Last Updated on July 22, 2023
The Unifi Dream Machine Pro has established itself as a standout in networking devices, offering exceptional performance and a range of features designed to meet the needs of both home and business users. In the last couple of years, UniFi Products has increased in relevance and popularity, making it a trusted and sought-after option for those seeking a dependable, feature-packed networking solution.
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Unifi Dream Machine Pro vs. Special Edition
- 3 UDM Pro and SE Specifications and Differences
- 4 Unboxing and Setup
- 5 Design and Features
- 6 Performance and User Experience
- 7 Pros and Cons
- 8 Feedback from the Community
- 9 Looking Ahead
- 10 Conclusion:
The Unifi Dream Machine Pro (UDM Pro), a product of Ubiquiti Networks, is more than just a router. It’s an all-in-one network appliance that combines advanced security, routing, and network management capabilities. With its sleek design and powerful hardware, the UDM Pro has been turning heads in the networking world since its inception.
The UDM Pro will remain a standout product in the market. Its popularity stems from its ability to cater to a wide range of networking needs, from small businesses to large enterprises and even tech-savvy homeowners who demand more from their home networks.
The UDM Pro’s relevance in 2023 is a testament to its forward-thinking design and Ubiquiti’s commitment to continuous improvement and updates. With the rise of smart homes, remote work, and high-bandwidth activities like 4K streaming and online gaming, the demand for high-performance networking solutions has never been higher. UniFi devices rise to the occasion, delivering high-speed, secure, and reliable network performance that can handle the demands of modern digital life.
In this article, we delve deeper into the features, performance, and user experience of the UDM Pro, providing a comprehensive review that will help you decide if this is the networking solution you’ve been looking for.
|Unifi Dream Machine Pro (UDM Pro) combines a firewall, switch, and video surveillance.|
|Offers exceptional performance and speed for home and small business networks.|
|Sleek design and premium build quality reflect high-quality standards.|
|Easy setup with user-friendly UniFi OS and intuitive setup wizard.|
|Advanced security features include firewall, VPN support, and integrated video surveillance.|
|Seamless integration within the UniFi ecosystem for unified network management.|
|Consider specific needs and technical proficiency before choosing.|
|Compare alternatives to find the best fit for network requirements.|
|Powerful and reliable networking solution with advanced features.|
Unifi Dream Machine Pro vs. Special Edition
When comparing the UDM Pro and the Special Edition, several key differences could influence your decision depending on your specific networking needs.
Both versions share the same CPU and memory, ensuring similar processing capabilities. However, the Special Edition comes with Power over Ethernet (PoE) on its switch ports, a feature absent in the standard version. This allows for direct power supply to connected devices like IP cameras or access points, eliminating the need for separate power injectors.
The Special Edition also boasts a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) WAN port, an upgrade from the 1 GbE found in the standard version. This allows for faster data transfer rates, which could benefit high-bandwidth activities.
Another notable difference is the storage capacity. The Special Edition has built-in 128 GB of storage for the UniFi Protect, a video surveillance system. This provides plenty of space for storing surveillance footage directly on the device.
The Special Edition costs $120 more than the standard version. While this might seem steep, the added features and enhancements could justify the higher price tag for users who can take full advantage of them.
The choice between the UDM Pro and the UDM Special Edition largely depends on your networking needs and budget. If PoE, increased WAN speed, and additional storage are important to you, the Special Edition could be worth the extra cost. However, if these features are not crucial for your use case, the standard version offers similar performance at a lower price point.
UDM Pro and SE Specifications and Differences
|Price||More affordable option at $379.00||Higher price point at $499.00|
|Routing||High-speed routing at 3.5+ Gbps||Same high-speed routing at 3.5+ Gbps|
|LAN Ports||(1) 10G SFP+, (8) GbE RJ45||Additional PoE support with (1) 10G SFP+, (8) GbE RJ45 including (2) PoE+, and (6) PoE|
|WAN Ports||(1) 10G SFP+, (1) GbE RJ45||Faster data transfer with (1) 10G SFP+, (1) 2.5 GbE RJ45|
|Storage||3.5″ HDD bay||More storage with 128 GB SSD & 3.5″ HDD bay|
|PoE Support||Not available||Available on (2) PoE+ and (6) PoE LAN ports|
|Display||1.3″ touchscreen||Same 1.3″ touchscreen|
Unboxing and Setup
Unpacking the device is an experience in itself. The product comes in a sleek, minimalist package that exudes a sense of premium quality. The box is sturdy, ensuring the device is well-protected during transit.
Upon opening the box, you’re greeted with the device, nestled securely in custom-shaped protective foam. The device boasts a sleek, rack-mountable design with a front panel LCD for real-time network details. Its silver finish gives it a professional and modern aesthetic that blends seamlessly with other network equipment.
