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New Home Router/System

Boatt2082

New Around Here
So I have been doing a lot of reading and trying to research everything on the site to help narrow down my decision. This site is truly great and has helped me a lot already. The reviews by Thiggins are awesome!


First let me tell my current needs are and what my future needs will be so you can better understand my goals.

ATT Fiber 1G internet up and down (Modem is a Pace 5268AC (Was in pass through mode, no true bridge mode)

Current home is a 1725 sq-ft house pretty open concept single floor, modem is in the front office (Front corner of the home) router will also be there as well.

Currently on the network is

3 apple Iphones

3 laptops

2 apple smart watches

1 Ipad

2 ps4 1 wired (1 wifi)

1 smart TV

1 smart dvd player

1 Printer

I had two Air Port extremes and they provided great coverage and speed when the were new. But they are always dropping signal or not connecting or need to be restarted so I disconnected them all together. So I turned the wifi back on the Pace 5268AC and well it just isn’t very good speeds suck.


Future needs will be all of the above except in a larger home 2200sq-ft with more of a ranch design. It will be a full gut renovation and will have Cat 6 wire drops anywhere and everywhere I want.

As well as the stuff above I can see adding serval smart home additions ie. (lighting, exterior cameras, locks, etc, etc. )


So now that you know what I have and my needs, let me tell you what I am not.

I’m not a networking guy. I have dabbled with setting up routers, plug in play, changing ssid names and passwords, bridge mode, and some small other things. But 97% of the stuff I read on here is Greek to me. I don’t mind reading and getting to know my system and learning but I don’t want to be a network guy. (SO I want a system that works well with an easy amount of true networking knowledge, doesn’t have to be plug and play but not complicated where customer support or someone on here can’t walk me through a step I get hung up on)


So my current thinking (until y’all tell me I’m wrong ) is

For my current home go with a Unifi Dream Machine. I only have the one PS4 and printer wired currently. I think it would work for my current needs and be a step up from the Apple Airports and 100% better than the Pace 5268AC on the wireless side. My current home is in a subdivision and they are close together so wireless channels I’m sure are being used all around me so sticking to 1 unit I think is best, by what I have read on here?

The second reason to go with the dream machine is when I move into the new home (with in the next year) I want to add more connected items. So I can upgrade the system with a Switch and access points as I think I will need at least 2 points of access for the new home by the way its laid out. This home will be on 5 acres and the closest house is 200’ away. The internet will also change to Comcast 1g supplied on coaxial cable, ATT fiber isn’t available


Add maybe a

Switch USW-Pro-24-POE Gen 2

Unfi Ap HD (will I need two? See questions below)

Unfi cameras

Questions if I go this route,

1) Can I still use the Dream machine as an access point when adding the switch and other AP ?

2) Are the ethernet ports still usable on the dream machine when adding the switch?


My questions is I guess would I just be better off doing a Orbi RBK50 Mesh system with the simplicity.

Doing a wired back haul isn’t a problem as stated above, I can run cat6 as needed.

So would a different mesh system that supports wired back be better and easier (I don’t think the Orbi has wired backhaul)?

Something like a Netgear R7800 with a 2nd unit for another access point.

Or The new Unfi Alien Kit when it comes back in stock which would also give me Wifi Ax (which I don’t think I need or really want right now until its all been out for a while and the bugs worked out of it) So is there an advantage to it?

Well this post turned out a lot longer so I think I will leave it here for now.

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member
Don't get stuck with consumer All-In-One routers. Definitely go with Ubiquiti UniFi system, if the budget allows. You'll have to read a bit how to set it up properly though, it's not really Plug-and-Play. Netgear Orbi RBK50 does support wired backhaul, but it also has a separate wireless channel backhaul. The performance is excellent in both configurations. Not a bad option, if you prefer simplicity.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
An Orbi would be a good solution if you didn't have Ethernet backhaul. Connecting RBK50 (original) Orbis via Ethernet is wasting money since you can't use the 4 stream backhaul radio.

