Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Pro: Which Router is Better?


Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Pro: Which Router is Better?

Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Pro: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. Both have a Processor (Quad ARM CORTEX-A 57 Core at 1.7 GHz).
  2. Dream Machine Special Edition and Pro have two SFP+ & 10G interfaces for LAN and WAN.
  3. Dream Machine Special Edition has PoE ports, whereas the Pro doesn’t. 
  4. Their system memory is the same 4GB DDR4.
  5. They both have On-Board Flash Storage (16 GB eMMC).
  6. They both have two SFP+ and 10G for LAN and WAN. Pro has 1 GbE whereas Dream Machine Special Edtion has 2.5 GbE. 

The new Dream Machine Special Edition is now on the market. It is an upgrade from Dream Machine Pro, which has been available for quite some time. Clients can enjoy these two UniFi options while exploring their unique features to have an UniFi network system. Both routers have WAN Ports and share the same UniFi applications. You may have thought they are the same but they have distinct features that will help us map the differences.

The Dream Machine Special Edition is an enterprise-class network device that integrates PoE, a dual-WAN router, a security getaway, and a network video recorder into a single 1 Ru rack system. These improve speed and make homes or businesses manage their network with minimum hassle. The Pro, on the other hand, is a full-set network device that businesses or offices can use for a flexible network. It is powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor that integrates several functions within a single device. 

Both devices make it easy for you to manage your network. However, do their differences make them less effective? Let’s look at their features, differences, pros, and cons, and answer some questions to understand how these two work.

Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Pro: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Dream Machine Special EditionPro
Dimensions17.4 x 11.2 x 1.7″ / 442.4 x 285.6 x 43.7 mm17.42 x 11.24 x 1.72″ / 442.4 x 285.6 x 43.7 mm
Weight 10.91 lb8.6 lb
AC Input Power100 – 240 VAC 50 / 60 Hz at 4.4 A100 – 240 VAC 50 / 60 Hz
Special Features2.5 GbE on RJ45 WAN
All LAN PORTS, support PoE
Integrated 128 GB SSD for UniFi Protect
10 Gbps SFP + WAN, advanced firewall with VPN, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Intrusion Prevention System, 3.5 Gbps IDS/IPS Throughput
Ports2 x 10 /100 /1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) PoE+6 X 10 / 100 / 1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) PoE1 X 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet RJ45 Uplink1 X 10 Gb SFP+1 X 10 GB SFP+ Uplink1 x 10 / 100 / 1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 Console8 X 10 / 100 / 1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet RJ451 X 10 Gb SFP+ Console1 X 10 Gb SFP+
Flash Memory144GB16GB
Power Draw33.00 W (Max) 50.00 W33.00 W 
CPU1.7 GHz Cortex A 57, Quad-Core1.7 GHz Cortex A 57, Quad-Core
Infographic Dream Machine Special Edition vs Dream Machine Pro

Dream Machine Special Edition: Complete History

On January 23rd, 2022, Ubiquiti Store released the Dream Machine Special Edition. It’s an upgrade over the existing Dream Machine Pro.

The Special Edition has all the necessary features to make it superior to its predecessors. One of the enhancements that many users appreciated was increased PoE capacity. It makes managing a UniFi network with a single router simpler.

Another significant improvement is extra network GBs, which is another improvement that many people have liked. Equally, the change in aesthetics has been well-received by customers. The Special Edition looks sleeker and more modern than the Pro model. The Special Edition is a great upgrade that offers more features and benefits than the older model.

Let’s discuss the features, pros, and cons of Dream Machine Special Edtion.


  • 1.7 GHz quad-core processor
  • 8 (GbE, RJ45 ports), 6, and 2 PoE + LAN ports
  • 1 (10g SPF & LAN) port
  • Filters and identifies any form of internet threat and traffic that can be customized for improved network security
  • Quick Bluetooth setup using the UniFi Network online system of applications or other handset devices like mobile phones work best
  • 1 U-sized and rack-mountable device
  • Integrated storage with 128GB improves the experience of using UniFi OS applications
  • Create an uninterruptible network by connecting a SmartPower Redundant Power System
  • In-built security access point and 3.5” HDD-compatible with a system known as UniFi Protect-ready NVR
  • 10 G SFP+ & 2.5 GbE RJ45 dual WAN PORTS
  • 1 (1.3” LCM color touchscreen) for quick network monitoring

Pros and Cons of Dream Machine Special Edition

Pros of Dream Machine Special EditionCons of Dream Machine Speed Edition
It gives you full control of your UniFi device’s access points. These include Talk Phones, Protect Cameras, and Access Readers.Since it is one all-router, you will have to buy a new set if you want an upgrade later. You can’t change one part.
It’s a future-proof control. That is because it can run all upcoming UniFi OS applications.It is a bit pricey.
You can remotely access your network from anywhere. 
It has an integrated PoE switch. 

