The Best Home Network Setup: A Step-by-Step Guide

Having a good and stable home network is important, especially these days when we work more from home and have more and more connected devices.

It also makes things a lot easier, nothing is so annoying as walking upstairs and losing the wifi connection. Or when you are working on the dining table, but you can’t use the printer.

Today, I am going to explain how to set up your home network. First, we take a look at which components you need (router, access point, switch, etc). Then how you can set it up to get the best home network with great performance.

We are going to discuss the following topics:

Planning your Home Network Setup

Before we start buying the network gear, first figure out what we need and what we want to accomplish with our home network.

  • What is the layout of your home and where do you want to have internet? Just inside or do you also want to use the WiFi in your garden?
  • Wired or Wireless? Most devices can connect over WiFi, but for streaming and gaming, a wired connection is better.
  • How many devices do we need to connect wired?
  • Do you want to support PoE (Power of Ethernet) devices? Think of IP Cameras and Access Points.

So taking these points into consideration, we need to plan for a network setup that is suitable for now and the upcoming 3 to 5 years. More and more devices require an internet connection these days, most wireless, so good wireless coverage is important. Especially if you want to use Smart Home products, like the Philips Hue lights. They require a wireless connection.

Also, keep in consideration that kids grow up, get their own mobile phone, and might have a computer or game console in their own room.

Best Home Network Router

The first thing we need is a good network router. Your ISP will provide you with a modem/router which sometimes also has a built-in access point. So you might think, why not use just the default modem/router?

Well, you have no control over security, the features are limited and the WiFi coverage is terrible. Besides that, the modem/router from the ISP needs to be placed close to the internet cable, which is in most cases, not the place where you want to use the wireless network.

So what makes a good router? If we look on the internet most brands advertise with the speed of the wireless connection, how many Mbps the router can handle etc. But what we are looking for is

  • Easy to manage – preferred a simple-to-use web interface
  • Fast – (amount of packages per second it can process, the throughput)
  • Supports QoS – (quality of service, so we can prioritize streaming media and gaming)
  • Fanless (fans make noise and attract dust into the device)

What I don’t care about is their WiFi performance. A router is never placed in the optimal position for good WiFi coverage. And good WiFi coverage and speed is the most important part of a good home network. We will leave the WiFi to the access points, there are built for that.

Which router should you buy?

Now there are many routers on the market, but I have the best experience with the UniFi or Edge routers, both from Ubiquiti. You might have never heard of them, but they make enterprise-class network equipment for a really great price.

I use only UniFi or Edge network gear for home networks, and it has never let me down.

UniFi Next-Gen Gateway Lite

The UniFi line uses a controller that you can run on your computer or with a cloud key. You can use one controller to manage all your UniFi devices and get a clear overview of your network performance and connected clients.

The performance of the devices is enterprise-grade, and the prices are really good. They support all the must-have features, like QoS, Advanced Firewall, VLAN support, and VPN. You can get a Unifi USG on Amazon for around $ 130.

Also, make sure that you check out my UniFi Dream Machine pro review. The all-in-one UniFi console.

EdgeRouter X

If online gaming, streaming, or video conferencing is important for you (or your household), then go for the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X.

The EdgeRouter X is capable of handling 100 to 250mbit internet connections with QoS enabled. The USG can only handle a 60mbit internet connection with QoS.

Another advantage of the ERX is that costs only around $50 on Amazon. I have written a detailed guide on how to install and set up the EdgeRouter X and optimize it for the best performance.

You can use the EdgeRouter also as an OpenVPN client. So you can protect your whole network with your favorite VPN providers like NordVPN or ExpressVPN

Netgear Nighthawk (RAX43)

If you don’t want to go for a Ubiquiti product, then the Netgear NightHawk (RAX43) is a really good and popular option. This is one of the most bought routers on Amazon for a good reason.

The Nighthawk RAX43 – AX4200 has dynamic QoS. QoS prioritizes the network traffic, for example, streaming (Netflix, YouTube), and video conferencing (Skype) traffic is more important than normal download network traffic. So this is given a higher priority and is handled first over the network.

If you don’t want, or can’t place dedicated access points in your house, then this is the router you should get. The wifi performance is great and blazing fast.

The Netgear is more expensive than the USG or the EdgeRouter.

Home Network Switch

Connecting network devices by wire is the best solution if you want stability and performance. Wireless networks are prone to interference which can be really frustrating when you are watching your favorite series on Netflix or competing in an online game. So when you have the opportunity, pull cables to every location in your house to ensure a good, reliable, home network.


If you want to know more about wiring your home network, then make sure you read this article where I will go more into detail on wiring your network.

When I remodeled my home I pulled some extra wires to the TV and HiFi set. Yes, the Smart TV supports WiFi, but the built-in antenna is surrounded by metal which weakens the signal. And I hate it when Netflix keeps buffering, so if you have the chance, get an ethernet cable between your TV and router.

How many ports do you need?

So as part of our home network setup, we need a good switch to connect all the devices together. Most routers come with 4 LAN ports, so if you are only going to use WiFi in your home, then a switch is not needed.

In all the other cases, I recommend getting at least an 8-port switch with PoE (Power over Ethernet) to connect everything. Why 8-ports? Well, let me take you through a shortlist of common network devices:

  1. You need one port of the switch to connect the router
  2. Access point ground floor (requires PoE)
  3. Access point second floor (requires PoE)
  4. NAS (Network Attached Storage / External hard drive)
  5. Smart TV
  6. Game Console
  7. Smart Thermostat (some connect over wifi, others need a bridge)
  8. Office / Computer

You see, nothing really special here and I already used the 8-ports. When buying a switch keep the following in mind:

  • PoE support, this way you can connect an access point with only an ethernet cable.
  • vLAN support, you want to separate your guest network from your own.
  • Gigabit Ethernet speed

UniFi Lite 8 PoE

To take full advantage of the UniFi products, we will go with a UniFi Switch with PoE. The PoE (Power over Ethernet) allows you to connect the UniFi Access Points with only an ethernet cable, eliminating the need for a PoE adapter (and extra power sockets)

The UniFi line is again enterprise-grade hardware for a good price. Combining all the UniFi products will allow us to manage our network with just one controller. It will make your life and network a lot easier. The UniFi Switch will cost you around $110,- on Amazon, but that is money well spent.

If you need more than 8 ports, then there is also a 16-port version of this switch.

Netgear ProSafe series

Netgear Prosafe network switch for home

Netgear has a lot of switch models, plastic housing, metal, managed, non-managed, big, small, grey, blue… But what we want is a managed switch, 8 to 16 ports, and gigabit ethernet.

The ProSafe series is the best choice for home and small businesses. They can be wall-mounted really nicely, have a lifetime warranty, and have all the essential networking features. The ProSafe is a little bit more expensive compared to the UniFi, but it comes with more ports, so you only need one of them. Check the price on Amazon if you are interested.

So these are my two goto switches, I have used them both many times and they never let me down.

Home Wireless Network

For every business or home network setup, I just use one brand for the access points, Ubiquiti UniFi. Why? Because they are so easy to manage and have such a great performance they are the best value for money in my opinion.

So to get the best wireless network, we need to understand the layout and structure of our house and identify the places where the most Wireless devices are.

Yes, you can place an access point in the hallway, but if there is a concrete wall between the hall and the living room, then your wireless signal will suffer from the concrete and rebar.

UniFi has multiple access points, you can read more in this article on choosing the right access point for your network and installing the access points. If you go for the all-UniFi solution, make sure you check out the Unifi Product bundles on Amazon to save some money.

Home Network Basics

So before we start with setting up our home network, let me talk you through some basics to help you understand how a home network works.

In a network, all devices get an IP address. Each device has a unique IP address in the network. This way all the devices can communicate with each other.

Your router has always a fixed IP address, this way you are able to easily log in to your router, you simply go to or

DHCP vs Fixed Ip Address

In a network, a device has either a fixed IP address or gets an IP address from the DHCP server. The DHCP server is built-in into your router and assigns a unique IP address for a specific time to a computer.

This way you can not only use your notebook or mobile phone in your home network but also at the office for example. When your notebook connects with the wireless network from the office it will request an IP address from the DHCP server at your office.

Now it’s good practice to give a fixed network device a fixed IP address. This way you always know how to connect to them. Think of your network printer, access point, or NAS. When you leave your network printer on DHCP it will get a new IP Address every time it’s restarted, resulting in that you will lose the connection to your printer.

So in our home network setup, we will give our fixed network devices a fixed IP address so we can easily manage them when necessary.

Home Network Setup

We now have all the gear we need for our network. All is left to connect and install everything and we are done. Sound simple right?

Let me help you with that 😉


If you go for the all UniFi solution a recommend getting an Unifi Cloud Key.  With the Cloud Key, you can manage your home network from the cloud and it eliminates the need for a local controller (which you can install on a Raspberry Pi for example)

Home Network Diagram

So we have all the parts, but how do you set it up? First a little diagram of how your network setup could look like:

Home Network Diagram

As you can see we have a modem that we got from our ISP, the Router (EdgeRouter ER-X in this case), a switch, multiple access points, and a Cloud Key.

Now no matter what router you bought (or already have), the basics are the same. The router from the ISP will only be used to set up the internet connection. Further, it will only forward all the traffic to our own router.

I always give network devices a fixed IP address and use DHCP only for clients. This way you know how and where to reach your network equipment when something is not working.

Step 1 – Connect the router to the modem

Most ISPs combine a modem and router into one device. This way you can just plug in your computer and it all works. But we want the best home network setup possible, so we need to “disable” the router function of the ISP’s modem/router.

What you will have to keep in mind is that every router you buy has a fixed IP address already set from the factory and 9 out of 10 times it is and that’s a problem. Because if two devices in the network have the same IP address then they can’t talk to each other.

As you can see in the big diagram above, the router from the ISP and our own router have a different IP Range than our internal network (colored orange).

Change IP address and DHCP

So we are going to start with changing network settings in the router from the ISP:

  • Press Windows Key + R
  • Type cmd <enter>

The good old dos box (Windows Command Prompt) opens. Enter the following command:

ipconfig <enter>

It will give you a result similar to this:

As you can see, the default address of my ISP’s router is also, so when we connect our new router to the router of the ISP we will get a conflict.

So first you need to login to your ISP router, on and change the IP range in the DHCP settings to something like – and make the IP address of the router itself

You will find the DHCP settings somewhere under Network Settings, Local Network, Network Setup, or something similar.

Set the router in Bridge or DMZ mode

To disable the router function or your ISP’s router we need to set it in Bridge mode or DMZ mode. It really depends on the brand of your router on where this setting is located. Most likely on the internet settings page.

Disable the built-in access point

Because we are logged into our router, we might just also disable the wifi so we don’t have to come back later. But before you do this, make sure you are connected to your router with a network cable. Otherwise, you will lose the connection to your router.

Find the Wireless settings page and disable the WiFi so it won’t interfere with our new access point.

Connect new router

We now can safely connect our new router, just connect a cable between the LAN port of your ISP router to the WAN or Eth0 port of your new router. And because we need our computer connected as well, a cable from a LAN port of our new router to your computer:

Best Home Network Setup connecting the router

In the case of an UniFi USG router, you now need to connect the Cloud Key to set up the controller. This way you can adapt all the network devices. I won’t go into detail about this now.

