I want to start building my SOHO network and figured I would start with a new router. As I am currently using my providers modem as a all in one.
Just watched a YT video about Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro, sounded like a nice all in one package.
I need a good place to grow from.
The budget depends on value, I’ll probably ask this to be a present.
Ubiquiti Unifi, Pfsense or OpenWrt are good places to start. I’d recommend staying away from Ubiquiti Edgerouters or Mikrotik because of the steeper learning curve.
Unifi ecosystem can cover all your needs with a conveniently centralized control interface. Honestly, I think I like their surveillance offering more than the network, although the network is fine for most people.
The birds work pretty good as alarm system if your home to hear them! which the birds coup in a tree every night so I could use motion detection then. (Coyotes run thru at night as well, it will defiantly be fun!! I see lots of storage drives in the future.)
Get a pfSense / OPNSense box, it doesn’t have to be expensive, I use an off-the-shelf AsRock J3455M motherboard with 4 gb of ram and a 4x Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E expansion card (completely overkill). Due to lack of budget, I’m also testing an Intel NUC with a USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet adapter (would not recommend the later though).
You only need 2 ports, 1 for WAN, 1 for LAN. You can also get away with 1 port if you don’t do a lot of traffic between LANs and you have a managed switch, which is basically a must if you will have any IoT devices, like security cameras.
My personal recommendation would be any Celeron / AMD equivalent (usually AMD embedded something) small box with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, like a MintBox Mini 2, 2 or 3 Ubiquiti AC Pro APs, any 24 port POE switch from Ubiquiti (POE for the cameras and APs) and add to that whatever other switches you need (just don’t be overkill with the switches near your end devices, too many and you could bottleneck the single Ethernet port coming from the main switch). If you are able to, you should rather do some patch panels and separate cable runs, rather than remote switches, but that’s just my opinion.
It would probably be best to have a patch panel once you start adding up all the runs. But, that’s in the future. (I’ve been studying all the different types of cabling really liking the Cat 7 & 8 having the shielding. The tombstones are trick!!)