Network Best Practices? Advice, Suggestions, Fun Naming

hey MPUers,

I have Unifi Products (Switch, Router, APs, etc) and I have been heavily adding more devices to be HomeKit compatible.

Anyone have suggestions for best network practices?

Example:
How many SSIDs?
Do you separate the 2.4 and 5Ghz? Or do you combine under 1?
How many networks do you have? How do you decide? VLANs? etc.
Lastly, any cool naming conventions? haha.

Without knowing anything about you, your expertise, your requirements, or your home, it’s difficult to make specific recommendations. But, speaking as someone who has built a reasonably sized enterprise network and is now tasked with securing it, the overriding best practice that I adhere to is to keep it as simple as you possibly can.

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I wasn’t very creative when I set up my first network. I named devices with 3 letters for the geographic location, 3 letters for the device type, and 3 letters for the location within the facility. So a Windows server in Chicago might be CHGNT4DTC, a printer in Mexico MEXHP4LOB, etc.

OTOH, I once trained in Florida on Mickey, Minnie, Walt and Goofy, and years later after changing jobs I inherited Worf and Riker. Pick something meaningful to you. Don’t hesitate to have a little fun.

Create a Vlan that is assigigned to a ssid with guest permissions for IOT devices.

Do the same for guest users

Enable fast roaming

Add a RaspberryPi running a Pihole DNS filter

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Combining 2.4 and 5GHz simplifies things like home automation.
Adding networks, etc. will exponentially increase the “fiddle factor”, which is fine if you want it to be a hobby and not an appliance.

As far as WiFi naming, when I was in an apartment mine was “We Can Hear You Having Sex”. In hopes the neighbors would see it.

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One SSID with bands combined for our personal network.
One guest network where the bandwidth is throttled (so I might keep the lion’s share, heh).
We’re using a mesh network because the house has a few blind spots. That’s all. :slight_smile:

And they DID see it, and renamed their network “We Can Hear You Having Sex 2”.

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I also have combined SSIDs, but that in itself has caused problems. I have a NanoLeaf Canvas which gets its wifi details via the iPhone (and I’ve heard of other devices that do this). Well the iPhone 11 Pro almost always prefers 5GHz but the Canvas only does 2.4GHz and it simply doesn’t work.

Without being able to turn off 5GHz, even temporarily, on my router the trick was to turn down the power on 5GHz and then perform the set up as far away from the router as you can get.

As for SSID names, the best I ever heard of was “Pretty Fly for a WiFi”.

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We live in an apartment block with shared bins, with one household always failing to recycle properly (paper in general waste, cardboard boxes put in the paper recycling empty and not flattened). A neighbour renamed their wifi “SORT YOUR RECYCLING”.

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How do you life Unifi? Why did you choose that over Eero or Orbi? Thanks.

Before Unifi, I had a Netgear Nighthawk X6 Router. No matter what I did in the house or added I either has complete loss of wifi, or extremely reduced speeds. When I started researching about a year ago or so roughly, I asked a few of my friends. I am not sure if this changed (I assume it has). But they would consistently mention problems connecting with their Synology. In addition, one of the goals when I first moved into my home was to have a more wired solution to all my devices and to eventually add cameras to my home. I was irritated by the Ring system (still am). Obviously things change over time, I currently have 4 APs in the house and I still need to add 2 more runs in the house. But as I add more IoT devices, I want to be careful of my network. I removed almost all my Amazon devices from the house (replaced with HomePod Minis and I still have the Ecobee but with the microphone muted). After this the next project is figuring out my camera system. (Unifi Camera system, now that they have a doorbell option)…or something HomeKit compatible.

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I’m not impressed with my Synology router RT2600ac. I frequently have to restart my Apple TV 4K due to it not being able to connect to WiFi (12’ away on the floor above), something that didn’t happen with my Apple AirPort Extreme. It also has those goofy antennae. At the time, I needed it for “hair pinning”, but now am thinking about going back to the AirPort Extreme (when sufficiently annoyed).

One reason people may not choose Eero is that it is only available in a handful of countries. In fact last I looked, it was two. One of a handful of brands that advertise heavily on borderless media like podcasts. :man_shrugging:

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There must be something else going on. I have more then 30 installed with clients and they are trouble free.

“FBI surveillance van” is an other fun one :star_struck:

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Chose Orbi too because I have zero faith in Amazon’s long term commitment to Eero, and Orbi was sold in the Apple Store, and I’ve owned many good Netgear products for 20 years.

I replied to this in the other thread. I am VERY impressed with my RT2600ac. No issues, very fast, handles heavy loads like a charm,… and has a ton of features.

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Mine is currently set to ‘SpiderLAN’ because it makes me chuckle.

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Eero Pro’s IMO are excellent- worth every penny.
In the UK they are sold in Apple stores

I starting naming my laptops after types of small chickens. My old 11-inch Macbook Air is bantam. My 2018 13-inch Macbook Pro is barnevelder.

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