Step 2 – Setting up our new Router

So our new router is connected to one of the ISP. We now need to set up our new router. I created a detailed guide for the Edgerouter ER-X. If you have chosen another router then you can follow the step below as a guideline for your home network setup:

Change the default password

Security in our home network is something you always have to take care of. Make sure you change the default password of the router to something unique and strong. Default passwords are listed on the internet, so you really shouldn’t use those.

Setup the DHCP server

We want to keep the IP address above available for the fixed network devices. So make sure the DHCP range is set to something like to This way we have enough IP addresses available for our access points, network printers, etc.

DNS Server

DNS Servers translate domain names, like, to an IP address. So your computer can connect to the server where the site is hosted. Now some DNS servers are relatively slow while others are blazing fast.

You can find the fastest DNS server for you, but most of the time and are the fastest DNS server available. Another advantage of is that they respect your privacy, more info about that here.

Step 3 – Connect the switch

This one is pretty easy, just put a cable between the LAN port of your new router and the switch. If you have a managed switch, then check the documentation on how to log in into the web interface.

Some switches come with a fixed IP address, others have a tool to find the device. What I often use for strange networks, is a small program called Advanced Ip Scanner. This small, free tool, scans your network and lists all connected devices and their IP addresses.

When you are logged in to switch, give it a fixed IP address, so you don’t have to search for it again.

Step 4 – Access Points

Depending on the access point you have and the switch that you’ve bought, it can be as simple as connecting an ethernet cable between the switch and the access point. But when you have a switch without PoE, then you need to place the PoE adapter between the switch and the access point.

If you did go for the Unifi access point, and you should have, then open the Unifi Controller (or app if you want to install them without controller), and adopt the access points. A full guide on how to install the Unifi Access Points can be found here

The best location for the access point

The placement of the access point is a really important part of your home network setup. Placing it in the right location makes all the difference in a good wifi connection or not. In the Unifi Controller is an option the create a floorplan with your devices placed on it.

You can use this map to find the perfect location for your access points. The map allows you to draw different types of walls, each with its own characteristics. Next, you can place your access point on it and turn on the heat map.

You will see how much of the signal is blocked by the walls, doors, and windows, so you get a good idea of what the perfect location is. I made a few examples to give you an idea.

In the first floor plan, the access point is placed at the entrance. It’s typically used location because people don’t like the view of an access point on the ceiling of their living room. As you can see, the 5G coverage in the living room is poor, the slower 2G coverage is ok.

Best access point location

When you place the access point in the living room, where most of the wireless devices are, you will get a good connection with great performance. So I really suggest that you first draw up your floorplan in the controller, so you can find the best location for the access point.

Home Network Security

Separate Guest WiFi Network

After we have done our home network setup it’s time to think about its security of it and the devices on it. We all get guests in our house, it can be friends, family, or relatives and they all have cell phones. You might be tempted to give them your WiFi password, but what if their device has malware or a virus on it? Your network could be infected as well.

Most modern access points allow you to create multiple SSIDs (WiFI networks), so create one for your guests. But that’s not all you have to do, the goal is to separate the guest network traffic from your own network. And that’s where VLANs come in (remember what to keep in mind when looking for a new switch).

Create a separate VLAN for your guest network to keep your network safe. When creating a VLAN you need to create the VLAN on the router first, and then assign the VLAN to the guest SSID in the access point.

If you have gone for the Unifi solution you can also use the Unifi Guest Network to prevent guests from accessing your local network. Read more about the guest network and guest portal in this article.

Scan internet traffic

To keep our network safe, we need to prevent malware and other malicious traffic. This can be done with a free service called OpenDNS. When you browse the internet, every URL you type is converted to an IP address.

So when you type, it’s converted by a DNS server to the correct IP address (for example ). This conversion is done by DNS servers, and there are many DNS servers available. Your ISP has one, Google, Microsoft, etc.

What OpenDNS does is keep a list of known malicious servers. When your computer makes a request to it will check if that site is on the known list and block the traffic. This way it protects you from phishing and other malicious websites

OpenDNS is free for personal use and I really recommend using it. All it takes is changing the DNS servers in your new router to their DNS server to protect your network.

OpenDNS is also one of the fastest DNS servers available, so a really good choice next to

Change the default network name (SSID)

New routers and access points come with a default WiFi network name (SSID) and password. You should always change this immediately after you connect everything. Hackers can easily guess the password based on the manufacturer of the router or access point.

Choose an SSID name that doesn’t give away any personal information like your family name or address.

Regular update the firmware of your network appliances

All network appliances, routers, access points, switches, smart devices, and printers, need to be updated regularly to keep them secure. Creating a good home network isn’t a one-time task, you need to keep it updated.

The firmware updates can address security vulnerabilities and improve your network device’s performance. So every two months or so, check for the latest updates and apply them to the devices.

If you are using the Unifi network gear, then you can check it easily for all the devices from the controller.

I hope you found this guide useful, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.

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Hey! I'm Ruud. I work as an IT Consultant in the Netherlands and love to write about IT, Microsoft 365, PowerShell and Smart Home stuff.

185 thoughts on “The Best Home Network Setup: A Step-by-Step Guide”

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for this helpful article.

    I am going to rent an apartment of 80 sq.m (without the luxury of wiring around my apartment). I currently have 2 Asus ZenWifi XD5 (AX3000) routers bringing over from my smaller apartment. The new place I will be renting will have a FTTP 900Mbs connection.

    The only option I know is to connect one of the Asus wifi router to the ISP modem which is in cabinet in the hallway in the living room where my smart TV is, and then use AiMesh by Asus to support the area in one of the bedrooms which will also be a home office.

    I am wondering will be there any other viable options to enhance the internet speed of my home office and my entertainment devices (in the living room) without using wiring (as the main router will be in the cabinet). Thanks!

    • If you can’t pull any wires, then meshing is the only option. I would first give the XD5 a try and see how it performs. If the speeds are to low tehn you could look at the UniFi 6 Mesh with an UniFi Extender. Both should be able to give you a higher throughput in the 5Ghz bandwidth.

      • Thank you. Turns out our new apartment has a board of access point switches installed next to the fibre modem. As the cabinet has a door and my ASUS XD5 only has 1 WAN and 1 LAN, is it possible to connect my fibre modem directly with a cheap router with multiple LAN ports to connect to the access point switches where I can access in different rooms to place my XD5 and possibly even have a wired connection for my laptop. The real question is, do i need to get one which is compatible with the ASUS XD5?


  2. hey great article (articles – read a few today)

    2 questions – if using cat6a are the above routers/switches suitable?

    is it a problem ig ISP doesnt allow to turn their router into modem only mode?

    • cat6a is rated for 10 Gbps, most routers and switches don’t support that. 10 Gbps is also really not needed in a home network. You can run cat6a cables and still use equipment that only supports 1 Gbps.

      About the ISP, that is not ideal. You will get into a double-nat situation, which will make port-forwarding etc a bit more challenging.

  3. Hi, Ruud

    I want to make my home network better and I like the router switch network layout that you talk about. What I am wondering is whether the devices connected to the switch will ve able to communicate to each other if the router goes down or if the Internet stops.
    I am guessing that the Internet stopping would not be a problem for the local network to be affected somehow but I am wondering about that because I have that kind of a problem with my all in one router at the moment.
    And for the router going down, I am just curious if it is possible to make the local network self contained and able to work without the router itself (as you said the router’s job is to connect 2 networks).


    • Yes, devices connected to the switch would be able to communicate with each other when the router goes offline. With one exception, the router supplies the IP address to the clients (DHCP), if the client isn’t online when the routers goes offline, then it won’t be able to request an IP address, an there for not able to connect to the other devices.

      You could solve this by setting static IP Address on the clients.

      • Nice, thanks!

        And if the Internet stops, then everything should work, right? Even the DHCP because the router would be functional.

        What about if I want to use VLAN’s? Would the network still work if the router goes offline? Should the VLAN’s be configured on the switch instead of on the router for the network to work if the router goes offline?

        • DHCP will work as long as your router is working, internet is not needed for that. If your router goes completely offline, then DHCP won’t work of course.
          Router is needed to route the traffic between the vlans (if you have configured it that way). Otherwise, they will still work.

          • Right, so if I setup vlans I need a router to route the traffic between them, meaning that if the router goes offline the vlan networks will work but won’t be able to talk to each other, right?

            From reading on the topic I see some places that it’s talked about Layer 3 switches used for interVlan routing. Is this the only way to use vlans without a router?

            I want to have a secure home network and to be able to separate the smart home devices into a separate vlan as well as have a Guest vlan and a secure devices vlan like I have now. But I would like it to be self contained and not relying on the router if it goes offline. I like the idea of using static IP’s and I will use more of them for sure.

  4. Hi Ruud,
    Excellent website – easy to follow tutorials.
    Here the issue I am facing:
    Newly renovated bungalow with 4 new wired LAN / network points. Currently ISP modem/router placed in utility room. Central heating system + alarm system control(s) also in utility room and connected directly to modem/router LAN ports. So far so good. I have now upgraded my internet connection to high speed (300mb) FULL optical fibre with a different ISP. However, due to the delicate nature of optical cables which can not be bend, the NEW special Linksys modem/router had to be installed in the dining room right next to the window but fortunately also right next to to a existing Ethernet wall socket which is currently still wired/ onnected to the old router. The issue I am facing now is how to switch from the old modem router in the utility room to the new Linksys in the dining room? I would also then using an newly purchased ‘EdgeRouter X and Zyxel GS1900-8HP switch.
    Hence in a nutshell, I am currently running on 2 ISPs: the old broadband router/modem with all the aforementioned devices still connected including Ethernet points and high speed wireless optical fibre Linksys connection for computers / mobiles and some smart home accessories. Would it be possible to connect the new Linksys modem router to the Ethernet point and make somehow use of the old router in the utility room just as a switch (leaving all the currently connected ports as they are)?
    Apologies for the lengthy outline and your thoughts appreciated.

  5. Hi Ruud,
    Great website, lots of good info clearly presented. I’m about to update my home internet connection from copper to fibre so a home network update is in order. I have a TPlink router sitting behind my modem. The TPlink router has really nice access control customisation that allows me to control times when different devices will get connectivity. This is vital to limit kids use of the internet to certain times whilst allowing parents anytime access etc.
    I see you favour Edgerouter X, which I have. I know it can do many things, but will similar access control be easy to create and adjust by a non techie person. Sometimes the kids need an extra 30 minutes to complete online homework and non techie partner might have to adjust if I’m still at work.

  6. Dank Ruud voor je snelle reactie en overzicht. Het is zeker behulpzaam.

    Graag je advies voor de volgende infrastructuur:
    Drive-inn woning. Meterkast op bgg, wonen op de 1e, slapen op de 2e, werken op de 3e verdieping. Sterk internet (download én upload) nodig voor 3e verdieping.

    Glasvezel komt binnen in meterkast.
    Het betreft nieuwbouw dus ik kan nu nog aangeven waar ik loze leidingen wil laten leggen ivm bekabeling.

    Welke leidingen en configuratie zou je adviseren (structuur en componenten)?


    • Probeer op iedere verdieping, op de overloop, een acces point te plaatsen. Kabels vanaf de overlopen naar de meterkast. Dat geeft je de beste dekking door het hele huis. Werkplek eventueel bedraad aansluiten, bijv door 2 netwerkpunten te laten plaatsen tpv je bureau. Kan je bijv een port replicator of vaste pc aansluiten en een printer bijv.

