Dan F

Prosumer alternatives to Ubiquiti?

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Just built a Middle Atlantic (slim 5) rack and need to start adding some bits into it.  So far, I've just got a couple of shelves and a patch panel.

 

I know a fair number of people on buildhub use Ubiquiti for their home network, that it typically works very well (aside from some unstable firmware updates) and that their ecosystem is rather apple-esque and nice to use.

 

But, are their people that have gone with Ruckus, Mikrotik, Draytek or another brand instead for a good reason?

 

Few things that make me a bit uneasy about Ubiquiti:

- Availability of some items seems a challenge. (cameras currently).

- Apparent requirement on a cloud account (e.g. for setup)

- Protect is closed system and only works Ubiquiti cameras.

- The router (security gateway) functionality is known to be fairly poor compared to something like pfsense.

On the other hand a Ruckus setup I'm pretty sure would cost as least twice as much.

 

I know you can use Ubiquiti WiFi without the Protect offering, just it's tempting to stay within the ecosystem and the ease of use and nice phone/appletv apps would make it easier for other family members to use too.  Do those that use Ubiquiti for network also use Protect, or combine it with something else for CCTV?

Edited by Dan F

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I use Ubiquiti for network/PoE/wifi and Hikvision for CCTV. The 24 port Ubiquiti PoE switch died on me a few weeks after putting it behind a UPS recently but I got a refund under warranty (2 years) as they don't stock an equivalent model any more. Planning on trying Aruba next but found the Ubiquiti cloud key / two factor auth and associated information it provides very interesting. Didn't use Protect with Ubiquiti. No experience with the others mentioned. 

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I use ubiquiti Unifi for WiFi, switch and router.

Tried their CCTV but didn't like it and really don't like the vendor lock in. I don't see any reason CCTV should be combined with network infrastructure.

Yes their router FW is annoying when you hit the limits, but core functionality is very good. I've found it all very stable. By far my favourite WiFi management yet. Some friends recommend their Edgerouter instead of Unifi, but that looses a lot of the Apple esque convenience.

I think the cloud account is still entirely optional, but convenient enough I do use it as the default way to connect (i.e. any time other than when virgin are down).

 

 

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On 28/11/2021 at 18:47, joth said:

I use ubiquiti Unifi for WiFi, switch and router.

 

 I couldn't see any reason not to use Ubiquiti for WiFi given cost vs. performance/usability (vs. Ruckus) and while there are other options for switches have gone for a 24 por PoE+ switch too.  I've ordered some of the new wifi 6 AP's; a couple of lits and a couple of pros.  Router I was less convinced, but I've gone ahead and ordered a "dream machine pro" to try the full ecosystem knowing that i can, if/when required, configure it to pass-through and add a more capable router behind the the Ubiquiti ecosystem such as pfsense.  Which router do you use?

 

On 28/11/2021 at 18:47, joth said:

Tried their CCTV but didn't like it and really don't like the vendor lock in. I don't see any reason CCTV should be combined with network infrastructure.

 

I agree, and this is what I had most doubts about.  But I've gone and ordered a couple of camera (g4 pro + g4 bullet) to try it.  Longer term these my go on ebay and I may end up using something else, we'll have to see.

 

On 28/11/2021 at 20:33, joth said:

If I was starting over I'd probably use QNAP for CCTV and hosting VMs and put the Unifi controller on that too.

https://www.qnap.com/en/how-to/tutorial/article/how-to-set-up-a-unifi-controller-in-container-station

 

I'll probably look at a rack-mount synology/qnap as NAS, for containers etc.  So this would be the place I'm run NVR software if I move away from Protect.  I've used QNAP survelience center in the past with some old foscam cameras.

 

On 28/11/2021 at 18:47, joth said:

I think the cloud account is still entirely optional, but convenient enough I do use it as the default way to connect (i.e. any time other than when virgin are down).

