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Building a secure high visibility WiFi network using Ubiquiti Networks UniFi gear!


I have for the longest time wanted to give my WiFi network an overhaul. After months of research I decided to move forward with Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT) UniFi line of WiFi products to help build my new network. My previous WiFi equipment was fast, had good coverage, was easy to segment and manage, but one thing was lacking…easy visibility. I felt like the metrics I was really interested in were hard to get out the devices themselves. I test the heck out of consumer IoT, enterprise IoT, and industrial IoT (IIoT) gear and I need to be able to see what kind of traffic is produced. I had to resort to 3rd party tools to gather the info I needed and it just felt overly cumbersome. There is some other enterprise level gear that I have used in my career that can do exactly what I wanted but the price is just way out there to justify for a home network. Some of the lower priced appliances that would have worked have annual subscription fees attached. The UBNT gear is reasonably priced and doesn’t have any subscription fees. But price alone wasn’t the reason why I chose UBNT UniFi.

I looked into newer consumer mesh WiFi technologies like eero, Google Wifi, and even Ubiquiti Networks AmpliFi but in the end decided mesh WiFi was not for me. I have always been a proponent of wired backhaul. Switching to mesh or using wireless backhaul decreases available bandwidth. I already had the CAT5e runs to continue with a wired backhaul infrastructure to all APs so I decided to stick with this approach for the best possible WiFi performance. A lot of people look into mesh networks for better roaming but you can achieve the same type of experience if you tune the minimum RSSI on your APs correctly. These APs do have seamless roaming (Zero-Handoff) by the way but it has some additional requirements. I also found exploring my options that the UniFi Controller software gave me all the insight into my WiFi network (and much more) over these other platforms plus the price of these platforms were all pretty close to the same range. If you’re the average consumer, I think you would be better off with those actually and I would whole heartedly recommend them to my non-IT family and friends. If you are the type of person that likes to run a solid network but also tinker and squeeze the last bit of performance out of everything, then I would not suggest these platforms and tell you to really take a close look at UniFi. As I add more UniFi equipment in the future beyond WiFi gear I will be able to use UniFi Controller for central management and analytics. Kind of like NetScaler MAS for you Citrix NetScaler fans.

Read the entire article here, Building a secure high visibility WiFi network using Ubiquiti Networks UniFi gear – JasonSamuel.com

via Jason Samuel at jasonsamuel.com

Jason Samuel Jason Samuel (@_JasonSamuel on Twitter) is an Infrastructure Architect in Houston, TX with a primary focus on mobility, virtualization, and cloud technologies from Citrix, VMware, & Microsoft. He also has an extensive background in web architecture and information security. He holds a degree from the University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business and is certified in several technologies. Jason is also a recipient of the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) award and an Atlantis Community Expert (ACE). He is a leader in his local Houston Citrix User Group Community and the CUGC Networking Special Interest Group.

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