I’m looking to upgrade my network but I’ve been out of the loop for years. I know there are some highly knowledgeable and honest people here who can offer advice.
Internet service is Verizon Fios.
Main router is an old Netgear R8000.
Have a second older Netgear router (flashed) for smart home devices. As the main router has issues handling so many wifi devices.
Have a 3rd old router in garage mainly for Sense. Only place existing router lacks coverage.
Also have a Zigbee network for door & motion sensors.
Connected by Ethernet (Cat6) are the routers cell booster, cctv dvr, desktops, and just about everything else with a port, About 8 devices.
Currently about 60 some Wi-Fi devices, but always growing. A few 5g devices but mostly 2.4g Smart plugs, switches, lights, appliances, etc…
Usually no more than 2 devices streaming at any one time.
Can only faintly see neighbors wifi when on porch, so not an issue.
Looking for longentivity, reliability & stability over speed. A good interface/tools would be a major plus.
Will consider anything other than Netgear.
A lot depends on what kind of WiFi coverage you need in your house. You talk about using multiple routers, but can’t tell exactly why - sounds like you are using the routers as WiFi access points ? Are they actively routing as well ?
I did an upgrade from very old Apple base stations with Netgear switches, to all Ubiquiti Unifi stuff about two years ago and have never looked back. For me, good UI, simple setup, and far greater ability to diagnose and tune. Plus all the right devices to fit into and simplify my previous wiring.
I added the router in my garage as a wired AP for better coverage.
The main router a Netgear R8000 I was never all that fond of. They have issues. As we added more smart devices we started having connection issues and it began constantly dropping connections.
So I added another router near it a much older Netgear router with it’s own SSID on a non overlapping ch. for most of my smart home devices. The R8000 still acts as the DHCP server.
That cleared up most of our issues, laptop, tablets, etc… are stable on the R8000 and smart devices stay connected to the other one.
I forgot to add that I was also using an old Netgear unmanaged switch for a couple additional Ethernet ports for low use devices like printers. Nothing essential or even needed if I had more dependable Wi-Fi.
The very few features the Netgear has all have to be disabled for the router to function properly (well known issues). Not looking to break the bank but something dependable would be nice.
I’ve heard good things about Ubiquiti especially it’s user interface & management which would be a major bonus. But I haven’t really looked too much into anything yet, models, etc…
A quick view of the Ubiquiti Unifi world - If you leave off the video security (Protect), phone (Talk) and door entry (Access) and just stick to the Network app, there are 4 hardware components that can be used to construct a network.
- Console - Software (sometimes integrated into HW) used to display, monitor and manage all the UniFi devices on the network. If you have all UniFi gear, you can manage things like VLANs that cross individual components via single actions that configure multiple. You can also manage things like all APs as a group.
- Router - usual routing functions (DHCP for multiple VLANs / subnets, managed routing, firewall, etc.)
- Access Points - WiFi, most can either be wired or mesh-connected.
- Switches - just as you would expect. Some have power over ethernet to power access points
The UDM (Unifi Dream Machine) and the UDR (Unifi Dream Router) are console/router/access point/switch combos designed for first time users. A base setup for you might be a UDM/UDR plus a pretty basic simple Unifi switch and second access point (which one would depend your needs - WiFi 6 or no, how many clients).
Thank you for the help.
I haven’t been on much as I’ve only been home 1 day a week for the last few weeks.
Last night my R8000 gave out, stuck in a never ending boot loop. Had to hook up an even older Netgear N router as a hopefully very temporary solution.
Unfortunately the UDM & UDR are still out of stock & I’m not about to pay 3-4x MSRP. So it looks like I’m going to have to find another solution ASAP.
Bummer ! I understand why you don’t want to try to acquire UniFi gear from non-traditional (scalper) sales channels. And if you did happen to suddenly see a UDR available and you get more than 500Mbs at home, I wouldn’t recommend it right now. Great bargain hardware with lots of functionality but throughput with IDS/IPS and DPI on, is the place where Ubiquiti shaved corners to bring the price in.