 

I think it's a must for setup, but once setup you can add and use local users.  Not ideal, but not terrible (that's assuming that local users passwords aren't stored in cloud!)

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49 minutes ago, Dan F said:

I've gone ahead and ordered a "dream machine pro"

I have one of these. I like it a lot. I liked the idea of having it all in one box rather than the separate key gen and secure gateway etc.

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7 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

I have one of these. I like it a lot. I liked the idea of having it all in one box rather than the separate key gen and secure gateway etc.

 

It's a bad idea to from a technical standpoint to have various functions in the same box.  But for a home environment it's less of an issue and has it's attraction.  What else do you have in your setup?  Any CCTV?

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I'm just about to go Ubiquiti for networking/routing/wifi and HikVision (+ Hik NVR) for CCTV. I did consider Aruba and multiple others, but Ubiquiti gives me the extra features/power I want while still being reasonabily plug and play. I spend enough time fixing problems in my day job that I want my home network to just run once its setup :)

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10 minutes ago, Dan F said:

 

It's a bad idea to from a technical standpoint to have various functions in the same box.  But for a home environment it's less of an issue and has it's attraction.  What else do you have in your setup?  Any CCTV?

Yep. I understand the single point of failure concept but, as you say, it’s a home environment and I’m not going to pay for multiple redundant systems!

 

no CCTV at the moment but it’s on the cards for the new house. Just running the Dream machine pro, 24 port switch and Wi-Fi APs which will be transferred to the new house when it’s done. The beauty of the setup is I can add APs in the new house running from the old house if required before Openreach put our new connection in. 
 

oh, and a QNAP NAS running VMs and movies. 

Edited by Thorfun
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I went the Ubiquiti route about 8 months ago replacing my mismatch of wifi routers and access points with a Dream Machine Pro and 2 Wifi 6 Lite AP's. Have to say, once set up and configured (several VLAN's etc) it's been faultless running 24/7 since install.

 

What it has highlighted is how absolutely rubbish my Virgin modem box is with drop outs and slow speeds, even on a 350Mb connection. For the most part the reliability has at least reduced the previous constant whining from my kids about how bad the wifi is.

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@Dan F I'm using a 4 port "Security Gateway" (predates Dream Machines). Partly chose this as it has dual WAN connections to allow redundancy failover. Unfortunately our contractor accidentally ripped up the open reach cable while putting in the new soak away, so we've been getting by with Virgin for the last year but it is very inconsistent as @Rob99 says, especially for uplink speed. Their network is designed for broadcast TV so not surprising really.

I've been waiting for FTTP but while the rest of the town (on overhead poles) now has it, it seems the conservation areas are bottom of the queue so yesterday I gave in and placed an A&A order to reinstall a copper pair line.

I had a quote for FTTPonDemand, £7000 just seemed not worth it when the rest of the town has it for £0!

(We have two of us working at home now, both on video calls and running service support, so 4G just doesn't cut it the couple of times I tried failing over to that. Too flaky, and mobile carrier grade NAT seemed to mess up ubiquiti's own internet availability detection)

 

Edited by joth

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The UI and graphs are all very nice, although the "network topology" view hangs my broswer!  What's somewhat disappointing though is that my old Asus router has better funcitonality for:

1) Assigning different DNS based filtering (e.g. https://cleanbrowsing.org/) to difference devices

2) Easily enabling/disabling different types of acitivty (gambling, gaming, streaming etc.) for children, where each child profile can be configured with multiple devices.

 

I can probablly do 1) by using different networks, rather than per-device and this would probably suffice, but 2) seems a bit more complex.. and would probably need to be done at the network, rather than device, level which is less ideal.

 

@joth I was keen to install FTTP too, but didn't bother to pay the survey fee after seeing quotes others were getting.  Our FTTC is 80/20 so not that bad, although if the Unifi stuff supported load-balancing (which it doesn't) I would be tempted to get a second line, as a 80/20 SOGEA service is quite cheap.  I know A&A will sell you a two bonded lines and the hardware to make it work, but I thnk the price on this is a lot more than two FTTC lines.

