[Question] Home Setup

Hello All,

Before I go any further if this is not a topic that shouldn’t be discussed, by all means, please delete it.

I am wanting to move away from my current setup. Below you will see my present setup:

ATT - Gig Fiber (Arris BGW-210-700)
ASUS 88U Router -
TP-Link 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch

Proposed new setup:

PFSense build - ( Intel Core i5-3470T 2.9GHz 3MB Dual Core, 4gb Ram, Intel PRO 1000 VT Quad Port Gigabit PCIe x4)

Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch ES-24-250W Managed PoE+ 24-Port Gigabit Switch with SFP

Four people in the household, one who is a teenager, has all the consoles, (XBOX One, PS4, Switch and Computer, should I say he’s an avid gamer)

Wife - Netflix, Hulu, Surfing the net checking emails

Several Rokus
UNRaid Server
Laptops, iPhones, (the house is usually full of teenagers)

I have tried PFSense before, back in 2009, and hadn’t tried it since, and after doing some research, and stumbling across Tom’s channel, I want to take the plunge again. I have a few questions, I am hoping to get answered or at least pointed in the right direction.

The hardware I have selected, would it suffice?

I was thinking of using my Asus router as an AP until I can get a Ubiquiti Nano HD. (2200 sq foot home)

Need to ensure these teenagers don’t freakout if they can’t all play their consoles at the same time, sometimes they have PS4, or XBOX parties and all play at the same time.

I know PFSense isn’t like the over the regular consumer routers, (ie, ASUS, Linksys, Netgear etc, etc)
I don’t mind getting my hands dirty to learn more, and with this day and age, I would feel a little safer having more control than having none at all.

I appreciate all your time, and any help will be grateful.

-Semper Fi

The i5 is more than sufficient for pfsense. I use an i3 and that is overkill…I rarely see over 3% CPU (more like 0-1%) and I am running a VPN server at the same time. Do you have any plans to separate IOT or other devices onto separate networks? If so, then the Asus router/access point might not be sufficient as it is not VLAN capable as an access point. You would need another WiFi or a VLAN capable access point like one of the many Unifi models or run the Asus as a router in a double NAT configuration thus keeping the guest network but adding a bit of network complexity.

I did this same project about 12-18 months ago and I am really pleased with the change.

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@jeff3820 Thank you for your response. The last thing I want to do is make things more complex for myself than I have to. I was looking on replacing the ASUS, with the Unifi Nano HD. (I only need one correct?) So, I am going to expedite that Unifi Nano HD purchase. What say you?

Yes, I was planning on separating things on the network.
(not sure about this one but if you have ideas or links please send them my way)

I too am running VPN, and was hoping not to get a big performance hit, any thoughts on this?

Again I appreciate all your input, and help.

-Semper Fi

The nano HD should do fine. I have the AC-HD and run 3 VLANs to keep things separated. No real hit on the OpenVPN server but it depends on you network connection. Your i5 has tons of horsepower for pfsense. 4 megs of ram is good…will you be using a SSD as well? You won’t need much space at all.

With the nanaHD, what are you planning to use for the unifi controller? Also for vlans, your switch needs to be vlan aware…and capable of supplying POE for the nanoHD. Most of the unifi switches should work fine. I have both the 16-150 and the 8-60. No issues at all with either

@jeff3820 Thanks again, my network connection from ATT is Fiber Gig.

I do have an 80 gig msata I was thinking of using.

Regarding the Unifi controller, I was stuck on this one. I haven’t the slightest idea, do you have a suggestion? (at some point I’d like to add camera’s but probably not more than four or five, if that helps)

This is the switch I will be using - Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch ES-24-250W Managed PoE+ 24-Port Gigabit Switch with SFP (should cover the POE and VLAN)

-Semper Fi

To keep things straightforward, and make it easy, why don’t you use the Unifi version of the switch. That would be the US-24-250W. Same switch but controlled by the Unifi controller. There is a 16 port version (16-150W) as well as 8 port versions (8-150W and 8-60W) if you don’t need all 24 ports. For the controller, the cloud key gen2+ is the way to go. It just plugs into the POE switch and it controls all of the Unifi equipment (Nano HD and Unifi switch). Tom has a great video on how to configure all with a pfsense router.

The key is to plan the network and implement in stages.

I already have the EdgeMax Switch en-route, should be arriving tomorrow, that is why I can’t use the Unifi switch. So just a summary of our talk;

Router is good to go - PFSense build, (i5 (AES-NI (Yes), 4gb Ram, mobo 2 intel nics, pcie 4 port Intel VT 1000, nic card)
Switch - EdgeMax 24 POE+ (Will power POE devices and do VLan)
Controller - Cloud Key Gen2+
AP - Unifi NanoHD

I think I saw Tom’s video about configuring all the devices to PFSense, but I’ll look at his video channel again and look for it.

Is there anything else I am missing? (going to order the AP and controller this week)

If you have any reading links, or videos, (I subscribe to Tom’s channel and have learned a great deal. The funny and sad thing is, while I have learned a great deal, it kind of scares you even more on what’s out there.

This 'Ole Marine appreciates all your patience, in answering my questions while educating me. I am grateful.

-Semper Fi

The edge switch will work fine…for vlans you will just have to learn about tagging and untagging ports but all should work well.

Here is Tom’s video: https://youtu.be/b2w1Ywt081o

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Thanks a ton brother! I actually saw this video but couldn’t find it. Thanks for posting it for me to watch again and again.

I made my controller and AP purchase just before I responded. I should be getting it on Thursday! I’m so stoked!!!

Thanks again…

-Semper Fi

@jeff3820 After mulling it over, and re reading our conversation, I went and purchased the Unify 24 POE+. Thanks, brother, wish me luck. I may keep the Edgeswitch, not sure as it hasn’t arrived yet.

Thanks again.

-Semper Fi

The unifi switch will make this easier…just follow Tom’s video. As you get comfortable with pfsense you can start to get more elaborate.

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I am watching again as we speak! Thanks again brother.

-Semper Fi