Now that I’ve had a couple of years to get used to running a Ubiquiti network setup, I thought I’d give an update with how it’s all going…
Overall, my impression is very positive with Ubiquiti’s Unifi line. For someone who is somewhat tech savvy and can handle learning new concepts, the ecosystem is very user friendly and powerful.
For the majority of the last two years I have run a pretty simple setup – everything on a single network. But lately I’ve been taking it a step further and segregating all of the IoT devices onto their own network and VLAN. The reason for this is two-fold: reduction of chatter on the user network (some of these devices “call home” upwards of 1,000’s of times a day), and more importantly, for security. IoT is becoming more and more of a vector for security exploits, etc.
Getting this IoT segregation running has been a good learning experience as I’ve had to brush up on VLAN’s, firewall rules, and mDNS.
What else am I running?
This project is amazing – whole-house advertisement blocking that runs on a tiny Raspberry Pi. There are caveats, such as YouTube video ads are difficult to block, but for the most part Pi-Hole gives you the ability to reduce ads served to you and also block any traffic you might want to not have leaving your network (i.e. smart TV’s reporting home what you are viewing).
When you couple Pi-Hole with browser-based extensions like uBlock Origin, ad-blocking reaches close to 100%.
We recently upgraded our gaming machines, and with the old hardware I was able to put together a decent system to run FreeNAS. All I had to purchase was four 4 TiB Western Digital Red drives as the main storage pool, giving the total capacity of 7.3 TiB’s in RAIDZ2.
FreeNAS as a project is very nice, and it provides this concept of running virtual machines within “jails”, expanding it’s utility depending on the power of the host hardware. I’m working on getting Plex setup as one of the items that FreeNAS will host, which just makes sense because FreeNAS is where we store all of our digital media.
Intel NUC Core i7
On the NUC, I’ve been dipping my toes into the world of Docker. So far, I’m running Portainer, Home Assistant, and Watchtower.