A retired buddy and I are researching networking hardware for personal use. I don’t have an IT background, but as an aerospace professional, I’ve worked with PC’s since 1983, when an IBM PC XT was placed on my desk. Lacking a clue what to do with the XT’s blinking cursor, out came the DOS book. I have also spec’d and built PC’s from the ground up. On the other hand, my buddy is a retired IT professional in the programming and project management realm, as opposed to networking.
So, between us, we are trying to learn enough to select a router and AP’s for my new home’s LAN; learning enough to be able to create a DMZ for IoT devices. Thus, a router with multiple SSID/VLAN capabilities was our primary requisite. As such, Ubiquiti and Peplink routers both came to occupy the number 1 position on our priority list.
After VLAN capability, our 2nd. priority was ease of setup. For techy, but networking neophytes, it appears that either the Ubiquiti or Peplink may be similar in their levels of difficulty. However, Peplink appears to win out; because if we get in a bind, reviews suggest Peplink’s access to support is better.
With the information found, I believe we can get either of the two company’s routers up and running. The question then becomes one of security and the “walling-off” of IoT devices. Is there a primer available for residential consumers wanting to do as we? If we provide a sketch of our proposed network topography, is this a place to obtain a critique of same and to obtain some specific recommendations and perhaps UI/programming instructions?
Obviously, I’m looking for your thoughts on our endeavor.
If we go with Peplink, the Surf SoHo and Balance One are contenders. RouterSecurity.org contains a substantial amount of networking security data; with Peplink being the router of choice. Because the Balance One is twice as costly as the Surf, the Balance One is only being considered for future proofing, from a speed perspective. I believe I will start off with a 150Mbps connection. Does spending the extra solely for the Balance One’s speed (vs the Surf), make sense?
We intend to incorporate AP’s in our install. Because of this, would a Wi-Fi radio in the router, be an advantage, disadvantage or a neutral? That is, will the Wi-Fi play nicely with the planned ceiling-mounted AP’s, if they are Peplink ones? How about if they’re from a different manufacturer? In this case, or even in the case of Peplink’s AP’s, might transitions between ranges not “hand off” as smoothly as if a router lacked a Wi-Fi radio?
The router will reside in the structured wiring area in the basement finished area. So I assume Wi-Fi could be dished by the router for the partially finished walk-out basement. Thus, the AP (or AP’s) will be above the basement, on the main floor (2,700 sq.ft.). Fiscally, it would make sense to use the router’s Wi-Fi radio. Is there any reason why we shouldn’t get a router with Wi-Fi, or turn it off, if it has Wi-Fi? Might it perform its routing duties better, more expeditiously without a radio, or with it turned off?
If we go with a Peplink router, Peplink’s AP’s (One AC Mini) would seem to make sense as they would appear to be easily managed by the Balance AP controller. Other than speed, would that be a reason to choose the Balance One over the Surf SoHo?
Again, any pre-purchase recommendations or suggestions would be more than helpful.