Dream Machine Pro 

With the help of the built-in UniFi Controller, this stylish 1 U rack device offers gateway, routing, VPN, and firewall services, threat protection, deep packet inspection, and wireless network administration.

Below are the features, pros, and cons of Pro.

The Dream Machine Special Edition and Pro versions have plenty of differences, like with their respective ports.

Features of Pro

  • Advanced Security Gateway with an Integrated Switch
  • Two WAN Ports (One for 10G SFP+ & the other for Gigabit RJ45)
  • LAN Port plus One 10G SFP
  • Embedded Enterprise Application – UniFi Network
  • For NVR Storage, it has a 3.5″ HDD Bay and is 2.5″ HDD compatible

Pros and Cons of Dream Machine Pro

Pros Cons
Provides reducant power to which you can attach an UniFi SmartPower RPS via a proprietary power connection.
When the Unifi Dream Machine’s internal power supply fails, it will automatically switch over, preventing interruptions.
It doesn’t have POE ports
It has an advanced threat management system and a built-in firewall. That allows you to enable security features like hacking, IPSs with a bad reputation, P2P and Tor, etc.  
It combines multiple appliances into one.
The two WAN connections don’t have load balancing between them.
Easy to set up and configureIt doesn’t have a hard drive, so you must install one.

Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Pro: What’s the Difference?

Both devices are intended to assist organizations and homeowners with managing their equipment in UniFi networks. Despite these similarities, they are nevertheless distinct. The following are some distinctions between Dream Machine Special Edition and Pro.

Rj45 WAN Ports

Both Pro and SE have two WAN ports. However, Pro has a 1 GbE port, and Dream Machine Special Edition has a 2.5 GbE port. You might benefit from this extra port if your modem and internet provider is faster than 1Gbps. 

Though, if a 10 GBase-T transceiver is used on its SFP+ port, UDM Pro may deliver the same performance. But, we can’t ignore the addition of GbE because we are getting our speed from the same place without extra additions. 

Integrated SSD

Dream Machine Second Edition has a built-in second slot with a 128GB SSD. It is a good addition, especially for an organization that needs more information storage. 

For Network Video Recorder (NVR) functions, such as video storage for UniFi Protect, UDM Pro uses internal storage. SSD can fit in the one HDD slot of UDM Pro.


Dream Machine Special Edition has PoE, eight ports (6 are 802.3af and 2 are 802.3at) capability, and Pro doesn’t have one. The PoE allows the users to enjoy all UniFi connections in a single device. You can enjoy data connections, yet use your VolP phones and IP cameras using the same router. 


The Pro is cheaper than Dream Machine Special Edition. However, it’s worth the value considering the additional features. 

Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Pro: Which is Better? 

Both devices aim to provide a secure, high-speed internet connection. However, Dream Machine Special Edition excels over Pro. It’s about your preferences when choosing between Dream Machine Special Edition and Pro. However, when we look at the features, advantages, drawbacks, and distinctions, these two have their benefits and shortcomings.

The Dream Machine Special Editions is a great choice for your business because it has internet support of 2.5GB from 1 Gb and PoE support, which accommodates other UniFi networks like cameras. It also has an Integrated 128GB SSD, making it ideal storage-wise for larger organizations. 

Additionally, it includes a 10G SFP+ port for future-proofing. On the other hand, the UniFi Dream Machine Pro is a powerful choice for your business with its 4 x 4 MU-MIMO support, making it a great option for businesses that need to connect more than 50 devices at a time. However, it doesn’t have as much storage as the Special Edition. So, if you want to connect more than 50 devices and need storage, go with the Special Edition.

Up Next…

Interested in more comparisons? Click on the links below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a switch with UDM pro?

It depends on the ports you want to use. If you want more than 8, you will have to buy a switch.




Is Wi-Fi available on the Dream Machine Pro? 

In contrast to the standard Dream Machine, the Pro does not come with a built-in access point.

Is the Dream Machine Special Edition suitable for a home setup?


Does Dream Machine Special Edition have a PoE?

Yes, it does.


How many WAN ports does Dream Machine Special Edtion have?

It has two WAN ports.

To top