Project: Unifi controller running on Linode VPS

My Project

One of my goals this year is setting up a Unifi system by Ubiquiti at the house. Due to overall cost of setup, my going to spread out buy cost of equipment over several months. One of the first things I’ve bought so far was a Unifi Switch 8-60W. Reason I went with that first is because I was starting to run out of ethernet for all my internet-connected devices. Yes, I prefer wired versus WiFi if I can help it.

Ubiquiti

How one manages a Unifi device(s) is via the Unifi controller. First option, you could order the UniFi Cloud Key (newest version is UniFi Cloud Key Gen2). I would say this would have probably be the easiest method. Second option, you could just download the UniFi controller software and install it say like on any computer at your home that is connected all the time so you can get the statics/metrics of your UniFi network. You can also choice to install it say like on a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4, which I was having some difficult time on. Or you can just spin up a Linode Nanode 1GB VPS for $5 (US) per month like I did.

Linode

Linode is cheap and affordable in my oppion and the use of the Linode marketplace community stackscripts makes things really easy with setting up a UniFi controller on Linode.

  • Create a Linode account and/or login to your Linode account
  • Click on ‘Marketplace‘ tab on the left-side. (Screenshot-1).
  • Create from section, select ‘Community Stackscripts‘. (Screenshot-2).
  • In the search box type ‘unifi‘ and select ‘eseelke / Unifi‘. (Screenshot-3).
  • Once you select, scroll below your selection to fill out Unifi Options. (Screenshot-4).
  • In Select an Image section select Debian 9. (Screenshot-5).
  • In Region section, select the location close to you. (Screenshot-6).
  • In Linode Plan section, select Nanode tab and then select Nanode 1GB. (Screenshot-7).
  • In Linode Label section, you can leave default name. (Screenshot-8).
  • In Root Password section, enter a complex password. This is the password you would enter to access via SHH. (Screenshot-9).
  • In the Options add-ins if you would like backups, this would be a good time to set this up. Having backups of your VPS is very nice in case you run into issues, at least you (Screenshot-10).
  • Lastly, select Create. This will create your VPS. (Screenshot-11).
  • Once all setup is complete, you will have a working UniFi controller. (Screenshot-12).

Final Thoughts

From there you should be good to go. Just like any VPS that is public-facing remember to make sure you VPS is secure and only have the appropriate ports open. Linode does over some guidance on that here.

Hopefully this helps you with your UniFi controller setup. Note, this article does contain referrals links, so I might make a bit of commission for you clicking link.

Video of my PiAware in action!

I setup PiAware on my Raspberry Pi 3. The antenna is currently indoors on a second-story window. I hope to move it outside to get better reception. I also hope to broadcast live feed one day as well.

My equipment:

– Raspberry Pi 3 – https://davisdre.xyz/ras-pi-3

– NooElec NESDR Smart v4 Bundle – https://davisdre.xyz/fbc19

Setup up instructions – https://davisdre.xyz/piaware-build

You can see my stats on FlightAware here – https://davisdre.xyz/24dd5

Royalty-free music from Bensound – https://davisdre.xyz/7593b

My latest project – How to use an API (Open Weather)

openweather-api-project-Screenshot

One way of couping with the stay-at-home orders, I’ve been trying to learn a new skill(s). One new skill that I wanted to learn about is working with an application programming interface (API). What is an API? API is a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service according to the Oxford dictionary. Below is my journey, enjoy!

openweather-api project

I wanted to learn more about working with API to help me with my IT services website that I want to build out and was told by a member of the Reseller Rodeo community to use the API when building the website. So, I was referred to research on how to do that via Google. I came across iEatWebsites YouTube Channel. He has a video called, “Using a Public API for Beginners” (see below).

iEatWebsites video on ‘Using a Public API for beginners’

His over on how to use a pubic API was very simple to understand. Note, you should already know some type of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. And all I really knew at the start of this project some basic HTML. So, of course, I need to pick up some more knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. In doing so, I completed the task at hand.

My project site is up at openweather.davisdre.me.

Since the intial setup, I’ve expanded it.

  • I added my workings to my GitHub page.
  • I’ve added the city name at top of the page.
  • I’ve added text below the API about the project.
  • I believe I’ve made the site mobile-responsive as well.

In the near future, my goal is to either 1) do IP geo-location when you access the site or 2) and a search box. Overall, I’m very satisfied with my openweather-api-project. I hope you enjoy my latest project and encouraged you to learn!