      TV liefst ook bedraad aansluiten.

      Dan op iedere verdieping een UniFi 6 Lite en in de meter een US-8-60W en een Dream Machine Pro

  7. Hoi Ruud,

    Ik heb een appartement van 80m2, met 4 inwoners, is een Unifi oplossing dan eigenlijk overkill?

    ik kan met voorstellen dat je met een woning met meerdere verdiepingen, garage & tuin dat Unifi een goede oplossing is.

    Ik wil het netwerk nu goed aanpakken, maar met EdgeRouter X + Unifi Switch + AP + Cloudkey lijkt overkill ook ivm kosten, bijv Netgear 800 of ASUS AC-86U kom ik ook dichtbij de functionaliteit.

    Ik wil me graag erin verdiepen, maar kan het kostenplaatje nu niet verantwoorden, als ik met een router hetzelfde kan bereiken als router + Switch+ cloudkey.

    graag je input.


    • Hey Ken,

      De EdgeRouter is top, maar alleen nodig als je of je huidige modem/router niks vindt of als de internet verbinding instabiel is. De grote kracht van de EdgeRouter is de SQM policy die zorgt dat er geen latency optreed. Je kan ook beginnen met je huidige router. Switch enkel toevoegen als je die echt nodig hebt, de Unifi Lite Switches zijn ook mooi oplossing en beter betaalbaar.

      Maar de Unifi AccessPoints, zeker de Unifi 6 LR zijn toch wel van een ander kaliber dan de Netgear of Asus access points. Cloudkey heb je niet persee nodig, je kan ook de controller op je laptop installeren. Controller hoeft niet 24/7 te draaien.

      Andere optie is om bijv voor de Unifi Dream Machine te kiezen, een mooie alles in 1 oplossing.

      • Hoi Ruud,

        Dank je wel voor je helder antwoord.

        ik had jouw artikelen doorgenomen, en voorgenomen om met Edge Router X te werken, zoals je in dit artikel beschreven hebt, mischien nu toch naar een oplossing met danwel een EdgeRouter X of Unifi Lite Switch en ASUS eraan hangen.

        Internet snelheden zijn goed en ik heb geen last van Latency, ben het apt aan het verbouwen, dus wil ook netwerk goed aanpakken. helaas is het aansluit punt van internet vrij laag. dus komt niet ten goede van Wifi. Mischien toch een Edge router als primaire router, en daarna een ASUS eraan hangen. Het is net wat je zegt, Unify is van een ander kaliber, maar met 80m2 ben ik echt een consument gebruiker, dan is de unifi toch overkill…

  8. I am setting up my home environment and i am wondering how to do it best.
    Curently i am on kabel internet, but from 01.07. I will be on fiber.
    I have synology NAS, a computer that servs as a media center, PS, mobile phone, private laptop and work laptop in my house. My fiber will come with speedport smart 3 router. How would you set this up as safe as possible to have access to NAS from outside? I travel a lot and need access to NAS from diferent coutries. Do I need diferent router or maybe a switch to manage internal network? Is there a switch with wifi? I was thinking to use the router i get from telekom but put switch after to have my internal network. Can i make 2 networks with this router to have one for me (my mobile, personal and work laptop, the rest is on cable connected to the switch) and one for my guests? is this even efective way to do it since my NAS will basically not be on the same network as my laptop and my phone.
    Or you would suggest something completely diferent?

    • You can place your own router behind the Speedport, this will give you more control over your network. But you will need to place the speedport in bridge mode. You will need a switch to connect all devices and one access point at least. With Unifi Access points you can create a guest network.

      About connecting to your NAS, if it’s a synology then you can use quickconnect to remotely access it. Otherwise you will need to setup a VPN server inside your network to safely connect to it.

  9. How can I connect my Android phone(Samsung Galaxie8) to my Homegroup . I want to make my cell phone to be part of the Homegroup.

    Thank you for you help

  10. Hey Rudy,

    Bedankt voor je gedetailleerde uitleg/gids. Ik wil heel mijn netwerk hier omgooien, want ik heb echt stabiel internet nodig. Ik heb nu van die Devolo power dingen en op zich werkt het wel, maar niet ideaal. Ik wilde eigenlijk geen utp kabels door het huis trekken (nog niets aanwezig), maar ik ga het toch maar doen. Jammer dat ik geen buizen door huis heb lopen (behalve voor stroom), dus het zal niet heel mooi zijn, maarja je moet er wat voor overhebben.

    Ik heb een vraagje over zo’n cloud key, ze zijn best wel prijzig, maar wat is nou eigenlijk de meerwaarde van zo’n ding? Ik snap nog steeds niet helemaal wat je er mee kan en waarom je zo’n ding zou aanschaffen. Ik heb nu die EdgeRouter X SPF aangeschaft en een unify AP lite en eventueel later nog 2 voor de bovenverdiepingen (waarvan eentje LR denk ik) + 3 flex switches wat me handig leek, voor iedere verdieping 1, moet voldoende zijn denk ik zo.

    En nog een vraagje, als ik die QoS (of die QSM ofzo) uitschakel op die EdgeRouter, haal ik dan wel de snelheid van mijn Ziggo verbinding (500mbit down/40 mbit up)? En is dat heel erg als je het niet aanzet? Wat is de consequentie? Ik las ook vaags iets over hardware offloading, is dat gewoon het niet aanzetten van QoS/QSM?

    Ik hoop dat je me kan/wil helpen met mijn vragen.
    Echt een top site dit, bedankt!

    • Hey Tom,

      De Cloudkey zelf is opzich niet nodig als je geen Unifi camera’s gaat gebruiken (in de toekomst). Je kan de Unifi Controller prima installeren op een Synology Nas of op een Raspberry Pi. Het voordeel van de Unifi Controller aan hebben staan is dat het systeem dagelijks kleine wijzigingen kan doen om je draadloos netwerk optimaal te houden.

      Wat betreft QoS, SQM inderdaad op de EdgeRouter; uitzetten kan prima, alleen wanneer iemand download trekt die de hele lijn dicht, met als gevolg dat Netflix of je online game sessie last kan krijgen van lag (vertraging). QoS voorkomt dat o.a. Hardware offloading is inderdaad dat je all features uitzet, dat puur de hardware wordt gebruikt voor de routing en de CPU geen berekeningen hoeft te doen (wat met QoS bijv gebeurd, of deep packet inspection).

  11. Great write-up. Thanks for keeping it updated. Do you have any experience using a UTM (Unified Threat Management) such as Untangle or PFSense? I currently have 1 Gbps fiber internet. My ISP modem/router is a Calix Gigacenter with built in Wifi, paired to another ISP provided Wifi access point on the other side of my home (they charge me an extra $10/mo for this access point). I also have a 24 port switch connected to Cat 6 cable going throughout my home) I recently built a robust (Xeon 6-core CPU) NAS/server and I am running the Unraid operating system. I’m looking as using a couple of the CPU cores on my server to set up a virtual machine running Untangle. I would then need to disable the Wifi on the Calix fiber modem/router and add some access points downstream of the Untangle router.

    With that background, a couple of questions:
    1) Have you seen anyone using the untangle router to control one or more Unifi access points by way of the 24-port switch?
    2) or would a set up like the following work better: Fiber Internet —> Calix modem/router —> Untangle Router —> Edgerouter ER-X —> 24 port switch —> Unifi access points
    with the Calix modem in DMZ mode and the Untangle router in Bridge mode, letting the ERX do all the routing?

    Any thoughts/comments/suggestions you have would be helpful.


    • I don’t have any experience with Untangle, but after taking a quick look at the docs, you should go for option 2 and then disable the firewalls in the edgerouter.

  12. Hi Ruud. Currently, my ISP is Xfinity (Comcast). I have my home office set up in the basement and internet is provided throughout the home via coax cable. However, because I will soon be taking on clients, I need to seriously set up a secure network.

    I would love to set it up myself. Right now, I am using the Netgear AC1750 WiFi Cable modem router (which was purchased a few years ago) on the desktop and it is connected to the internet via coax cable and to the computer via ethernet cable. I am using the Nighthawk WiFi Mesh Extender Model EX7000 on the 1st floor where the TV is located. However, the WiFi goes in and out on the 2nd floor at night when I’m using my tablet or cell.

    I also have a magicJack connected to the desktop and channeled to my cell phone if that makes any difference.

    I would like to stick with the NetGear products and should probably purchase a later model Cable Modem Router.

    Can I build a secure network using the coax cables on each floor?

    • If you really want to create a secure guest network, you will need to use VLANs. Your Netgear AC1750 doesn’t seem to support that. You could change the AC1750 for a NightHawk series router, those do support VLANs.

      There are coax to ethernet adapters, but they are pretty expensive and I have not experience with them. If possible, a better option is to pull ethernet cables to each floor. And then install an access point on each floor

  13. Hey Rudy,

    I followed your advice and purchased an ERX-SFP along with a cloud key, the LR access point, and lite access point. I enabled PoE on all ports on the ERX-SFP but when I plug all three of those devices into it, the Lite access point is the only one that receives power. The cloud key and LR access point does not get powered even though I have PoE enabled. Any advice ??

    • I was just going to post something related / may be your answer…

      I got an ERX-SFP. It does PoE, but it’s 24v passive, not the 802.3 that even unifi devices are moving to. (ie, outdated).

      The box artwork had a copyright date of 2015. Are there newer Edgerouters that offer 802.3?

      The access points I have that need 24v passive are going end of life with unifi. another example that this router is outdates.

      So Justin – likely the devices that aren’t working with that PoE is because they need 48v / 802.3. Look on the label. If they say 802.3… then they don’t run on the 24v PoE that unifi started with / this router puts out. A pet peeve of mine that unifi uses the same name product / different versions may work only with 24, may only work with 48v. I fear burning something out by connecting the wrong power to it.

      Excuse me while I take pride in FINALLY being able to answer a question on the web!!!

      • Rudy – thanks for that. But can you check this picture? Yeah, it’s a few years old (made in 2016),

        I just plugged into a netgear GS516TP’s PoE port and it didn’t come up.

        Yeah, Justin likely bought newer stock? So yes, likely not the issue for him. But there are AC-Lites and AC-LR out there that are not 802.3 capable?

        So, as a noob, I’m wondering…. with the newer ACs that can run on 802.3 OR 24v, would you say the ERX-SFP is actually MORE versatile or less than the same device that could do 802.3??!

        For unifi only devices – old and new can use the 24v.

        But if you want to add a VoIP phone or similar, that would need 802.3, can’t work on 24v?

        • The ER-X SFP provides 24v Passive PoE, so that should work with the AC-Lite and AC-LR.

          What we see last year is that the Unifi products are switching moreover to 802.3, for example, the Unifi HD, AC-inWall, and Flex-HD are all only 802.3. So yes, ac-lite and LR should just work with the ER-X SFP, but maybe it’s better to invest in the US-8-60W. (and yes, I will update the articles)

  14. Likely a DUH moment, but I’m reading this and have been a big fan of unifi access points.

    The USG is only good up to 60 Mbps?! So those gigabit ethernet connections the ISPs here in the US offer – it’ll be the bottleneck?! never realized that.

    And the Edge routers? They aren’t much better!? What are you supposed to use for gigabit internet service?