WiFi Systems have the simplified management you are looking for, but might be too simple. Depends on your needs. If you're going to connect nodes via Ethernet, then go for a cheaper 2 stream system without a third backhaul radio. That way you're not wasting money and get the simplified management.

I would not spend the extra $ for Wi-Fi6. It will be old news this fall when 6E (AX in 6 GHz) systems are introduced. Stick with AC (WiFi 5), spend as close to $100 per node as you can. Start with 2 nodes, experiment with placement and add a third node only if you need it.
 

Boatt2082

New Around Here
Val. D Thank you for the comment. The budget really isn’t a concern. I mean I don’t want or need the most expensive stuff out there. But the Apple Air Ports weren’t exactly cheap.


Thiggins, thanks for the reply. Since I would really like to run a single unit for the next year while I'm remodeling my other larger home and I think a good single unit would be enough for my smaller home. Would the unfi Dream machine $299 be a good choice knowing I can build off it later it desired. I could always add a Unfi Lite AP for $149.


Or were you thinking something more consumer grade for simplicity based off my limited skills that I have pointed out. The netgear Xr450 pro gaming router is on sale for president’s day at 129.99 or the Asus Ac2600 is on sale for 99.99.I would need to research if it has wired backhaul


I was reading another post and I see where a guy was saying unfi customer support wasn’t the best. Trip mentioned that it might because he didn’t buy a lot of products vs buying it from a third party who buy/sells more of their products and could get better support. (At least that’s the way I read it).

I know I want a company who offers good customer support. That’s why I went with the Apple Air Ports while they weren’t great units their support was awesome.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
You said in your first post:
I’m not a networking guy. I have dabbled with setting up routers, plug in play, changing ssid names and passwords, bridge mode, and some small other things. But 97% of the stuff I read on here is Greek to me.
Setting up and running a multi-AP system requires the work you prefer not to do. That's why I suggested a consumer system. Ubiquti support is via forums only. Very different from your Apple experience.

No consumer networking company is going to match the Apple service experience. So you're largely going to be on your own.

My recommendation still stands. Wi-Fi 5 (11ac) and per-node price around $100.
You can do this with a refurb Orbi RBK50 right now. For that price, you can ignore my comment about wasting the backhaul radio when you can connect via Ethernet. :)
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member
Or were you thinking something more consumer grade for simplicity based off my limited skills that I have pointed out.
Don't limit your equipment to your current skills. Get an advice from someone around who knows stuff. You are in mostly ASUS consumer products users forum, expect incoming ASUS routers suggestions + custom firmware + scripts + etc. mix and match things. UniFi Dream Machine is actually 4-in-1 device with security gateway, managed 4-port Gigabit switch, network controller (so called the cloud key) and access point. It has a beefy hardware with dual-core 1.7GHz ARM A57 CPU and 2GB of RAM, capable to handle a lot of traffic + VLANs + VPN, plus >200 clients (as per Ubiquiti). If you figure out how to setup this device (it's very Apple-like experience), adding UniFi access points to it to expand the coverage should be no problem for you. The additional access points become integral part of the whole system, controlled by the Dream Machine. In other words, you can get it now and learn now it works, use it temporary in your current place, then use it as a center piece of your new WiFi system in the new place.

You can do this with a refurb Orbi RBK50 right now.
Oh, this is a really good price for Netgear Orbi RBK50. It is easy to setup indeed, but far from capabilities of the UniFi system. If you just want no-frills WiFi coverage, it's a good option. Don't know what exactly refurbished means in this specific case, but if it comes with full warranty on the product, why not?
 
Last edited:

Boatt2082

New Around Here
You said in your first post:


Setting up and running a multi-AP system requires the work you prefer not to do. That's why I suggested a consumer system. Ubiquti support is via forums only. Very different from your Apple experience.

No consumer networking company is going to match the Apple service experience. So you're largely going to be on your own.

