Ubiquiti unifi journey pt2

Part 2 of my journey into refreshing my network with ubiquiti kit (part 1 is here) saw my go-to supplier LinITX shipping an 8 port switch and an access point. Given the nature of my home and the planned network I went for the lesser 8 port switch – the 8-60W as it has all I need along with a single AP AC Lite access point.

The switch has 8 gigabit ports, 4 of which are auto-sensing POE capable too. Despite its value for money price it is also able to cope with full line rate on all ports simultaneously. First thing to do was to adopt the switch into my network via the unifi controller software, update its firmware and give it a static IP address. That took all of 5 minutes. It honestly took me longer to move all my patch cables over from the old switch than it did to set the ubiquiti switch up.

Once up and running the switch immediately started giving me more insights into my network traffic via the controller’s interface. You can also dive deep into the switch and configure each port as you want it – very cool.

With the unifi system you setup your wireless networks on the controller rather than the access points. My SSID was configured, the password and security set, the access point was adopted and provisioned and that was that. It couldn’t have been easier.

The access point isn’t in the ideal location, it is designed to be ceiling mounted but I have it elsewhere. Despite its sub-optimal placement it has replaced 2 BT Whole Home mesh WLAN discs and we have better coverage at greater bandwidth which so far seems far more stable. The access point is also able to be powered via POE which reduces cabling too. So far, so good.

All this shiny new kit did raise some other issues though. Because it provides such a detailed view into your network it quickly became apparent how noisy and chatty some devices are (IoT devices mainly). It also highlighted some mac apps that I thought uninstalled were still calling home. This necessitated an hour or so blitzing these rogue apps from my machines completely – when I want to uninstall an app I expect it to be gone, not to leave little bits lying around calling home!

The flexibility of the unifi ecosystem led me to think about VLANing my network to properly segregate my IoT devices from my trusted devices but as I still had a couple of unmanaged switches in the network I needed to part with more cash! Part 3 incoming soon…

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