    Also, someone posted in the unifi forums about the USG being an older / underpowered ER that isn’t as full featured? You point out the processor and throughput is less for the USG, so that part’s right. less features? Any opinion on that?

    and the edgerouter doesn’t work with the Unifi controller. that single pane of glass way to control all the switches, access points…. but not the router?

    Do you see that as a big issue?

    • Hi Ed,

      USG comes with more features than the EdgeRouter, like threat protect, and deep packet inspection. All wrapped nicely in a convenient dashboard. But that comes at a price, the speed of the router.
      You can do a gigabit with an Edgerouter, but only if you leave SQM disabled. The fact that you can’t manage your EdgeRouter from the Unifi Controller isn’t really a big deal in my opinion. It would be nice though, but you only set it up once.

      • Thank you Rudy!

        Some other things:
        So like the blogs you’ve written, you prefer the edge router over USG? For small businesses, not just the home situation of this blog?

        I was googling edgerouter and am familiar with the ER-X And ER-X-SFP

        But I found this page:

        these others I’ve haven’t really heard of. Would you know if they are older or newer? That page doesn’t have a revision date. Yes, they are more expensive . If you need more ports, would you know if the 10x would work as well as the x and x-spf?

        And the USMS – ubiquiti etwork management system. Is that the edgerouter equivalent of unifi controller? several sites in 1 pane of glass?

        • Hi Ed,

          The er-lite is the er-lite3 (stand for 3 ports) in the overview.

          USMS is indeed a cloud management tool to manage one or more EdgeRouters. It’s actually meant for managing 10 devices or more, so I don’t know how long we can use it with fewer devices.

          You should choose an EdgeRouter that can handle the speed of your internet connection and the number of clients that you put behind it. A good indication can be found in the Edge Os guide, chapter 9. This table is for SQM, but give you a good idea about the performance of the different models.

          The 10x will pretty much have the same performance as the ER-X, probably slightly better, because is has more RAM. The x has 10 internal switch ports, so you can use those ports as a switch, but it has only 1 PoE out port.

  15. Still need some help – we connected the netgear nighthawk and it’s all working great, but we are wondering if there is any way to get more info without having to go through the phones – like when the teens go to youtube or other sites like that, when we see their activity we can click on the line and it says take me to the website, but it doesnt take us to the page they went to. I know that there is a way to do this through the kids phones, I did for my kids, but the bio mom is not going to give us access to the kids phones so we are trying to track their internet just through the server. Is there a program or anything available that will give us more specific tracking results that you know of?

  16. Ok thanks for the advice, and whats your recommend for the router with up to 50 user.
    And if you dont mind can u explain the good & bad between using a wireless router & wired router with AP.

    Thanks i really appreciate your help.

    • You should base your router on your internet connection, not the number of users. I would really look into the EdgeRouters. About the router with or without AP, as you can see near the end of this article, it’s largely about the placement of the accesspoint.

      A router with a built-in access point is always placed in the wrong location for an optimal wireless network.

      • For 100Mbps internet connection with up to 50 wireless client user for the router should i use edgerouter ER-X or ERLite-3? And for the access point is UAP‑AC‑PRO sufficient or should i use a Nano HD?
        Thanks again.

  17. Hi Ruud, nice post.
    I want to ask which one is good for many users to get a stable internet connection whether to use a good single wireless router or combine wired router with access point?


    • The latter for sure. Try to place the access point in an optimal position where the users are the most. Make sure you check out the Unifi Access Points. Up to 30 users you can use a normal line, if you have more on a single access point, then go the Unifi Nano HD.

  18. Hi Ruud, great site great info….but i do have a question…..
    in your network diagrams above, you show an edgerouter X connected directly to wifi Access Points. This is a PoE question, and I understand the ER X has passive PoE while the access points work on the smarter .af/.at systems. Can these APs (and also the IW APs) work satisfactorily from passive PoE.
    Thanks Patrick

  19. Hi there,

    Amazing article! So I’m moving into a new house and want to do it right this time… I plan on following all your buying advice and going for the Unifi solution. I’m also looking at picking up a Synology DS920 or DS918+ NAS for my photo backup. It has dual 1GbE RJ-45 ports for link aggregation and I just want to make sure I’m setting things up properly… couple questions… Does the Unifi switch you recommend support link aggregation, if not, what switch would you recommend?

    • The EdgeRouter X is cable of handling 1gbit connections. But only when you leave SQM off. As soon as you want to use a QoS service on a router and still keep a 1Gbit internet connection, then you are looking at really expensive routers.

  20. Hi! Goed artikel, in het verleden al veel aan gehad. Nu ben ik bezig met nieuwe uitdaging: einde maken aan de klachten van mijn ouders over hun internet. Ik heb daar de meterkast opengetrokken en trof een behoorlijke verzameling legacy-apparatuur aan:

    Kabel (ziggo) de woning in, in de ConnectBox (waarvan ook wifi wordt uitgezonden) in de meterkast en dan zit daar aan vast:
    a. NEC Univerge SV8100: IP Telefonieserver tbv deurintercom met UTP CAT 5E kabels door volledige pand;
    b. Gigaset N300 A IP: Voor telefonie (meterkast)
    c. Netgear GS105E 5-port Switch (meterkast)
    d. TP-Link Router TL-WR841N > bedrade aansluiting voor PC & WiFi (niet gebruikte SSID) (1e verdieping)
    e. Ziggo WifiBooster via stopcontact (begane grond)
    f. Coaxverbinding naar Ziggo Mediabox XL tbv TV (eerste verdieping)
    g. Coaxverbinding naar TV (tweede verdieping)

    Een behoorlijke zooi dus. Vooral zonde dat door het hele pand CAT 5E-kabels zijn getrokken die nu uitsluitend worden gebruikt voor het beantwoorden van de deurbel en de intercom, terwijl voor telefonie de Gigaset wordt gebruikt met handhelds (dus inderdaad overal twee toestellen naast elkaar :p).

    De wifibooster via stopcontact geeft een wonderbaarlijk fatsoenlijke snelheid (100mbit down met speedtest op mobiel) wat prima is voor mijn ouders en zelfs bereik op de tweede verdieping (huis jaren 90, dus relatief goed geïsoleerd). Wel valt bijv. de verbinding naar de bose audiosystemen regelmatig weg, ook naar het systeem dat vlakbij de wifibooster is geplaatst, dus ik vermoed dat het toch niet al te stabiel is. Ook ervaren ze issues met de TV-verbinding en is er op de tweede verdieping geen enkel wifibereik.

    Doel is om in ieder geval op alle verdiepingen wifi te hebben (Unifi AC Lites bijv, een per verdieping). Nu liggen er naar centrale punten op iedere verdieping, daar waar je het beste verbinding wil hebben, keurig loze leidingen, maar daar zitten op dit moment CAT5-kabels voor de intercom / coax kabels voor tv in.

    Om alles simpel te houden, zou ik eigenlijk een andere oplossing zoeken voor de intercom. Bijv. door deze op de een of andere manier aan te sluiten op de Gigaset, of gewoon naar de mobiele telefoons. Weet je bijv. of je de Gigaset op het thuisnetwerk kunt aansluiten en dan een intercom op datzelfde netwerk met de Gigaset kunt laten communiceren?

    Dan kan de hele IP telefonieserver de deur uit en hoef ik geen kabel meer te trekken: via de 5E-(solid) kabels kan ik dan op iedere verdieping een wifi accesspoint installeren.

    Hoe zinnig is het bovendien om de Ziggo modem te blijven houden met de versterker via het stopcontact. Kan het kloppen dat de stabiliteit inderdaad niet goed genoeg is voor zo’n audioverbinding? En is het wellicht zinnig om de Ziggo-verbinding uberhaupt in te ruilen voor KPN glasvezel om zo van de kabel af te zijn naar de tv’s etc.

    Hartstikke bedankt mocht je zelf ideeën hebben over wat een handige (enigszins prijsbewuste) oplossing is om uit deze wirwar een eenvoudig, stabiel, thuisnetwerk te creëeren.

    Dank voor ieder beetje hulp dat je wil geven!

    • Intercoms heb ik totaal geen ervaring mee, ja in de zin dat het on-dingen zijn (om aan te sluiten).

      Wat ik zou doen is het intercom systeem eruit halen en vervangen voor een Ring deurbel : Kost niet superveel en lost je grootste probleem in 1x op. (Slimme Unifi deurbel komt er ook aan, maar kan nog een half jaar duren of langer.. )

      Wifi booster staan inderdaad bekend om niet stabiel te zijn wat haperingen opleverd bij audio/video. Dus die eruit inderdaad en vervangen voor Unifi AC-lites per verdieping (en liefst een LR beneden, pak je meteen een stuk tuin mee). Ik zou wel bij Ziggo blijven, glasvezel zullen je ouder wat betreft snelheid en latency niet nodig hebben en houdt dat stuk verder simpel. Ziggo modem lekker op bridge mode zetten en een EdgeRouter X van 50 euro achter zetten. Doe dan meteen de SFP, iets duurder, maar wel genoeg PoE aansluitingen voor de access points.

      • Dank!

        Doe er dan nog een UniFi 8 Port 60w switch achter om printers en desktops op aan te sluiten. En wat er in de toekomst ook nog op ingeprikt mag worden 🙂

  21. I purchased a home and the previous owner had already installed a Cisco SLM2024 smart Switch as well as a Linksys SR2024 switch. Can these still be used? I’m new to the whole setting up a home network thing and sure could use any information you could provide. He has already run the Cat 5 cable throughout the house. I’m just trying to figure it all out. Thanks in advance.

  22. Hoi Ruud, Ik heb net de Ubiquiti ERX binnen en ga aan de slag. Ik deed een test met mijn oude router en krijg DNS foutmeldingen.
    Kan het dat het 2e adres, moet zijn?

    ”but most of the time and are the fastest DNS”
    DNS Server
    DNS Servers translate domain names, like, to an Ip Address. So your computer can connect to the server where the site is hosted. Now some DNS servers are relatively slow while others are blazing fast.

    You can find the fastest DNS server for you, but most of the time and are the fastest DNS server available. Another advantage of is that they respect your privacy, more info about that here.

  23. Hi This article is a great help thanks. can you explain what advantage the switch brings over a router with more ports? I can get an edgerouter ER-10x with 10 ports for the same price as a US-8-60W 8 port switch so saving about $50 in the set up.

    Also what is your opinion of the AirCubes from Ubiquiti? they have 2 LAN ports I could use for the wired connections so i could get away with just the 5x edgerouter no switch and 3 of the ac1200 cubes one on each floor? any disadvantage to this set up

    • Using a router as a switch is not recommended from a performance perspective. A switch has a much higher throughput than a router.

      The AirCubes are nice products, but the issue is that you are placing an access point in the worst position then (between furniture). So your wireless network won’t be as good as when you hang an AC to the wall or ceiling.

  24. Great info and thank you for the post. Very informative in laymen’s terms.

    I am challenge and making this to complex I believe, your thoughts on the hardware to make the following not complicated?

