New Home Network Recommendations?

Hello everyone, I want to get your feedback on my current plan for my home network before I proceed with buying everything. I am open to all suggestions and input.

I am currently buying a two bedroom condo that is about 1100sqft. It is on the top floor and I want to make sure I have excellent wifi coverage and speed. I also want to make sure both rooms will have Ethernet available. I will be getting xfinity gigabit speeds(1200Mbps down) so I would like to take advantage of it. I am planning on providing my own modem and router. The modem I plan on getting is Motorola MB8611. I am planning on using an old i3/i5/i7 I have laying around and buying intel nics(open to suggestions) to build a opnsense router. I never have built my own router, but I am in the IT field so I feel like I should be able to do it. I plan on buying an UniFi6 Long-Range ap and a Tp-Link unmanaged gigabit 24 port switch(TL-SG1024S).

I would like to buy newer technology for everything like the wifi 6 ap for example for “future proofing.” I know it isn’t future proof just want it to last longer before needing to upgrade/replace. I plan on building a single family home in the future and would like to just add all this hardware I am buying now into that network without needing to replace it.

As for budget there isn’t a max if it can be justified, but I would like to save wherever possible. I also would prefer an easier setup if possible.

I really appreciate any help or suggestions.

Forbidden router video is a good direction if you are ok to tinker. Maybe have some aio as backup that you can fail back to worse cast


Thanks going to go watch it now. I have an old aio that should work I would think. If not I would have to buy one which defeats the purpose of building a router to save the $100-200.

While 1200mbit is peak I’d guess guess you’d rarely see speeds over 1Gbit so I would target that and since you’re looking at a Gbit switch for now as 2.5Gbit makes little sense in most cases. In general I’d say that it’s a waste of money unless if affects upload speeds.

I would highly recommend that you get a VLAN capable switch and one with some kind of web management, it makes things a lot easier to troubleshoot and you might want to use VLANs further down the road. Zyxel’a GS1900-series and GS1920 are good “value” ones and well regarded in general.

The LR model is probably not what you’re looking for and I would think twice about getting an AP that needs additional software especially if it’s just one or two APs for a residential network. I would consider other options and or possibly get one or two IPQ40XX based routers that are supported by OpenWRT and use those as AP (get ones if 3 radios of possible) depending on how much you’re willing to tinker and upgrade later on.

I am not trying to do any virtualization. I don’t think I will do this. It is passed my knowledge and how much I want to do. I have extra pc’s laying around that I can dedicate to this router.

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I do not think I will ever need to use vlans. By the time I might need to use vlans I would be getting a new switch.

I feel like if I was going to buy a router to use as an access point why not just use it as it is intended and not do opnsense. Save me a lot of time and headache.

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Sounds like you’ve already made up your mind so go ahead then?

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I will look into other access points as you mentioned. I think that is a good idea. Just have heard ubiquity is great.

I am open to suggestions. Just don’t think I would need those features for my use case. I created this thread to get everyone’s opinions and suggestions. I have very minimal knowledge and ask for help here because everyone has more knowledge and experience than me. @diizzy

Yeah it’s just nice to have a basic backup if you server goes down etc don’t want to not have internet due to psu failure late at night when you have something you have to do

I’m partial to ruckus aps but honestly most of my stuff is wired so Wi-Fi speed isn’t huge

If you go ubiquity then stay in the ubiquity eco system. There is no benefit to mix and match from different vendors as you would need to by a CloudKey just to manage the one AP or two.
For example, get to APLites that Support WiFi6 and a dream machine which is a switch and cloud key build in. Done.

IF you insist on mixing and matching, then I would recommend getting Engenius APs that have local web management and then you would manage you switch through the switch’s management interface.
Example: One or two Engenius EWS377s and the TP-Link switch that you mentioned.


Thank I will look into those ap’s. Like I mentioned before I was only getting the Ubiquity AP because I heard all there stuff is pretty good. I do not mind going with another brand as long as it there is no performance or quality difference. @Mastic_Warrior

Dang those are slightly more expensive than the ubiquity LR and it doesn’t come with a psu?!?! crazy lol.

Agreed, but I have multiple pc’s laying around so if something fails I’ll throw another pc together if my old netgear aio isn’t enough.

Ill check those AP’s out as well. Most of my stuff will be wired as well, but would like to get decent wifi speeds for the times I do use it.

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Anyone have any recommendations for a pcie gigabit intel nic with 2 ports? Preferably with known compatibility with opnsense

It seems like I don’t need the cloud key. I can use the phone app or a pc for the controller? I could be wrong? Also I was thinking about getting the dream machine, but it is out of stock and has been for a long time. Also would rather save a couple hundred and use an old pc for router.

True, but they are 2.5G GBe and 4x4 radio. The EWS357 is cheaper (2x2 radio) and no 2.5GBe.

I recommend Ubiquity most of the time in my consultant side work, but these tend to be people that want plug and play and some someone to be able to remotely remedy their issues in a pinch. So I recommend that they get all ubiquity equipment.

You can do the same with Engenius but the total upfront cost will be higher than Ubiquity, but everything can also be remotely managed. They give you options. You don’t have to be stuck with one decision for the rest of your equipment ownership. I use Engenius stuff for my home.

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you can run the cloud key software on a PC that you don’t mind keeping on 24/7. Technically it only needs to be on after power cycle or when trying to upgrade firmware. A RaspberryPi will do but from my experience this does not work as well as running a cloud key or dream machine. Also, you are beholden to Ubiquity to keep the application free. If they put it behind a pay wall or stop updating the software, there is absolutely no local management of their devices (officially).

Either way, I am sure the Ubiquity kit will be fine for your needs as long as you don’t plan on mixing and matching vendors.

well the plan was to do a opnsense router with old pc and then common cheap gigabit switch like tplink/netgear with ubiquity AP’s only. Do you think that will be ok? Technically that opnsense pc will be on all the time so could I do it on that machine too?

Should be. The software is known to be a little buggy.

Here are some hardware specification recommendations from the horse’s mouth

As far as 2Port Intel NICs (stick with Intel)

I would go with the first option as 16 queues is better than 8 queues.

Thank you I am still considering Engenius APs as well. I need to look into them more I think Ruckus is out of my price range. I just have never heard of Engenius and have always heard so much about ubiquity.

Just to show that I am not an outlier and to show you Mr. Wendell’s honest opinion as a former ubiquity shill.