New Home Setup Recommendation

Hello from across the pond,

Thanks to Tom appearing on my Youtube feed, I bought a Netgate SG-2100 and have spent hours watching his videos and many more looking at all sorts of hardware.

I would like help choosing a managed switch to buy as well as a new AP.

My current setup is quite simple: Zyxel VMG-1312-B10 with custom firmware in bridge mode as my modem, connected to a MikroTik Hex which then has an unmanaged Netgear GS308 connected. I then have everything I possibly can plugged into the switch: DLink DIR-882 with Openwrt as my AP, PiHole, 2x games consoles, Fire HD and a Freeview Satellite box. Lastly there is a smaller network upstairs connected via a powerline adapter (this small network will be left as is); it’s only feeding an RPI and BluRay player which rarely get used.

I’m looking for a managed switch to implement VLANs and generally learn more about networks. Layer 3 is intriguing owing to it’s flexibility. I understand I will highly likely not need it but having something extra and not using it will do no harm I guess. Is the Cisco SG-350-10P any good? What are their devices like for long term firmware support? They seem to be at a good price ~$250 USD (that’s £187 to me).

I want something completely silent, i.e. passive cooling, and have POE capability (af/at?) for future devices, additional switches, cameras, etc.

I am not adverse to using the command line (being used to BSD and GNU/Linux based systems) or configuring devices manually. I’ve seen a lot of videos about UniFi equipment and not overly keen on committing to one vendor, or having another device to manage other devices, I am happy to configure devices individually, even if it takes longer. I do like the look of seeing what’s occurring using a dashboard though.

I want to set up some VLANs though I don’t have an exact plan yet but for starters I want to be able to put our work laptops (conected to wifi, like most devices in the house) into their own VLAN, prioritise their traffic, and limit other devices speeds based on their VLAN. Additionally, I want to stop my wireless printer accessing the internet - I wouldn’t be surprised one day if it stopped working due to having unapproved ink cartridges. It’s rarely used but nearly any device will need to access it still.

Most of my equipment is in one corner of the house and sits in a TV unit which is why I don’t want a loud switch or a really big one although there is room for one. All 8 ports are currently utilised but if I can still use it to free up ports on the main managed switch I will. I am not sure if it supports VLANs. I think I can get a cheap smart switch if not?

We have a fair number of wifi devices - and expanding - like everyone else. The OpenWRT router seems to be working fine, but isn’t running a stable version as there isn’t one for it. I don’t fully trust it. The power adapter is a bit fragile (I had to wrap electrical tape around it to hold it together a bit better) and because of where it is, I have to feed it with a single point extension lead because the one that came with it is too short, so having a cleaner set up with one ethernet cable would be good. Any suggestions? It would not been keen on having something with lower specs than the DIR-882 (given that it was £40 or so brand new, I imagine that will be easy to achieve).

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Sorry, if this post is a bit all over the place, I’ve rewritten it over and over.

Given you have purchased your router so to speak, I don’t think a switch for the home is such a big deal. I’m running pfsense with several Netgear switches around the house.

If you intend on daisy chaining switches then you would lose 2 ports in a LACP aggregation. Perhaps it’s worth having more ports, however, PoE costs a bit more unless you get a deal and fans are just hit or miss if they are loud or not, maybe you just get use to the background din.

I will say, read the manuals, check if they are still supported, LACP, SNMP aren’t on all switches, but handy if you fall down the rabbit hole.

My access point is the TPLink EAP245, I love it :slight_smile: however, it’s more because it can be placed optimally for a good signal. It has 8+8 SSiDs, but I believe you can use SSiD groups (might be called something else) to overcome these limits though I haven’t looked at it. It also has a great portal for guests so you don’t have to give them your password though I use RADIUS for my wifi authentication.

I’m in the UK too with crappy PlusNet speeds, though I will say using limiters to reduce bufferbloat has transformed my surfing experience. Web pages are really snappy, download speeds still crappy.

Over the last 6 months, I haven’t generally seen good deals on kit, prices are all over the place, that’s before you even finding it.