Unifi Dream Machine Pro vs. pfSense – Which is The Best?

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Unifi Dream Machine Pro vs. pfSense – Which is The Best?

Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs. pfSense: Key Points

  • pfSenseand Unifi Dream Machine Pro can act as routers and firewalls.
  • pfSensesoftware can be used for free!
  • pfSense is far more powerful than UDMP!
  • UDM Pro is suitable for beginners as well as experienced network engineers.
  • SPoG of UDM Pro is better than pfSense.
  • UDM Pro can’t be used as NTP and DNS server for the network.

If you’re looking for a comparison between Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs. pfSense, this article has got you covered. While the UDM Pro and pfSense offer similar features, there are some key differences. The UDM Pro lacks a few key features, such as PoE, which is needed for some applications. Furthermore, it doesn’t support bridge mode and advanced dynamic routing. It also doesn’t support self-hosted UniFi Network controllers.

The Unifi Dream Machine Pro and pfSense are not very different, but there are differences in their operations. They are suitable options if you want a firewall that can control multiple cameras and devices. On the other hand, pfSense is a powerful firewall, but you will need something to control your Ubiquiti gear. But how do they differ? Let’s take a look!

best routers for security
pfSense and Unifi Dream Machine provide security features and network management.

©ANDRANIK HAKOBYAN/Shutterstock.com

Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs. pfSense: Side-by-Side Comparison Table

Unifi Dream Machine PropfSense
RAM required4 GB512 MB
Price$379$179 to $2,649
WiFiWifi 62.4Ghz and 5Ghz
User capacity400300
Required CPU1.7 GHz500 Mhz
Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine | UDM-US
  • High‐Performance Dual Band 802. 11ac 4x4 Wave 2 AP
  • Managed 4-Port Gigabit Switch
  • Advanced Security Gateway with IDS/IPS and DPI
  • UniFi Network Controller with Intuitive User Interface
  • Powered by Fast 1. 7 GHz Quad-Core Processor
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11/26/2023 07:57 pm GMT
Infographic Unifi Dream Machine Pro vs pfSense

Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs. pfSense: Few Differences

pfSense and UDM Pro can support multiple WAN connections, but there are some differences. The UDM comes with an in-built UniFi Network controller, offering extra hardware features you can’t find on older controllers. Here’s a good look at a few of their differences:

Firewall Protection

The Unifi Dream Machine Pro is an all-in-one enterprise network appliance that integrates a 10G SFP+ WAN and an 8-port Gbps switch. It can replace the pfSense firewall, commutator, and switch. Compared to pfSense, the UDM-Pro offers more security features and ease of use. For example, users can log and track all events related to their network to detect any threats. However, when it comes to security, pfSense beats UDMP with ease!


If you’re looking for a firewall solution that offers a wide range of capabilities, pfSense is the best option. However, pfSense is difficult to set up, and even experienced network engineers might struggle. pfSense’s user interface is outdated and difficult to navigate, especially if you’re new to network security. Unifi’s documentation and customer support are less than stellar.

pfSense is an open-source firewall, while the UniFi Dream Machine Pro is a commercial firewall. Both have advantages and disadvantages. pfSense requires more administrative overhead and is more difficult to set up, whereas the UniFi Dream Machine Pro is more reliable and easy to configure.

Compatibility with Ubiquiti gear

You may wonder which of the two to choose if you’re looking for a good firewall. pfSense is more capable but doesn’t act as a controller for Ubiquiti gear. In that case, you might want to go with the UDM pro instead. However, the right choice for your needs will depend on the number of devices and cameras you need to secure.


pfSense isn’t as user-friendly as Unifi. The interface is not as intuitive, and you must manually edit settings and options. This is inconvenient when you’re using pfSense as your network firewall. Besides, pfSense also requires lots of administrative overhead, so it’s best to avoid it unless you’re a professional.

On the other hand, the Unifi controller has a more user-friendly interface. Ultimately, choosing the right one depends on your needs and requirements.


If you don’t have a server rack, UDM is a better choice. It can fit almost anywhere, and it looks pretty. Moreover, it’s more versatile than pfSense, which makes it easier to manage and maintain. For users looking for a replacement for their outdated USG, UDM Pro is an ideal choice.

Advanced threats

Unifi’s Dream Machine Pro has a quad-core processor, which allows it to deliver high throughput with DPI turned on. It also comes with a single interface and supports Threat Management, allowing it to protect your network from advanced threats.


The main difference between these two routers is their firewall capabilities. pfSense can run many VPN solutions, including OpenVPN and WireGuard. In contrast, Unifi’s controller doesn’t offer as much flexibility, making it a more limited choice for a home network.


Both security gateways are fairly versatile, with the Unifi Dream Machine Pro offering a single interface and a 1.7 GH quad-core processor. They are also remarkably quiet, which makes them the ideal choice for smaller homes.

network security data encryption
Unifi’s Dream Machine has more advanced features than pfSense.


Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs. pfSense: What’s the difference?

pfSense and Unifi Dream Machine provide security features and network management. Unifi Dream Machine Pro and pfSense are relatively quiet, which means they are ideal for low-noise environments and allow you to log events and check for threats. However, there are some major differences between the two products.

