Using 2nd Cube as a Switch: Some Questions


  • I wouldn’t call this “troubleshooting” per se, but I’ve just ordered another black cube to use as a “switch” for the most part (via ethernet backhaul). My questions are as follows:

    • Can I just use it as a switch, e.g. no SSID? Would this just be “bridge” mode?
    • If I do decide to leave the SSID, and put it in “bridge” mode, could I pair Teleports to it, e.g. use this as a dedicated Teleport “hub” (for lack of a better term), this offloading all the processing to this device?
    • Is configuration data replicated between 2 cubes set up as backhauls? Management is of course super easy as is, but the less I have to do on my own the better.

    Will it really just act as a switch in this case?

    My desired scenario is that I need more ports, and @UBNT-Gunars told me to get one of these and use it as a backaul, basically so I get 3 extra ports (or is it only two extra? I have 4 devices plugged in to my existing router...backhaul takes one off the existing, but I’ll plug that in to the WAN port on the new cube, right? So I get all 4 ports?). I’m planning on pairing numerous Teleports to my home network in the future, so I’m hoping I can use this device to offload all the processing power by only paring Teleports to it.

    I hope this makes sense, and is doable by just adding another cube to my existing setup.


  • @jayson-knight I've had this setup for many months.

    • Can I just use it as a switch, e.g. no SSID? Would this just be “bridge” mode? - It's not "bridge" mode, perse, there's a specific setting to say "use wired backhaul for this device" which sets it up as such.
    • If I do decide to leave the SSID, and put it in “bridge” mode, could I pair Teleports to it, e.g. use this as a dedicated Teleport “hub” (for lack of a better term), this offloading all the processing to this device? Nope, doesn't work that way.
    • Is configuration data replicated between 2 cubes set up as backhauls? Management is of course super easy as is, but the less I have to do on my own the better. Once the secondary unit is setup for wired-backhaul, the majority of other settings go away and things just work.

  • @jayson-knight

    but I’ll plug that in to the WAN port on the new cube, right?

    Yes, uplink goes to the WAN port.

    Interesting idea about offloading Teleport CPU usage. I guess it makes sense – at least in theory. You'd need to set the new router in bridge mode for that, but there is no way to disable its SSIDs. Best you can do is hide them, and select a channel that's different from the main router to conserve airtime.

    Is configuration data replicated between 2 cubes set up as backhauls

    Yes, if the new router is connected as a mesh point, it will be controlled by the main unit. Satellite nodes can't talk to Teleports, though.


  • @ubnt-gunars @Jeremy-Ragan You guys rock, thank you. I’ll try both configurations and see what works for me. Shame that I had to drop 150 for what amounts to just a switch, but I want to keep things simple and not have to keep up with yet another suite of management software (I was pretty close to rolling with Unifi UBNT equipment before I decided to just keep it simple).

    4 ports really isn’t enough though, would be great if UBNT could release an Amplifi badged switch that was just as easy to maintain, and that was cheap(er).

    Thanks for the responses, this sounds like it’ll be easy to do.


  • Hi @ubnt-gunars - back in the original Teleport Beta you advised setting up the Teleport's paired router independently in Bridge mode behind the main router so that the beta router firmware would not affect the rest of the network.

    The downsides are that the router needs to be managed independently from your main network and you have the extra SSID's (although you could re-pupose them as dedicated SSID's for fixed devices if you located the extra independent routers strategically 😉 )

    I have been running this way ever since without any Teleport issues.

    This is also why I requested the option to turn OFF the WiFi on main routers if they are creating unnecessary SSID access points.

    It would actually be nice if you could take advantage of wired backhaul routers being used as MeshPoints to host Teleport's VPN to help offload the main router's CPU, instead of using independent Bridge mode routers.
    Let the main router route (FW + NAT + QoS) and meshpoints do the VPN heavy lifting.

    For the few of us that want to run multiple Teleports simultaneously, maybe in a future Teleport setup app update, let the user choose which 'cube' hosts the VPN?


  • @derek-saville said in Using 2nd Cube as a Switch: Some Questions:

    It would actually be nice if you could take advantage of wired backhaul routers being used as MeshPoints to host Teleport's VPN to help offload the main router's CPU, instead of using independent Bridge mode routers.

    Only a few percent of our customers use wired backhaul at this time, and wirelessly connected satellites are already taxed by two-way traffic. If you see us doing this, we've probably lost track of priorities. 🙂


  • Hi @ubnt-gunars - i wasn't expecting it to be a high priority...just an idea for when you have nothing left on your to-do list 😀
    Maybe I can make some tinfoil hat Faraday cages to slip over cubes to shut down their WiFi...


  • Awesome, I'm in the 2% club. I feel so.. unique..


  • @jayson-knight Thought I’d throw a few screenshots out to you if what an HD router looks like in wired-backhaul mode:0_1528487051046_7D39C655-FEB5-4DBA-AD58-D2AF7B663092.jpeg
    0_1528487068600_CE2DE52E-BE02-4EBF-90EC-D0ECB37807B0.jpeg


  • I got mine in the post earlier today and set it up, loving it so far, though my hopes of tying a Teleport directly to it didn’t pan out. I don’t need the complications of a managed switch, so this worked out beautifully. Thanks to all for the feedback.