 

 

Edited by Dan F

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25 minutes ago, Dan F said:

I was keen to install FTTP too, but didn't bother to pay the survey fee after seeing quotes others were getting.

probably not something you want to hear but our FTTP connection isn't costing us a penny! the pole across the road has fibre all the way from the exchange and OR are fitting a pole at the edge of our property and I'll run the cable underground in to the plant room.

 

it's probably worth speaking to OR as you never know and you might be surprised.

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17 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

it's probably worth speaking to OR as you never know and you might be surprised.

 

Openreach send you to a FoD provider if the availability checker doesn't should FTTP availability.  In your case did/does availability checker show FTTP?  

https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL

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18 minutes ago, Dan F said:

 

Openreach send you to a FoD provider if the availability checker doesn't should FTTP availability.  In your case did/does availability checker show FTTP?  

https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL

 

yep! 🙂

 

1355083926_Screenshot2021-12-03at21_59_22.thumb.png.82b6029ced561e91affb01703db63041.png

 

but I never knew this checker existed. I found out when an OR engineer was working on the pole and I went out and had a chat and he said it was FTTP. so when I spoke to them about the new connection for our new house it was fibre all the way. I originally wanted the connection to go under the road as I didn't want wires overhead. the surveyor said that's fine but it'll cost quite a bit with the road closure, digging of the road, running the cable etc or they could put the pole up and it'll be free. wasn't a hard choice.

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@Thorfun That's same as me.  In theory that means that FTTP is not available to purchase and you need FoD which generally always has a built-out cost.

 

If FTTP is available it says "WBC FTTP" and the bt broadband site (https://www.bt.com/exp/broadband) will offer a fast connection.

 

I'm intrigiued now as to how you have a arranged a free FTTP install via OR when checker shows FTTPoD.

Edited by Dan F

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10 hours ago, Dan F said:

@Thorfun That's same as me.  In theory that means that FTTP is not available to purchase and you need FoD which generally always has a built-out cost.

 

If FTTP is available it says "WBC FTTP" and the bt broadband site (https://www.bt.com/exp/broadband) will offer a fast connection.

 

I'm intrigiued now as to how you have a arranged a free FTTP install via OR when checker shows FTTPoD.

so now you've made me doubt myself! when the surveyor left site he ordered me ducting to run from the proposed new pole to the house and a 'box' chamber to put outside the house for access for them. then said when I was ready for the new line to be fitted to contact them (although it might have been to contact BT) and they will come and fit the pole and connect the line to the ducting I will lay.

 

maybe this is what you mean by FTTPoD?

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On 28/11/2021 at 20:33, joth said:

If I was starting over I'd probably use QNAP for CCTV and hosting VMs and put the Unifi controller on that too.

https://www.qnap.com/en/how-to/tutorial/article/how-to-set-up-a-unifi-controller-in-container-station

 

LOL

 

I bought myself a QNAP tvs-672xt  as a Christmas present and so far I hate pretty much everything about it. Everything seems unstable and half arsed. VM station, container station and QVR pro have all failed to setup several times. I think it's going back to the supplier, and I'll switch to proxmox on a broadberry Xeon 3U server as originally planned 18 months ago!

 

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On 03/12/2021 at 20:55, Dan F said:

(gambling, gaming, streaming etc.)

Sounds like my house . But in the sense that's all we do.

  • Haha 1

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18 hours ago, joth said:

LOL

 

I bought myself a QNAP tvs-672xt  as a Christmas present and so far I hate pretty much everything about it. Everything seems unstable and half arsed. VM station, container station and QVR pro have all failed to setup several times. I think it's going back to the supplier, and I'll switch to proxmox on a broadberry Xeon 3U server as originally planned 18 months ago!

 

Synology for the win!

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