UniFi Dream Machine Pro

The UniFi Dream Machine Pro is an all-in-one security gateway that provides a gateway, firewall, and VPN service. It also includes wireless network management capabilities. The Ubiquiti Dream Machine router can be installed on a network to manage and store surveillance cameras. The Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine router is an excellent choice for businesses and home users who need to protect their networks.

It is a firewall and a switch that combines the functions of a router and a network security appliance. It’s designed to fit into a home network’s insight. It also has a built-in access point. There are several versions of Unifi, including the SE, which has PoE ports and an integrated 128GB SSD for an NVR. If you’re only looking for a basic network firewall, there’s also the UDM, an all-in-one network device perfect for home networks.

This is a powerful networking device. It can be used to set up your entire network or to manage several smaller networks. Additionally, the device can also be used as a wireless access point. It also works as a router. There are also other Unifi devices that you can use with it. They include an Unifi Switch, Access Point, and Ubiquiti gear.

Unifi’s Dream Machine has more advanced features. Its WAN port is faster and includes a second 10G SFP+ port. However, its limited storage capacity means that it’s not suitable for load balancing. The UniFi Dream Machine Pro doesn’t come with a hard drive, so you’ll need to buy one. The amount of storage you’ll need depends on how many cameras you plan to use and what quality you’ll need. A 2TB hard disk is usually enough for 30 days’ worth of video.


pfSense is a free open-source firewall/router computer software distribution that runs on FreeBSD. It can be installed on a physical computer, virtual machine, or dedicated network. It can be configured to protect the network from viruses, hackers, and unauthorized access. pfSense is a powerful firewall that comes with a host of features. It has many benefits, including fault tolerance and high internet connection speeds. It also supports IPv6 and is available as hardware, virtual appliance, and software.

pfSense offers many security features, including a blacklist database and stateful packet inspection. Moreover, it can automatically generate usage reports and configure permissions. With pfSense, you can perform stateful packet inspections, configure time-based rules, and secure data with SSL encryption. It can also monitor web traffic from specific regions and block it using GeoIP filtering.

While pfSense is a powerful firewall, it’s difficult to understand how to set it up and manage it effectively, especially if you’re not an experienced network engineer.

Netgate 1100 w/pfSense+ Software - Router, Firewall, VPN w/1-yr TAC Lite Support
  • [Business Ready] Software updates included for product lifetime. Netgate TAC Lite technical support included. One year hardware warranty included.
  • [Easy to Set Up] Pre-loaded with pfSense Plus software to get up and running fast - simply unbox it and start customizing for your secure networking needs.
  • [Powerful Dual Core] A dual core ARM Cortex-A53 1.2 GHz delivers near gigabit routing of common home iPerf3 traffic and in excess of 650 Mbps of firewall throughput.
  • [Efficient Operation] Low power draw, a compact form factor, and silent operation allow it to run unnoticed when placed on a desktop, wall, or rack.
  • [Flexible Configuration Options] Three (3) 1 GbE switched (WAN/LAN/OPT) ports allow you to configure three separate 1 GbE switched ports for nearly a gigabit of bi-directional traffic.
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11/26/2023 12:16 pm GMT

Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs. pfSense: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

When comparing Unifi Dream Machine Pro Vs pfSense, the UniFi Dream Machine Pro is the best all-in-one security gateway. It includes all components that make up an enterprise-grade firewall, including a 10G SFP+ WAN and an eight-port Gbps switch. Its single interface has a high-speed network interface, which can be useful if you’re using the router for a small business. Whether you want to use it for home or business, UDM Pro has you covered!

Up Next…

Don’t stop reading now! We have plenty more articles to help you with keeping your online activities and devices safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Dream Machine Pro Act As a Router?

If you’re wondering if your Dream Machine Pro can act as a router, you’re not alone. It can act as a router and is also equipped with high-end features like intrusion prevention and top-notch performance.

What is the Difference Between the Dream Machine and Dream Machine Pro?

The Dream Machine Pro is an enterprise-grade UniFi OS Console that offers a scalable networking experience and a comprehensive platform for multi-application use. Like the basic version, it features a fast 1.7 GHz quad-core processor and a unified security gateway. But with various advanced features, the Dream Machine Pro is an all-in-one networking console that supports every UniFi OS application.

How Many Cameras Does UDM Pro Support?

UDM Pro supports up to 50 HD cameras. It provides basic and advanced template options and features, which allow users to scroll through video events and recordings. Additionally, when it comes to the 4k, you can run 15 cameras on UDM Pro.

Can I use pfSense as just a firewall?

pfSense is a stateful firewall software capable of reserving bandwidth for legitimate users based on demand. Moreover, enforcing user and group-based policies prevents unauthorized access to resources. As a result, pfSense software is a reliable enterprise open source Firewall.

Is pfSense worth it?

The pfSense software comes with several features. For example, it allows you to set up a multi-WAN configuration, allowing the system to continue running even if a component fails. The software also has regular security and feature updates. It is supported by a comprehensive documentation site and a knowledgeable support forum.

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