The best WiFi router for home and business – Ubiquiti Dream Machine
So many WiFi Routers – so little WiFi
WiFi router issues are all too common and solutions to “fix” these issue are becoming a haven for cheaply made crap that doesn’t really do the job. How does the guy in the shop know that you have a dead spot and not a channel conflict with the 100 other WiFi networks surrounding you.
“This modem has 5 aerials and costs $500, you know it’s good because it has 5 aerials and it’s expensive. Oh and it has Gaming Extreme Pro Edition X written on the box, so it’s perfect for you”Sales guy
I’ve installed these devices before, $500, mesh network solutions sold to a friend to fix the dead WiFi spots in his house, not a huge house just a few decent walls blocking signal. But how can a mesh WiFi network possibly fix this? If signal signal struggles to get from point A to B, our solution is to make it now go from A to B to C, really? Is this what the demand for good WiFI at home and business came to? Sprinkling mesh access points everywhere. That’s like buying two cars that can only travel half way to work.
A better WiFi world
Imagine if you could get a WiFi router, that provided and excellent wireless experience by utilizing great hardware and active network monitoring to provide each device the best WiFi experience possible.
Imagine if this WiFi router could scan neighboring WiFi networks and act on what it finds to best reduce conflicts, Imagine if this device could monitor the best channels to provide the highest throughput.
What if this WiFI router could also:
- Install with an user friendly app and little technical knowledge
- Connect to any New Zealand Fiber Internet Provider
- Provide safety features to protect little eyes online
- Block malware and malicious websites with DNS filtering
- Monitor and manage network traffic to block unwanted content at home or work
- Actively monitor your internet connect for external attacks and instantly block them
- Setup fire-walling and port-forwarding rules with ease using an excellent UI
- Provide enterprise level VPN, encryption and network tools for businesses
- Actually do everything it says, and looks great doing it.
- Not require active subscriptions for support or updates
- Have a family product range for security cameras and other smart network devices
Introducing the Dream Machine WiFi Router – The Best WiFi Router for Home and Business
The Ubiquiti Dream Machine router retails in New Zealand for around $640 and is an all in one solution for home and business networks. It provides you with the key components all in one device. A Fiber modem, a 4 port gigabit switch, a extremely powerful wireless access point, a firewall and many more features perfect to protect both your family or business. Below we dig into what some of these features are and how they work.
Dream Machine Dashboard
The dashboard gives you a clear overview of your entire network. This dashboard gives you an insight into your network devices, internet capacity, WiFi Channels, Network Anomalies and Retry Rates. The WiFi Router dashboard shows you how many devices are connected and current load on the Dream Machine.
This dashboard (and controller) extends to support more Ubiquiti devices such as cameras, switches and access points as your network demands grow.
The Best WiFi Router for Traffic Statistics
With Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) enabled in the Dream Machine, the device will monitor and track each device on your network and build a array of information.
This information help you understand your internet data, what applications are used the most, and what users are using them.
This powerful dashboard is built by simply enabling DPI and the Dream Machine handles the rest.
Network Mapping and Topology
Automatically the Dream Machine WiFi Router will map all devices connected to the network (both wired and wireless) to build a perfect network topology diagram. This mapping automatically extends out to show other Ubiquiti devices like additional cameras, switches, storage and access points.
What is great about this network topology is it also shows live wireless stats, specifically the “Wireless Experience” which the UniFi network uses to signify the connection strength to wireless devices.
This allows you to quickly identify troubled WiFi devices on the network so a solution can be put in place.
Device Fingerprinting, a setting along side DPI on the Dream Machine, helps you identify what devices are what. Instead of showing you IP addresses on the network, which can be elusive when using DHCP, the Dream Machine shows you what the device is, its host-name and even a matching icon. You can also give devices an alias like “My PC” or “My iPhone”.
The clients screen is similar to the network mapping screen but shows you all devices currently connected with much more detail. This includes both wired and wireless devices.
The device fingerprinting has applied matching icons and host-names. We can also see the IP addresses, connection experience, the network the device is on, what port it is plugged into, current activity, throughput speeds, and how long the device has been connected.
Clicking on each device then allows you to dive deeper. You can view all network related information, view and edit the device fingerprint including alias and icon, view detailed network statistics, and dig into the specific Deep Packet Inspection information for just the selected device.
