a mixed bag since inception, and even though they've release a flurry of updates recently (up to 1.8.5 as of 8 days ago), if it were me, even for home, I wouldn't go near it until I saw at least a few months worth of stable behavior for all core networking features, confirmed by a vast majority of the user-base. Until then, I'd probably just run a USG Pro (with Smart Queue and IPS/DPI disabled for internet over 200Mb) plus a CloudKey Gen2 for the controller instance. That said, Ubiquiti may have fixed "enough" of the product by now, plus your risk tolerance may be greater than mine, so as long as you're well-enough aware, perhaps just have at it. They're bound to fix of of the platform at some point soon, at least one would think...
This is a really good point. The dream machine was basically designed for consumers that wanted an 'easier' solution. But the full blown solution isn't painful, and is much more mature. With reliability and security some of the paramount concerns of your new setup, I would just get the usg pro and cloudkey vs a dream machine as mentioned.
 

Samir

Very Senior Member
Also forgot to mention that in many instances, yes, most keystones can be re-terminated, provided you can pull the wires out gently enough and the IDCs and teeth aren't too deformed during termination. If physical integrity is questionable, always best to just re-terminate with a brand-new keystone.
I forgot to address this as well, but ditto on what he said. Keep in mind that you'll need to cut of some cable if you need to reterminate, so be sure to leave what's known as a 'service loop' aka a loop of extra cable.
 

Sharpe

Occasional Visitor
@Samir You really hit the nail on the head with your diagnosis. She helps people all day with this kind of stuff but can't seem to take her own advice.

Thanks to you and to @Trip, I think I will look at the USG instead of the UDMP. In the meantime I will attempt to terminate my runs so far when the keystones arrive to at least utilize a wired connection in the office.
 

Sharpe

Occasional Visitor
I just wanted to give an update, I was able to terminate the cables that I have installed so far to get a connection to the isp gateway. I used the REVConnect system from Belden for the wall jacks and that was pretty easy to terminate. I also was able to terminate with RJ45 pass through connectors on the other ends of the wall plates. That was more difficult than Belden's system for sure. I used a cheap RJ45 coupler from amazon to connect both runs for this temporary solution. For internet speed test I used, speedtest.net, fast.com and finally comcast's website. The old laptop was able to get 850-915 /mbps with the ethernet port and using a usb ethernet adapter. The new dell xps 13 was only able to get 360/mbps max but I'm thinking it was because of the usb A to usb C adapter that I had to put on the ethernet adapter.

Next steps for me are to finalize the equipment that I want. I will gladly listen to any recomendations.

Thanks again for all of the help
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
@Sharpe - Nice update; sounds like the cabling piece is going well enough.

Regarding gear:

Cable Modem - 32x8 channel, Broadcom chipset for sure. Netgear CM1000/1100/1200, Motorola MB8600, Arris S33 (avoid the SB8200 -- too many flaky hardware revisions that are on/off the main provider compatibility lists seemingly weekly...).

Routing/Gateway - You heard correctly regarding software (CPU) based throughput (for SmartQueue, IPS, DPI, etc.) of the USG Pro versus UDMP -- the USG Pro can only hit somewhere between 200-300Mb/s, while the UDMP can do 1-2Gb/s. The UXG Pro has the same performance as the UDMP (same hardware: CPU, board and routable ports), minus the 8-port switch, UniFi Protect and hard drive, and UniFi controller. At this point, I'd almost feel more comfortable pulling the trigger on the Early Access UXG than the UDMP, for fewer moving parts (ie. converged points of failure), and potentially quicker time-to-stability.

Wifi Controller - Presuming you go USG/UXG for a gateway, you'll need a discrete UniFi controller. For something turn-key and ready-to-go, I'd do a CloudKey Gen2. Otherwise, software install on an always-on PC, RPi or server-based VM.

Core Switching - I'd do a USW-24-POE, provided the 95W PoE budget and 66% PoE port availability aren't too limiting. If you want more PoE budget and/or want it usable on all access ports, I'd look at the US-24-250W (250W of PoE), maybe even the USW-PRO-24-POE (400W PoE budget, 10Gb uplinks, PoE+ on all access ports, higher-power PoE++ (802.3bt) on 8 of them (to drive higher-power APs or other items).

Wifi APs - Definitely any mix of ceiling-mount saucer, FlexHD and/or In-Wall series will work. You want to spec your models and layout based on amount of devices and throughput goals.

If you can, upload a blueprint of your place and I'll give you a general idea of AP density and layout approach.
 
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Sharpe

Occasional Visitor
@Trip I think that I will start with Ubiquiti. If it doesn't work for me then I can always try something different. Do you know if Ubiquiti's hardware stays the same from EA to GA and is it just beta software?

Modem- Looking at modems for the past year made me think that they are all bad to an extent for some people. The only constant was the Puma chipset was bad. Going with the 32x8 3.1 modems, do you like any one in particular? The Aris S33 seems to be one of the newer ones and has a nice small form factor. Maybe they learned from the SB8200's shortcomings. The Netgear line seems to get bad reviews for lack of customer service and some disconnects. The Motorola MB8600 seemed to have a problem with disconnects in years past.

Router/Gateway- You already had me thinking of going with the USG/UXG Pro. The UXG Pro appears to have been in EA for around 8 months or so. If the hardware will end up being the same, then I feel comfortable grabbing one of these.

Wifi Controller- The CloudKey Gen2 is what I would go with until I could get a always on PC/RPi

Core Switching- I was thinking of the USW-PRO-24-POE but have been thinking about the Unifi 6 Switch 24 which is in EA. It doesn't have PoE++ but it does have 12 2.5Gbps ports. The computer that I'm putting in the office has 2.5 ethernet and while the current AC or AX AP's don't have 2.5, I'm thinking that the next versions of Wifi 6/e will. With the internet at 1Gbps would I get any benefit with a 2.5G network?

Wifi APs- Once again I think that I am leaning toward the EA Wifi 6 APs here. They seem to be the same price as the AC APs and I will upgrade to Wifi 6e when those come out.

I have tried to make a simple layout of the house on sketchup to use with Ubiquiti's map planner feature. I have never uploaded anything to a forum so if the next post has the pictures then Yay! but if it doesn't work then I might need some advice on how to upload.

Thanks
 

Sharpe

Occasional Visitor
Floorplan-basement(1).png
 

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