Ruckus R500 for home AP???

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This is my first experience with any Ruckus product.  Without going into too much unnecessary detail, I will need wireless access to my home network soon and have acquired a R500 that will hopefully fit the bill.  It has the ZoneFlex Solo Access Point loaded on it.  Currently I have the basic home setup, some computers, ipads, TVs some IOT devices, etc that is wireless from my current setup (Calix 844g-1 provided by my ISP).  I'm kind of hoping to VLAN some of this stuff out and have read that the Ruckus should fit the bill.  My first real question, is this the software that I need to do what I'm looking to do or should I reconfigure?  The second question is, would there be a better option (without breaking the bank)?  Thanks in advance!!
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Kevin Hillis

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Posted 10 months ago

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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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Broad questions Kevin, but let me give you an idea. 

If you have an ISP provided local area network, with router that provides DHCP/DNS services,
you can easily add an R500 AP to get wireless access for your devices. By default, APs drop
client traffic on VLAN 1, treated as untagged. This is your local device to Internet stuff, and you
can see/communicate if you have the right protocols (I don't know TV/IoT per se), but the iPads
and PCs.
To split wireless client traffic to separate VLANs, would require that you have switches/routers
in place that service other VLANs.  If so, you can define "local networks" on a Solo AP, tagged
to your other VLAN IDs, and you'll need to trunk those at the AP ethernet port.  You would do
'route' rather than 'bridge' on the AP WLAN settings for those other than default VLAN SSIDs.
Does this help?
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Kevin Hillis

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I think so, I've got a pfsense box that I built which I'm pretty sure I can create VLANs, configure different routes, etc. at that point.  At the moment, it also acts as my DHCP/DNS server.  My pfsense box will also allow me to create a second network so I can completely segregate work stuff and the basic home stuff.  This Ruckus will sit on the "home" LAN.  I'm just doing some research on everything now.  I do have a few cisco IOS switches that I could utilize as well if needed though.  I am in the Cyber Security field and do alot of testing in my lab, which currently is not internet connected.  Anyway, back to the that particular software that the R500 currently has, thats what I'm needing I guess?  Would/could I benefit from any other software offering for the R500, or is that more for other implementations?
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John D, AlphaDog

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The pfSense + Ruckus combo is pretty awesome! That's what I've settled on the past few years -- pfSense gives you a ton of control and the VLAN segregation and access controls at the firewall level pairs really well with Ruckus APs.

As far as standalone vs managed, in a situation like yours, if you  only have a single AP it doesn't matter too much. If you end up having more than one AP, I would recommend Unleashed for sure, as central management gives you:
  • Make SSID/settings changes in one place, have them apply to all APs
  • Add APs by simply plugging them into your network, no additional configuration required
  • Mesh (wireless backhaul) support
  • Centralized roaming intelligence (band/load balancing, 802.11r/v fast roaming, etc)
  • For Unleashed, the ability to manage the network (and receive push notifications for critical events like APs going down) from a smartphone app. The app even works over the cloud for remotely managing your network on the go!
  • Unleashed FW tends to be updated more frequently and generally that means you see better performance/reliability. Solo FWs do get updated from time to time but not nearly on the same regularity as Unleashed.

The main disadvantage of going Unleashed to start, I would say, are:
  • It takes noticeably longer to boot. If you have a site that experiences frequent power outages, Unleashed might not be for you.
  • Resource usage -- on older APs, the impact of running the Unleashed controller code can theoretically have more of an impact for total capacity of the AP. In a home environment I don't think it'll happen though.

For the last reasons, some people even choose to use Unleashed for single-AP deployments. Personally I tend to start with Unleashed for future-proofing.
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Kevin Hillis

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Thanks for the replies!!  I went ahead and jumped on the band wagon and I'm glad I did!!  @AlphaDog, you are absolutely right, pfsense and this R500 work like a charm together.  I still have some configuring to do but for the most part, everything is up and working alot better than expected, great coverage and thruput as well!!  Even my TVs, and all the other IOT devices I have are set up and are living in their own little VLAN home.  Thanks again for all the info!!
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Dan Kern

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Ruckus just announced the latest Ruckus Unleashed version of the firmware 200.8 will NO LONGER SUPPORT R310,R500, R600, T300, T300e, T301n, T301s Access Points.

So if you have any of these Wave 1 access points and you want to continue to use them, it appears that we are now stuck with the 200.7 version of the Unleashed Firmware forever.

I just setup a small home network using Unleashed Firmware and three rescued R500 Access Points and they work great Meshed together.  I highly recommend this setup to all.  It is unfortunate the Ruckus has abandoned future updates for all of these Wave 1 Devices.  Hopefully they will reconsider this decision as it is a shame to condemn all of this great hardware to death.  The good news is that the current Unleashed Firmware works great and if needed, it can also be flashed back to a Standalone device for use in simple home networks very easily.