Enterprise gear is for home users too…

 

 

 

 

I live in a friendly community, and many of my neighbors fall in one of two categories:

  1. Retired
  2. White Collar Employee

When I head on downstairs in the morning, open the front door for my little dog Ayden to do his morning thing, I often connect with my neighbors.  They are walking, jogging, and running around our community. Retired people are always looking for a good deal, something that will outlast them, add value to their day to day life and provides the best bang for their buck.

Recently my neighbors across the street from me both retired were extremely frustrated with their Cable bill skyrocketing to an unprecedented monthly expense.  I couldn’t agree more with my neighbors, I had recently experienced that drama myself and took corrective action to resolve this issue.  I explain that in my post titled Bye Bye DirecTV hello Tivo feel free to read it for details.

My neighbor Paul, a retired Boeing Exec, inquired on how he could save money.  Well, I brought him over to my house and showed him my Tivo setup.  He was impressed, went home, performed some additional research, discussed with his wife Kirsten who is a retired lawyer, and they pulled the trigger on ordering Tivo.   A few days later he called me up and asked me if I could help him set up the Tivo.  He listened to everything I had mentioned as he had been down to Comcast, picked up the self-install kit which included a cable card, and was ready to go.

I headed over there installed the Tivo, connected it to the WiFi, and performed a little re-wiring removing them from Frontier Fios TV and onto the Comcast TV service.  Everything started working just great except the InterNET connection was spotty.  After investigating the InterNET issue and hearing it has been an on-going problem in their house,  I determined that the router/wap they were using was not good enough.  It was located on the opposite side of the house.

Paul’s son Evan had been recommending to his parents the Netgear Nighthawk which was $499.99 and promised the world.  While I’m sure this would have improved their service, I still believed they would have been challenged by the fact that, the router/wap was on one side of the house, while the Tivo was on the other side.

Ubiquiti Networks:

I told Paul that I do not recommend they purchase the Netgear Nighthawk at 499.99 as its just too expensive. I brought him back over to my house, took him to the center of my house, and had him look up.  He didn’t know what he was looking for.  I showed him the Ubiquiti Unifi Access Point (AP) which is pictured here.  He mentioned it looked like a smoke detector and I responded with exactly.  It doesn’t look out of sorts.  I also explained you could disable the blue light though I prefer to keep mine on as it works out to be a great nightlight in our hallway upstairs.    I went on to explain this one device provides excellent wireless service to my entire house.  On average, I have about 25 devices always connected to wifi.  He went home, shared my knowledge with his wife and son.  Evan, his son, is a gamer and was quite concerned about my proposal and how it could affect his gaming experience. He also had a hard time believing that an 80.00 WAP, would outperform the 499.99 Netgear Nighthawk he has been recommending to his parents.  I assured him it would not affect his gaming; I didn’t promise it would make it better or worse, I simply said, he should have the same gaming experience he is currently enjoying.  I provided them a list of parts they needed as I was also recommending they lose the Frontier Router, we move it to the garage, convert them from HPNA (Frontiers way of handing The InterNET to you through coax like Comcast) to Ethernet handoff.  Each Frontier ONT can deliver the Internet through Coax or Ethernet.  Well they ordered the equipment which was the following

  • Unifi Security Gateway ($110.00)
  • Unifi Wireless Access Point ($79.00)
  • 500ft Cat5e cable (39.00)
  • I provided the rest from my inventory

So after all gear was onsite, I started out by running the ethernet cable from the garage to a center point of their house which happens to be a hallway near the entrance of their house.  I climbed through the attic pulling the ethernet cable through following the alarm cable runs.  We then drilled a small hole from below that allowed us to fish the ethernet cable down into the living space.  I was done in the attic.  I then headed back down, and we terminated the cable by putting an RJ45 jack on the end, mounting the ceiling bracket near the exit point where the cable was egressing from, and then proceeded to plug the cable into the AP, and twist the AP onto the mount finishing that part of the project.  We then moved to the garage where I had pulled the other side of the ethernet to, drilled another hole and fished the ethernet cable through that hole into the garage.  Next, we went outside where the ONT (Frontier FiOS box) is located and ran another cable from there through another hole we drilled in the exterior wall and the inside garage.  After that was done, I put an RJ45 jack on that end, plugged into the ethernet port of the ONT, and stapled down the cable to it was clean and secure.  Inside the garage where we decided to terminate this equipment,  I climbed on a ladder and began to mount the various pieces of equipment as you can see illustrated in the picture below.   In essence, I landed the two-port ethernet biscuit with one port going to the Frontier ONT, and the other port running to the Unifi AP. We proceeded to mount the Unifi Security Gateway, power strip, POE adapter and power adapter for the Unifi on the wall.  We then powered everything up, programmed it all into the Unifi Controller which we installed on one of the machines in the house and started testing things out.   Everyone in the house was amazed at the difference this equipment made, the interface is beautiful and detailed, providing a lot of insight into their Network such as Netflow Graphs, most active device, etc.   Evan was quite pleased with the Interface.  He then proceeded to test his games for the next week.  I had traveled out of state after completing this and was gone for a week.  Upon my return, I stopped by my neighbor’s house to check in on them.  They were just amazed at everything and could not be happier.   All this happened back in January of 2017.  Fast forward to March 2017, and they are still pleased and amazed with the recommendation.   Google, Linksys, Netgear are all coming out with new Router/Firewalls with WiFi built in.  I have seen the pricing on these devices 200.00 and up.   I would seriously look at the Ubiquity gear not just for work but home use too.  Its price, quality and feature functions are on par with the enterprise competitors such as Cisco and others.  They also have an online portal that you can manage your infrastructure from the cloud at NO ADDITIONAL cost.   Cisco charges an annual fee for this cloud feature.  A client of mine I was consulting for recently, just paid Cisco $1,700.00 to renew it, they ordered another AP for expansion that ran them $1,100.00 not including the cabling, and labor costs.   All in all, Unifi may be cheap, but don’t judge a book by its cover.   This is a fantastic product.

 

 

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