You can also block network traffic temporarily with one click, just during dinner or movie time or that meeting you want Keith to focus instead of watching TikTok.
The Network Insights screen is similar to the network devices screen but provides more details from the Dream Machine WiFI Router DPI. You can see when the device was first and last seen on the network, what type of product it is, who made it, and the operating system it is running.
This page also shows total internet usage, downloading and uploading, per device.
This is a great tool to manage aging devices or trouble users across broad networks for system or network administrators.
Threat Management System on the Dream Machine
One of the smartest (and coolest) integrated solutions is the threat management system.
Intrusion Detection System – Monitors the firewall for threats or malicious activity and will alert you to them. (Not recommended as it’s only an alerting system)
Intrusion Prevention System – Monitors the firewall for threats or malicious activity and blocks it. (Recommended)
You can then choose the level which it operates, 1 to 5 predefined security levels which block a series of different threats from Malware and viruses, P2P protection, hacking protection, internet traffic, and bad reputation IP.
You can also set the security level to ‘custom’ to pick which policies are enabled.
Once enabled the Dream Machine will activity work on protecting your network from external threats, and capture detailed information.
Each “attack” is represented by a map and red line from the source. You can also use this map to block entire countries from accessing your network, in, out or both.
Each attack is logged in detail so it can be viewed, repetitive attacks from the same address can easily be blocked using the firewall with one click.
Both honeypot and endpoint scans can also be enabled on the Dream Machine, allowing to you monitor internal threats that some rogue network devices may present.
Other great features and WiFi router options
Writing up every feature available in the settings of the Dream Machine would be lengthy as this device really has it all for home and business. Below we wanted to show off some other great features that the Dream Machine has out of the box.
WiFi AI is intelligence built into the Dream Machine Router, it actively scans surrounding rogue wireless networks, and changes your 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz channels on the fly to reduce conflicts and increase WiFi stability.
You can see below my devices are averaging a high 90% range of connection experience, increased each time the scan completes and channel changes are made automatically.
This is an excellent feature because today we are surrounded by rogue networks of our neighbors and these conflicts are sometimes a common cause of WiFi issues. The Dream Machine WiFi router fixes these automatically while you sleep.
WiFi Schedules allow you to set times that WiFi is blocked in the house or business, this is perfect for kid control. Kids can have their own wireless network separate from the parents, and come 7pm it closes down until 8pm allowing them to focus on something else. This is also a great tool to hide guest WiFi networks outside of business hours to stop non-office usage and attacks.
Why just give your visitors unbranded, lazy guest network to join. The Dream Machine WiFi Router allows your to easily create a enterprise level hot-spot portal for your users to sign in. This portal design can be customized with your own colours, background image and logo including terms and conditions that must be accepted before they can continue. You can even redirect them to your website or online shop once they have logged on.
DNS Filtering is enabled with two clicks, this allows you to block content online for either all users, or specific networks like guests or kids. You can block malware, viruses, adult content, and force YouTube and search engines to safe mode. Great, both in the office and at home.
Setup a L2TP server with absolute ease and little network knowledge with pre-configured VPN server options on the Dream Machine. This allows you to tunnel back to the office or home when you need to access services remotely.
Dream Machine VPN also allows for IPSSEC for site to site VPNs for always on offices and service requirements.
Conclusion – Looking for the best WiFi Router?
The Dream Machine really is an all in one solution that is fit for purpose for business and home use, not only does the device and UI look great but it also works excellent. We have tested many different wireless router solutions in tricky, hard to solve environments and the Ubiquiti solutions are always solid and fast. Traditionally Ubiquiti provided access points, which lead to a bigger product range of switches, firewalls and camera solutions – what they then saw was a hole in the market, a device that delivers it all – exactly what home and business was looking for and they didn’t stop there.
The Dream Machine also come in a Pro version, with more processing power and rack mountable for bigger business requirements. This paired with add-on access points, cameras and storage solutions creates a network of excellent, stable and usable devices by the average consumer – without the need for network specialists to install thanks to excellent design of Ubiquiti Controller and setup processes.
If your having WiFi issues, sick of poor wireless performance and just want to finally get it sorted without breaking the bank – Look no further than the Dream Machine and other products from the Ubiquiti range.
This simply is the best WiFi Router on the market.