  • Turns out the backhaul setup is killing my wifi speeds. Any suggestions as to why? The two cubes are sitting right next to each other, is that a problem due to channel overlap?


  • @jayson-knight yeah, absolutely. Why do you have them sitting beside each other?


  • @jeremy-ragan Because I’m just using it as a switch. I needed more ports, and the UBNT staff told me to get one of these instead of a managed Ubiquiti switch just to keep it simple. But it’s absolutely causing a LOT of problems on my network. I might send it back and just roll with a managed switch at this point. Clients are dropping connections randomly (but will reconnect fairly quickly), and the speed drop is a big problem. If I could just turn the radio off inside of it, it’d be fine.

    How far away from each would they need to be to not stomp on each other? I’m just trying to keep my home network simple (I work in IT professionally, not looking to have another “career” managing a home network lol).


  • Hi @jayson-knight - this is just my understanding and there may be more complex factors at play or things I have wrong too!

    AmpliFi does not have dedicated backhaul wireless radios.

    So the wireless mesh points configure themselves on the same band channels for communication (or simplicity)

    AmpliFi added Ethernet backhaul, but did not add an option to change the band channels on the wired mesh points, so you are still stuck with the single band channel configuration.

    So having two mesh points next to each other with wired backhaul will be seen as nearly the same, and how are clients supposed to choose?
    I don’t fully understand the airtime fairness, guard intervals, etc., but if you have multiple devices and access points competing on the same band and channel, they need to play nicely and share, which lowers your available total bandwidth per device.

    Ideally, AmpliFi would allow an option to change channels on Ethernet backhaul mesh points, or have the Pause mesh point option disable the WiFi radios (and only wake them up if the WAN Ethernet cable is unplugged)

    Before you return the router, consider converting it to an independent Bridge mode configuration.
    Take it offline and have your main router “hide” it to forget it.
    Do a factory reset and then power it up.
    Instead of joining your mesh, do a stand-alone router install, just if you were setting up a brand new system, but give it a different SSID and login -this router has to be managed separately.
    You might take your main router offline and plug into your modem if it isn’t going easily.
    Once it is working as a router then you can pair a Teleport if necessary - don’t bother finishing the configuration yet.
    Now change the new router to Bridge mode and take it offline.

    If you bring your main network and router up you should be able to plug the new second router into it.
    Since it is in Bridge mode it will pull the IP address and DNS from your main router, the switch will work, and you have a new SSID to configure, where you can manually change the channels if it didn’t already avoid your main network, so they don’t interfere.

    At this point you could also set up the Teleport that was paired to the new router.
    However, I think you said you won’t use UPnP, so you will probably need to do more port configuration on your main and secondary routers.

    The secondary router is independent and has to be managed separately in the app, logging out of one router and logging in to the other.
    But you can do most things you need with the web interface and the LCD of the secondary Bridge router.
    It isn’t part of your main network or mesh.
    It becomes more of a combo switch + access point + VPN host.

    I just wish we could turn the WiFi off, although you can hide the additional SSID’s.
    Just make sure they are on a different channel from your main network.


  • @derek-saville This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and I actually thought to myself earlier before I bought it that I should configure it in bridge mode, then promptly forgot about it. I know you and I have had some dialogues on other threads about some of the things you’ve mentioned, but I never got around to asking you exactly how you set yours up. This is perfect man. Virtual round of drinks are on me. Oh, and this will also solve some double NATting issues I’m running into. Seriously dude, thank you for taking the time to type this up.

    @UBNT-Gunars you guys should consider incorporating this into some sort of official KB article. I realize people like me and Derek are in the vast minority. Derek’s solution also allows us to have dedicated cubes for Teleports though. But really I’d love to see an Amplifi branded switch at some point...just really trying to keep things simple at home, and it turns out your recommendation for me to buy another cube to use as a switch has actually complicated things even more (it was a good suggestion, not knocking you for it, it’s just not as trivial as it sounded on paper). 2.7 has been an awesome update for my overall network stability, with Derek’s recommendations, I’ll be exactly where I want to be, and once the kernel rewrite is done on the Teleport, I can start deploying them. I’ll also start recommending this configuration for other folks like me, because managing Amplifis is so incredibly easy.


  • Hi @jayson-knight - Bridge mode should be pretty straight forward.
    Just know you may want to be sure to manually set the channels and things can get a little weird in dense WiFi areas, like apartment buildings where everyone is trying to find the least congestion, and you are adding more.
    Let us know how it goes.

    I have seen some pretty strange Teleport behavior lately too.
    Similar to what others have reported where it stalls at different phases.
    Don’t be surprised if it takes many attempts / reboots or different outside networks.
    My cellular hot spot was always reliable until recently - now it is sporadic to make connections.

    Good luck


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