Router Data Collection - Tin Foil hat?

I am about to embark on a significant renovation and as part of this I want to integrate local smart home control with HE. So logically I figured I would need a good, solid, reliable wifi network to make sure everything works. Given I am not going to get this from my standard Optus supplied modem I started researching potential options including mesh set-ups. And here I discovered an issue.
For me, part of the attraction of HE is the local control it provides. No need for snoopy vendor-based servers, if I choose. But alot of the routers I looked at require some sort of vendor account where the router is constantly connected to their server, downloading data on your equipment and usage. Kinda seems counter-productive to the whole "local control" ethos.
So I guess my question is, has anyone else looked at this and can they make a recommendation for a good system OR should I put down the tin-foil hat and accept that this is just part of how we live these days?

I'm in the US so I admit I don't know much about internet access in Australia, but what kind of routers do you have access to?

Some of the mesh wifi system manufacturers here in the US expect users to setup or even maintain their mesh access points with a mobile app, and that probably involves connections to the manufacturer's cloud. Is that what you mean?

I've never come across any. Examples?

UniFi stuff is pretty popular for home use. They have their cloud key.

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But that's only if you want to remotely log in No account is required to access unifi gear on your local network.

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Correct. But this is a Tin Foil Hat conversation...

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You can turn off remote access to Unifi gear completely so it never connects to the cloud. I use the Unifi software installed on an always on PC in my network rather than a cloud key with no remote access other than through VPN which I setup for all my remote access, but that is directly between my remote device and my network not going through the vendors servers.

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If you are about to start a "significant renovation", the easiest answer is to run some Cat-6 (or 5e) wire and put in 2 or 3 standard WiFi access points. I have a 3000 sq. ft. house and have just 2: one in the cellar and one on the first floor, which covers everything well up to the 2nd floor. No vendor communication on either of them. The one in the cellar is also acting as a firewall/router; the other is just an AP (an ASUS with the router portion turned off).

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Specifically I had been looking at the TPLink X60 Mesh but I noticed it from most of the major brands (except Unifi)

That was the original plan but it still requires a modem (in AUS) which I found most new ones require an account to set up.

I was thinking about going wifi6 just for a bit of future proofing, which is where I found the issue. A couple of Unifi APs was my first thought but they don't have wifi6 yet. And it still leaves me with a modem that wants to be chatty with a vendors servers.
I should point out this will be the first time I have ever used anything but the ISP supplied modem/router combo, I was just surprised how much data you have to hand over to use these products. I understand that my ISP is most likely collecting considerable data on our usage, however I was thinking that could be mitigated with a VPN on the router itself. But if the router is collecting data perhaps this would be ineffective.
If I was to go with Unifi APs, does anyone have a modem suggestion? I just have a FTTN connection here.

That’s always gonna be tough. WiFi 6e has already been approved in the US (needs regulatory approval in each country/region because it uses 6 GHz spectrum). By the time ubiquiti comes out with WiFi 6 gear, it won’t be the cutting edge anymore.

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Synology router’s have a great reputation for security, might be worth a look.

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Ubiquiti does have UniFi 6 products, they're in the Beta channel now. One in wall AP, and two of the typical ceiling mount UFO types.

I wouldn't recommend their beta models for first dipping your toe in the Unifi pond.

Does your FTTN connection require a modem, or does it provide a single static IP address, and you just need a Router. Verizon does the latter with their Fiber to my house.

S.

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Unfortunately with the connections we have here in Australia I need a modem. I look at the Gigabit connections you guys in the States get with great envy.

My understanding is that the limiting factor for wifi6 is the internet connection. I doubt you can max out its capacity with our speeds over here and that's not likely to change unless you have $$$ to spend.

Yeah, sorry, I can't help with that!

I do recommend Ubiquiti products, without a seconds hesitation. Great gear. I have 3 APs and 10 switches...(oops, 11, one more in the mail)...a Cloud Key NVR and 5 cameras. Bulletproof. Oh, and an Edgerouter Lite. I might have a problem....lol

I did exactly what you're doing though, I switched from a Comcast supplied all in one to a Netgear DOCSIS 3 modem, a gen 1 cloud key, a Unifi AC Pro Hotspot, and a Mikrotik router. I soon decided the Edgerouter was a better choice, and added the rest of the Ubiqiti gear over time.

The first AC Pro is 5 years old and still part of my network. Never a single problem with it. Still gets firmware updates too. And not just bug/security fixes but new features and performance improvements.

S.

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WOW :+1:

Yeah sounds crazier than it is. 6 of them are little 5 port POE powered endpoint switches, in media cabinets, the office, kids rooms, etc. There's only 2 8 ports one upstairs and one in the basement, and one 16 port in the main cabinet and one 5 port 60watt POE switch for the cameras. The little 5 port ones are like candy, they cost $29 for a lightly managed POE powered device. Can't stop buying them. :slight_smile:

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You can still use the ISP modem and disable the wifi on it and connect the unifi access points.
This is what I do my modem from Belong.
You could also instead connect it to a Unifi Gateway and use it really is then only working as a modem.