UISP Routers

Ubiquiti first teased the UNMS Router Pro back in August of 2020, with the first Early Access sales in October. This is an exciting device, basically the UDM Pro hardware platform shrunk down to a desktop form-factor, minus the drive bay, priced at $299. I bought one and played with it for a minute but at that time it was hamstrung by UNMS/UISP just not providing enough control over routing functionality to be useful in any way.

Last month they released a revised version called the UISP Console. An internal 128GB SSD was added to support running UISP directly and the price dropped to $199.

I imagine the price drop is to incentivize more people to test a router that has been known to be in development for over a year and the price will go up at release. But right now, $199 for a 10Gb router is an incredible deal. And a year of development has brought UISP routing to the point where it’s serviceable.

At the core software level, the UISP routers run UbiOS and really are “the same” as the UDM line, minus everything that happens in the unifi-os container. It’s running the ubios-udapi-server and udapi-bridge and the /config/ubios-udapi-server/ubios-udapi-server.state looks just like what you’d see on a UDM. It’s the same on the (presumably discontinued) Router Pro and the UNMS/UISP Router Lite UISP Router (based on the same MediaTek platform of the ER-X and its many variants).

All of them are initially configured via Bluetooth on a smartphone running the UISP app. With the UISP Console, it will join to your existing UISP installation if you are currently signed in. Otherwise, it will go through the process of setting up the onboard UISP instance with cloud-based proxying via an *.r.uisp.com domain.

The “router functionality” is still pretty minimal. You can assign IPs to interfaces, add static routes, configure OSPF, and set Source and Destination NAT rules both pre- and post- routing. Aside from routing, it has Firewalling on par with what an EdgeRouter can do and a DHCP server.

And that’s it.

Still no DNS, PPPoE, DHCP Relay, VPN, Load Balancing / Failover, BGP, VRRP, and a host of other functionality that is common and expected to be found on a router. The latest theorizing is that these products are targeted to ISPs with low technical expertise, so I maybe wouldn’t hold my breath on some of those more advanced features ever arriving, but even with that narrowed scope there are many glaring omissions.

That said, I’ve deployed my UISP Console to proper Home Production use. I recently had fiber Internet installed at my home with an add-on static IP allocation, and the UISP routing platform is perfectly sufficient for dividing that up. Ironically, UniFi 6.5.51 just went GA and finally has the functionality to make multiple WAN IPs useful for most common scenarios, but I have some services I’d like to expose to the Internet directly without any NAT and that’s much simpler to do if I route those IPs directly to a non-UniFi router.

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