Edgerouter VS. Dream Machine: Which One is Right For You?

Edgerouter vs. Dream Machine

Edgerouter VS. Dream Machine: Which One is Right For You?

Edgerouter vs Dream Machine: 5 Must-Know Facts

Before you make the decision about which is right for your home, here are five things you should know:

  • The Edgerouter is a router and firewall.
  • Dream Machine is a router, firewall, and switch.
  • Edgerouter offers more ports to accommodate additional devices such as printers or game systems that require network access through Ethernet cables.
  • Edgerouter is a line of UISP devices.
  • The Dream Machine lineup is a more comprehensive networking solution for both homes and businesses.

Ubiquiti is one of the most well-known names in networking equipment, offering a wide range of products for both home and business use. One of the most popular choices for a router is the EdgeRouter.

However, there’s another powerful yet affordable option that’s also worthy of your consideration. The Ubiquiti Dream Machine or UDM combines an EdgeRouter and Network Controller into a single device that’s easy to set up and use. 

Whether you opt for the EdgeRouter or the Dream Machine will depend on your needs as an individual or business as well as your budget. Below, we’ll compare them to help you make the right choice.

Edgerouter vs. Dream Machine: Full Comparison

Let’s start by comparing the Edgerouter to the UniFi Dream Machine.

In contrast with its competitors’ edge routers (which rely heavily on CLI commands), Ubiquiti’s Edgerouters allow users unfamiliar with command line interfaces (CLIs) to easily configure their networks using graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

This makes setting up multiple devices at once easier than ever before! This is perfect for people who want to set up a couple of routers but don’t have much experience with hardware.

While there will still be a learning curve, both the EdgeRouter and Dream Machine are fairly good for people who are new to hardware. They are also suitable for both home and business use.

Edgerouter vs Dream Machine: Side-by-Side Comparison

Check out our Edgerouter vs Dream Machine, Side-by-Side Comparison:

EdgerouterDream Machine
PricingStarts at $59Starts at $299
Max Power Consumption5W – 100W26W – 50W
SecurityBasic firewallSecurity gateway with threat management
Ports5 – 104 – 11
ISP ManagementUISPUniFi
FunctionEdge routerRouter, cloud key, security gateway
Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Dream Machine Pro All-In-One Enterprise Security Gateway & Network Appliance
  • All-in-one 1U rack appliance for small to medium sized businesses.
  • Combines new UniFi OS with 8-port switch and security gateway.
  • UniFi Protect video surveillance NVR with off-the-shelf 3.5" HDD support.
  • 8-port Gigabit Switch with 1 Gbps RJ45 and 10G SFP+ LAN.
  • Enterprise-class IPS/IDS, DPI, and Wi-Fi AI capabilities.
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08/28/2023 06:06 pm GMT

Edgerouter vs Dream Machine: What’s the Difference?

Edgerouter and Dream Machine are somewhat similar. Both are wildly powerful routers, capable of handling a variety of tasks and operating systems. They both have rock-solid performance at a range that’s unmatched by other consumer routers on the market today.

Most people wouldn’t know how much bandwidth they need between each room — or even what “bandwidth” means — but the UniFi Dream Machine makes setup and technical details simple. That’s what really sets the Dream Machine apart from Edgerouter and other lines – it makes things beginner-friendly. 

Likewise, a big thing that sets the Dream Machine apart from other equipment is that it can replace multiple pieces of hardware. It integrates features from the UniFi Security Gateway, Cloud Key, and access point. Likewise, it’s great if you want a set-it-and-forget-it solution for your home or business.

One of the ways it does that is by integrating the UniFi Network Application, which is a cloud-based software that lets you manage and monitor your network devices. While not quite the same, it takes the place of Ubiquiti’s cloud key.

The controller gives you an overview of all connected devices, IP addresses, and traffic statistics such as upload and download speeds. The controller also includes features like cut-through routing, guest portals, hotspot management (including captive portal), and client isolation. But, these features are only available on Ubiquiti EdgeRouter models ERLITE-3 or higher.

You can install the controller on Windows 7/8/10 or macOS 10.12+ operating systems by downloading the free installer from Ubiquiti’s UniFi download site

In addition to these benefits of using a cloud-based management system for your router(s), your system is also easy to get back online. If something happens to your device(s) – whether it’s an accidental power outage or malware infection – it’s easy to fix. You can simply log into your account from another computer with internet access and restore settings back to where they were before everything went haywire!

However, there are some key differences between these devices that might sway you one way or another. When choosing between an Edgerouter or Dream Machine consider:

  • Cost: With a $300 price tag (or more), the Dream Machine is decidedly more expensive than its counterpart. If you’re looking for something with similar capabilities but without quite as much power and speed, then this might be an important factor for you to consider before making your purchase decision.
  • Features: Both devices offer up some pretty impressive specs in terms of bang-for-your-buck ratio and overall performance. There are several features that may tip things in favor of one device or another depending on what kind of customer needs they’re trying to fulfill (ease vs. complexity).

Remember, Edgerouter and Dream Machine are both full lineups. So, if you are considering buying one, look at each model and the specific features it has.

For example, do you already have multiple networks connected together, or need a gateway that also acts as a router? Then you should consider buying something like an Edgerouter X model. While slightly more expensive than some of its siblings ($150), this device will allow you to connect all of your devices together without having to buy any additional hardware or software.

