Hardware recommendations for PFsense & 10gb home setup


I want to setup a expandable home network with PFsense , 10gb networking and a wireless AP.

I was thinking about getting a Netgate XG-7100 with a Unifi Pro AP. The problem is I learned from one of lawrence videos, I can’t use an RJ45 SFP converter to connect my 10gb Imac to my XG-7100.

Thanks !

If you are not getting more that 10G internet, then you probably don’t need a 10G firewall.

I can get a Negate 5100 and than have a 10gb Switch for LAN ? I need my internal network to do 10gb for NAS etc…

What hardware would you recommend for a 10gb switch with a pfsense box and a wireless AP ?

Yes and I have videos on using the UniFi gear such as the US-16-XG https://youtu.be/bA9LjWVERy4

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Awesome. My concern with Unfi is if using a netgate appliance, I won’t need a Unfi cloud key ? Can I disable this device from calling home ?

If you use UniFi you need to setup something to run the controller software on, it does not have to be a cloudkey.

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If you are looking at Unifi I have the impression you have to be all in, while the GUI looks cool, once setup you don’t have to use it that much.

I use Netgear switches, they have a terrible GUI but they do the job and are cost effective. My TP-Link EAP 245 access point is great, has some good features.

If your only criteria is 10G then any enabled equipment will do the job.

You need to figure out what you want to do on your network then read the manuals to see if the kit can do what you want, otherwise you have some dead weights.

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Can I buy a netgate PFsense appliance and plug in a Unifi ACpro and have it work without a cloud key or unifi controller running at all ?

The only way to configure UniFi equipment is with their controller software.

You can run the controller software on any computer if you want – a real simple way is to run a docker image. To configure the ACpro it needs the software to provision the device and then you need the controller software to setup the networks etc. It sounds kind of confusing at first but it works well in the end.

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That is very helpful… Unifi documentation states I can run it locally for setup and won’t need to have it running.

Am I correct that since Im using the pfsense for everything, once unfi AP is setup via controller software, I don’t need to run it again.

Are there recommendations for other solid wireless AP that don’t require accounts & calling home ?

As mentioned I have the TP-Link EAP 245 AP it works well in my scenario, a basic home.

However, you can also setup a management controller in a VM or you can managed the AP independently without it. If the controller was to fail, the AP continues to simply run but you won’t be able to configure it.

I have blocked it from communicating outside to the WAN, it just means I am not notified of firmware updates and the cloud controller doesn’t work.

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You are correct that I believe the controller software only needs to be run during configuration.
I’m also aware there was a report of firmware calling home. I’m not sure if the calling-home feature still exists since I believe most of the code was removed however there were well published methods for blocking unifi at the firewall or router level to prevent this. There is always the possibility the controller is calling home in a yet undiscovered manner, however I’m fairly certain users would have caught this by now since the last call-home feature was discovered within days. In terms of running the controller software – if its setup and running within a VM or docker – it just runs as a service in the background. You’d have to kill the service manually. Honestly in my opinion the Unifi controller software seems very unobtrusive and it works pretty well particularly if you have a wired ethernet backbone.

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