I'm going to stop short calling this a review because quite frankly I'm not into benchmarking, I don't consider myself an influencer, I'm a Yorkshireman who tells it as it is.
My IT background is CCNA, CMNA and about to start studying for my NSE4 and I work at a UK telecoms company in Greater Manchester. Bread and butter is working with Ciscos and Fortigates and MPLS, Leased lines etc. People in the UK will probably work out that company pretty quick.
So let's get this off the bat, this device is in no way shape or form as of September 2020, a product worth 400 Euros. I was very fortunate to get it on their flash sale/mis price call it what you will event at 200 Euros. My logic of buying the UDM Pro apart from the obvious bargain was that I was a Unifi Video user and basically Ubiquiti clamped my balls into vice and stuck a bunsen burner under it given their announcement about retiring video. Given I'd spent £300 on 2 G3 pro cameras less than 12 months before, I needed to get my moneys worth...that and the USG should be a retired product because it just gimped my connection if any features are turned on.
Setting up on an UK FTTC connection was a pain. It just wouldn't recognise the Openreach modem unless I directly connected it to the UDM Pro. Fortunately I had a long enough Cat6 cable. Once it eventually worked and it did an immediate firmware upgrade and then a speedtest base layer of every appeared to work. Odd how their speedtest server pitched throughput at half my rate. Regards the setup I elaborate more in this in comments. Turns out I wasn't the only one to have issues setting up. Jeremy Choira on his YouTube channel videos it, Pete Matheson had an mare with his migration.
I was hoping to migrate from my USG to my UDM Pro without any issues. No. Just doesn't work. After a good 45 mins of messing about it just wouldn't work. So full manual setting setting up. Lost all customisations. Not a great 2 hours of of your life to go through again. Fortunately I also have word document with my site map of everything for the network. - lesson to network admins, always have a network map.
So now that was done I thought I'd immediately go and sort out Unifi Protect. Yorkshireman living in Lancashire needs to be protected right? - my 8U rack is in my main bedroom cupboard along with the US-24-POE 1st gen. When I got the latter, I had to retrofit a Noctua fan to calm the noise down so I could sleep...i thought I wouldn't have to do this with the UDM Pro.... Nope...it turns out it doesn't matter what drive you put in, it causes the fans to spin up. SSD, hard drive, fans ramp up 40% minimum. So it was basically invest in soundproofing the cupboard door or voiding the warranty... I chose the latter...again noctua fan did the trick. If you're charging a premium, but a decent fan in! £15 for a fan is peanuts to Ubiquiti!..probably cost more putting that screen in! - more on that later.
As a new user to Unifi Protect I was pretty happy with it. Its still missing features from Unifi Video like the ability to lock certain recordings but it's it's not bad. Timeline actually works and the app on my phone (Note 8) is substantially better than Unifi Video. There's some odd clipping going off when exporting compared to what I see in the timeline but that could just be me? Anyone else confirm? Also to my bemusement I've now found out I can't download mass clips. It's download one by one? Unifi video I could select an entire day if I wanted and download. You'd think it you are going to retire and replace, you'd think you wouldn't remove features.
During this month we experienced the Unifi Protect single sign on outage. Pain in the ass definitely but I'm happy Ubiquiti took action and resolved it. Rightfully took a beating from its users. Cloud service with no disaster recovery. That's just poor business practice. Don't care if you're a home user. At network level that was bad.
So yeah Protect works. I currently have a 2TB 2.5" drive and it's working fine. Footage is there....so let's get back to the UDM. I would like to see Ubiquiti embrace open standards a little more especially as their software isn't as polished as I've seen others. Can't act like Apple being a closed eco system if your system isn't up there. It will end up being like Blackberry or Palm OS.. Anyone in tech knows how they turned out.
So DPI - still about as useful as a chocolate door knob. It's actually somehow worse than it was on the USG. DPI summary usage does not tally up to the device usage at all!.. For me if you are going to release a feature, it's got to work! It doesn't. Oddly in the UDM Pro it logging my G3 Pro traffic on an internal VLAN. Apparently I'm not the only one who has seen this (on their forums). 1TB of unknown traffic which is Cctv off a different VLAN. Magically all of a sudden its just gone missing. No software update, no reboot but magically all of a sudden fixed. Example. Main DPI screen shows over the month I've used 6.1gb...drill down into users and my LG C9 OLED has used over 400gb, a guest ipad has used according to the stat 240gb inside 2hrs.. Something which is impossible on the connection even if it was maxed out in that time span. Can't even detect host names properly. Ie plex, BBC.. Yet can detect YouTube. It's not hard to read the host name in a header packet if you're not over a VPN.
