Today I am going to be reviewing the Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine Pro. But first a little backstory.
I have a lot of devices because I have a lot of children and we have also deployed a variety of home automation devices. I was previously running Netgear enterprise-level equipment, so I had a Netgear router, PoE (Power over Ethernet) switch, and several wireless access points. Our internet would often be slow–like it would take 20 minutes just for Facebook or Google to load sometimes. Then every single night at about 9pm, our Wi-Fi would go down for 10-15 minutes. It was a nightmare. Finally I got sick of it and figured it was time to switch away from Netgear. Also let me throw out there that Cox–my ISP–had come out to make sure the issue was not my modem, my wiring, etc. They determined everything fine on there end..
Well could it be my Ethernet in my house is bad. So figured let me switch just a couple of networking devices and see if anything improves. So I bought a Ubiquiti Dream Machine pro which is a router that can also house a hard drive and becomes a security camera NVR (network video recorder), or a phone system when connected to their PoE phones, or a door access control system when you add their Access Control System bundle. I deployed the Dream Machine and also got two of their Wi-Fi 6 wireless access points.
I got everything connected, and the first thing I did was a network speed test. Netgear was lucky if got 2Mbps (I am on Cox Gigablast so a 1Gbps connection). Ubiquiti jumped to over 300Mbps–a huge increase in speed. I’ve been using it for well over a month and a half now and my results have remained consistently good. I was able to set up every device on my network with its own static IP address. My Netgear equipment could assign static IPs as well, but it maxed out at 50 devices. After that, I got an error that I reached the max and could not add anymore static IPs.
There user interface is very easy to use, but also full of settings and features you can customize. For example, you could create a guest network that requires payment and set up a system where your kids have to work to earn internet access.
Ubiquiti got me. I am switching all my CCTV cameras over soon. In fact, I already bought their dedicated NVR. I will probably eventually also get their phone service.
I give Ubiquiti a 9 out of 10. The only thing I don’t like–but it really doesn’t affect me much but would affect an IT administrator who runs several sites–is their UI has removed the ability to manage multiple sites.
I’ve noticed almost everything on their site is always sold out, so it seems like it must be popular. That’s a good sign.
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