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New Member
Posts: 8
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Cloud Key recommended for home network?

I've seen many posts on the advantages of Cloud Key, but they almost all say "easier than keeping a controller server running 24/7".

 

I don't imagine I need a controller running 24/7 on my home network, do I? With my current consumer grade router/AP I look at the admin screen maybe once a month.

 

So I'm imaginging for me it would come down to hassle of bringing up the conroller on a macbook/PC vs the cost of a Cloud Key.

 

Or am I missing something?

New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-25-2016
Kudos: 1

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

I'd say you have the right mind-set; hassle vs cost.

 

I have a CloudKey for my home network, mainly for the ease of having the controller on it's own device, because I don't want to have a VM to run the controller software on; I don't want to have it on my main machine; and If your controller machine dies you have to re-adopt UniFi equipment on your new controller machine

New Member
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎03-20-2017
Kudos: 8
Solutions: 1

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

I too read many posts on advantages of having a UniFi Controller on Cloud Key and other options. I decided to get the Cloud Key for my home setup. I do have a Windows 10 gaming machine that is usually running as file server, but I wanted the freedom and flexibility to not have my UniFi Controller tied to a desktop that I may want to turn off or would become unstable after a driver or Windows update. Other consideration was the cost. I was about to heavily (for a home setup) invest in UniFI hardware, and $70 for a low powered, always on, dedicated device to manage thousands of dollars of UniFI ecosystem was a no brainer for me.

Also, it is very cute.
UniFi equipment in use: USG 4P , Cloud Key , AC HD.
Other equipment in use: D-Link 24 Port Non-POE switch
Wired clients: Custom built Windows 10 PC, Brother Scanner/Printer, four PS3s, four XBOX360s, two Wiis, four Smart TVs.
Wireless clients: Eleven (yes, 11) Nest Thermostats for radiant floor heating, two Macbook Pros, two Windows laptops, one iPad Air 2, one Surface Pro 3, three iPhones and one Windows Phone, two DS Lite.
New Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-25-2016
Kudos: 3

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

I ran my controller on an Ubuntu server for about 18 months before buying a Cloud Key. The Cloud Key is a lot easier to maintain. Click 'upgrade' on the gui and it sorts itself out. No downloading deb files and no worrying about running Ubuntu upgrades plus i lost a disk recently in my Linux server and it was down for a few days whilst I sourced a replacement disk and got around to rebuilding the RAID array. The urgency was removed by the Cloud Key.

If you start off on a Linux, Mac or Windows controller, the migration to the Cloud Key is really straightforward so you could decide later or budget to get it next month.
Emerging Member
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎02-28-2013
Kudos: 11
Solutions: 3

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

I have a Windows-based media server running 24/7, so it makes sense to me to run my controller from there. I backup the configuration in case something decides to self-destruct.

New Member
Posts: 8
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

I think I must still be missing something, although I think I'm convinced I should get the key.

 

Why does everyone mention 24/7? Is that shorthand for "I need the controller to be avilable whenever I might want to use it"? Because on my consumer rounter I don't require 24/7 access to the admin panel. I need it once o month.

 

Or is there something about the Unify system that it doesn't work unless a controller is on-line 24/7?

 

New Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎08-07-2016
Kudos: 44
Solutions: 1

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

Having the controller always on allows you to remotely manage your systems at any time. I just did a firmware deploy while watching my kids swim at the local pool.

The controller also handles e-mail alerting when there are problems. Also if your equipment reboots (power outage, etc...) the controller can re-provision any devices that lost their configs.

But most of the time, the system can "coast along" without the controller.
New Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎08-07-2016
Kudos: 44
Solutions: 1

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

Oh yeah. Any special guest network "captive portal" sites are hosted from the controller. They will not work with the controller offline.
Established Member
Posts: 922
Registered: ‎11-12-2015
Kudos: 190
Solutions: 19

Re: Cloud Key recommended for home network?

If you are going to run a controller constantly then the cloud key is a low power device for it if you don't have something else that will be on anyway. I have my whole network (including cloud key) on a UPS that will stay up for 90 minutes.

As to why you want a controller on all the time: it is largely a matter of convenience. For instance, it allows me to check network status from my phone whenever I want. It will become even more useful soon when it starts collecting DPI statistics. But you can certainly do without until you find a reason that seems compelling to you.
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