IPS and IDS appear to work fine and does not gimp my FTTC connection. I'm seeing a couple of false alarms coming through but nothing to worry about. I'm going to be testing Virgins Gig1 at some point so will be interesting to see what happens on this. I will also be doing some DDoS attacking and seeing how well the UDM Pro can hold up. May Do a separate post on findings of that.
Honey pot - no comment as I don't use
Content Filtering - we can't call it that really. It's more an very low level form of Web filtering because you cant plage exceptions in, you cant see what's in the list etc. Ie stop porn. Would be great... If it wasn't so easy to get around...quite literally vpn and circumventing it. Or even use a sister domain of the site and because its not in the list you can't see you can get to the site. You can't add websites or other categories so this whole aspect is half baked for me. Advice to admins on this who give out free WiFi like myself is to lock down your firewall rules on your guest network, force it to open DNS and filter out there. It feels like Ubiquiti have tried to copy Meraki here and failed in a spectacular fashion.
Meraki's layer 7 filtering is far superior. As feedback to Ubiquiti tell your software team to stop, tear it up, start again.
QoS - very basic..I'd like to see by application QoS. Again Meraki way ahead on this.
Load balancing - non existent. For a device that has 2 WAN ports, how does it not have this feature? Has failover but nothing else. This I imagine will put off loads of people. Why have 2 connections if you can't utilise it? I provide free WiFi and I'd like to use one of my ips from my /29 so my main ip doesn't get blacklisted. Can you do that.....nope. Myself being a plex user I'd like to out that traffic over the fastest connection and then use the slower for guest traffic. Can I do that? Nope. Why?
1:1 NAT / 1:Many NAT - as of v1.8 firmware, this doesn't still exist. Apparently they have commuted to this but not given a timescale. Given I have a /29 range it's infuriating I cannot use it. Not to beat the drum, Meraki can do this, Fortigates can do this, hell even Pfsense and its variants can. Embarassing a 400 Euro router cannot do this.
The screen is, which extends to the whole gen 2 line is...Baffling. Maybe I'm being very critical on this but as someone who works in networking I really don't see why a screen is needed and for me it's a worthless tack on. Look at this way. It's a 1u device so it's going to go into a rack mount. A sys admin doesn't sit next to the rack all day looking at the screen. If this screen adds more than £30 onto the cost, I'm pretty everyone would have said no to it. Would be useful to have an option to have the screen always on since we're now stuck with it.
The AR gimmick as above also I find crazy. A decent network admin would have a network layout or at the very least label the ports in the Unifi software. For me that's wasted R&D time
- Cpu - around 20%.
- Ram - 60% used
- Temps - 40c
- it's good for someone who doesn't want 2 devices ie USG and Unifi Cloud Key Gen 2 Plus. Note user needs to have a basic setup. Not something like ipsecs, bgp, static routes
- Unifi Protect works very well.. Well better than Unifi Video
- IPS/IDS no longer gimps an 80/20 line.
- Good value at 200 Euros. Maybe 250 max.
- DPI about as useful as a c*ck flavoured lollypop. Either fix it or scrap it completely. Stop being half hearted with it.
- Migration path from the USG and I would also assume USG Pro is non existent. If you've got lots of rules. Dedicate an some time to this.
- Fan noise regardless of type of drive is BS. Put a decent fan in or give users manual fan control!
- Retail price. Not worth 400 Euros. Can't convince me any different... Well if you told me you had Kate Beckinsale in my bed waiting for me I might... Hell I'll give you a cookie if you can convince me its worth 400 Euro though.
- No POE ports. For 400 Euro I would expect to see atleast some POE ports. Hell even 2!
- Load balancing non existent
- 1:1 NAT/ 1:Many NAT. Not existent. Ubiquiti committing to this.. May see it in 2025 knowing their record.
- Filtering - about as useful as a bunch of retards trying to f*ck a doorknob. Again if you're going to do UTM features properly, do it properly or don't do it at all.
- Lots of buttons in the new OS that don't actually do anything. Just don't route anywhere.
- Screen on the device
- AR thing
- Lots of Alpha & Beta... Looks unprofessional in a released public product. Maybe have a firmware for testing and put it in that?
- Why can't we put our own self signed ssl certs onto the interface? Forces you to to through unifi portal just for an SSL page. Kinda odd if you ask me.
