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Nimblor

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2003
Trying to decide between a Mikrotik 3011 (RB3011UiAS-RM) and the TP link TL-ER7206. I would be including the Mikrotik 4011 (RB4011iGS+RM) which looks better than both but appears to be unavailable. Here is my pros and cons list but I am open to other recommendations. My budget is around $200. I will be using an older netgear r7000 router running fresh tomato as an AP until I get a dedicated one or two for my home.

TP link Pros - Easy interface, cheaper, have used a TP lInk powerline ethernet adapter for years that has worked like a champ : Cons - I don't trust the company very well despite my experience, I will have to use a Gb switch, I have an unmanaged 8 port Gb switch that works fine.

Mikrotik Pros - more ports (may not need to use the switch) , 1 POE out, seems like a more powerful unit : Cons - learning curve on settings, I have never worked with mikrotik before, more expensive.

I feel like there are enough rotuerOS guides out there to take the edge off of any learning curve with the Mikrotik. I did look at a thin client running pfsense or opensense as an option but I have reliability concerns with those options and it seems like a hassle. I need it to be able to handle a reverse proxy and some qos to make sure my plex server can do its job without getting bogged down by other traffic. I also know it is a bit of overkill and that the TP link 605 would probably be adequate but I like to think future forward for potential home automation.

Any thoughts and opinions are welcome as well as alternative suggestions.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
With your budget, and already owning switches, look at Ubiquiti for their Security Gateway (SKU: USG). Their access points are some of the best on the market too and run on the same software. You can also run most/all the equipment (switches, access points) you later buy from them via PoE also.
 
OP
Nimblor

Nimblor

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2003
That looks like a good option but it is sold out at Ubiquiti and being scalped at Amazon and Newegg for 2x its price.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
As long as I have nothing against Ubiquiti WiFi devices and switches, as all work well everywhere I installed them, then their routers and USG are one of the worst I was working with. Literally, every model that I had in my hands was causing problems and around the web were many people with the same unsolved problems.
I sold my USG as I had enough of problems with transfers and locking each time there was no electricity or because of any other unknown reason. Exactly the same problems had my colleague who is cursing each time someone mentions Ubiquiti in our office.

I don't know Mikrotik 3011 but this brand is generally the most often recommended by local professionals. Most also say it's not the easiest for configuration but once you make it then their routers work well. Some of our clients have Mikrotik routers+Ubiquiti WiFi. The same clients who had problems with Ubiquiti routers.
TP-Link is easy to manage and not so expensive but I would read some more about any specific PN and revision. Some of their routers were working fine ... in the third or fourth revision.
 
OP
Nimblor

Nimblor

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2003
Your comments are very helpful, thank you! Ubiquiti was for sure on my list but their dream machine pro or whatever it is called is just too much, and I have the impression that the Edgerouter 4 appear to be on their way to end-of-support-ville.

Mikrotik is the brand/manufacturer and 3011 is a self made abbreviation of the router model. They follow a 2011 -> 3011 - > 4011 type of sequence with newer or maybe more advanced models having higher numbers (I think) along with another half can of alphabet soup.

I am nervous about upcoming newer versions of TP link products being around the corner and a lack of commitment to older models. I am sure every manufacturer has this issue to some extent. Mikrotik claims 5 year support for models on the website. There is no commitment from TP Link or Ubiquiti that I could see, for whatever a website commitment like that is worth.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Yes, I meant that I don't know the 3011 model. I know Mikrotik in general but I wasn't using it much in the past. It's more like all who are more advanced in networking usually recommend it.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I have been using Ubiquiti products for many years now. Started with the Edgerouter, but quickly switch to their UniFi USG and then the Dream Machine Pro as my experience grew.

I didn't like the interface on the Edgerouter compared to the UniFi controller. Previously, I was using a collection of managed switches...and it was a pain every time I wanted to reconfigure the network.

With the UniFi line and their controller software, you do your network configuration in "one pane of glass". You setup what you want and where, and the controller software configures everything.

Have never had any issues with UniFi products...The uptimes are all 180+ days, and I only reboot them for firmware upgrade. UniFi has had a dubious past with regards to stable firmware releases, so I usually wait a few weeks and see if it's indeed stable before implementing.

My setup is currently:
- UniFi Dream Machine Pro (use as router and camera controller)
- UniFi 8 port 10 GbE switch as a backbone
- UniFi 16 port PoE Gigabit switch
- UniFi 24 port PoE Gigabit switch
- UniFi 8 port PoE Gigabit switch (at my entertainment center)
- UniFi 4 port PoE powered PoE Gigabit switch (have a couple of devices that need PoE power off 1 PoE port on 24 port swtich)
- 3 x UniFi WiFi 6 AP-Lite access points
- 2 x UniFi G3 Pro cameras
- 1 x UniFi G4 Pro doorbell/camera
- 5 x UniFi G3 Flex cameras

So...you can say...I have a lot of experience with UniFi.

On the UDM Pro router, I have:
- 1 VPN inbound connection
- 1 VPN outbound connection
- 5 VLANs
- 3 WiFi VLANs
- Multiple port forwarding rules (one for Plex server)
- Multiple firewall rules
- Threat Management turned on

My internet connection is 500 Mbps down, 30 Mbps up.


Edit: I use PoE switches exclusively. Anything I can run off PoE I do. For the devices that don't have the capability to run off PoE, you can purchase PoE splitters that have Ethernet/PoE in and Ethernet and DC power out (I like PoE Texas...great customer service...will help you pick the right part). Having PoE switches means I only need to UPS backup the PoE switch, and not all of the other devices...as they are powered off the switch.
 
Last edited:
OP
Nimblor

Nimblor

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2003
My napkin math says that is 60 ports. That's a lot of ports! I can't even think of that many things to plug in. I think I need like 12 ports or so.

I was up late with analysis paralysis about this. I kept looking at used SFF Dell optiplex 7020 i3-4160 with a quad port gb nic. It kept popping up like it was calling to me. The HP T620Plus is another option that uses about half the juice but they seem overpriced for this application because of some popular videos about making them into routers from a few years ago.

I am about to start calling some local computer mom and pop shops that sell refurb sff pcs like the dell. Power consumption gets to be a concern that does not always have good reference.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I don't use all of those ports...more I put the switches where I need them geographically speaking.