Working Remotely for under $10 per user

Since Covid-19 has been on the rise in the United States and as Trump declares nation emergency; I thought I would show professionals and small businesses how affordable it can be to work remotely for under $10/user. You may or may not know that I do offer IT services to professionals and small businesses in the Indianapolis, IN area. One of my partners, Sherweb, gives me the ability to be a Sherweb Advisor (Advisor ID: 65268) to offer Office 365, Microsoft 365, and more.

Office 365 Business Essentials $6.99/user/month

• Email hosting with 50 GB mailbox and custom email domain address

• Hub for teamwork to connect your teams with Microsoft Teams

• Web versions of Office applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote

• File storage and sharing with 1 TB of OneDrive storage

• Online meetings and video conferencing for up to 250 people

• 24/7 phone and web support

Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, and the two most recent versions of macOS. All languages included.

Office Protect Add-on

Stay safe in the cloud

Office Protect is an Office 365 add-on designed to increase your cyber safety. It allows you to easily implement recommended security settings, threat prevention, monitoring and reporting, and provides an extra layer of defense against malicious attacks and unintentional breaches.

Why your Office 365 tenant needs additional security:

45%

of malware is delivered via Office attachments
e.g. .doc, .xls, .ppt, etc. (Verizon, 2019)

70%

of cyber attacks Q4 2018 targeted Microsoft Office
products (Kaspersky Labs, 2019)

250%

increase in inbound emails that were phishing
attempts 2018-2019 (Microsoft, 2019)

With these two products, a small business can get up and running in the Office 365 world. Feel free to meet with Drew today at https://calendly.com/davisdre or get setup today here at Sherweb and remember to mention Advisor ID 65268!

*Drew is Microsoft 356 Certified by Sherweb.

Using O365/M365 as your emergency preparedness

In recent months the number one thing on everyone’s minds is the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), but are you thinking how you will handle this case if this happens to hit your small business? I’m thinking you probably have put some consideration into the matter. Are you an O365 or M365 customer already? If so, you can take advantage of the offers of having users work remotely from you if you have your files/apps in the O365/M365 environment. If not, I consider you becoming an O365 or M365 member today.

Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings together the best tools for the way people work today. By combining best-in-class apps like Excel and Outlook with powerful cloud services like OneDrive and Microsoft Teams, Office 365 lets anyone create and share anywhere on any device. One of the great products within the O365 is Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Office 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged and effective. If you Teams correctly, it makes you feel like you are working within the workplace due to the productivity that Teams have to offer within its platform. Learn more about Microsoft Team and best practices on how you can support remote workers using Microsoft Teams.

How do we protect the machines that we use you say? My answer, Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is the productivity cloud that brings together best-in-class Office apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security to transform the way you work. Microsoft 365 Business was purpose-built for small and medium-sized businesses under 300 users and need a solution that provides their employees with the best-in-class productivity and collaboration capabilities of Office 365 and device management and security solutions to safeguard business data and assets across devices.

Using either Office 365 or Microsoft 365, these are great platforms in being able to let your workers work remotely if your small business is needing an emergency preparedness plan. Contact me today so we can set up an appointment to get your emergency preparedness plan into action in case you ever need to use it due to an emergency.

Day 3 of Taji 100 (2020)

day 3 of taji 100 (2020)
Today’s results:
  • Location: Planet Fitness
  • Distance: 1.67 mile

The mission of Taji 100 is to encourage health and fitness by promoting an active lifestyle. Working collaboratively with the members and businesses of our communities, we offer products, education, resources, and services through a peer-supportive network. While encouraging, motivating, and inspiring healthier Americans, we simultaneously raise awareness and support for American military servicemen and women by collecting donations for military-related non-profit charity organizations.

Follow my journey and support the cause here.

Day 2 of Taji 100 (2020)

Today’s results:
  • Location: Planet Fitness
  • Distance: 1 mile

The mission of Taji 100 is to encourage health and fitness by promoting an active lifestyle. Working collaboratively with the members and businesses of our communities, we offer products, education, resources, and services through a peer-supportive network. While encouraging, motivating, and inspiring healthier Americans, we simultaneously raise awareness and support for American military servicemen and women by collecting donations for military-related non-profit charity organizations.

Follow my journey and support the cause here.

H&R Block wants to invest in you, Acorns

April 15th will be here sooner than you think. File your taxes with H&R Block and they’ll invest 5% of the purchase into your future. Simply use your Acorns-linked card. It’s Acorns easy!

Don’t have Acorns?

Sign up today and enjoy more financial freedom; please use this referral link when you sign up today – https://davisdre.xyz/acorns

Check out my article, Invest your leftover change! Where i talk more about Acorns as well.