In addition to the device, the box contains:
- A power cord
- Rackmount screws and brackets
- A quick start guide
Now, let’s move on to the configuration process:
- Rack Mounting: Secure the device to your rack using the provided screws and brackets. Ensure it’s firmly attached to prevent any accidental falls or shifts.
- Power Connection: Connect the power cord to the device and plug it into a power outlet. The front panel LCD should light up, indicating the device receives power.
- Network Connection: Connect your internet service provider’s modem or gateway to the WAN port on the device using an Ethernet cable. If you have a secondary internet connection for failover, connect it to the WAN2 port.
- Local Network Setup: Connect your device or network switches to the LAN ports. If you have an UniFi network switch, the device automatically detects it, and you can adopt it with a click.
- Initial Configuration: Using a computer or mobile device connected to the network, open a web browser and navigate to
https://setup.ui.com. Follow the on-screen instructions to configure your network settings, including network name, password, and administrator account.
Here are some tips and tricks for a smooth configuration process:
- Firmware Update: After the initial setup, check for firmware updates. Regular updates are released to improve performance and add new features.
- Cable Management: Use cable ties or Velcro straps to organize your network cables. This not only keeps your network rack tidy but also makes troubleshooting easier.
- Backup Configuration: Once you’ve configured your network settings, back them up to a secure location. This allows you to quickly restore your settings if you need to reset the device.
Design and Features
This Ubiquity networking solution is a testament to the commitment to design excellence. It’s not just about performance; the aesthetics and physical attributes are equally impressive.
The device sports a sleek, rack-mountable design that blends with other network equipment. Its silver finish exudes a sense of professionalism, while the front panel LCD adds a touch of modernity. This LCD provides real-time network details, making it easy to monitor your network status at a glance.
The device is designed with durability in mind. Its metal casing ensures it can withstand the rigors of a busy network environment. It also features a built-in cooling system to prevent overheating, ensuring reliable performance even under heavy network load.
Packed with features that cater to a wide range of networking needs, here’s an overview of its hardware and software capabilities:
- 8-Port Gigabit Switch: The device features an 8-port Gigabit switch that connects multiple devices or network switches.
- Dual WAN Ports: It has two WAN ports for internet connectivity, allowing failover support. If your primary internet connection goes down, it can automatically switch to the secondary connection.
- Built-in Firewall includes a built-in security gateway that provides advanced firewall policies and persistent threat management to protect your network from online threats.
- Network Controller: The device runs UniFi OS software, allowing for easy management and configuration of your network devices. This software provides a unified interface for managing your network, including routers, switches, and access points.
- Protect Support: It also supports UniFi Protect, a video surveillance system. You can connect security cameras to your network and manage them directly from the device. This includes viewing live feeds, managing recording settings, and reviewing past footage.
- Access Control: The device supports Access, a system designed for door access control. This feature is particularly useful for businesses that need to control and monitor access to their premises. Access allows you to manage access permissions, monitor door status, and view access logs.
- UniFi Talk VOIP Support: Besides the above, the device also supports UniFi Talk, a Voice over IP (VoIP) system. This allows you to integrate your phone system with your network, providing features like voice and video calls, voicemail, and call forwarding. You can manage your UniFi Talk system directly from the device, making adding or removing phones, managing extensions, and configuring call routing easy.
Comparison with Previous Versions and Similar Products
Compared to its predecessor, the USG Pro, this device offers a significant upgrade in features and performance. It combines multiple devices into one, reducing the need for a separate cloud key and simplifying network management.
Compared to similar products in the market, it stands out for its all-in-one design and the seamless integration of its features. While other products may offer similar capabilities, few can match their level of integration and ease of use.
Performance and User Experience
When assessing the dashboard, it’s not just about aesthetics and features; it’s also about how well it performs and how users interact with it. Let’s delve into the details.
This device is designed to handle high-bandwidth throughput with ease. Whether streaming 4K videos, online gaming, or managing a large network of devices, it delivers top-notch performance.
Speed: It supports high-speed data transfer on all network ports, ensuring fast and smooth connectivity. The dual WAN ports also support load balancing, allowing you to maximize your internet bandwidth.
Reliability: Its robust hardware and advanced software offer reliable performance. Its built-in security layers provide continuous threat management, protecting your network from online threats. The device also features automatic failover to a secondary internet connection, ensuring uninterrupted internet access.
Functionality: It is a versatile device combining multiple network functions with a great UI. It serves as a router, switch, and network controller, reducing the need for separate devices and simplifying network management.
Designed with user experience in mind, from setup to daily use, efforts have been made to ensure a smooth and enjoyable interaction.
Ease of Use: With user-friendly UI and software, managing and setting up the device is a breeze. The interface is intuitive, making it simple to configure network settings, monitor network performance, and manage devices effortlessly.
User Interface: The front panel LCD provides a convenient way to monitor your network status. The software also features a user-friendly interface that visually overviews your network.
