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Home Network Building Blocks


I am trying to find the right hardware for my home network. I bought a Aruba S2500 switch about a month ago and spent 2 weekends trying to configure it to get internet access while using the switch as the networks DHCP server. I failed miserably at this… I believe that the s2500 would do all of the networking tasks that i want for my home network but I am clearly not network savvy enough to configure it with the limited documentation available for it.

So, I am looking for more consumer friendly devices that can create VLANs and keep my network segregated. The things i am looking to do with my network are as follows:

  • Separate VLAN for security cameras (think Wendel’s Hikvision video)
  • Separate VLAN for home WIFI (mostly just WAN access with video steaming privlages)
  • Separate VLAN for wired network

I am remodeling my house and am running CAT6A to all of the rooms in my house. I don’t currently need 10gb to all the rooms in my house but definitely to my main computer. I need POE capability for my cameras and APs. Most likely 4 cameras and 2 APs.

It seemed like the Aruba switch that i have would work great for this setup, but I am a networking neophyte so it has not worked for me. I am an enthusiast in this area and really would like to learn. Any recommendation hardware related or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

Much Thanks,


Depending on how much learning you want to do…

… if you dont want to learn too much, or depending on what kind of learning you’re in for, you could go with Ubiquiti Unifi .

It gets you a webui to manage your router/switch/wifi stuff and some logged metrics that are fun to look at from time to time and magical “experience percentages” that are meant to be some aggregate score of how well stuff is doing.

It can absolutely do VLAN and guest networks and light firewalling - it’s perfect for homes, small offices, cafes and similar IMHO.

It won’t make you a networking expert. But it can make your home network nice.

You probably want to get into “prosumer” gear instead of “enterprise” which is your Aruba. My choice in this space is Mikrotik. They have their own operating systems though, Router OS and Switch OS and need a desktop application (winbox) for effective config that you have to spend a bit of time learning but not too hard.

I would recommend unifi if the the enterprise stuff is too much. Unifi will let you set everything up from one piece of software (From router to switch to wifi).

Having both Mikrotik (various hap and wap) and Ubiquiti (ac lite, ac pro, nano hd, u6 lr most recently), I can reliably claim that WiFi on Unifi equipment is both faster and more reliable.
I have some openwrt access points / routers as well - the problem there is that chipset manufacturers basically don’t care about having reliably working wifi firmwares published.