The UniFi Dream Machine router is a wonderful entry level for networked nerds.

December 2, 2019 By Lisa

The UniFi Dream Machine router is a wonderful entry level for networked nerds.

Just a few weeks in the past, Ubiquiti unveiled UniFi Dream Machine, an all-in-one community system that mixes a router, swap with 4 Ethernet ports and a Wi-Fi entry level for $ 299. Ubiquiti calls this an built-in cloud key that means that you can management your community.

I've been utilizing UniFi Dream Machine on my house community for 2 weeks, so contemplate this as a overview of the system.

Ubiquiti is a well known community model. Most individuals know the entry factors of society – these rounded antennas that you could find round faculties, companies, and public areas.

However the preliminary funding has at all times been a bit excessive for private use circumstances and even for small companies. The UniFi Dream Machine is completely positioned between skilled gears and client units. It is a large improve when you use the router with the Wi-Fi capabilities supplied by your ISP.

Grouping of UniFi units

Ubiquiti affords a line of routers underneath the AmpliFi model for customers searching for a plug-and-play answer. The corporate not too long ago introduced a brand new system with glorious specs if you do not need to get misplaced within the community settings.

However when you're studying this, it's probably you'll know that UniFi merchandise provide some customizations that you just assume are missing in mainstream merchandise.

Switching from an all-in-one community system to a UniFi system has at all times been a bit of sophisticated. The corporate has damaged down the networking stack into totally different units to provide you extra management.

Because of this it’s important to purchase a safety gateway (a router, the "mind" of the community), a swap (similar to an influence strip, however for Ethernet ports) and an entry level (a Wi-Fi antenna ). As well as, a UniFi cloud secret is a vital buy if you wish to handle your community with the corporate's management software program.

In case you are hooked up to the UniFi ecosystem, you’ll reside an unforgettable expertise. You’ll be able to handle every Ethernet port of your swap individually, you’ll be able to management Wi-Fi settings from wherever on this planet and extra. Lee Hutchinson (Ars Technica) fell into the UniFi Bunny Gap and wrote an excellent story about his skilled networking expertise at house.

UniFi Dream Machine takes a distinct method. It brings collectively all of the distinct items that give life to a UniFi community. You should purchase the $ 300 UniFi Dream Machine and management each little element in your community.


Just a few phrases in regards to the specs of the UniFi dream machine. The pill-shaped system has a built-in safety gateway, which lets you run a DHCP server, create firewall insurance policies, benefit from a number of VLANs and way more.

Along with the WAN port for connecting your system to the Web, there are 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. As for Wi-Fi, the Dream Machine helps 802.11ac Wave 2 ("Wi-Fi 5") with a four × four MU-MIMO antenna – no Wi-Fi 6 sadly.

Behind the scenes, the system makes use of an ARM Cortex-A57 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and consumes as much as 26W.

Use the dream machine

The set up of the UniFi Dream Machine is a good expertise. Ideally, you need to join an Ethernet cable to your router supplied by your ISP and put it in bridge mode. On this manner, it should act like a foolish modem and let the uniFi Dream Machine do all of the work.

After downloading the cellular app and turning on the UniFi Dream Machine, you get a pop-up window that mimics the AirPod's docking popup window. You’ll be able to then management your community from this cellular utility or use an internet browser in your laptop.

That's when it will get fascinating.

UniFi controller software program normally lists all UniFi units which might be operating in your community. With UniFi Dream Machine you’ve got one system. However when you develop this system, you’ll be able to see a listing of three separate UniFi elements: a gateway, a swap, and an entry level.

As anticipated, you’ll be able to management each little element in your community. Once more, this isn’t for everybody and you’ll have to study loads about networking to optimize your setup. However when you're a digital handyman, it's a breath of contemporary air.

UniFi Dream Machine acts as a DHCP server at house. I renamed my units and assigned fastened IP addresses to all my units to search out them extra simply. You’ll be able to see in actual time the community used and in the event that they get a superb Wi-Fi sign.

I've additionally configured the Cloudflare public DNS on the community degree.

There are a ton of prospects when you care about safety. I've created a visitor Wi-Fi community that solely permits my associates to entry the web. They’ll browse Twitter and watch Netflix broadcasts with none issues, however they cannot entry my computer systems on the native community.

I've additionally created one other Wi-Fi community for IoT units, resembling linked audio system, a printer, and a robotic vacuum cleaner. Linked units don’t obtain many safety patches and have extra vulnerabilities than a pc or smartphone that you just preserve updated. I’ve assigned a distinct VLAN to this Wi-Fi community. VLANs assist you to create a partitioned community with totally different units of guidelines.

I've utilized firewall guidelines to this VLAN so I can management units from my private units, however they cannot challenge requests to my units by themselves. That is exaggerated for most individuals, however it's enjoyable to have the ability to do it from the UniFi controller. Extra particulars right here.

Concerning Wi-Fi, all the pieces is customizable and efficiency is phenomenal. I reside in a small condominium, however the balcony has at all times been an issue. I usually work from the balcony and use an inexpensive Wi-Fi extension that I discovered in a field of devices and cables.

I've unplugged the Wi-Fi extension and tried to connect with the UniFi Dream Machine. I get higher efficiency, even when I diminished Wi-Fi transmission energy on a medium medium.

These are only a few examples of issues you are able to do with UniFi Dream Machine. I’ve the impression of at all times underutilizing the system (you’ll be able to join through SSH and management all the pieces from the terminal), however I might not contemplate going again to an enter router vary with Wi-Fi capabilities.

Goal the prosumers

UniFi Dream Machine is the community system that I didn’t know I wished. I’ll by no means have tons of of Wi-Fi units linked to my house community. I don’t want a dozen Ethernet ports. And but, I need to management my community. Should you miss Apple's AirPort Excessive or when you're a networking fan, you must contemplate the UniFi Dream Machine.

Small companies and shops usually make unhealthy selections early within the enterprise. An inexpensive Wi-Fi router on Amazon doesn’t minimize it when what you are promoting grows. Dream Machine generally is a good entry level as a result of you should use this fundamental system.

However when you assume you’ve got higher wants, don’t attempt to handle a big community from a UniFi dream machine. Ubiquiti sells excellent rack-mountable units that offers you much more flexibility. UniFi Dream Machine is a constrained machine in any case. This makes it each inadequate for enterprise and ideally suited for customers.


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