Archive for March, 2018

Extreme Home Network Makeover – Part 1 – Why & What?

March 25th, 2018 No comments

So I decided to upgrade my home network for several reasons:

  • Dodgy Wi-Fi connection
  • Wi-Fi dead spots around the house
  • Monitoring network activity and who’s using downloading a lot and impacting other’s experience

So after exploring and searching I’ve settled with the Ubiquiti Unifi ecosystem. I’ve been following the company for many years now and I’ve been a very fond of it for long time now, and the family are complaining about the dodgy Wi-Fi connection gave me a good excuse to upgrade my network infrastructure. And by choosing Unifi I get the added benefits of

  • PoE built into the switches rather than relying on PoE injector for each camera around the house
  • PoE end-point switches and AP so less cluttering and centralizing power feed for the home network so I can add a UPS in the future for powering my network and cameras in the event of power outage
  • Unify experience across devices with a single dash board

But that doesn’t mean that there’s no cons on changing my network infrastructure. In fact, because I’m using pfsense, I’m going to lose some flexibility when moving to a fully Ubiquiti Unifi solution like load balancing dual-WAN that Unifi for some reason doesn’t seem to be able to provide a workable solution for that.

So I bite the bullet and went ahead and ordered the following devices:

  • Unifi AC-Pro UAP-AC-Pro x3
  • Unifi AC Lite UAP-AC-Lite x3
  • Unifi Switch 24 Port US-24-250W x2
  • Unifi Cloud Key UC-CK
  • Unifi Mesh UAP-AC-M-US
  • Unifi Switch 8 Port US-8 x3
  • Unifi Security Gateway USG

But unfortunately we didn’t have a dealer for Ubiquiti here in Kuwait so I had to purchase those devices online.

Some might be wondering why a lot of devices. The reason is that I need to cover 2 floors and a half (the gym room), and the garden. So ground floor will get two Wi-Fi AP and the first floor will get three Wi-Fi AP because one half of the floor has many walls that one AP will not be enough to cover that half.

And because I’m upgrading the network I decided to also upgrade the network cables around the house to Cat6A for extra reliability and future compatibility for 10G speed. I bought a 100 meters roll (300 FT) and at the end only 70% of house cables were upgraded to Cat6A because 100 meters wasn’t enough. That’s an additional $300 for the cable and $500 for the handyman.

Most of my purchase came from Amazon and I couldn’t find everything on Amazon (out of stock) so I got USG, UAP-AC-Lite, and UAP-AC-M-US from BHPhotoVideo. All shipped to New York Shop&Ship office then forwarded to Kuwait. That’s around $700 just shipping the item from NY to Kuwait. If you’re wondering, there’s no Ubiquiti dealer/shop in Kuwait.

Note: This project was completed back in January 2018.

to be continued on Part 2

Top Tech Stories of the Week – March 25th, 2018

March 25th, 2018 No comments
  • Apple’s Tim Cook Calls for More Regulations on Data Privacy | Link
  • The FTC Is Officially Investigating Facebook’s Data Practices | Link
  • Elon Musk’s next Boring Co. merch will be big Lego bricks made from tunnel rock | Link
  • Philips lighting rebrands as Signify – News – Smart Home Geeks | Link
  • Foxconn is buying Belkin and Linksys – SlashGear | Link
  • NASA Delays Launch of James Webb Space Telescope to 2020 | Link
  • Zuckerberg will reportedly appear before Congress on data privacy | Link
  • Nvidia suspends all autonomous vehicle testing – TechCrunch | Link
  • Nvidia launches self-driving simulation system, Kubernetes support – Seeking Alpha | Link
  • FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network – TechCrunch | Link
  • ‘PUBG’ will start testing its tiny ‘Savage’ map next week | Link
  • Google to Shut URL Shortener in Favour of Dynamic Links – Technology News | Link

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s YouTube Channel

March 21st, 2018 No comments

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist in the media, is a director of a YouTube channel called StarTalk. What I like about his talks of scientific topics is the way he explains scientific ideas in a simple way that everyone understand but also citizen-science would find it very useful.

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Top Tech Stories of the Week – March 19th, 2018

March 20th, 2018 No comments
  • YouTube picture-in-picture floating window test appears on desktop | Link
  • IBM working on ‘world’s smallest computer’ to attach to just about everything | Link
  • Police Say Uber Is Likely Not at Fault for Its Self-Driving Car Fatality in Arizona | Link
  • Mark Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Link
  • Synology’s C2 backup services goes live to users worldwide | Link
  • We may know when China’s space station will fall to Earth, but we still don’t know where | Link
  • Binance is moving to Europe after crackdowns in Japan, Hong Kong, and China | Link
  • Elon Musk removes Tesla and SpaceX Facebook pages in protest | Link
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Top Stories of the Week – March 12th, 2018

March 14th, 2018 No comments

Wednesday 14-03-2018

  • Stephen Hawkings passed away | Link
    • It’s also Einstein’s birthday, Galileo’s death anniversary, and Pi Day. “The universe works in mysterious ways”!
  • It’s Pi Day! 14-03-2018
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+ released today on Pi Day! | Link
    • Features 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and PoE HAT
  • Google Maps is opening for game developers
  • Broadcom not acquiring Qualcomm after all | Link
    • Trump blocked the acquisition on grounds of national security
  • Google will ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising | Link
  • Trump fired Tillerson on Twitter without speaking to him | Link
  • SmartThings outage takes down Samsung’s home hub | Link

Thursday 15-03-2018

  • Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes charged with $700m fraud – BBC News | Link
  • Nest’s video doorbell is now shipping | Link


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2018 Samsung TVs Unveiled in NY Event

March 8th, 2018 No comments

In yesterday’s Samsung 2018 First Look Event, new lineup of 2018 TVs were unveiled and I’m very exited of some its features including Ambient Mode, Bixy and SmartThings integration – though I would prefer Google Assistant, and One Invisible Connection which feeds the TV with A/V and power but this time it’s even thinner.

Unfortunately their TVs don’t support Dolby Vision.

Samsung TVs 2018 - Ambient Mode

Ambient Mode is one of the features coming with 2018 TVs from Samsung

More info at

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