A word about Ubiquiti EdgeRoutersJuly 4th, 2016
Well, it is 2016 and my Linksys E2000 router that I’ve been using since 2010 and running DD-WRT on was still in use. It was still a fine router for what I was using it for, but it is starting to show its age. For one, it didn’t support dual band Wifi (2.4ghz and 5ghz). A month or so ago I decided to replace the Wifi functionality part of it with a Ubiquiti Unifi AC-AP-Pro to get better coverage and better wireless speeds, both of which were accomplished. I’ve been pretty impressed with it and Ubiquiti’s controller software that I was becoming interested in some of their other products. As a coincidence, my local Fiber-to-the-Home ISP announced that they will be rolling out Gigabit fiber access. Previously, you could only get up to 250mbit. I was on the 50mbit package, but for the Gig rollout, they’re running a promotion where you can lock in to the Gigabit speeds for as long as you have service with them for only $10/more a month than I was paying for the 50mbit fiber. So, 20x the bandwidth for $10 more a month is a no-brainer for me. This meant I had to upgrade my router though. My Linksys E2000 running DD-WRT was only capable of about 60mbit throughput on the WAN interface due to its aging CPU. I was already pushing it close with my 50mbit net, but Gigabit would be far too much for it to handle. So I did some research and ended up selecting the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite. These are powerful little machines that run Ubiquiti’s EdgeMax OS which is a customized fork of the linux Vyatta routing software suite. It seemed to have the best bang for the buck features, it was from Ubiqiuiti which I was already interested in and have one of their products, and most importantly it can push FULL gigabit line speed through the WAN!
I set it up earlier this week and set up was very easy. My simple port forwards worked great. My static DHCP leases worked great. And I got couple of my more complicated port forward rules working after a little fiddling as well. I had even added a script to do ad blocking at the router using the DNS forwarder and a script that downloads a blocklist once a week.
One thing I was missing was a data usage chart though. Now, there is no reason for me to need this as my data is not metered, but I liked to keep an eye on it for my own personal geeky interests. After some research, I found vnstat which is a program that runs and logs the data to a file. Then there is a vnstat php front end you can use to make pretty little graphs. The program was fairly easy to get working. The php front end was a giant pain in the butt, but I’ll go in to that another time perhaps as it could be an entire article on its own.
I’ve been pretty happy with the EdgeRouter so far, and now that I’ve got 100% feature parity from my DD-WRT router, it is perfect. Gigabit Launches in the next week, so I’m looking forward to running some full speed Gigabit tests through it and see how she performs under full load.