Helping to spec Ubiquiti Unifi for my house

So it is official, the chip providing four of the eight ports on the ASUS RT-AC88U went the way of not working anymore. It worked fine for years, but apparently it is an issue with the units.

I would really appreciate some advice specific to my needs for a Ubiquiti system, as I’ve only heard good things about them. Below are my needs:

  1. Double story house with many walls, so do not assume good wireless signals between rooms.
  2. I need network ports for hardwired connections in the same location as my fibre modem for:
    2xRaspberry Pi’s
    1xNVR for cameras
    1xNetwork cable running to my Venus GX
    6xNetwork cables running to the rest of my house (yes, 10 <> 8, but at the moment I connect the two Pi’s on two of my other routers part of the mesh, I currently have 1xAC88U, 1xAC68U and 2xAC66U)
  3. I have network points in all the necessary rooms (cables running back to main router). In those rooms, I need to have both WIFI, but also hard wired connections for at least two devices. For example, in my study I have a laptop, a desktop as well as whatever project I am working on that might need to be connected to the network. And I need WIFI.

To specify it per room:

  1. Main bedroom - Have a network point, Need WIFI access point, need 2x open network points
  2. 3xBedrooms/Studies - Have 1xnetwork point each, Need WIFI access (these can technically share the same WIFI access point, at the moment they get WIFI from my main router in the passage cupboard). Also need at least one open network point (for Desktop/whatever)
  3. Study - Have 1xnetwork point, Need WIFI access point, need at least 2x open network points
  4. TV room - Have 1xnetwork point, Need WIFI access point, need 4x open network points
  5. Kitchen - Need WIFI access point (doesn’t have it yet, room with very poor WIFI at the moment)
  6. Living room - Need WIFI access, but should be able to share with TV room if TV room has a good one.
  7. Outside, within 20m of main bedroom, Tasmota devices, currently using the WIFI from the router in the main bedroom.
  8. It might be good to have a type of outside WIFI unit to meet the need of (7) as well as the need of me wanting to have WIFI outside…

I do run Home Assistant and use Modbus, so all my IPs for devices in the house should be static. I also want a device that can create a guest network. It needs to be a mesh network, as in I don’t want to worry about dropping off VOIP calls when walking around the house on my cellphone. But I’m assuming these things are pretty standard on Ubiquiti Unifi?

I’d really appreciate someone to help me spec the parts I need. I’m willing to just take the dive once and get it done with, but wouldn’t want to waste money on unnecessary parts… Or have issues, which is why I am reaching out to the forum with all the knowledge!

Link to my setup here: Home Network Overhaul - #36 by MongooseMan

A couple of suggestions (without doing a fullblown installation spec):

  • The wifi6-lites are cheap, and do fairly well in my house with lots of thick walls. I’ve got 4 installed
  • For rooms with a network point that need wifi and ethernet, I recommend the In-Wall. It has 2 ports (1 is PoE), and is powered by PoE, so that’s great.
  • In general, I find the Unifi APs handoff to each other pretty well as I walk around. Very rarely do I need to do the “turn wifi off/on” dance to jump to the strongest signal. You can also tell them to prefer 5GHz connections, which helps to.
  • For the main router, I went with a Dream Machine, since I also needed Wifi in the room where the Fibre Modem is. You could also get a cloud key + USG if you don’t need an AP there.
  • It’s not clear from your description if you need much PoE (apart from the access points), so you could probably get something like this and that should be fine.

Hope that helps, or at least answers more questions than it raises. Shout if I haven’t explained anything clearly.

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Perfect! Any idea on the WIFI coverage extending to outside? I have a Tasmota device switching outside lights as well as one at my pool pump.

I don’t need any PoE apart from the access points. My cameras are on an NVR doing the job already.

I went on scoop this morning and it is a bit infuriating that everything is out of stock…

My pool pump, driveway gates, and garage doors all connect ok, and they’re all >20m from the nearest access point.
2.4Ghz goes pretty far, in my experience.

Where are you based?

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I’m in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. But these products seems out of stock completely on Scoop…

Yeah, that is a bit odd. Maybe give them a call and find out what the story is (they’re pretty jacked up in general).

