New here, new Construction home setup

  • Home being built (basement, 1st floor and 2nd floor), the network box is in the basement. Box has 3 cat6 runs terminating to it, and will have FIOS modem next to it. I personally would like my alien on first floor where I have one Ethernet terminated, and then add a second mesh point on the third floor (no Ethernet).

    I've seen where this setup is possible with adding a switch in the network box allows me to move the main alien to any of the terminated cat6 runs. My question is with doing so, will that eliminate the other devices that are connected to the switch from being controlled by the alien router? For example currently my Ethernet devices I can see in app and or on the alien screen, and can turn them on or off.

    Thanks For the help.

  • @sneakerz4me my house is also under construction, and will have star topology ethernet radiating from a common point in the garage (where my Cable modem and switch will be located). I'm not certain from your discussion whether you have Ethernet cable running to your second floor or not, and I also realize that I don't know whether the Ethernet Backhaul connecting two Aliens can be routed through a switch, or whether it must be direct point-to-point. I'm hoping someone here can address that, because I don't think the drywall is in yet (the house is 240 miles away).

    Your question is of course different, but I think you're asking whether having some devices connected to Ethernet switches (and those of course include the switches on the Aliens themselves means they'd be "confused" if those peripheral devices had the capability of being connected by Wi-Fi. That's not the case, and unless I'm wrong, if one Alien is doing DHCP, I think it can sever or connect ANY of the devices that receive their IP address from it, whether their connection is wired or wireless.

    But then I may be misunderstanding your question completely, because for now I have only one Alien in the house.

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  • @sneakerz4me From everything I have read the cost of running ethernet to all floors on new construction is cheaper than having to jerry-rig something after construction. Unless there is a reason (other than extravagant cost) to not run ethernet to all floors, then I suggest running ethernet to the 2nd/3rd floor (you mentioned both in your post).

  • @James-Earl-Ford I agree. But I f'd that up. House is almost complete and I didn't get ports on 3rd floor.

  • @sneakerz4me Sorry to hear that. I answered the way I did because you had stated it was new construction.

    If you haven't purchased the second Alien then I would try it with the one Alien on the first floor to see if there is really a need for the second Alien. I have purchased devices anticipating a problem, only to find out that there was no problem once the initial devices were installed and tested.

    Good luck.

  • @James-Earl-Ford thanks. First floor is the basement, which is where I'll put the router first and see if it goes. I'm expecting the worse lol I appreciate the help.

  • Hi @sneakerz4me - if the Alien will be your primary DHCP router any device you want it to control needs to be connected to the LAN side of the Alien

    So you would either need to put the primary Alien in the basement and connect the 3 cat6 lines to its LAN ports and complete the rest of the network on the upper floors with RAMPs

    Or if possible, pull a second Ethernet cable to the location where you would like the primary Alien router located on the 1st floor
    Then you would attached one of the two Ethernet cables from the FIOS modem to the WAN port of the primary Alien router, and then use the second Ethernet line from an Alien router LAN port back down to the basement, into a switch with the other 2 Ethernet cables connected to the other locations

    There is a 3rd alternative if you can't pull a second line, but it adds another layer of complexity and can connect 2 managed switches at the ends of the Ethernet cable from the basement to the 1st floor where you want the primary Alien and VLAN trunk the single Ethernet cable into 2 separate virtual lines, but this divides the bandwidth, so if you want gigabit throughput on both the WAN and LAN side, you will need a managed switch with at least 2.5G multi-gig ports and confirm the Ethernet cable is also capable of sustaining 2.5G speeds

    At that point, if you haven't yet invested too much into Alien, you might consider an alternative of using a dedicated basement router (i.e. UDM, UDM Pro) with WiFi access points on the upper floors

    If you are going to stay in the UBNT ecosystem and need 802.11ax their WiFI-6 (U6) access points are getting closer to release...

    The U6-Long Range is still at Pre-Order and the U6-Mesh in Early Access
    (it is rumored U6-In Wall didn't pass FCC certification for 802.11ax due to a chipset issue, which is also why the U6-Pro was repurposed as the U6-LR)
    The U6-Switch also mentions AP's with 2.5G Ethernet backhaul, so those are likely on the horizon as 'Pro' models

  • @Derek-Saville I really like the UDM/UDM Pro suggestion. The downside is the money already spent on the Alien, although I suspect it could be sold at a price that will recover a lot of its initial cost.

  • Hi @James-Earl-Ford - would you recommend a hybrid installation with a UDM in the basement and try out the Aliens for the mesh access points?

    He specifically mentioned “...currently my Ethernet devices I can see in app and or on the alien screen, and can turn them on or off.” and I wasn’t sure how well that would be replicated on the UDM app UI (Alien in Bridge mode)

    I also wasn’t sure how well the Alien was handling RAMPs on the WAN port of the bridged Alien as I haven’t had a need or chance to try it out

    If the UDM + UniFi app gives the overall same ease of use then selling the Alien and getting a UDM and a couple of AP’s seems like the way to go for that layout

  • @Derek-Saville My initial reaction was why to add that level of complication when it is not needed by going with a total Ubiquiti solution. This situation was created because he did not include ports on the 2nd floor so why add a potential complication that may manifest itself now or later? I understand wanting to use the Alien since he already owns it but the market is still hot for the Alien so it should be fairly easy to sell.

    While it may be fun and challenging to put this hybrid together which is something we techies like to do, it can lead to unforeseen issues at a time when we don't have the time or money to resolve it. I have done things like that and years later I run into problems that causes me to say, "why didn't I do right when I had the chance?".

  • @James-Earl-Ford sorry I'm a noob at this stuff. But with the UDM pro, isn't that just a switch? Would I still need a router connected to the modem and then to the UDM?

  • @sneakerz4me No it has a built-in router. The UDM-Pro is a rack-mounted device while the UDM can sit anywhere. If you have a lot of devices to be physically connected a switch will be needed. There are a lot of options for switches, both big and small. The UDM I installed for my daughter has an 8 port switch to connect her local devices, mainly printers. She is a Mobile Notary and needs multiple printers to do her job. All the rest of her devices (20-25) are connected via WiFi.

    Unifi Dream Machine (UDM) -

    Unifi Dream Machine Pro (UDM Pro) -

  • why to add that level of complication when it is not needed by going with a total Ubiquiti solution

    Hi @James-Earl-Ford - unfortunately for some folks items on the list are still deal breakers preventing a UDM or Ubiquiti from being a solution yet

    And since the OP mentioned the AmpliFi app, I wasn't sure if the new UniFi App was a suitable replacement for his needs since the app got yanked and I didn't have time to play around with it

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