In need of a router

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.

Pfsense / opensense and a few other options are good router options

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What’s your networking experience/knowledge?

Zero I’m attempting to learn as I go. I know that what I have right now isn’t working for me.

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This is why I’m asking all of you. Give me a place to start, put my hands on etc…

I’m not 100% computer illiterate, I’ve built my own computers.

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do you feel confidant in flashing firmware?

I’ve been messing around with overclocking flashing bios and such. I want to learn, I have distant memories from the 90’s. Some things come back to me.

there are other options for firmware as well. for broadcom chips

current fork that is maintained.

I will need to have a separate / multiple switches & WAP among the house.

I’m looking at:
(2) WAP
(8) IoT Camera’s
(3) remote switches (living room, office, shop)

Plus room to grow.

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edging into prosumer needs. i will see my self out.

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.


I have been attempting to study surveillance equipment and Ubiquiti has been mentioned a couple of times. I’m also waiting to see what Wendell is using for cameras and storage.

I wanted to go with B&W sensors cameras for better low light conditions.

I really need to hurry-up with the surveillance system. Just don’t want to waste what little money I have.

Any decent cameras will automatically switch to IR in low light.

But they are never very good quality and anyone with cheap NV can see the IR.

IR is definitely not as good as normal, but afaik, it’s the only option at night unless you’re relying on artificial light of some sort.

Main issue I’ve had with surveillance is having to tune the motion detection so that random status LEDs or the sun coming up, etc don’t set them off constantly.

Motion detection would be impossible for me. There might litterly be 75-100 Guineafowl, kids playing kickball or the random thief around my house! I will have to use access point’s for detection.

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.

For the cameras, I’m completely out of the field. Wendell did some interesting hackaroos voodoo doodads to get very cheap “bricked” HIKVision cameras from eBay to work (it’s not that hard). Unbricking Hikvision IP Cameras (Repair, Reflash and TFTP Guide)

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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!!)

Thank you all, have given me a lot to think about!

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