A simple upgrade to my home network

In case  you are wondering what is the thought process behind how someone winds up spending close to a 1000 SGD on just upgrades to a home network, wonder no more!

  • “Ok. Clearly having a WiFi network that’s 2.4 GHz just isn’t working any more”

That's a lot of Wifi points

  • “Since the Routerboard device I’m using doesn’t support 5 GHz WiFi, I’m going to need to pick up another WiFi router and make into an access point”
  • “If I’m going to be adding more access points, why not just make my Routerboard into an access point as well? I know I’m pretty annoyed by the fact that I can’t get a Speedtest result that shows me using anything more than 8% of my bandwidth allowance. Maybe 1 Gbps? Yeah, 1 Gbps sounds pretty good”
  • “Maybe I should pick up a EdgeRouter – that’s not too expensive right?”

Hours of reading forum posts and actually posting to forums yields a disappointing answer – some Firewall features I use on my Routerboard are only supported in “software-mode” by the EdgeRouter, which defeats the biggest USP of the device – hardware acceleration of firewall rules.

  • “Ok if I need to stick with Routerboard, what device can I get that handle my network config without maxing out its CPU”?

Turns out my ISP recommends that for the plan I’m subscribed to, I have to get a Mikrotik Cloud Core Router. More specifically, a CCR-1009-8G-1S-1S+PC ((You just gotta love these product names)). Gulp

  • “Ok I’ve bitten the bullet and bought a router that can power a small ISP ((Literally)). I’m guess I’m set now”
  • “Wait, if I want to have my current Routeboard act as an access point with a Guest WiFi network, I need to be able run VLAN’s?. What the hell is a VLAN?”
  • “Alright, so I need a switch that can support VLAN’s. Here’s hoping the dumb switch I bought 5 years ago supports passing VLAN’s”
  • “Guess that was too much to expect. Now I need a switch that can support tagging VLAN’s”

And that ladies and gentlemen, is how the idea of switching a home WiFi network from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz turns out to require new WiFi access points, new switches and a router that’s massively overpowered for a home network. Coming in the future – a post about what my home network looks like after all these upgrades are done.