Ubiquiti unifi journey part 3
Following on from here, I had to wait a while to acquire the necessary ubiquiti switches to complete my network overhaul plan. I wanted the flex mini switches but it seems they are so popular they sell out more or less straight away when in stock. LinITX eventually received stock so I snapped up 2 which enabled me to have all ubiquiti kit in my network and retire several Netgear switches.
I can see why these switches are so popular! Where else can you get a managed switch, the size of a fag packet, for c£30. They can be powered by PoE but I have them mains powered which is by USB-C adaptor. As ever with the unifi ecosystem they were easy to adopt. It took longer for me to plug all the RJ45s in than it did to get them integrated into the network.
Now my network was all ubiquiti’d up it was time to plan my VLANs and get configuring. I was aiming for the following:
- A trusted network (wired and wireless) of my known devices – laptops, desktops etc
- An IoT network (wired and wireless) for the various smart devices – TV, Tado, Chromecast etc
- A guest wireless network for visiting friends and family
Following ubiquiti’s guides it was easy enough to setup the separate networks and assign them to the necessary ports and WLANs, then it was a case of creating a few firewall rules to allow traffic to flow between the VLANs as I wanted. I use pi-hole as my DNS servers so a tweak of the DHCP settings for each VLAN and an associated firewall rule soon allowed all devices to take advantage of the ad-blocking and DNS over HTTPS that the pi-hole(s) deliver.
All in all it was about 15 minutes work to setup and test, it really is that easy. You might say ‘why bother’ but I did because a) it’s geeky and b) I know I’ve protected my trusted devices as best I can if ever any of my IoT things get compromised.
I’m glad I’ve bought into the unifi ecosystem, the WLANs seem more reliable and certainly I have better coverage, the VLANs are useful, and the controller dashboard giving all the stats you need is brilliant if you like that sort of thing (I do).