Thinking of replacing unifi switch / AP

I’m in the process of replacing unifi setup, mainly because I’ve “outgrown” my SOHO setup and there aren’t suitable upgrade paths …

One of the main reasons is wanting to go beyond 1Gb for some key things but not having to shell out on their enterprise 2.5G switch, although it might turn out to be better value than multiple switches ?..

Today I need :
SPF+ server connection
SPF+ pfSense
2.5G Wifi-6 Access point ( PoE).
2.5G laptop
10G Ethernet to link one maybe 2 computers.

the rest TVs, etc. will stay on 1Gb.
I also have 6 PoE cameras.

Needs to have VLAN support and ideally a web interface as I’m not into command lines.

I think I’ll have to buy a couple of switches. I was thinking of a “backbone switch” then a 1Gb PoE switch and just use an injector for a 2.5Gb AP.

QNAP have some interesting devices for around £300 GBP.
Any other suggestions?

Are you actually maxing out a 1gb link using a wireless device? What on earth are you doing with it?

Would the US-XG-6POE not give you what you need? (In addition to what you have currently)
(£450 ish)

You are going to struggle to get anything any where near the same quality as unifi with as easy a setup for anywhere near the same price point.

It’s mainly when I’m ingesting photos / videos or moving projects to / from my NAS things could be faster.
Ideally everything would be wired 10Gb but cost and convenience are the barriers.

A faster backbone and wifi would be beneficial.
Especially when we’re also streaming movies from plex etc. and I imagine it’s not good for my CCTV system either maxing out like that so I want more headroom.

Unifi is a nice UI but really to create networks and assign vlans to ports its overkill.
I already ditched my USG and moved to pfSense.

I did think about the US-XG-6POE, but it would be full from day one leaving no room for expansion. Also I dont think there is a unifi AP with 2.5 GB and I only have a single cable.

I have contemplated on going 10G for my photos / videos workflow. But the cost of a new 10G capable NAS + 10G switch, as well as the ecological footprint of running a newer bigger NAS the whole time, and last but not least the mixed reviews on actual througput from computer to NAS made me forget about it all and I got myself a local hard drive with fast RAID0 config. It’s only running when I’m doing my photo/video work, it’s plenty fast (over 450 Mb/s), it’s much cheaper than the 10G equipment.

Sure if you have a large network and you are trunking multiple 1G 48 port switches together to a high capacity backbone and internet connection, that’s when you want the 10G US-XG-PoE (or the older XG-16 port), and that is what UniFi is marketing it for if you check out the XG line of switches on the UI web site.

By all means if you want to spend the money you can play with enterprise network gear, but I doubt if you need it for your use case.



Obviously it’s your cash but it sounds like you are potentially going to spend quite a bit o cash and make your network more difficult to manage for the sake of a fairly small benefit.

As @CableDude kinda said, the first thing to do is probably work out if your NAS is going to benefit from speeds above 1gb (both the network and the disk throughput).

If you want to do it because you want to do it and you have a wod of cash burning a hole in your pocket then that’s all good, just not sure that it actually makes sense.

Doing things that make sense is pretty important to me. For me to do something, I have to justify it even if it’s just for learning purposes. Given that I have 3 PCs that have 10G RJ45 ports, and that I’m going to buy a Synology NAS for backup and video collection… I think a 10G backbone is a good idea. I didn’t go Unify… I already had a Netgear Orbi mesh setup in the old house, so we just migrated that (and we’ll upgrade that to a solid Wifi 6 solution when we have more wifi 6 devices) and we’ll have full gig internet. My Orbi feeds into a Cisco CBS 350 48 port L3 switch with 4 SFP+ 10G uplinks. That will connect to, I believe, a Netgear XSM4324S, a 10G managed switch with 12 RJ45 and 12 SFP+, all 10G. So… The NAS, my 3 PCs will connect to that 10G. Also will be running 10G into rooms that have TVs (like the media room, for example), to future proof. Might buy a Netgate pfSense box too.

Damn expensive hobby… This is all for my personal enjoyment and learning.

Thanks all.

“managing” it isn’t really an issue as it will be set and forget, I barely looked at the unify interface as nice as it is and ended up switching to pfSense as the USG just isn’t up to the job. so the UI only really got used for setting up VLANs and ports.

The 1G current setup is a big bottleneck compared to anything else. I can’t even max out my WD reds nevermind the SSD drives on the server. Eventually I want a full SSD raid array for my day to day but cost is an issue now so I stick with an SSD “working / cache drive” and 8TB WD reds.

As nice as the Netgear XSM4324S is, it is way more than I want to spend. the US-16-XG is kind of similar. I did consider this but it lacks 2.5Gb ports. If this switch had 4 multi Gb sockets and PoE it would be ideal.

I liked QNAP as there were a couple of versions, with mix of SPF+ and multigigabit ports and I could uplink a couple of them to get everything I need but no PoE. e.g. a QNAP QSW-M408-4C or QSW-M2108-2C.

I doubt there is a single switch that does everything but I’d like to limit it to 2 and a single brand / UI if I can. I suppose my perfect switch with some free space would be along the lines of …

4 SPF+
4 multi-gigabit(PoE)
8 1Gb (PoE)

QNAP almost gets there but no PoE.

Well, it sure looks like you should go for it as it is clear that is what you want to do and that is absolutely fine.
Side note: may I ask which pfSense box you got?
Cheers, Pete

So are we saying in general …not up to the standard of unifi but to a more casual home user there are no real issues I should look out for with the likes of QNAP? I also found that Netgear are doing some new switches …MS510TXPP looks interesting.

My pfSense is virtualized. 4Gb of ram and a 2 cores with room to expand. It’s an i7-8700 box. I pass my NIC through so it has direct access.

My internet is only about 70mb and I route most things via OpenVPN. Routing between my VLANs is the biggest job it has but it seems perfectly happy routing at 1Gb. I don’t really have any complex firewall rules or traffic inspection between VLANs. My WD rReds will max out before pfSense.

Yep, that about sums it up. The Netgear kit has been solid for years, we used to build out high school networks with it before switching over to HP kit (HP = more expensive, great CLI and reliable but with less UI).

do beware that if your future 10GbE setup requires 10GbE inter VLAN routing (or Layer 3 routing), all of those packets will pass your 10GbE capable switch(es), then upward to your pfSense box, then down again into your core switch to propagate further down to the destination client. This will typically happen when you wish to send packets from one VLAN to another. Your router NIC is probably 1GbE so it will be the bottleneck.

If, of course, all of your 10GbE hungry clients are within the same VLAN, your switch will take care of it through L2 routing based on MAC addresses.


For internal connection you could consider a couple of Asustor AS-U2.5G2, that will give up to 2.5G between devices for a fraction of the cost.
An easy way to upgrade a NAS, laptop or desktop to 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet

thanks @garethw I’m thinking of settling on the Netgear MS510TX or MS510TXM perhaps with a PoE option. but I might just use an injector for my AP on a 2.5G connection and a cheaper 1GB PoE switch for CCTV.

@CableDude sure, but I plan to add SPF+ to my server box. HPE Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 530SFP+ Adapter looks like it works with FreeBSD. I did consider exposing my SMB shares on the same VLAN, but so far I haven’t had issues (at 1Gb at least). given my WD drives will be the main bottleneck I don’t think it will be an issue.

@Pogmahon yes, thanks, this is how I plan to hardwire my old laptop until I upgrade. that said I might see how wifi 6 performs first.

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