    Wired Router
    need for a switch ?
    Maybe 2 but I hope not but I need to leave that option open

    8 wired drops
    1 PoE WAP
    (Potential of 1 more PoE WAP)

    Inbound service:
    Windstream 1 Gig Fiber

  25. This a great article. Having just suffered a three day Comcast blackout in the Nashville area, I’m forced to rethink/reconfigure my network at home. When the internet went out, so did our wireless network, so no Plex access or similar functionality. In the middle of our outage, I had an epiphany which led me to find your article. I’m assuming that this configuration would prevent the problem I had. Since my Media HD and Unify Access points/switches are plugged in downstream from my Ariss Routers LAN ports, as is the computer running the Plex Server, this is why it all went pear shaped. I’m ordering UniFi Router and switches today and hope this will solve my problem for good!
    Thanks for the awesome info. The UniFi stuff is just complicated enough to make things difficult without simple explanation, and this helps immensely> Nice one!

  26. Rudy,

    Thanks for a great article!

    I have two questions:
    1 – Would there be any problem with using three of the UniFi US-8-60W? I would have them each on their own line from the router. This seems to be the best way to be fanless and have PoE.

    2 – Can you recommend a small cheap PoE powered switch or hub that can be used after the US-8-60W? I have a couple remote rooms where I’d like to run a single line but have it break out to three or four connections. The data throughput would not have to be high.


    • 1. Perfect plan, I have pretty much the same setup here. (1 US-8 and 1 US-8-60 for the house and 1 US-8-60W for the garage).
      2. Try to get your hands on a couple of USW Flex mini. They should be around $30 – $50 max.

  27. I need help and know nothing really about networking. We just bought a new house last August and it is wired with Ethernet cable – not coax cable. AT&T is who we use for our internet as well as Direct TV satellite. Seems everything is set up wirelessly and we are losing connection every 15-25 mins and our cable stops and starts again. I’m thinking we need to get the Edgerouter and plug it in the box in the laundry room where all the ethernet cables come out – and then does our AT&T modem box plus into that as well? So confused on how to make all our ethernet plugs hot – so to speak – to help our issue.

    • You can place the EdgeRouter behind the AT&T modem. The modem is the first device on the connection, then the EdgeRouter, and then, if necessary, a switch for all the ethernet cables.

  28. Thank you for these wonderful tips! I bought the Edgerouter X 🙂

    One question, I have an Airport Express wifi/router…

    My original setup:
    Cabel Modem –> AirportExtreme –> LinkSys Gigabit Switch

    I have the OpenMesh (Datto) OM2P HS Acess Point and 2 MR1750 I want to spread into my 1700s stone part of the house.

    Now what should I do?

    Cable Modem — ER-X– ??

    I tried Modem –> ER-X –> Airport Extreme but it did not seem to like that…

    Thank you in advance (Aubstublieft)

    — jon

    • Hi Jon,

      Cable model > ER-X is the correct way to go. I think you want to use the AirportExtreme as an AccessPoint as well? If should be able to connect to the ER-X. Maybe it has an old config in it, old IP address etc, which result in the connections issues.

  29. I have a question i noticed that you did not configured a separate 5GHZ network with its own SSID. What are the benefits of not doing so ??

  30. Some great information here.
    How could you integrate a Dream Machine into your home network?
    Also, if planning a new network how would it look having an edge router before the DM, to allow connectivity to different areas of my large home?

    • Well, the Dream Machine is basically a USG, an Unifi Switch and Access Point in one. From what I have been reading it is great devices, but you will have to place it centrally in your living room to get the most benefit of the built-in access point.

      Adding and EdgeRouter in front of it won’t be necessary. You will have to extend the Dream Machine self with additional access points to the rest of your house. So your Dream Machine is the central router of your network.

      • Excellent tutorial. One question. I do not have internet or even a land line telephone because I have 2 houses one for winter one for summer so I use a smartphone for internet connectivity because it is with me at all times and I can use it as a hot spot for my PC etc. I know some routers and switches require an internet connection for setup. Will your suggested router and switch require internet or can I setup as a stand alone LAN. Otherwise can you recommend cheap and cheerful alternatives. Mainly I will only use a mix of windows, linux and android devices including 1 pc for photography, 1 pc as a NAS for added backup storage and music, 1 laptop, a couple of smartphones & 1 printer/scanner.

        • Hi Mchael,

          Good question you have here. You can basically use any router for the local network. But even in this case I would pick an EdgeRouter X. It has a high local throughput (it’s fast) and it’s cheap (only $50).

          Another option would be to go for a 4G router, but those are more expensive and would require 2 Simcard with both there own subscription (which is most of the time more expensive than a landline).

  31. Thank you for sharing all this information. I am just beginning to understand some of it and I want to improve my home network.
    A question: Is an In-Wall AP worth considering for a home network? I am thinking about running cable on the outside of my house instead of crawling through my attic. Would an In-Wall AP project most of its signal into my own house and less towards my neighbors than a ceiling mounted AP?
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Dan,

      The area an In-Wall access point can cover is really limited compared to a normal access point. In-Wall ap’s are usually placed low on the wall, which will result in furniture that will block the signal. If possible you will get the best result with an ac-lite or ac-lr placed high up the wall in your case.

  32. Great article !!

    One quick question (and I am hope I am not asking something already answered)
    I have wired network throughout my house? Can I use old wifi routers as access points ?

    • Yes, that is possible. But keep in mind that those devices are not optimal for creating a wireless network. If you are going to use the old routers, make sure you turn off the DHCP in the router and give them a fixed IP Address in the same range as the rest of your network.

    • My ISP router/modem has a WAP connected to it that provides service to my wireless cable boxes. Is there a way that I can still connect my own router and WAPs.

  33. Very well presented article, thank you. I’m currently struggling to add a Unifi USG to my so far working network of an Asus AC55U modem router linked to a Unifi US 8 150Watt, a couple of Unifi APs and various other clients of the snmart home variety.
    Getting the Asus modem router into a suitable bridge moe and then entering the ISP PPPoE credentials into the USG has me pulling my hair out. Scouring the web for this particular modem has got me nowhere… unless somebody points out the error of my ways I feel a Draytek Vigor 130 appearing on the shopping list.
    Come what may, keep up the good work!

    Graham Bollan

    • Hi Graham,
      Extremely late to this party but did you solve your issue? I had the same issue as well. I manged to solve it by leaving the primary and secondary ISP DNS settings blank. When I entered the ISPs DNS servers (even though they were correct) meant it would not give me a connection from the bridged modem.

  34. Thanks for the quick reply. If I had to choose between insight and performance I would choose the latter. Cost is another factor. I think I can make do with just an ER-10X, which appears to be an ER-X with twice the RAM and storage, 10 ports, and available for around ~A$180. This is appealing as it avoids the cost of a switch and controller, which with an ER-X SFP would be more than twice the cost at around ~A$460. It also means 1 new UI to learn.

    I am considering using my current system, a Netgear Orbi RBR50 and RBS50, as APs with the ER-10X. Any issues with this approach? Will the ER-10X be able to see or gain any insight into the Orbi APs at all? Not all traffic will flow through the router, correct? Thanks again.

  35. I am in the process of updating my home network. Your guide has been the primary impetus for taking this action. Thanks for this excellent article and guides you’ve produced to help in this process. After careful study and attempting configuration changes with my own DSL modem/router, I’m stuck. I’m attempting to add an EdgeRouter X, ubiquity access points, and Netgear managed switches. The scenario that I’ve encountered and a potential solution that I have found appears to be one that you have not discussed. This may be because it’s not a good option but I would like your opinion and guidance. This could help others in the same situation if you have a recommendation.
    My situation includes an ISP providing DSL services. Their service includes a Netgear Modem/Router: Model No. D2200D-1FRNAS (router address of For whatever reason, they have chosen a business model that does not allow PPPoE nor bridge configuration of their modem. They only allow a “routed bridge” configuration. After multiple phone calls and conversation with their technical support, I’m stuck with this option. This option of course now leaves me with a “double NAT” configuration. My question to you, can I continue with my planned upgrade with reasonable results or will this result in service interruptions and a maintenance headache? I’ve found one article that describes one other option for a way to minimize the effect of the “double NAT”. I reference this article: Double-NAT Scenarios – Support – Edovia Inc., specifically, option #4, “4. Forward the Modem’s Port 5900 (or 22) to the Router”.
    Do you agree with this option or will it be plagued with too many problems? If you do agree with this as a possibility can you provide other guiding documentation for establishing the fixed IP addresses and doing port forwarding? To accomplish this configuration, my biggest issue is which IP address should be configured and on which platform and the best means of configuring port forwarding. Any guidance you can offer is much appreciated.

    • Hi Lary, the double NAT is not ideal, but if you don’t have another option it’s still better than using the default ISP router. The routed-bridge configuration will simply forward all the data to your own router so that option will work fine.

      About a guide, I would love to write one, but I am really busy with a couple of projects comings weeks. So it will be the end of January at its earliest before I have time to write one. If you have any question you can always send me an email.

  36. I am an electrical engineer and as such have messed about with both hardware and software on networks for some time now. That said, I feel I am a complete novice when it comes to setting up and managing networks. The decision was made to upgrade from my Virgin Super Hub 3, to the recommended rage from this site. I’m pleased to say that the information on this site was very useful in helping me build a home network. Now I can get on with learning some skills in managing it. One issue I came across though was that with an edgerouter X and a unifi 8-60w switch, the unifi software would not identify the router. That is to say, it does not show it on the dashboard or in the map. Having chatted online to a customer adviser, he informs me that there are 2 controllers, the unifi and the UNMS. Dependant on which software you run, it will see the other range as a third party device and as such not show it on the topology or dashboard. I now have a decision to make. Do I stick with my setup and try to find a different software management tool that will see all my devices (edgerouter, unifi switch and WAP, and DMAX unmanaged switches. Or do I swap out the router or switchs so as to achieve only one range of devices. Any opinions greatly appreciated. As I say, I’m a complete novice and just educating myself as I go along.

    Many thanks.

    • You can’t indeed see or manage the Edge Router in the Unifi Controller. Personally, I am totally fine with two dashboards for this. But if you want to see your whole network in one dashboard, then your only option is to replace the Edge Router with an Unifi USG

      • Rudy,

        Thanks for your reply. I’m still working on my new installation and learning along the way. I’ve not settled on any one dashboard yet, but thanks for confirming my query. Can I just say, your site is very informative and easy to follow. It is my go to place for building a home network.
        So far, I have the unis dashboard but being a bit of a perfectionist, I don’t like the topology because it does not accurately reflect my network. I don’t wish to put in a UniFi router as I am already very pleased with the Edgerouter X, as per your recommendation. I’ve been trying to get the UNMS dashboard on my pc because I’ve read on the manufacturers site that you can manually add third party devices? But this is presenting issues of its own. Namely that my laptop is on windows 7 OS and UNMS Recommends Linux. I’ve burned the bionic beaver to a dvd, but windows doesn’t seem to recognise it. I feel somewhat reluctant to just change over to Linux and learn a new OS, but it is tempting, if I’ll get the outcome I’m trying to achieve. The only dashboard I’m using for the Edgerouter at present is the default web page. I did have a look at the PRTG network management software but was not sure if it would satisfy my personal preferences. I also wanted to ensure it is credible before allowing it to access my network.
        Building a proper home network began with only trying to get a better WiFi signal around my house (there are some very inconvenient black spots). It’s now growing arms and legs! Once I have a basic installation running reliably, I have plans to extend it further to include a NAS and some smart home devices. So the backbone Topology of my Network is important to me. I always think a picture paints a thousand words.
        Could you advise if the UNMS dashboard will allow third party devices to be manually configured to get the correct topology? Or indeed if you would recommend using a different management tool such as PRTG?
        I have installed DMAX unmanaged switch’s because I can only find managed switches for unifi, which I believe is overkill for parts of my network. So I’m content with using different manufacturers in my setup, indeed this is something I see every day at work. I just hope I can get a software management tool that will facilitate integration from different suppliers.

