Only a few months ago, I wrote up the current state of my home network setup. Since then, Ubiquiti have been kind enough to provide me some devices to upgrade my network.
This is what they sent me after some discussions on what would work:
UniFi NanoHD Access Point – to replace the UniFi AP AC LR.
UniFi In-Wall HD Access Point – to replace a 2 port wall point.
UniFi Switch PoE 8 (150W) – to run off the UDM and provide PoE to these new devices.
UniFi Switch Flex – to replace one of the downstream switches I had.
First, the UniFi Switch PoE 8 (150W)
I had my youngest son inspect the PoE switch before opening:
It looks like your standard switch from the front and back, and I patched a few things through it on my desk to make sure it all worked as expected:
As with all these devices, plugging in and using the Unifi Network dashboard which automatically detects them, to simply adopt it and be a managed device, was the simplest thing to do without any hiccups.
I needed the PoE switch in place first to then power the other devices I had, and not needing a power cable for them all both freed up a few power points and made everything cleaner.
I then moved the switch into the cupboard with my UDM, Intel NUC and Synology Diskstation… but after further changes, the cables were tidied up and the UDM relocated elsewhere.
The UniFi Switch Flex is quite a small unit, a 5 port PoE powered device. Very useful for a TV cabinet to provide more devices a wired connection
There was very little to do on this one again, plug it in downstream of the PoE switch, adopt it, and it’s up and running. It has a wall mount option but I didn’t need that for my use case, it was going in the TV cabinet.
The UniFi In-Wall HD Access Point was the most interesting of the devices; going into an existing wall point as a 5 port switch (one port in the back for the patch cable going to the wall point, and 4 available coming out) as well as being an AP.
For this I had a friend help who could actually do recabling work, since the laws in Australia for this sort of thing are particularly strict:
I was unlucky that I didn’t have enough room for the wall plate that came with the device – so my friend made the same sized hole in a standard wall plate, which then had the In-Wall HD AP attached to it.
Look at the end result! This removed the requirement for the UniFi AP AC LR that was stuck to the wall, and one of the switches I had:
I ended up deciding to put the UniFi NanoHD Access Point at the other end of the house while moving the UDM. Again, I needed my wiring specialist friend to sort this one out for me.
Near the bedrooms and in front of the toilet, where there’s probably a lot of Wi-Fi use, there’s now a professional looking AP on the ceiling, wired back to the cabinet and the 8 port PoE switch. Looks great and doubles as a night light towards the toilet!
After all that, I updated my topology diagram and removed the Wi-Fi devices to make it a bit easier to read:
And here’s the updated floorplan with heat map:
With all networking devices being Ubiquiti, I get much better visibility end to end on what’s happening across the entire network, as well as updates and configuration all controlled via the single Unifi Network Portal.
Here’s what the topology looks like from the Dream Machine:
I’m very happy with the upgrades and the extra visibility I now get across my network. If I was starting from scratch, I’d strongly consider deploying a UniFi In-Wall HD Access Point at every wallpoint because they’re relatively cheap and provide a lot of flexibility for both network points and wireless coverage.
The Flex switch is also handy, but wouldn’t work off an In-Wall HD Access Point as they’re not PoE out, otherwise they’re very small and easy to keep out of the way.
The 8 Port PoE Switch 150w provides PoE that I didn’t have – if I’d bought a UDM Pro instead of a UDM I’d have it coming out of that and not need this, but I’m very happy with this setup and the reduction in cables it’s brought. Worth noting that the switch runs quite warm – it’s fanless though and designed to dissipate heat through it’s casing, which can be a bit concerning if you’re not used to it :) Working as designed…
Finally the UniFi NanoHD Access Point is physically a little bit smaller than the UniFi AC LR AP – they have different specs including throughput speeds, but the NanoHD is a better fit for my use case inside my house.
The entire Ubiquiti ecosystem for me is still rather set and forget; unless I’m actually making a change, or getting an alert that something’s down (children tend to play with cables!) then it does it’s job. If I do want to know what’s going on, or the coverage/throughput of a device for some reason, it’s all pretty easy to find out.