I think the equipment an IT professional uses in their home and the time they take at home for technology is a reflection of their dedication. Keeping up with technology is hard to do solely at work. Using various devices and software at home is one way to help broaden one’s knowledge.
The cornerstone of my home network is a box running Sophos XG Firewall Home Edition. Sophos is more than just a firewall. It can do anti-malware scanning, IPS, VPN, and many other services. I can talk a lot about my experiences with Sophos. I will write deep drive of Sophos XG Firewall in a future article.
My wired devices are connected to a 8 port gig Meraki switch, MS220-8. I use a Meraki MR33 for a 802.11ac wireless access point. Both devices are cloud managed. I was a little skeptical at first, but I can now really say that I like Meraki’s dashboard that allows management of my devices. The dashboard allows a lot of configuration to be done before a customer even receives the devices. Then the device will pull down the config once it’s connected to the network.
I do not work in networking so I enjoyed seeing a different side then I am use to at work. I am not taking advantage of all features, but I enjoy testing what I can do. A wifi guest network can be easily isolated. Also, packet capture can be easily ran from the dashboard against an AP or port of the switch.
I, of course, build my own computers and enjoy the process. Though, I’m really due for building a new one. My computer is showing it’s age with an i7 Ivy Bridge, but it still gets the job done. I use VMware workstation when I want to spin up some VMs.
Here’s a couple device a have for fun. I have a Raspberry Pi, which I currently run RetroPie on it. RetroPie is loaded with emulators and makes it easy to play some classic games. I have a Steam Link that allows me to stream games from my computer. I got it on sale for $30 and it can stream anything from my computer so even non-gamers may find a use for it.
The most odd ball set of devices I have are MoCA network adapters, ECB2500C. MoCA is fun to say and an easy way to expand a home network over existing coaxial cable. For example, I live in an apartment that already had coaxial ran to a room that I wanted a wired connection. I just added couple of the adapters to easily extend my network.
My home setup is small, but I consider it elaborate and to the point. My goal is for it to be secure and easily functional for home related devices. I am not one for having devices for the sake of having them. I like to make sure I use everything I have.