        • I have looked at UNMS before, but that was the cloud version that requires 10 devices at least. But you got me triggered on the self-hosted version of UNMS. I have a busy schedule unfortunately for the coming weeks (and I am not talking about the holidays). But if I find some time between the projects I will take a look at it.

          PRTG is a great tool though for monitoring, it can monitoring almost everything and with a Grafana dashboard you can create some nice things.

  37. Hi. I recently read a comment about mixing Edge products with Unifi products and it sounded like there would be reduced functionality. What are the negatives, if any? Reduced monitoring capability? Any need to log into two different UI to set settings twice? Thanks.

    • Exactly that. If you use and USG instead of the Edge Router you can use one UI to controller everything and you will have full insights into your network (from the internet to the client). If you use an EdgeRouter you will have two interfaces to control your network.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. If I had to choose between insight and performance I would choose the latter. Cost is another factor. I think I can make do with just an ER-10X, which appears to be an ER-X with twice the RAM and storage, 10 ports, and available for around ~A$180. This is appealing as it avoids the cost of a switch and controller, which with an ER-X SFP would be more than twice the cost at around ~A$460. It also means 1 new UI to learn.

        I am considering using my current system, a Netgear Orbi RBR50 and RBS50, as APs with the ER-10X. Any issues with this approach? Will the ER-10X be able to see or gain any insight into the Orbi APs at all? Thanks again.

        • Port 0-9 on the ER-10X can be used as switch ports, so that won’t be an issue. About the Orbi, you should be able to see the traffic over the ethernet port on the ER-X, but that’s it. You won’t be able to see the traffic of each individual wifi client.

  38. Finally—someone that knows what they are talking about that can speak non-nerd! Thank you for spelling this all out in plain english.
    Although i’m using MacOS and a Google Fiber modem/router, I feel like I have an understanding of what needs to happen to get things connected and controlled.
    Thank you for putting this out there for people to follow.

  39. This got me started on looking at all these ubiquity products trying to establish a network in three buildings on a large property. I apologize for what may seem like a first timer question(mostly because I am). would you always do a router and a switch? Because the larger edge routers like the 10x can handle my capacity and I could add switches in the future if needed

    Thank you in advance

    • It isn’t necessary to use a switch. With the 10x you can use port 0-9 as a layer 2 switch, so it could work. But if you are connecting 3 buildings, you probably don’t want to pull multiple wires from each building to the single router. A more common network design is to make a single connection between the main internet connection and the router and place a switch in each building.

      Also, keep in mind the maximum distance of a cat cable (100mtr).

      • Thank you so much. I think I know what I’m going to do now.

        I think I’m going to do the edge x sfb then fiber to a 8 port switch in the other building. Run one wire from the 8 port to the third building. I’m learning way more than I wanted to today.

        Thank you

  40. Hi Ruud,

    Love your guides. I was hoping to pick your brain for some advice.

    I want to install 2-4 unifi protect cameras in my garage. This is separate from the main house and I’m unable to run a networkcable to the building. the distance is about 30 – 40m. It would also be nice to have Wifi in the garden.

    Can I hang an AP on the outside of my house and use a bridge to connect the camera’s?
    Can you suggest which devices i should use to connect the garage?

    Thank you

  41. Thank you very much for the information on your pages. More so, thank you for your efforts to produce this; it’s much appreciated.
    I’m not one for platitudes. My purpose in commenting is to pass along the following link from the OpenWRT folks in case anyone out there is looking for more performance from what is already a seemingly amazing device.
    I must say “seemingly” since I’ve not personally put my hands on one. I think that will be changing in the near future.
    Enjoy the ride!

  42. I very impress about the detail of Home network, I have a question using the nanoHD, like other home, we have cell, printer laptop and now I bought a IPTV (INTERNET TV-BOX) the connection i using is wifi, but some time this device is disconnected from nano hd, could you guide how to setup, so can not disconnect, do i need a cloud key, a router etc. I really like to make it better home network. please tell me what I need to do in terns of setup or equipment o buy.


    • If your device is disconnecting it maybe just out of reach of the nanoHD. You can check the signal strength with the WiFiman app on your mobile. If the signal strength is around the -75db then it’s pretty low which may cause the disconnection issues.

      I recommended to get a Gen2 Cloud key so you have more insight in your network. This way you can also easily change the settings of the access point.

      If the IPTV is out of range, try to add the AC lite or and AC-Inwall to your setup to extend the wireless network range.

      • Big Thanks, for you advice, I will try those equipment, in few months ahead. I knew, i was missing something.



  43. I have a reolink 4K IP camera system installed in my home. If I go with the Unifi products and the setup you detail here will I have a conflict? I read somewhere ubiquiti is proprietary and only ubiquiti cameras will work.

    • I don’t think it would be an issue. The Reolink cams support 802.3af PoE (Power of Ethernet) and consume up to 8 watts per camera. All Unifi switches also support 802.3af and can deliver up to 12watt. So you can connect your Reolink cams to an Unifi Switch.

  44. Absolutely great article, well explained. I have a question for you if possible as I am unsure which products to use/keep.
    Currently with ISP BT (UK) their router doesnt allow Guest Network nor Bridge Mode.
    I need to allow Internet access in a guest house next door, but preferably on a separate Network. And in future moving office out of current house into the garden to an outbuilding.
    I did think of connecting BT Router >>> USG >>> USG-8 Switch (or the -60W for PoE) >>> 1 AP wall unit (which I would therefore need the PoE switch) in the guest house next door and 1 AP-Lite in existing house.
    I know there is a potential issue of double NATing if using existing ISP Router in non-bridge mode, therefore how should the set up be if we were to eliminate this?
    I have some diagrams if you have time to look through, I think I have too many options because the office building I think it will need to be hard wired then with wireless AP as well? Any advice? I currently have a USG and US-AC-Lite which I currently cannot return. Thanks for any advice you can give.

    • Does the router support DMZ mode perhaps? You could use that instead.

      Otherwise, if you can change the DHCP range and internal Ip Address of your ISP router, change it to something like and keep your internal network (the network behind the USG) on For the guest house, I would recommend using a separate VLAN.

      I just bought a USG myself so I can write some articles about it, so keep following my site (or subscribe to the newsletter) for tips (articles are planned for october.. )

  45. Dear Rudy,

    With a lot of interest I’ve read your tutorial, and a couple of things are usefull to change in my modem/router. I have a fiber optic router in North East Thailand, with 2 usb ports. Every couple of months I try to Google some information how to connect a harddrive to the usb and get data, like music, visible for example on my smartphone. Despite the information I have read already for over a year, I can’t make it working. Do you have any suggestions how to fix this?
    I would be very grateful if I can play something from my own home network.


  46. We just moved and I’m in my network planning stage. Our condo has cat5e wiring to each room and I’m trying to decide on the best access point products.

    My first thought was the UniFi AP AC Lite but I noticed that there is an in-wall unit. What are the pros/cons to the in-wall vs. the AP AC? The in-wall looks like an easy, inconspicuous install.

    • The signal of the in wall units is easily blocked by furniture. So you will need more in wall accesspoints then with the normal ones

      Also go for the LR version, it’s more sensitive for the weaker mobile phone signals.

  47. Hi Ruud,

    Great posting! Very useful and clear.
    All the tools you recommend are for Windows, do you also have similar ones for Mac OSX I could use?

    Kind regards,


    • Wonderful article!
      My Arris surfboard just went out after 3 years of faithful service and I’m considering upgrading my network in 2020.

      Just a few questions. I have and townhouse and the reception in 1 of the bedrooms is atrocious. Since the ISP place the operating port downstairs would it be wise for me to get a wireless access point for that particular room? We do slot of gaming and streaming, with 2 consoles, 2 firesticks, 4 phones, and 2 smart t.v.s but a wired connection for upstairs wouldn’t be desirable with a set of 4 year old twin boys running rapid.

      What would be you opinion in this matter?


  48. Hi Ruud,

    Great posting! Very useful and clear.
    All the tools you recommend are for Windows, do you also have Mac OSX I could use?

    Kind regards,


  49. Hi Ruud,

    Finally an clear (and down-to-earth) article about setting up these kind of products, great!

    Still, I got several questions. Let’s start with the main question: when it comes to securing my internet connection/traffic: what is your take on enabling things like Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Deep Packet Inspection, etc. for a home / IoT network ? (In my new I would like to separate the IoT-devices from my private (Macbook, TV, etc.) devices.)

    And, how does this influence the choice for either the EdgeRouter X or the USG ?

    Although I understand there’s no one-device-solution, I’m trying to find a balance between security and performance. As you said in earlier posts, the setup is something you (probably) do once and I do think I have some basic network experience to use both the USG and EdgeRouter. Although the USG sounds appealing because of the Unifi controller….

    With regards,


    • Hi Rutger,

      Enabling IPS on a USG will have a huge impact on the throughput. For the EdgeRouter it isn’t even available if I am correct. Personally I would take a look at Sophos UTM Home Edition.

      The one controller dashboard with the USG is nice (especially the insights you get), but I prefer the performance you get with the EdgeRouter X.

  50. Grammar police here:

    “people don’t like the few of an access point on the ceiling of there living room.”

    You probably meant to write:

    “people don’t like the view of an access point on the ceiling of their living room.”

  51. Hi Ruud,
    I have set up a vlan on the ERX, and then assigned that vlan to the guest network. As soon as I do that, devices cannot connect anymore. Iwas wondering if I should also adjust domething in the HP switch in between?

    • Yes, you should also create the vLAN on the HP Switch and assign it to both the port of the router and port of the access point. The Hp switch is now probably in the default vlan 1, and doesn’t allow or do anything with to other traffic.

  52. Hi Ruud. Good one, thank you. Got a question for you.

    I have a small office network, wifi router (TP-Link DSL something) out here. The router WAN port is connected to ISP, all LAN ports are free (the router is not connected to any computer by wire). No problem with Inernet on computers, but when I try to set up a local network just to print from a USB-printer connected to one of them, a nightmare begins. All machines are Win7 desktops or notebooks, they belong to WorkGroup, got their IP adresses automatically, the net is not ‘public’, a network discovery, file and print sharing are enabled, no password are required. Computers don’t ‘see’ each other by ping (well, sometimes they do after I restart them and the router and then they disappear from scope after another restart). The router IP adress is, computers have IP’s like and above, a mask is When I ping the router IP everything’s fine of course, when pings .101 the request’s timed out.

    Any idea?

  53. Hi Ruud,

    – Do you have any experience with patch cables from Monoprice has a great offer and easy website if you are a US customer, but they charge a lot for shipping. Combined with custom duties and Dutch VAT that doesn’t make them very price attractive. The German Monoprice store on is ok for buying bulk cable, but their offering in patch cables is quite limited and most of the variations in colour and size are not available.

    – Is there a minimum length for patch cables? I would like to keep the mess to a minimum and need pretty much only a couple of centimeters for the connection between patch panel and switch. Can I use e.g. 15cm cables?

