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Networks Recommend me some WiFi - to pair with pfsense

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dynamis_dk, 15 Jun 2020.

  1. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    So after some initial issues with my Q87T I've finally got things running so at some point in the future I'll be looking to finally stick the Virgin hub into modem mode and hopefully never look back.

    As such I'm in the market for some WiFi AP goodness but I'm afraid I don' t know a lot about it. It would seem UniFi range is pretty well regarded so may well be an option but I'm not sure what model will be best suited, if I need the 'Key' or if indeed there are other options which maybe more suitable.

    I'm looking at possibly WiFi device numbers around 20 mark maybe, usual phone and laptop each plus FireSticks etc. To be installed in a 3 floor terace so just need to make sure the broadcast pattern / mounting options mean the whole home gets covered ok so not sure how much this factors in to AP choice. I don't have POE so will need something that plays nice with an injector.

    Whats out there guys?
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    WIthout a floorplan etc is tricky but let's have a go
    1) Do you have cabling in the house (if you wanted access points on each floor)?
    2) Where was the old router?
    3) Did the wireless in the old router cover the old house?
     
  3. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Listening with interest here as I probably need to do the same or similar.
    I have a slightly different requirement, so will post my own thread.
     
  4. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    Cheers sas - So heres a quick floorplan for the building - nothing fancy.

    [​IMG]

    1) There are some runs of cable but not fully room by room. I would ideally like a AP which is going to provide enough cover so I can just buy one, mostly due to costs but its also its a small home. I would like it to live in the office area on the 1st floor as this is where the VM router wiring comes in and where all the CAT5 runs end with a switch so I plan to have the VM Hub, pfsense box, AP and switch all on the shelfing in this area.

    2 & 3) The red dot in the 'office' is the current virgin media hub which is providing enough coverage for the building. It isn't a very big home, no take measure to hand but I'd guess around 6m wide about 15 front to back.
     
  5. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    I'd probably start with an AC-Pro where the red dot is and see from there.
    If you need more coverage then move it to downstairs and put another one on the top floor.
     
  6. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    Ha you house is flipping the bird to everyone.

    I too am looking at similar solutions for myself and my mother-in-laws house.
     
  7. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    Cheers sas, so what part do the cloud let’s play in UniFi setups? Do I need one? Is it just monitoring?

    Ate there various models of the AC Pro? From a quick amazon search (so I get quick delivery for the weekend) there seems to be a few and at different prices. Is the price based on neeer faster models?
     
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2020
  8. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    The AP AC Pro is my AP of choice, and you can run the Unifi software in a VM/on an always on PC - it's for config etc
     
  9. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    Ooh if the VM is an alternative to the cloud key then that would work well as my nas is always on for the most part. Does the WiFi still function without the vm controller should my server need downtime?

    So to make sure its delivered for the weekend I've pulled the trigger on a AC Pro to be delivered on Friday. I might even fire up a VM for the controller in advance as I guess you do that bit before setting up the AP if the VM control is used in the provisioning process. Time for some googling I feel. I work in IT infrastructure but I'm more automation, server builds so this network stuff is magic to me - might be in for a heavy learning weekend lol
     
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2020
  10. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Control software is used for configuring/monitoring/updating, you can install it on local PC and run it only then you want to do said tasks, otherwise APs themselves are setup and forget. Or you can just do what I like doing - install stock openwrt and forget proprietary ubiquity crap.
     
  11. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    WiFI works without the controller running, you just can't do the guest portal etc without it. It'll run fine on a VM.
    You can configure everything in the controller before you get the AP, then just "adopt" the access point when it arrives and it'll pull the config down
     
  12. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    Cheers guys. Managed to get the VM up and running on debian buster last night so thats all prep'd and ready. Glad to hear it isn't 'needed' as such as that makes the downtime on my nas much easier if needed for upgrades / clean out occasionally.
     
  13. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    AP arrived yesterday so I've got all setup this afternoon and I can confirm is was a pretty painless process start to finish. I've done a little WiFi provisioning at work using Aruba kit so I'm familiar with the process but the Ubiquiti GUI makes it very user friendly.

    The WiFi signal is comparable to what the VM router is giving out and a quick signal test in each room shows routely the same overall so I may go down the route of another AP so the ground floor has one of its own but I'm very impressed with the thoughtput to the devices. On my laptop a speedtest resulted in around 5x increase (over 5 repeated test and averaged) and on my iphone 8 the download was again around 5x improved (60 to 300) and the upload 10x (3.5 to 35). I'm gonna run it for a few days to see if its consistant but so far I'm very impressed and its great to see a better utilisation of the boardband speed being delivered to the devices.
     

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