Ubiquiti is a company that offers networking equipment meant mostly for production environment. I’ve had Ubiquiti’s Dream Machine Pro for a few days now and have been trying out the many different features it is capable of. I like a lot the router has to offer but there are a few things that I was disappointed with as well.
- Site to Site VPN
- Ubiquiti makes it easy to create a site to site VPN between the dream machine and another Unifi controller at another location
- Virtual Local Area Networks are a great feature for security without going out and buying a full rack of routers. VLANs allow the network admin to isolate different devices on their own network using firewalls. Each VLAN gets its own id and IP range.
- Explicit Content Filtering
- Ubiquiti tries to make it a simple click of a button to enable content filtering but some sites might make it through and it can be an annoyance to manually add additional sites.
- The Ubiquiti Family of Devices
- Ubiquiti’s devices are easy to pair to one another for easy configuration. If you use one of their access points and connect it to the dream machine’s network it will appear on a list of adoption and then will immediately start using any WiFi networks you have configured in the settings on the new access point. Right now I am using the WiFi6 Asus RT-AX88U while I wait for Ubiquiti to restock their WiFi6 access points.
- The dream machine pro like many other Ubiquiti devices has the ability to SSH onto the device to get a Linux terminal. This allows advance users to implement additional features they need that are currently missing in software. Such as OpenVPN Client support, which customers have been asking for for a while now.
- Many more features and more to come!
- Ubiquiti’s controller software has many features, way too many to list here. They continually update the controller software with new features but are a little slow to do so. But that is more than I can say for other routers.
There are some missing features that I would like to see Ubiquiti add in software or that I would prefer the hardware be capable of at this price point.
- Ability to convert the WAN STP+ port to a LAN port
- From the forms that I looked at trying to figure out if this was possible, someone said the hardware could not handle the bandwidth in order to have two STP+ LAN ports so they made one of them WAN only. Perhaps this user is correct about such a hardware limitation since this feature has been requested for over a year. In order to do any STP+ LAN switching, you will need to buy an additional STP+ switch such as this one.
- OpenVPN Client
- This is a feature that can easily be added with a software update but is low on the list of priorities for some reason. Advance users can set up OpenVPN themselves over an SSH connection but I would like to see this as part of the web dashboard since OpenVPN server is somewhat supported.
- Power over Ethernet
- The dream machine pro has no form of PoE therefore an additional switch will be needed for this feature as well. This is a very important feature to have since Ubiquiti’s access points and security cameras are all powered over ethernet. If you can not afford a PoE switch like this one then you can get one of their PoE injectors for around $20 but make sure to get the right one as there are a few different standards of PoE.
- Supply Shortages
- At the time of writing, Ubiquiti has been experiencing shortages of many of their devices. Their WiFi6 long-range access point is said to be out of stock for at least a year. While finding the hyperlink for the dream machine pro, for this article, I found that they are now out of stock shortly after my purchase. This is nothing new during this time of COVID19, graphics cards and many other tech devices have been experiencing shortages due to the chip shortage.
While the dream machine pro has some limitations it is highly capable compared to other routers I have used in the past. This is the first rack-mount solution that I have used and I am very impressed. I highly recommend this router for anyone going the Ubiquiti route in their small business or home network. This router may be able to handle a single rack in a data center but it is nowhere near capable of handling higher layers. Which I would not expect it to at this price point.