My recommendation still stands. Wi-Fi 5 (11ac) and per-node price around $100.
You can do this with a refurb Orbi RBK50 right now. For that price, you can ignore my comment about wasting the backhaul radio when you can connect via Ethernet. :)
For now I order the RBK50 since it was $200 I will jsut hook up the one unit at first and see how it goes in my current smaller home. If I need to I will hook the 2nd AP if I don't get the wifi coverage/speeds I'm looking for. If I do hook up the 2nd unit I may just run the wireless back haul since I don't have ethernet ran to where it will be placed at. That being said I can always get my fat butt up in the attic and run a cat5E down the wall.

After doing a little more research on the Orbi. I have a question I see some poeple have had issues with the QOS via the speedtest app. With the research I have done reading on here, I see a lot of people believe that wih higher speed service (1G fiber is what I have) QOS isn't needed. Should I just turn off the QOS at first with my speeds?

They will be here tomorrow and I wil get them hooked up and report back my findings.

Thanks for all the help.
 

Boatt2082

New Around Here
Don't limit your equipment to your current skills. Get an advice from someone around who knows stuff. You are in mostly ASUS consumer products users forum, expect incoming ASUS routers suggestions + custom firmware + scripts + etc. mix and match things. UniFi Dream Machine is actually 4-in-1 device with security gateway, managed 4-port Gigabit switch, network controller (so called the cloud key) and access point. It has a beefy hardware with dual-core 1.7GHz ARM A57 CPU and 2GB of RAM, capable to handle a lot of traffic + VLANs + VPN, plus >200 clients (as per Ubiquiti). If you figure out how to setup this device (it's very Apple-like experience), adding UniFi access points to it to expand the coverage should be no problem for you. The additional access points become integral part of the whole system, controlled by the Dream Machine. In other words, you can get it now and learn now it works, use it temporary in your current place, then use it as a center piece of your new WiFi system in the new place.



Oh, this is a really good price for Netgear Orbi RBK50. It is easy to setup indeed, but far from capabilities of the UniFi system. If you just want no-frills WiFi coverage, it's a good option. Don't know what exactly refurbished means in this specific case, but if it comes with full warranty on the product, why not?

I think I will wait and see what the next year brings and depending on whats out there at that time decide if I want to try a different setup that will push my skills and requiring some addtional learning on my part for my new home when its ready.
 

Boatt2082

New Around Here
So as stated above I went with the Orbi RBK50 refurb kit from Amazon $200. I have had it set up and configured for about 8 days now.
My review:

1) Super easy to set up, mostly plug and play with minimal effort using the IOS based app on my Ipad for a few things.

2) I did not run the speed test, as stated above I have read when you run the speed test it automatically enables QOS. Which I feel I don't need with Fiber 1G service.

3) One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to separate the 5g and 2.4g SSID. During set up it didn't give me an option and I don't see a spot to do it. All though I will admit I haven't spent a lot time in the app poking around. I would like to separate the two so I could perform test on either frequency and see the results. But it works great right now, so I haven't bothered!

4) Speeds wired to router average 891MG Down and 843MG Up

Speeds Wireless about 10' from Router 300-330MG up and Down

Speeds wireless about 25' from the satellite 160-180 MG up and Down


Roaming is great, no disconnects or drops.
The satellite is using wireless back haul, as I haven't ran a wire yet. And with the speeds I'm getting and the TV, Netflix, etc all working great I probably won't bother doing it on this house.


I did have to config my ATT router/modem a certain way to make sure I didn't end up with double NAT or IP issues. I didn't want to just put the ATT modem in pass through mode and set up the Orbi as an AP (The ATT Modem has no true bridge mode). I changed my ATT modem IP address to a 172. address and then opened up the Pinhole/Applications/DMZ to allow all on the Orbi. Then I assigned a 192. ip range for the Orbi to give out.

So far its working great and it's the first time I have ever been able to get a Open NAT type on our connected PS4 systems.

So far I'm a happy camper
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
So far its working great and it's the first time I have ever been able to get a Open NAT type on our connected PS4 systems.

So far I'm a happy camper
Thanks for reporting back.
 

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