    – Is there a certain thing I have to look for with patch cables and PoE? Does it matter over such short distances what the cable is made of? And does this impact minimum size? And would you expect issues by using extra thin cables to save some space?

    Many thanks for your help!

    All the best,


    • Hi Hans,

      Try for ordering patch cables in the Netherlands. I have great experience with them.

      About the minimum length, nope, it’s more how short can you get them. But in practice, 15cm cables are the shortest one that is workable.

      About the quality, I always go for the full copper cable. If you go for CCA (Copper Coated Aluminium) you will have a higher chance of breaking the wires inside. CCA cables also have 40% higher resistance on DC current than copper cables. Go for quality, resolving network issues due to faulty cables is a pain in the *** to find.

  54. Hey Ruud,

    great article. I have a situation where I hope you could help me.
    I need to setup a LAN for a small office. They have MikroTik hardware available. There will be two LAN’s and one WLAN available – one LAN for each department, and the WLAN for the guests. There is only one ISP internet access line. This is how I thought I could do this. But please correct me with any of your insights.

    1 The ISP Internet line will connect to the main router, a MikroTik hEX PoE (5x Gigabit Ethernet with PoE output for four ports, SFP, USB, 800MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, RouterOS L4) then this router will serve the following LANs

    2 one MikroTik hAP ac for guests Wifi

    3 one MikroTik hEX (5x Gigabit Ethernet, Dual Core 880MHz CPU, 256MB RAM, USB, microSD, RouterOS L4) for the accounting department LAN

    3.1 a MikroTik RB260GSP Switch that will connect all the computers and printers and NAS

    4 one MikroTik hEX (5x Gigabit Ethernet, Dual Core 880MHz CPU, 256MB RAM, USB, microSD, RouterOS L4) for the design department LAN

    4.1 a MikroTik RB260GSP Switch that will connect all the computers and printers inside the department

    Now, how could people from accounting department communicate to the design department?
    Do you see any flaws from this network design?

    Thanks in advance.

    • You have 3 routers in your design, there is no need for that. One router, a couple of switches and access point should work. You want to separate the two departments, but also they need to communicate (share files and printers?) with each other. Why do you want to separate the network then? Normally you separate it if the network gets too big, or you don’t want those devices can access each other.

      If you want to split the LAN networks, look into VLANs. For the guests, if you go for the Unifi line you can simply create a guest wireless network and still offer wireless access to the employees.

  55. Hi Ruud, helpful guide, thanks. I’ve got a situation where I cant lay Ethernet cable in my apartment and need to connect my ISP’s router directly to my old LTE access point/router. The reason for this is that the ISP has locked down all the functionality on the access point, so I can’t configure it to function as a WAN. Do you think this could work? Thanks, Dane

    • Hi Dane,

      Your ISP router is locked, that happens a lot, unfortunately. But what do you mean you need to connect it to your old LTE access point / router? Let’s go back a few steps, what do you want to achieve? A better wireless network or a faster connection with a lower latency? A guest network?

  56. Rudd,
    I just bought a house wired with Ethernet! I have carried over from my previous house a DOCSIS 3.1 arrris surfboard modem and an ASUS RT 86U wireless router. I am going to add a switch/patch panel, and going by your configuration above, I would plug my switch into my ASUS wifi Router. Correct? What is the speed difference of the wired connections at the Ethernet drops in my house with this type of configuration vs. the configuration with access points? In other words, will my hard wired Ethernet connections suffer loss of speed by using my existing WIFI router rather than using a dedicated router with access points? I hope I am being clear!

    • Your wired connections will be fine. But your wireless connection will not be as fast as when you separate the router and access points. The built-in wi-fi in the Asus router won’t give you the best / optimal signal strength and performance compared to install an access point.

      • Hi Rudy! Just to clarify, I mistakenly thought that my ISP would not configure the wireless router they had supplied me with to work as a wireless LAN in my house. That’s why I wanted to connect an older LTE modem with router to the access point. As it turns out, they were more than happy to set up my wireless router as a WLAN, and even to unlock the settings for me if need be (provided I signed a document first, so that they would not need to fix it free of charge if things went wrong). The problem was actually something the installing technician had mis-configured. I can now connect all my devices to the wireless access point and ping any device on the network from my laptop, which is what I wanted to do in the beginning. Thanks again!

  57. Hi there,

    YES! Wonderful clear explanations. After months and months of scratching my head, I appear to have found someone who can answer my network question 🙂

    I have a very simple network set up (I have full control so can amend settings as necessary). Two computers – (without wifi) is connected directly via cable to the ISP modem/router. This is the default IP runs Windows 10, and connection is managed by Windows/ISP modem.

    (running Linux) is connected wirelessly (static connection no DHCP) via a TP-Link Archer C2 which I’ve tried to set up as an access point. The Archer is connected via cable to one of the ISP device’s four ports, into its WAN port. It has an IP address of I’ve changed no other settings, not subnet or anything (because I don’t really understand subnet routing). I’ve left DHCP routing active because others do occasionally bring devices within range, but normal daily use means there are only ever two computers connected to the network.

    has a trouble free internet experience. For the internet works but connection issues mean dropout and recurring lag.

    The connection lists as the Gateway i.e. the IP address of the Archer wap. The Archer in turn shows as its Gateway address!

    It would appear from your post and answers that I need to change some setting? What I am trying to achieve is that connection (wireless via the Archer) is “pass through” i.e. as direct to the internet as possible, and to override things like DNS servers as set (and unable to be changed) within the ISP’s modem by being able to change such things within the Archer.

    Is this possible? If necessary I will alter settings but would prefer not to. I’m essentially trying to get the ISP’s device completely out of the way for .

    • Your router has an Ip Address of and DHCP enabled with a scope of – Give your access point a static IP address: and turn DHCP off (that is handled by your router). This way all the clients get an IP address from the DHCP server from the router and your access point will only pass through the internet connection.

      • Thank you! Very helpful.

        If it’s of interest to anyone – I’ve now set things up in this way, it works perfectly. However the router I’m using as the access point i.e. the TP-Link Archer C2 is now ‘inaccessible’ via web login. It seems that neither my ISP (Orange) nor TP-Link have designed the equipment to be used in exactly this way. If I turn on DHCP on the Archer, I can log in to it. But as things stand with the DHCP off on my access point the ISP’s modem DOES NOT recognise the TP-Link device and does not assign it an IP address. I had to do that manually from the access page for my ISP connection (i.e. the internet router) by assigning it a static route via its MAC address. Now my network functions as intended, but I cannot change or amend any setting within my access point router. No problem as such, just noted.

  58. Hey Ruud, Great information on your site!

    Quick question… I have my ISP modem/router, then a Netgear switch. I am looking at adding IP cameras.
    When I purchase a POE switch, does it just connect to the main switch in my small network chain?

    Thanks in advance!

    • It’s better to connect it directly to the router. But if it isn’t possible, then you can connect it to the other switch. The fewer hops (devices) between the endpoint and internet the faster the connection will be.

  59. Ruud,

    I’m already (almost) full Unifi (16 port 150W switch, 5 APs) and just about to convert from an old merlin wrt Asus router in front of my ISP cable (modem mode) router to a USG.

    Everything comes into my living room, where I have the modem -> router -> Cat6 port -> (cellar) switch. I then have a few devices off the router ethernet ports, and a PoE AP out of the other Ethernet port in the living room. I’ve considered cleaning all this up, moving the USG to the cellar, straight out of the patch panel, but then I’d need an additional small switch in the living room for the TV, TiVo, NAS etc, which seems overkill.

    Any thoughts on optimising the layout? Perhaps a lightweight PoE switch that could drive an AP Lite AP without need for yet another power socket in my cupboard?!

    On security, I have already a guest network, VPN into the house (only access into the house for me), but everything is on one LAN. Would you recommend segmenting into VLANs? I struggle with so much connecting to the internet, or to other devices (e.g. Alexa, TP-Link plug driving a lamp, Smartphone etc), that where would I start?

    Great site – keep it up!

    • I don’t think an extra switch is an overkill, it’s common practice to pull a wire to a floor and use a switch for all devices on that floor.

      About the vLAN, they are indeed a bit hard to set up. But you could start with simply leaving all devices in the default vLAN (1) and only create a new vLAN for the guest network. Then you would only need to configure the access points and switch.

  60. Hi!

    Thanks for your advice. I would have one question for you. Is it necessary (or good choice) to use switch “after” the wifi-router (new Asus) instead of using the wifi router also as switch? So does it bring something extra benefit to use switch instead of router? You know.


  61. Hi Ruud, one great article after the other – your sharing is so useful and appreciated ! Thanks a lot.

    I m trying to copy your setup but using TPLINK I still had instead of NETGEAR and I was wondering how to still use the 3 empty ports in my ISP’s NETGEAR modem now that I am using it as a bridge iso router.

    I was thinking to connect my synology to it with both LAN connections (although I doubt I will get twice the speed via port link aggregation but it helps against a failing network card) and use the third for my music infrastructure, connected via wire to the NAS.

    Reason behind is because I can’t imagine “hacking” my music infra (revox, no hdd inside) (but that might be naive from my side ?) and the Synology having a firewall on its own. As such I can also configure the VLAN’s (guest network, camera footage, my website and my private stuff) on my synology, hoping it doesn’t conflict with the Unifi EDGEROUTER LITE setup. I m hoping to then route the Unifi camera footage to my NAS and make it publicly available (filming horse boxes).

    Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts on this ! Not only Ruud but all people having knowledge in this area and willing to share.

  62. Hi, great post, I have a question, the modem has to be in bridge mode? I´m new in this, my ISP has a PPPoE connection, do I need to make the connection through the router or through the modem? Thanks!

    • If your router supports it, check if it has a specific WAN port, then you could use the router alone. Just enter the PPPoE details into the router to set up the internet connection.

  63. Great information! Appreciate the knowledge you are sharing. I have one question about choosing either Ubiquiti access points to spread the wifi or I am seeing online their mesh alternative Amplifi? We are having a home built and it is a doozy. I am worried about wifi and network coverage. It will be 2 levels and over 5200 square feet, so I am having ethernet pulled to each of the 5 bedrooms as well as the 2 offices and following your recommendation of 2 8 port Unifi switches. I figure that will be enough to hardline stationary devices, but worry about the wifi only devices. Do you recommend the Ubiquiti access points (2 for sure, maybe 3) installed into the ceilings or the amplify mesh option? Thank you again for your input!

    • I haven’t tested the Amplifi yet, but I will always prefer a wired access point over a wireless (repeater) based access point. The mesh antennas are always placed lower by the floor, resulting in more objects that will block the signal. Also, mesh networks like the Amplifi will have higher latency.

      If you have the option, then place 2 or 3 Unifi Access Points on the ceiling for the best coverage and signal. Pull the wires now you still can, the mesh would more be an option if you don’t have that option anymore. For the access point, pick one Unifi AC-LR and the others can be Unifi AC-LITE

  64. Dear Ruud;

    thanks for all that info, i’m an IT student planing to do Sysadmin, i’ve been following your blog and find it very helpfull.
    Just wanted to encourage you to keep up with the good work.


    • Yes, the server connects to the 10Gbe on the EdgeSwitch using the RJ45 ports on the switch. This way you don’t have to buy expensive transceivers. Now assuming you are using two uplinks per server can connect the Edgerouter of SFP with a normal SFP cable. This way you will have a 1Gbe link between the EdgeSwitch and the EdgeRouter.

