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UniFi Controller as a Service

Published onSeptember 15, 2023

For small home networks, self-hosted UniFi Controllers work perfectly fine. However, for larger environments, such as MSP's, handling multiple networks, hosted UniFi Controllers are a better solution.

They provide more scalability and take some work off your plate by automating deployment, testing, updating, and backups.

In this article, we'll outline the best options on the market. Let's dive in!

Table of Contents

Why UniFi Controller as a Service

I mentioned it before, but here are the main benefits:

  1. Instant Deployment: No hassle or time spent to get your controller online. This is done automatically in a few minutes (most of the time). It doesn’t require any work from your side. Here is how you can install your UniFi controller as a service at UniHosted.

  2. Testing and Updates: You don’t need to worry about testing & implementing updates. The hosting provider does this. No more worrying about keeping up with the latest security patches. However, be sure about the processes they employ updating your UniFi Controller. Here is how we handle software updates at UniHosted.

  3. Backups: Most providers offer daily backups, guaranteeing that your network can be restored quickly if something goes wrong.

  4. 24/7 Monitoring: Your network is monitored round-the-clock (in most cases). Any issues are addressed before they turn into serious problems.

  5. SSL Certificates: You don't need to worry about the hassle of setting this up.

  6. Dedicated VPS: Most offer a dedicated server for your networks.

Whether or not to opt for UniFi Controller as a service is up to you. It saves you a lot of time and is probably more secure. However, you need to put your trust in a third-party tool. In addition, it's a trade-off between spending time vs. spending money.

However, at some point, employing a UniFi Controller as a service set up for scalability purposes makes sense. Especially if you are an MSP managing clients networks.

What options do you have

Several companies offer UniFi Controller as a service option with a monthly subscription model. This means you pay a monthly fee based on the number of devices you have.

These are your options:

UniHosted

UniHosted is the new kid on the block that provides an affordable solution.

It’s a solid, affordable platform that handles all your UniFi controller needs, including automation, backups, monitoring system upgrades, round-the-clock support and dedicated servers around the world.

UniHosted is the only UniFi Cloud controller that is free

HostiFi

HostiFi has long been the go-to solution for UniFi Controller services. They're still very good at what they do. They have a track record and ensure new updates are tested before being deployed.

They cover seamless backups, upgrade monitoring, and customer support. Looking at their enterprise-grade pricing, they focus on the upper market.

We’ve also written a more in-depth article on HostiFi and alternative providers.

Hubox

Hubox is another provider. They claim they manage over 3,000 clients. If this is true, they're a big fish. But there is not much info about them.

You can’t find any customer reviews or third-party information that suggests reliability. Also, they don’t seem to have a social presence, which I don’t find very convincing. It must be said that they have been in the space for quite a long time already.

Cloud UniFi

Cloud UniFi has been in the space for a long time as well. They have dedicated hosting for the controllers with servers in both the US and Europe. It's also difficult to find a lot of reliable information about them.

They don’t have a social presence but seem to be doing well. They state that they at least test before updating, which is a good sign.

UniFi Cloud Controller Pricing

The costs vary among service providers. Reliability and costs are the two most important factors here. Cloud controllers don’t have to be super expensive, but you do want to have a reliable provider.

Let’s see the pricing of the above-mentioned service providers.

UniHosted Pricing

UniHosted has two plans: the free plan (up to 5 devices) and the business offering, which starts at $30 a month. The business pricing works on a “pay-as-you” basis; you’ll only pay for the number of devices you actually use. You are not boxed into a specific plan. You get all the features and comprehensive customer support.

HostiFi Pricing

HostiFi is the priciest solution. They doubled their pricing some time ago and now start from $99 monthly. This is quite steep and three times as expensive as UniHosted. There is also no free plan available to test the waters.

Does cloud hosting need to be this expensive? The answer is no. Quality-wise, HostiFi is good, but you can get that same quality for a cheaper price at UniHosted, for example.

Hubox Pricing

Hubox pricing starts at $30 per month. It’s indeed cheaper to start than HostiFi, but as mentioned before, it's difficult to know the reliability of their servers.

Cloud UniFi Pricing

Cloud UniFi prices start at $15 per month (on a shared server). This is a cheaper option. However, looking at reliability, it seems a bit off that they don’t have any social presence or reviews.

UniFi Cloud Controller for free

Most of these services don’t provide free plans, except for UniHosted. HostiFi used to have a free plan, but they removed it.

The UniHosted free plan provides support for up to 5 devices. The free plan devices are hosted on a shared server. It’s a perfect way for businesses to test the waters and see how it works without spending a dime. Also, it invites home users to try it and optimize their networks at no cost.

Final Thoughts

UniFi Controller as a Service offers a great deal of benefits. It's easier to scale your networks without the hassle. There are a few options on the market that have been discussed above. You should try the solution that fits your needs best.

We built UniHosted to be an affordable and reliable UniFi cloud controller solution. You can test the waters on the free plan or optimize your networks immediately with the business option. Feel free to give it a try!

Additionally, I'm happy to walk you through personally. You can schedule a call with me (Founder of UniHosted) here.

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