My other suggestion is to get a single Wifi 6 AP, a PoE injector (I’ve got one you can borrow/buy) and a really long ethernet cable.
Then walk around your house, putting the AP roughly where you think you’d install it, and then use a Wifi signal strength app on your phone to see how it reaches various parts of your house/garden/etc. (You can set up the AP without the whole Unifi eco-system so it just behaves like a “normal” wifi access point, which is all you want for this experiment).

Once you’ve done that you’ll have a much better idea of where you need to install things.

Edit: Just checked with a friend, who did his Unifi install at the same time as mine, and he has a spare Wifi6 to sell, if you’re interested.

Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind. With regards to planning it, do you know if the WIFI APs has to be wall mounted or ceiling mounted? My wife will not like the look of it so I was wondering if simply putting it in the ceiling would be okay? Heat in summer might be an issue…

I think Unifi APs can operate up to 70C (check that), so you’d probably be ok on that front. You’d lose a bit of signal, but not a massive amount.
You could also see how well the In-walls cover you, you might not need too many “flying saucer” APs once you’ve stuck an In-wall in each room with an ethernet port.

Pretty much all Ubiquity stuff is out of stock at the moment. Even on Amazon. I believe stock will be available from Oct.

If I had to start again, I’d get 4 WiFi 6 lites and the new UDM Pro SE (to launch in the next few weeks). This new version has added PoE to the 8 ports and supports a 2.5Gb uplink port. This is over and above the USG/Cloudkey capabilities the normal UDM Pro has.

If you need more hardwired Ethernet add a USW-24.

So I definitely need more hardwired, but still need PoE - How will it work if I need to get an PoE adapter for the in-wall APs and WiFi Lites?

Just get a PoE switch, that’s by far the easiest (and best) approach.

A bunch of options
8 port (non rack mount)
16 port
24 port (16 PoE) (this is the one I have)

If you really want to get injectors, then make sure you get the AF ones:

If you buy the single AP’s, they come with the proper PoE injectors. But as Mr Goose said above, the more elegant way is to get a PoE switch rather.

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Not anymore (at least, the wifi 6 lites that I bought this year didn’t come with injectors)

I think if you buy them in “bulk” (those packs) you don’t get it. If you buy them as single units, then you get it.

I bought in singles. Pretty sure they changed it beginning of this year.

Resurrecting my old topic!

Back in 2021 we did not end up getting the Ubiquiti equipment due to the stock issues and then me being lazy (read stingy) and deciding to make do.

However, the need (and this is a need) is back because my wife says the wifi is unreliable, and I must agree with her. I am constantly restarting the main router and it does not seem to be all there anymore.

My questions:

  1. Currently ASUS provides a free domain service, so effectively I need to do nothing to be able to correct to my Home Assistant from an external network. All I need is the address that ASUS provides me and I forwarded my HA device in the port forwarding interface of the router. (Please don’t ask me to clarify, I don’t really know what I am doing here, but it works)
    Does Ubiquiti offer a similar service or will I have to do something myself, like Duck Duck? I really don’t want to pay for a domain service to access my HA from an external network.

  2. Is a UDM Pro the router to get and then you add-on a USW for the PoE, or does the UXG-LITE do everything I can ever need, and then I get a USW-LITE?
    (I need 8 PoE for access points and 8 non-PoE for data)
    The UDM Pro obviously has some unpowered ports, but the choice in router does also depend for me upon functionality.
    I’ll be getting 5 access points and 3 USW-Flex-MINIs for locations where multiple devices should be hardwired at one wall port. Maybe the USW-LITE will be cutting it too fine…

Same thing, you forward the desired port to HA.

UDM Pro has Unifi controller software in it. UXG-LITE doesn’t so with it you would need any version of Unifi Cloud Key with it. What I would recommend as an alternative is UCG-Ultra. It has network controller on it, its not too expensive and has 4 switch ports but note none are PoE.

The port forwarding is just one requirement, but you’ll still need a domain service, right? ASUS offers a free domain service, effectively giving me a website I can connect to to access my Home Assistant device.

Yes, a domain service would be required. Buying a domain is not really that expensive these days. From quick checking its around R100 per year.