      The EdgeSwitch Lite also has SFP ports, so you can connect this switch to the Edgerouter as well with the SFP ports.

      Your gateway is connected to the EdgeRouter with a normal cat6 cable using the RJ45 ports on the ERPro-8.

  65. Dear Ruud,

    Thank you so much for your clear advice! Very helpful.

    > An additional question: Do you have any recommendations for a 24 port patch panel CAT6 in the above setup (April 13 message) and the CAT6 type of cable to use?

    As it will be mainly cables going through walls and ending up in wall sockets, a solid core is recommended. But which type of shielding is recommended and which shielding type in the patch panel goes with that? All cables go through the same entry point as the power lines in the house (meterkast) and are laid alongside (not the same tubes) power lines in the concrete walls. Shielded seems to be a logical option. Also to avoid interference due to electrical systems in the meterkast. But which type and will that make the cable too thick to run two through one standard pipe?

    > And on the ER-8, does it make sense to use the Pro version as it has pretty much the same price as the ER-8?

    Many thanks and I will make sure to use your Amazon referral links to buy the hardware!


    • Shielded cables are only necessary when you run the cables near powerful electric motors or near a broadcast station. You can safely wrap a Cat6 cable around a normal powerline and you won’t notice any difference. So don’t waste your money on that.

      About the cables, go for Monoprice cables, those cables are 23AWG and have a pure copper wire. For the patch panel, stick with Monoprice, they make good quality patch panels as well.

      The ER8-Pro is a little bit faster then the ER8 and has higher throughput. If you can get them for almost the same price then go for the pro.

  66. Great Article!

    I am in the process of rebuilding my network. I currently use my ISP-provided gateway with VOIP (Netcomm Wireless NF18ACV), which runs into the router/wireless AP (Netgear D6200), which then runs into a managed switch (Netgear GS116E). I want to replace the router and switch completely. I run a media server, which will be upgraded too.

    I want to have a 10GBe backbone from the servers. The main media server will running the web server and media server platform, and the second server will be the media storage server. Each server will have 2-4 10GBe ports.

    I will be using a patch panel for the wall sockets, which will only be Cat6 1GBe. I wish to separate the server, main LAN/WLAN and guest LAN/WLAN with VLANs. I’ve chosen to use Ubiquity. Also, would it be worthwhile running a separate firewall?. What would you advise for this setup?

    • Hi Daniel,

      Nice case you have here. Unifi has some switches that come with two SFP+ ports, these allow you to connect the two servers with a 10GBe over SFP+, but then you will need to buy two 10Gbe SFP+ transceivers and they are a bit expensive. It will also limit your ability to expand in the future. But if using 2 SFP+ ports is enough then the Unifi US-48 is the most budget-friendly option for the switch.

      Another option, if you need more 10Gbe ports, is to go for the EdgeSwitch 16 XG. This model comes with 4 10Gbe RJ45 ports and 12 SFP+ ports allowing you to expand in the future. You can use the SFP+ port to connect to switch to the Edge Router. But you will need an additional switch for your wall sockets, an Edge Switch Lite will do.

      You can use just one firewall/router for your network. There is no need to buy multiple firewalls. I don’t know how fast you uplink is, but if you go for the EdgeSwitch I suggest you buy an Edge Router 8 Pro, this one has two SFP ports (1gbit) so you can connect to Edge Switch with a fibre uplink. On the edge router, you can configure multiple VLANs and set up the firewall accordingly.

  67. Thanks for the good responses and this detailed guide! Couple of questions I still have left that would I would be thrilled if you are able to answer them:

    – When going for the Edgerouter, wouldn’t a higher performing version be a better choice to benefit from a 500/500 mbit fiber connection? And which one would you then pick?

    – After counting all the devices I actually have collected over the years and LAN wall sockets I have to connect, I also get easily to 20 slots needed. As only a couple of them need PoE, combining several switches might still be the most economical option, but isn’t it easier to just buy the Ubiquiti UniFi Switch US-24-250W? Although the 250W obviously is a massive overkill…

    – For cables, I think the most neat option is to use a patch board where I collect all the sturdy cables that go into the walls to other places in the house and then use flexible CAT-cables to connect from the patch board into the switch. Would you recommend using CAT6 or CAT6a? I would like to put two cables into each tube in the walls, so CAT6a might be to thick for that?

    – I am planning on using two times the Ubiquiti Light AP (bedroom/hallway) and one time the Pro (living room). Would that be a sensible option? It is a one floor appartment, but with a massive reinforced concrete wall separating livingroom from the other parts of the appartment.

    Many thanks for your advice!

    • Yes, if you have a 500 Mbit fibre then I would go for the ER-8.

      How many devices need a PoE? To save money you could buy a US-24 and add a Unifi US-8-60W to it. But then you only have 4 PoE ports. Another option is to use the PoE adapters that come with most devices, but that isn’t really efficient. Otherwise, the US-24-250W is your only option. 250W is what the switch is capable of providing, it won’t use it. But it’s expensive.

      CAT6A is indeed too thick and you don’t need it in home networks. CAT6 can also reach 10gbit up to ~50 meters, but your clients and switches don’t support it now. In my opinion, cat6a isn’t worth the extra cost for normal use.

      Change the pro for the Unifi AC LR. The LR is more sensitive than the pro. I don’t know the size and layout of your apartment, but the AC Lite’s for coverage is a good choice.

  68. Great read.
    With regard to the Unifi US-8-60W, do you see any benefit in upgrading to the Unifi 8-Port Managed Switch with POE [150 Watt]?
    The 150w is around twice the price, here in Australia anyway.

    • That would only be useful if you want to connect a lot of PoE devices to it. So it depends on the wattage of your PoE devices. A Unifi G3 Cam uses only 4 watts for example.

  69. My ISP is a fiber optic provider. I do not have an ISP provided modem/router. It is only a cable that goes from the wall directly to my router.

    With this, my question is, will this set up still work with the network diagram by bypassing the ISP modem? Also, would I just set up my Ubiquiti router by skipping the original IP config?

    • Yes, this should still work, but you will need some info from your ISP. They should provide you with information on how to connect your router to the internet. Probably a PPPoE account name or static IP Address.

  70. Great article. Well thought out and informative. I am looking at the Ubiquiti website’s product descriptions for the EdgeRouterX and the Unifi Security gateway and am having trouble finding the part related to the article’s quote “The EdgeRouter X is capable of handling 100 to 250mbit internet connections with QoS enabled. The USG can only handle a 60mbit internet connection with QoS.” These both appear to be 1G capable ethernet ports. What am I missing? Is it specific to having QoS enabled? My connection has a stated rate of 400 mbps although this pc is testing at ~95 Mbps.

    • Hi Jack,

      I understand your confusion. Yes, the speed limit is related to enabling SQM. If you look in the User Guide, page 49, you will see a nice table with the speed limitation with SQM enabled.

      If you want to take full advantage of the 400mbps you probably going to need an ER-8, but they cost a lot more ($300) then the ER-X

  71. Don’t understand all this but trying to set up better wifi system than just using router and modem furnished by TV and internet providers (DishNetwork and Century Link). Only using system for TVs and computers in 3 rooms all on same floor (including streaming through Roku Ultra). Do I need “access points” and, if so, how many? You don’t discuss modems but imply that I should just use the provider’s modem. Is that good enough quality and what if I don’t want to keep paying their monthly fee? Will the Ubiquiti components work with my providers?

    • Modems are indeed provided by your provider and most providers don’t allow using custom modems. Best is to run network cables to the computers and TVs, but if that isn’t possible then installing a good access point will improve the quality of your network. Access points provide a wireless network to your computers and mobile devices. How many you need depends on the size of your house and how it’s built. Stone or concrete walls block more signal than wooden walls.
      You can start by installing a single Unifi Access Point. Go for the long range version, it’s more sensitive and will cover a greater area of the house. Get a Cloud key to control the access point and follow this article for the installation

  72. Hi Rudd, thanks for the post.
    I am also a fan of Ubiquiti solutions- although they may be not that easy to setup.
    I have Edge Max PoE supporting router and single AP in one location- works great.

    Anyway- my question concerns your network diagram. I am not sure what is a purpose for switch in this setup. Could you connect just directly to the usg router?

    Second question concerns cloud key – where exactly do you connect it? And why do you think it has no option of PoE?

    Lastly- would you plan for a single high range Unifi AP in a 200 sq m wooden house with single brick wall with chimney in the center or would you rather go directly for 2 AP on each level? I know I should make a heat map – but would like to know your opinion.

    • Hi Marian,

      The USG in the network diagram only has 2 LAN ports. In de diagram I only laid-out the network devices. Even with 3 devices, you will need a switch to connect them all. If you take other wired connected devices into account you have no other choice then adding a switch to your network. Edge routers typically have more LAN ports, so then you might can do without a switch.

      About the cloud key, it doesn’t matter where you connected it. I would go for connecting it to the switch. The cloud key gen-1only be powered with an 802.3af PoE connection. The gen-2 can be powered with PoE or with a USB C.

      2 ap’s on each level for sure. Go for the Long range on the ground floor and a lite for the other level. The long range is more sensitive which will result in a better connection with mobile devices.

  73. Thanks a lot!
    Exactly the type of manual I’ve been looking for.
    Used ordered the full Unify setup and can’t wait to finally get to use my full connection speed everywhere in my house.

  74. Thanks for a very helpful article. A question regarding switching options. You say:
    “If you need more than 8 ports, I suggest you go for two Unifi switches, an US-8-60w and a normal US-8.”
    Would you just connect these two 8-port switches separately to the internal router or daisy-chain them? Due to limitations on routing the ethernet cables in our house, I would ideally have one 8-port switch in the cellar, and a second one in a room on the upstairs floor. How would you configure such a network, assuming that is a valid plan?

    • Ideal you connect them both to the router. Placing the two switches on different floors is no problem at all. I even recommend it, because you will need to run less length of cable, reducing the change of interference.

  75. My router is supplied by my ISP (MIDCO). At only $1/month, it is pretty affordable since I didn’t want it to have wireless. It is a CODA 45 and has a fixed address ( Since I can’t change the address of the modem, how would I set up a router to not have a conflict?

    • Hi Mark,

      What type of router do you want to connect to the CODA? Your new router should have on the WAN side (the eth port between the new router and the CODA). Your internal network will have to change to another subnet. For example 192.168.1.x .

  76. Great post. I’m toying with the idea of going with a full mesh home network for idea. Or doing it off my own back purely for the additional features which I won’t get with out of the box mesh networks. I’m currently looking at the Ubiquti range and swaying towards using their APs as well as a switch and cloud controller. What would your opinion be for a network engineer to go for? Simplistic setup with limited features, or go for a full fat network?

    • Go for the Ubiquiti range. You don’t need to use all the features, but if you are at the point of replacing everything, then going for the Unifi setup is just a great choice.

      The insides that you get are really nice, they are super easy to setup and it has all the features to play with if you want. I don’t know you home layout, but for that access points, go for multiple Unifi AC’s Lite access point if you have a one level house or a AC Pro on the ground floor and (multiple) AC lite access point upstairs.

      If you have a few bucks left in you budget, then also buy the Unifi USG This is a router and firewall with great performance and allows you to control your network from start to end.

      You can do it only right once 😉

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