Wireless Heaven (Part 1)
Recently i have moved house, for a long time prior to that i had always been “playing” with WiFi solutions becoming increasingly frustrated with resolutions, so a little background, my house has 6 people in it (2 Adults and 4 Teenagers) and as you can imagine each of these six have more then one device connected to my WiFi, a very rough estimate of total device i would take a guess at say around 15 maybe. So as im sure you understand the WiFi network is a vital thing, and the slightest issue i have 4 kids standing at me shouting “Why is the WiFi off”.
So back to my original point, when i moved house i made a very concise decision to sort the WiFi out once and for all, make it as reliable and secure as i possible could, a further requirement was having some sort of guest network for visitors to the house, something i could give to people without any worry of opening up my network to any hackers or problems.
After a little research, reading some fantastic blog posts online including Troy Hunt’s and Tom Morgan’s write ups, as well as speaking to a few people via Twitter and Facebook, i finally decided on Ubiquiti equipment, i have used there stuff many years ago at an enterprise level and never had any issues, so it seemed like a good choice.
Before i move onto what it was i wanted to achieve and how i was going to achieve it, just a brief explanation on my new house, its a very old (1800s) 4 bed house in the north of England, it has very thick and solid walls and floors and a basic router just didn’t cut it, on the plus side however the house was in a Virgin Fibre area and upon completion i hot footed it online to order my 300 meg connection which im pleased to say is now fully live (Happy Face).
Not many people have done my blogging with Virgin media and Ubiquiti solutions, so im hoping to give some information regarding this and how my configuration is setup, so now the equipment, and what we are going to do with it all, for now i have purchased the following.
- Unifi Security Gateway Router – The brain of the operation, this is what controls everything, it is a very cost effective and reliable routing and firewall as well as deep packet inspection.
- Unifi Cloud Management Key – This is a small form factor computer running the Unifi management software, it also manages guest WiFi and segregates them from your main network
- Unifi WLAN Access Point – This actually provides the WiFi connectivity, POE compatible so they can be setup pretty much anywhere, centrally managed by the security gateway.
The cloud management key is not vital to all this, you can very simply download and install the Unifi software on any computer and run it, however the good thing about the management key is it runs 24/7 and lets you manage your devices when your away from home (handy with 4 teenagers), the deep packet inspection function of the security gateway is also something that very much appealed to me, having the control over what my kids are upto and how much time they are spending on you-tube is a massive benefit. I have for now purchased two access points, one for downstairs and one for upstairs, from what i have been reading this should be more then enough to flood the house with signal, but i guess the proof is in the pudding as they say.
Anybody out there with Virgin media will know that the point at which your connection comes into your property is usually in you living room, this is so you can plug your router and TV in with ease and not worry to much about getting a cable from your router to your TV, a good idea i hear you say until you start stacking boxes of flashing hardware behind your TV and people keep turning things off at night. This is a very short term solution with the overall goal to have a cabinet somewhere else, but thats step 2 i guess so on we proceed with the initial setup.
This is just a very brief post to explain the thinking behind using Ubiquiti and how im going to fix my WiFi issues. In my next post i hope to detail all this out and give full details of the steps.
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