Customer Support: Comprehensive customer support is offered. From detailed online guides and tutorials to a responsive support team, help is readily available should you encounter any issues.
Pros and Cons
Every product has high points and areas for improvement; this networking solution is no exception. Understanding these can help determine if it’s the right fit for your needs.
Comprehensive Functionality: This device combines multiple network functions, reducing the need for separate devices and streamlining network management.
Superior Performance: With high-speed capabilities on all ports and robust hardware, it can handle high-bandwidth activities effortlessly.
Advanced Capabilities: It offers sophisticated features, including an integrated software suite like Protect, Access, Talk, and Connect. The latest OS update now includes the highly anticipated VireGuard VPN.
User-Friendly: The UniFi OS simplifies setup and management. The intuitive user interface provides a visual overview of your network.
Dependability: It offers consistent performance, with features like automatic failover to a backup internet connection and continuous threat management.
Cost: This device is pricier than basic routers. However, considering its capabilities and performance, many users find it to be a worthwhile investment.
Initial Familiarity: While the UniFi OS is user-friendly, beginners might need time to familiarize themselves with all the features.
Wi-Fi Absence: It does not have built-in Wi-Fi. A separate Wi-Fi access point is needed to provide Wi-Fi connectivity.
Updates Issues: Occasionally, rushed updates can lead to problems with specific devices and firmware versions.
This versatile device can cater to a wide range of networking needs. It’s particularly beneficial for:
- Businesses of Small to Medium Size: With its advanced features and high performance, it is ideal for companies that need a robust and reliable network.
- Tech-Enthusiast Homeowners: This device can deliver if you demand more from your home network. Whether streaming 4K videos, online gaming, or managing a smart home, it checks all the boxes.
- Networking Hobbyists: If you enjoy exploring network settings and advanced features, you’ll appreciate what this device has to offer.
Feedback from the Community
Understanding the experiences of others can provide valuable insights when considering a new networking solution. Let’s explore what users have to say about this device.
User Reviews and Feedback
Feedback from various online communities, including Reddit, has been largely positive. Users appreciate the all-in-one design, simplifying network management by combining multiple functions into a single device. The high-speed performance and advanced features, such as the built-in applications, have also been well-received.
However, it’s not just about the features and performance. Users also appreciate the user-friendly interface and the uniFi Mobile App, which makes setup and management a breeze. The front panel LCD, which provides real-time network details, has also been praised for its convenience.
Common Issues and Solutions
Like any product, this device is not without its issues. Some users have reported initial difficulties with the setup process, particularly those new to networking. However, the detailed guides and responsive customer support have helped resolve these issues.
Another common issue is the lack of built-in Wi-Fi. While this device does not provide Wi-Fi connectivity, it can be easily resolved by connecting a separate Wi-Fi access point to one of the LAN ports.
Overall the UDM Pro has been well-received by the community. Its high performance, advanced features, and user-friendly design make it a popular choice for a wide range of networking needs.
As we consider the future of this networking solution, it’s important to speculate on potential updates and improvements. This can help determine whether it’s worth investing in now or waiting for a future version.
Given the manufacturer’s commitment to continuous improvement, we can expect further enhancements to this device. Potential updates could include increased processing power to handle more devices, higher bandwidth activities, and additional network security and management features.
There’s also the possibility of integrating Wi-Fi capabilities into the device, eliminating the need for a separate Wi-Fi access point. This would further streamline the network setup and management process.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
The decision to buy now or wait for a future version largely depends on your current networking needs. This device is a solid choice if you require a high-performance, feature-rich networking solution now. Its speed, reliability, and advanced features make it a standout product in the current market.
However, if you do not need a new networking solution, it might be worth waiting to see what future versions bring. Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, future versions will likely offer even more features and capabilities.
As we wrap up our review, it’s clear that the Unifi Dream Machine Pro, a product of Ubiquiti Networks, stands as a formidable contender in networking solutions. It’s not just a router; it’s an all-in-one network appliance that combines advanced security, routing, and network management capabilities into one sleek package.
The device’s performance is impressive, easily handling high-bandwidth activities and offering reliable, consistent functionality. Its features, including an 8-port Gigabit switch, dual WAN ports, and a built-in firewall, make it a versatile choice for a wide range of networking needs.
The user experience is commendable, with an intuitive interface that simplifies setup and management and a responsive customer support team ready to assist with any issues.
At the time of writing this article, the Unifi Dream Machine Pro received an impressive rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon. It’s a solid investment for small to medium businesses, tech-savvy homeowners, and networking enthusiasts who demand more from their network.
For potential buyers, we recommend considering your current and future networking needs. This device is a solid choice if you require a high-performance, feature-rich networking solution now. If you’re not in immediate need, it might be worth waiting to see what future versions bring.
We hope this review has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the Unifi Dream Machine Pro and its place in the Ubiquiti Networks ecosystem. If you require assistance deciding which version to purchase or need help with network installation, please do not hesitate to contact us.