Routers, routers, everywhere...

Discussion in 'tech' started by Kita, 7 Aug 2016.

  1. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    But which one to choose??

    I began looking at some high end all-in-ones, then thought it might be better to go with an Ubiquiti setup with their EdgeRouter, an AP, and a decent switch.

    But I am still new at networking. I need to keep it fairly user friendly with the UI-- it will take me long enough to google proper settings without having to go into a command line to configure, which is what happens with Ubiquiti

    So! GV peeps! I need help! I guess I will list what I would like feature-wise, then list what I have been looking at (and I am open to more suggestions)

    Devices I have that need to connect day one:
    PC (wired)
    Laptop (wireless)
    Phone (wireless)
    Roku (wireless)
    Server (wired)
    Wii (either wired or wireless)
    TV (unsure, as it is being used as a monitor until I have media on my local net to broadcast to it)
    Various projects in my work area, including multiple Pis (mostly wireless)

    Devices I am VERY likely to add within the life of this router:
    NAS (wired)
    Another server (wired)
    Another phone (wireless-- I am going to repurpose the old one)
    Another Smart TV (unsure)
    Tablet (wireless)
    Permanent Pi project (wired)
    PS2-- will go up once the NAS is up-- I am going to store all the games on NAS and stream to PS2. It might end up connected directly to the NAS, I still need to work out my tech specs (wired)
    Another game system (most likely will try to keep it wired)
    ??? (????-I always like to leave room for unplanned expansion as well)

    How I use my network:
    Most devices speak for themselves. Here are some other things I plan to add:
    -VPN access to my network. Still unsure the exact secure route I will add after that to access each system, but definitely there will be VPN required for any remote access to anything
    -As a bonus, I think I will set up a Pi to create a VPN through my network to secure open WiFI when on-the-go. If my device can do this, all the better!
    -Need a robust network that can handle tons of streaming. Games and media streaming both within and outside my net are common. For work, I will need to be able to handle multiple remote sessions simultaneously, and they need to be SOLID so I can work. Ticketing system is hosted, needs to also be solid.
    -Steaming/ QoS features are the most important to my setup. I rarely download, but have constant steams moving around. I need to set priority to my streams as well, thought I don't want ANY stream to ever see degradation due to my network setup.

    Features I would like:
    -Ability to control my firewall settings and create my own rules, but also easy first-time setup to get me started. Easy to use and understand interface for setting the rules.The more control and options, the better, even if I won't be messing with them until I learn more.
    -Any advanced intrusion detection would be nice too. I don't know enough to get overly picky about the type or features beyond needing freedom to turn off/ on if it is messing with connectivity.
    -QoS settings! I need some control over it so I can set priorities, but also would once again like some presets I can start with for baseline. Once again, I would like something easy to understand and use.
    -Rock solid stable. This is vital. A reboot once a month is almost too much. I don't want one of those squirrely high end all-in-ones that crap out on a regular schedule. There are tons of them out there by even major manufacturers.
    -Gigabit (obviously). And ability to actually DELIVER damn close to that from out of each port. If it will only hover below 400Mb/s, I will be pissed once I move somewhere with fiber.
    -because I am connecting legacy wireless, I need some legacy support. B/G/N/AC. MIMO would be nice, but not required at all. OFC I don't have anything that supports it. That is just future-proofing.
    -Good 2.4 and 5 Ghz. I will put as much as I can on 5Ghz.
    -Built in network monitoring tools. Packet analysis, meter, network utilization, and flow analysis. I am sick of calling Charter when their shit breaks. I need hard numbers to get my connection optimized and keep things looking good.
    -As fast as I can afford on wireless, though I am a bit unclear of how much, if any, difference I would see with my network setup between, say, AC1700 vs AC3200+. Most important shit will be wired, but still don't want skipping on any streaming devices.
    -I will not be living on a huge property in any foreseeable future. If so, I can afford to buy a freaking AP. Range is no concern, I don't care if it is shit. Half-decent penetration on 5Ghz is my only concern here.
    -Something that will keep me blazing along for 5+ years. $300 or less is budget for entire setup.

    Some links for all-in-ones I am considering:

    TP-Link Archer 5200 (AC5200, MIMO)


    D-Link AC3200:


    Netgear Nighthawk X6 (AC3200):


    Asus AC3100


    Netgear Nighthawk X4S (AC2600, MIMO)


    Asus RT AC87U (AC2400, MIMO)


    Linksys WRT1900AC (because will I even see a difference with my setup??)


    Netgear AC1750 (same reasoning as above)


    If I scrap the all-in-one and go the Ubiquiti route:

    Ubiquiti AP PRO (PoE, MIMO, unsure about the AC speed w/o digging up a spec sheet. Probably doesn't do beamforming since it doesn't have tons of antenna, however)

    TP-Link 8-port switch (I think I will need one even with an all-in-one, however.)

    Ubiquiti Edge RouterX (I think I will need an injector for this in order to power the AP??)

    Ubiquiti ERX-SFP (I *think* the same as above, but includes needed power adapter/ functionality for the AP??)

    Ubiquiti ERLITE Router (It is my understanding it might have a bit friendlier UI, though no PoE? I think I would need a PoE switch, but I am unsure if I want to hook up my AP to a switch, or if I should keep it on a router. It is my understanding AP should be on router for my kind of setup. However, I think the Ubiquiti AP's might have injectors included that would solve this.)

    Ya... I have been agonizing over this for a while.
  2. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    TP-Link hasn't let me down since I moved from Linksys for residential and lightweight personal use.

    I even carry several of their nano routers with me for field work.

    Linksys was good for awhile, their QC has dipped and one of the reasons I switched was because PS3 traffic was destroying the Linksys setup even when using modified firmware. Whereas the TP-Lonk seems to manage the surges better without locking up or shutting down.

    I don't believe TP is locking their firmware anymore, so that opens up other firmware if you choose.

    ETA: D-Link if left with no alternative. After the performance of the Asus gear I've used lately, scratch that and do people still use Netgear anymore?

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  3. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title


    Any experience with the new Ubiquiti gear taking the IT peeps by storm? I have heard nothing but good things about their APs, but have yet to find someone using their small routers.
  4. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    I have run into those that praise them and those that detest them.

    General consensus seems to be they are a great product that requires more than novice to intermediate skills to setup and maintain.

    That being said I have not had any personal experience setting them up or using them. But I might have to pick a few up and give them a whirl to see what all the buzz is about.
    Last edited: 8 Aug 2016
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