As I’ve been shifting the home network around a lot lately I’ve taken the chance to have a test of the Unifi USG3 router. Whilst I have used it very briefly previously, I have never given it a good chance to stretch its legs and implement a lot of the features always having shelved it in favour of a MikroTik system.
The cherry on the icing with the USG range of routers has to be the brilliantly executed DPI (more about that later).
The home screen of the controller lights up the 2 left hand bubbles and the left hand middle (WAN) with information relating to the connection, the latency is a bit off as it pings ubnt.com and there is a variable but I found that this broke it completely so reverted it to UBNT. A couple of neat graphs under showing average throughput and latency over time with a summary of wireless channels and users to the right. Some more information towards the bottom of screen about device totals, user totals and then a brief overview of traffic and protocols causing it.
DPI is where the router comes to life though, if you want a nice user friendly interface to see who is smashing through your connection then the USG is definitely for you. the statistics page comes to life and clearly displays your traffic types for you in a format that even a networking noob could take in.
Which can be expanded upon category by category by clicking on the protocol identified
It also has a users option so you can see exactly who is causing the most or how vibrant a particular user is on each protocol
You can also click onto the clients tab (down the left) and click on a client and choose the DPI option to see that users history exclusively
The Unifi routing is where I start to lose interest though, it’s basic with some room for more advanced features and I can only but hope the Ubiquiti development team will expand upon this, for a basic consumer device this would be brilliant but the more corporate or power users will begin to feel hindered by this. I’m currently feeling like both hands are tied together coming from a MikroTik RB3011.
I will admit the lack of L2TP client (through the gui) is a bit of a pain for me and not being able to create lists of either IP’s or self resolving hostnames is also a major let down. Static routing you can do without any issues if you know the destination IP range but that’s about as far as I could take it in testing.
I will admit though that I am very taken by the Unifi App, it manages to cram all of the information which can looked crammed on a full screen down onto my iPhone SE screen. I often find myself sitting there flicking through the pages just out of pure interest.
All in all, I’m really happy with the USG3. I love having the clarity of seeing what device is putting traffic where but there is a downside, I miss the overwhelming control I get from having a MikroTik in there. If the USG were to be developed on a bit further and I could appease myself that the Pro rack mounted model could be quiet then I’d probably convert. For now though it will stay where it is until I convince myself that a CCR is really what I need.