Ubiquiti have proven they can make attractive hardware at a reasonable price but it's also showing the hardware team is way ahead of the software team..That and they do not work in sync with each other. My advice right now to Ubiquiti would be to halt R&D into vanity projects such as the Access and Talk and pour the resource into software. Fix your software people will vouch for your product. Look at IPhone... Specs are always behind an Android device but its so we'll optimised they shift by the bucket load. You can make the excuse of COVID like every company but let's face it, a networking company who can't communicate with its staff is a little embarassing. You've got Teams, WebEX, hell Zoom, Jitsi.
I often read Ubiquiti wants to be associated as the Apple of networking. But there's a distinct difference here. Apple's support is up there (as much as it pains me to say) and their software isn't as buggy. Take their iPhone and iOS for example. Problem with iPhone, Shop. Instant replacement. Next. On an iPhone or hell even an android phone I can look at my battery and get an accurate assessment of where that usage has gone...now compare that to DPI where it doesn't match up or its just full of unknown. When you look at it like that how can you have something just not work as intended?
This product is not worth 400 Euro. 250 max. The software just isn't there. The best analogy I can give here is the UDM Pro is like buying a Audi A3 with all the bells and whistles on but then finding out the basics likes the radio, the heating system and lights are not working. So why pay all that extra when you could have got a VW Golf or a Seat Leon which does the same thing at a cheaper cost?
Side note - has anyone noticed that Ubiquiti's design re the UNMS looks awfully familiar to Meraki kit? Imitation best form of flattery as they say.
I'll continue to use it and Ubiquiti because as someone who is working from home right now and looks at Ciscos, Fortinets and Meraki devices, at the end of my shift I just want my shit to work. No fuss, just want my Internet to work. I'm sure there's others who get this too.
You could argue and say Spencer, just use your Meraki kit, and to be honest I could. I have the AP and the Gateway but I don't have a bit enough Poe switch and I don't fancy paying a licence for all in one for the next 3 years until my licence expires. So keeping Uniti just works for me. I had thought about sticking a Fortinet in but then that just renders the UDM Pro useless.
If there's any enterprise/corporate company using Ubiquiti networking gear bar their AP's, their networking team must have some serious balls because I doubt any account manager or sales person at our company would dare recommend them to the customers we support. There's a reason customers use Cisco 1117's and Fortinet devices.
Still feels like your playing with a beta product. Product is useful if you are interested in Ubiquiti's CCTV range or you want to simplify your rack but don't expect a finished product and for the price as of September they are currently charging, we rightfully should be expecting a finished product.
A month later I'm still trying to work out if I've bought a beta product or a retail product. As it stands the product is as confusing as Boris Johnson and his governments message over COVID 19 (British folk will get this).
Hope you enjoyed the read and aspects brought a smile to your face or even made you laugh. I was doing this on my phone whilst drinking a cup of Yorkshire tea. So apologies for any grammar mistakes. It's now 00:30 so I'll get some shut eye and respond to any questions comments when I wake up.. After a brew xD.. I know.. Very British.
Stay safe Spencer
Liberal Democracy, on paper, is a a great system of governance, and following the Second World War has been pushed by the west across the world, as countries such as the USA and UK have toppled dictatorships and attempted to install democratic governments.
However, many forms of government have been tried throughout history; dictatorship, feudalism, communism, empire, republics etc.
There is no doubt that that democracy broadly worked well for the second half of the 20th and early 21st century, but here at the start of the third decade, with the internet, mass communication, and social media, the ability to monitor and manipulate voters by governments is having an significant impact on democracy. BREXIT, Trump, and the modern iteration of the Conservatives are\were all democratically voted for, when anyone sane can clearly see they are hugely damaging to the established order and to a large degree, people have voted away their rights and voted against their own basic interests.
There is an argument that Brexit, Boris, and Trump were all voted in because people are disenfranchised and voted for anyone that would ‘change the system’, that system being capitalism and democracy.
Through the control of mass and social media, these agents of government have managed to make huge numbers of voters vote directly against their own best interests, just in an attempt to shake things up, when what they were actually voting for was leaders that say one thing ‘golden sunlit uplands’ and in practice just entrench division in society, make the rich richer, and fuck the voters.
Democracy was conceived before mass media, and rampant uncontrolled capitalism enabled by democratically elected leaders is leading to the destruction of the natural environment and run away climate change.
I don’t know what the alternative would be, but is democracy still fit for purpose for the 21st century? And if it is, how could it be successfully adapted to stop the damage that social and mass media and the ease at which the wealthy can manipulate voters to vote against their own interests be limited?