Application virtualization, IoT and Cloud Computing, Blog of Sacha Thomet

network

How to bring your network back online in minutes with Ubiquiti UniFi gear

Less than a month ago I decided to buy a new WiFi Access Point to increase the quality and possibilities of my Home Wifi. Until now I just had a “Fritzbox” which is already very nice for home use. Fritz does anything, Fast WiFi, Modem, Router, Voip, Call answer machine, DECT Gateway and it’s stable and easy to configure. Of course I wished to have a more enterprise like network setup, especially because also my lab environment is in my home network and a lot of IoT stuff. But honestly the components I had known that allows enterprise features was not in my budget.

So first plan was to just increase WiFi. I just bought ans Ubiquiti UniFi AP-AC-Pro without any ulterior motive. But to be honest, the new AP was like a starter drug. I saw what all is possible and for a price which is also payable for home use and with no extra license costs. I don’t want to write a review here about my new awesome Ubiquiti gear, if you wish to know more about that stuff see here the blog post from my fellow CTP Jason Samuel: Building a secure high visibility WiFi network using Ubiquiti Networks UniFi gear

Just to say, now, some weeks later I have a Router (UniFi Security Gateway 3P), a managed Switch (UniFi Switch 16 POE-150W) and two WiFi AccessPoints (UniFi AP-AC-Pro and UniFi AP-AC-LR) in my Network from Ubiquiti. Finally I’m able to segment my home network in virtual networks (VLANs) and to make all more transparent, hopefully more secure and of course easier to manage for me. Currently I have 3 different WiFi SSIDs and 4 VLANs. Software defined network is great and let me do things i just dreamed before. When I think about all the “use cases” I’m now really sure that a lot of Security considerations should be made for improvements in the network segment should be done … but that’s another topic …

The USG 3P, UniFi Security Gateway comes with 3 Ports, WAN, LAN and Voip. The Software of this devices will be always further developed and new features comes with every new version. Some features are also implemented as beta features, e.g also to make out of the Voip a WAN2 port:

With this feature it’s possible to have a Second WAN link and to use it as Failover or as Weighted LB. Of course for home use a second WAN link is not common. But definitely interesting for some small companies or maybe branch offices which need a reliable connection to the internet.

I have currently only one connection to the Internet, a cable connection with 250M down and 25M up from “Quickline”. Until now when I had an outage I was still able to use my 4G WiFi Hotspot from Huawei to access the Internet with my Laptop.

Last Saturday my Cable Internet connection was interrupted exact in that moment where I was doing some lab works with my network components. So I decided to have a closer look at this WAN 2 Feature. I connected a Zyxel travel router (NBG2105) with the Cat5 cable to the USG and with WLAN to my 4G WiFi router, I configured the Voip Port for WAN2. Wow after 30 minutes I was back online with my whole network.

On WAN2 there can just be anything what is providing an Internet link and give an IP address via DHCP in my case. Of course first I connected the Zyxel NBG2105 with the cable to my laptop and connected with it to my WiFi router. The most important thing here with the NBG2105 is that the Switch is set to Client:

Of course the Speed of 4G is not near my cable connection but it’s still better than be offline:

And now I have not just the solution to “How to get back online” but rather also to “Stay always online”.

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