Edgerouter vs Dream Machine: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

The Edgerouter is a great option if you need a router that can be used in multiple environments. Because it’s so powerful, it’s able to handle whatever tasks you throw at it. However, if you’re looking for something with more features and don’t mind paying more for them, the Edgerouter may not be for you.

The Dream Machine is better suited for those who are seeking a router that has more features than the Edgerouter. This device has many additional capabilities such as an included modem and wireless extenders. Those make it easy to set up and use right out of the box without having to buy extra components or accessories first (although they are available).

If you’re looking for a router with a simple interface and few added features, then picking up an Edgerouter makes perfect sense. However, do you want something with SD-WAN support or redundant power supplies? If those aren’t important to you either way then going with a Dream Machine might make sense instead. Especially since they are so beginner-friendly compared to other models in Ubiquiti’s lineup.

The Edgerouter is the cheaper option. The Dream Machine costs $299 or more, while Ubiquiti’s Edgerouters can be as cheap as $59. However, it should be noted that the Edgerouter is a full-featured router with most of the same features as a Dream Machine. Most Edgerouter models don’t have any extra bells and whistles like SD-WAN support or high availability capabilities. However, the specific capabilities vary for each specific model.

Both lineups are good options. The bottom line: go with what works best for your needs!

Ubiquiti Networks Edgerouter Pro 8- 8 Port Router 2Sfp (ERPro-8),Black
  • Powerful Routing Performance: The EdgeRouter PRO routes up to 2 million+ packets per second. Use its advanced features to run applications on the customizable open platform.
  • Versatile Gigabit Connectivity: Provides six independent, RJ45 Gigabit ports and two RJ45/SFP combination Gigabit ports.
  • Convenient Rackmount Design: The durable, 1U-high metal chassis allows for convenient mounting in a standard-sized, 19”-wide rack.
  • Centralized Management: The EdgeRouter PRO is supported and managed by UNMS (Ubiquiti Network Management System), a comprehensive controller with an intuitive UI. A single control plane manages...
  • SFP Ports: 2 (Two ports can be used as either RJ45 or SFP).
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08/28/2023 06:06 pm GMT

Go with EdgeRouter If….

WiFi Router Graphic Illustration

©ANDRANIK HAKOBYAN/Shutterstock.com

  • If you’re looking for a powerful router that can handle large networks, the Edgerouter is the choice for you.
  • If you’re looking for a router with many features, then it’s probably best to go with the Edgerouter.
  • If you need a router that can be used for many different purposes and is fairly easy to use, then go with the Edgerouter!

While most EdgeRouter models don’t have all the bells and whistles that Dream Machine does, it is a solid line of ISP solutions. It is also considerably cheaper, with Ubiquiti’s line of EdgeRouters beginning at just $59. A big drawback is that it isn’t as beginner-friendly as the Dream Machine and requires some setup and maintenance. Because of that, it is better suited to people who have some hardware experience or are willing to learn.

As of October 2022, the UISP EdgeRouter X is Ubiquity’s most affordable option. On the other end of the scale, their UISP EdgeRouter Infinity has eight SFP+ ports and costs $1,849.

Go With Dream Machine If…

  • If you need a comprehensive solution for your home or business, Dream Machine is a fantastic option.
  • If you want something that is easy and fast to set up, Dream Machine is a set-it-and-forget-it solution.
  • If you have the budget and are willing to spend $300 or more, Dream Machine offers a great bang for your buck.

There are currently three models of Dream Machine available by Ubiquiti. Their base model is the most affordable at $299. On the other hand, the Dream Machine Special Edition is $499 and offers advanced capabilities like PoE-compatible LAN ports.

If you have the budget and the need, go with a Dream Machine. If you want to future-proof your router (which is recommended), it’s hard to beat the power of this device.

The Dream Machine is also a great choice if you want something easy to use and secure, as well as one that offers excellent coverage. Because it covers the functions of multiple devices, it is especially good for people who don’t have much hardware experience or just want a simple solution.

Overall, we think that both routers are great choices. Make your decision based on your budget, experience, and personal needs.

Next Up…

Check out some of these articles, you may learn something new:

Edgerouter VS. Dream Machine: Which One is Right For You? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is Ubiquiti?

Ubiquiti is a company that makes wireless networking equipment for home and business use. They are known for their user-friendly software and affordable prices, which makes them popular among DIYers who want to save money on professional WiFi systems. The company was founded in 2005 by David Hahn and Robert Pera, who was the CEO at the time of this writing.

Is Edgerouter or Dream Machine cheaper?

Ubiquiti’s line of Edgerouters begins at $59 so on their own, an Edgerouter is cheaper. However, it should be noted that the Edgerouter is a full-featured router with most of the same features as a Dream Machine but without any extra bells and whistles like SD-WAN support or high availability capabilities. The Dream Machine lineup performs a wider array of tasks, so it may ultimately be more affordable.

What is the difference between an edge router and a router?

In a nutshell, an edge router is a router that can be used to connect to multiple devices. It’s not just for connecting your desktop or laptop computer anymore; these days, it can also be used to connect a switch or access point.

Is an edge router a firewall?

Edge routers are not firewalls. They are routers, and they can route traffic to and from your network. They can also be used to filter traffic, enforce rules on your network, and secure your network.

What does the UniFi dream machine do?

The UniFi Dream Machine is a router, switch and firewall all in one. It’s also an access point controller that lets you manage the wireless settings of other Ubiquiti Unifi access points — or any other brand of AP — from the same interface.

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