Ubiquiti Unifi at home

I have been using the same router with OpenWRT installed for now 8 years and recently my network was beginning to become somewhat insufficient. I have a number of servers in my home, a number of mobile devices connected by Wifi and the router is in the living room whereas we both have a desktop computer on an another floor, without cabled network in the home.

Until now, the network was using a single router in the living room, a Devolo dLAN650+ to distribute the network both to the servers in an another room and to the office. It worked well in our small appartement but now that we are living in a house and the office is upstairs, the power network in the house is split and the connectivity between the living room and the office is insufficient and connecting every device using the Wifi grinds the network to a halt for some reason.

After seeing a lot of people on the internet happy with their Unifi network, I decided to look into it and despite the cost, I decided to jump into it and install everything.

The hardware used is the following:

  • UniFi Security Gateway 3P
  • UniFi Switch 8 POE-60W
  • UniFi AP-AC-Lite
  • UniFi AP-AC-Pro
  • UniFi CloudKey

Since the office is not connected by cable to the living room, I had to plan for a somewhat non-conventional network using the AP-AC-Lite in bridge mode to forward the WiFi traffic back into a cabled network. I know this is not kosher, but I didn’t want to buy devices that won’t be used the day we move to a new house.

The setup was really easy: Plug the Security Gateway into the ISP modem, plug the POE Switch to everything. Wait some minutes that everything boots up during which you can download the Chrome App that helps detect and setup the new devices.

Once every device is light-up blue, connect to the unifi cloud interface, create an account, adopt every device, upgrade them and configure the network as needed. I have to say, it has been a long time since I played that much with a network device and it has been fun.

The configuration of the bridge, the dreaded part as every hint on the Internet has been don’t do that, was also really easy: disconnect the AC-Lite, connect it to the POE injector without a cable back to the main network. After a minute or so, it is marked as isolated, as which point it is possible to configure a Wireless uplink to the main AP-AC. Easy, quick and from what I can tell, the speed and ping from the office computers is now largely improved over the previous dLAN connection.

Everything has been installed and configured in one evening and as I configured the Wifi the same as before, no device had to be reconfigured.

It’s really crazy to see the speed improvement on WiFi over the last router that was already a good router by (consumer) comparison.