My Home Network

With working from home during 2020 I wanted to invest in ensuring my home network is resilient, reliable and has inherent upgradability.  Below is the current state of my home network.  I’ll update this over time as I add, upgrade or change hardware.

The Hardware

The cabinet fans are quite loud and since I have this unit currently in the living room I used a WeMo plug to remotely switch these on overnight for a few hours.

Wemo Mini Smart Plug - HeroImage

 

I went with a PROCOOL AVP-280T-1U Silent AV cabinet cooling fan system / 1U Rack Mount Temperature Controller with Auto Speed control fans/Home Entertainment AV Cooling for cabinet cooling.

Cabinet power distribution is provided by this CyberPower device.

UniFi Hardware

I had great experiences with the CloudKey but upgraded to the UniFi Dream Machine Pro.

In addition to the Network product it also has Protect, Access and Talk.

Since my home network is primarily WiFi based I only needed a UniFi Switch 16 PoE for local cabling to a few IOT hubs.

The Unifi Dream Machine Pro and the UniFi Switch 16 PoE are linked using SFP.  Sadly not SFP+ since the switch is only SFP and not SFP+.  I did have to force the port negotiation to SFP.

Mounting Hardware

These rack studs worked really well for device mounting.

WiFi Access Points

For a home network of between 20 and 50 IP addresses (over WiFi) the UniFi PRO Access point was a good fit.  One is in the living room and one in the bedroom (bridged over WiFi to the living room).  Due to limitations on cable run in an apartment building the bedroom AP is WiFi bridged instead of wired.  Ultimately the AP’s will be both hard wired and not using WiFi bridging.

UniFi PRO Access point

 

The Unifi Pro Experience

Zooming in on the Bedroom AP…

Overall Network Performance And Health

Auto-Optimize Network

This is a great feature that automatically moves WiFi devices between channels to avoid RF interference and channel saturation.

The dashboard shows where devices are on the channel networks.

 

You can also do a manual scan to see where channel usage is happening.

Futures ?

  • Add a UPS to the server cabinet (internal or external?)
  • Use CAT6 / CAT6e cabling where possible (instead of WiFi)
  • Add a 2U rack server (might have limited selection due to the cabinet depth)
  • Implement UniFi Protect and / or UniFi Access

Resources

I found the following resources helpful in designing this home environment.

Crosstalk Solutions – YouTube

NetworkChuck – YouTube

 

Feedback ?

Would love to read anyone’s thoughts or comments on this home setup so I can evolve and improve it.

Setting up Outlook with local Autodiscover