Ubiquiti combines router and Wi-Fi access point with UniFi Dream Machine

Ubiquiti is a well-known brand if you care about networking. Many companies, schools and public spaces use Ubiquiti access points to broadcast a Wi-Fi network across an entire building. Earlier this week, the company announced a new device called the UniFi Dream Machine.

This new device is interesting as it addresses the prosumer segment directly. If you’re looking for plug-and-play mesh Wi-Fi routers, Ubiquiti has a range of routers under the AmpliFi brand. If you’re a networking professional, you’re probably more interested in a modular system with rackable routers and switches.

The Dream Machine sits in between those two segments. It combines a router, a switch with four Ethernet ports and a Wi-Fi access point. It has an integrated cloud key that lets you control your network and system traffic.

On the routing front, the Dream Machine has an integrated security gateway, which lets you create firewall policies. It supports everything you’d expect from a high-end router, such as quality of service, VLAN support, site-to-site VPN and remote VPN.

On the switching front, there’s one WAN port to connect to the internet and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. On the wireless networking front, the Dream Machine supports 802.11ac Wave 2 (“Wi-Fi 5”) with a 4×4 MU-MIMO antenna.

Behind the scene, the device uses a 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A57 processor. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and consumes up to 26W.

And, of course, you can tweak every setting using Ubiquiti’s network controller software. The pill-shaped device costs $299. This product is probably overkill for most people. But if you’re a networking nerd like me and you want to be able to control your network, it could be a good entry point.