Any good network will need a good router. In this case I chose the Mikrotik RB960PGS in part because my supplier was out of the Mikrotik PoE switch I intended to use but had plenty of these instead.
The RB960PGS router supplies PoE power to all 5 ports and comes with all of the parts necessary to get this project moving. In addition to the stock RouterOS I will be adding the CAPsMAN package which allows for central management of the Mikrotik access points, much like the UniFi controller software.
My intention is to get the router configured as much as possible and then add the access points and see how this process compares to setting up UniFi. I know it won’t be “pretty” since the Mikrotik interfaces are typically coded for efficiency and I’m okay with this. One of the issues I’ve had with the UniFi controller UI is that it can be very sluggish which has caused some frustration when trying to make updates quickly.
I also like that this router has an SFP port so I can eventually link it to my main network switch via a low latency fiber connection and leave the other ports available for connecting additional access point pairs.
Though it comes with a 24V power supply you can power the router with a 48V power supply which would also allow for powering some popular IP Cameras. This makes a very good small office solution where you might need one CAP/CAP Lite pair for wireless and a couple of IP cameras. In case you were wondering the CAP and CAP Lite have input voltages that are compatible with 48V PoE as well.