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UniFi Dream Machine vs. UniFi Dream Router

Published onJanuary 11, 2024

At UniHosted, we love checking out UniFi products. In this post, we'll be looking at the UniFi Dream Machine and the UniFi Dream Router.

We'll touch upon their key features, similarities but above all their differences. Hopefull we can help you decide which device suits your needs best.

Let's dive in!

Table of Contents

The UniFi Dream Router

The UniFi Dream Router (UDR) brings the standard dual-band functionality, operating on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. It features a 1 Gbps WAN port and four LAN ports. This is typical for modern routers.

It also boasts 128 GB of internal storage and a Micro SD card slot for additional memory, requiring a minimum 128 GB Micro SD card. Priced at $199. It's quite affordable.

Key features include:

  • Wi-Fi 6 support: A step ahead of Wi-Fi 5 in terms of efficiency and speed.
  • PoE Ports: Offering multiple Power over Ethernet ports.
  • Processor: Equipped with a dual-core Cortex A53 processor clocked at 1.35 GHz.
  • Transmit Power: Slightly higher in the 2.4 GHz band compared to the Dream Machine.

The UniFi Dream Machine

The UniFi Dream Machine (UDM), priced at $299, is a step up in terms of processing power and capabilities. It shares the dual-band functionality and the same physical port configuration as the UDR.

However, it has a more powerful processor - an ARM Cortex A57 quad-core processor at 1.7 GHz. This allows for more intensive network management tasks, including running multiple applications or enforcing complex firewall rules without performance degradation.

Key features include:

  • Wi-Fi 5 support: Sufficient for most current needs but a step behind the UDR's Wi-Fi 6.
  • Processor Upgrade: A more robust quad-core processor enhances performance.
  • Max Transmit Power: Offers more power in the 5 GHz spectrum compared to the UDR.

Performance and Applications

When it comes to running applications within the UniFi ecosystem, the Dream Machine has an edge. For example, managing multiple HD cameras, phones, and access points is more seamless on the UDM.

This becomes more evident when scaling up the network. The Dream Machine can handle up to 40 access points, whereas the Dream Router caps at around 15. For those planning extensive networks, the UDM or even higher-end models like the UDM Pro or UDM SE become more appealing.

Final thoughts

The choice between the UniFi Dream Machine and the UniFi Dream Router boils down to your specific needs and budget. The UDR is a budget-friendly, Wi-Fi 6 router, excellent for small to medium-sized networks. In contrast, the UDM, with its higher processing power, is more suited for larger, more demanding environments.

At UniHosted, we understand these nuances and help our customers navigate these choices. Our cloud-hosted UniFi Controllers manage whichever device you choose, ensuring optimal performance and ease of use.

Whether you're setting up a small home network or a large enterprise system, if you're looking for less hassle while your network is running smoothly, our UniFi cloud controller service is a great option.

If this resonates with what you're looking for. Feel free to check us out.

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