Unifi Dream Machine Special Edition vs. Unifi Dream Machine Pro

The Unifi Dream Machine (UDM for short) is a great choice for the heart of your home network. If you are building a DIY Smart Home or DIY CCTV system like me, you are probably interested in this flagship networking device from Unifi.

So what is the Unifi Dream Machine? It is an enterprise-level security gateway lineup from Ubiquiti. It is a very versatile network appliance that can replace your ISP-provided router.

But there are three different versions available – the desk-mounted Unifi Dream Machine (UDM), the rack-mountable Unifi Dream Machine Pro (UDM-Pro) and the latest rack-mountable Unifi Dream Machine Special Edition (UDM-SE).

This article will compare and contrast the two more advanced models UDM-SE and the UDM-Pro, and help you decide which is best for your needs.

Ubiquiti Unifi Dream Machine Special Edition (UDM-SE) vs. Unifi Dream Machine Pro (UDM-Pro)
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Differences between UDM-SE and UDM-Pro

The main differences between the UDM-SE and UDM-Pro are:

  1. UDM-SE has a managed PoE switch whereas the Pro only has a managed switch.
  2. UDM-SE has a 2.5GbE WAN port whereas the Pro only has a 1Gbps WAN port.
  3. UDM-SE has an integrated 128 GB M.2 SSD whereas the Pro doesn’t.
  4. UDM-SE has an RPS indicator light for the Redundant Power Supply (RPS) but Pro doesn’t.
  5. UDM-SE has a physical lock to secure the power cord whereas the Pro doesn’t.
  6. UDM-SE is more expensive than the Pro – check the latest prices at the bottom of this article.

Comparison Table – UDM-SE vs. UDM-Pro

The table below shows every single difference between the two models.

 UDM SEUDM Pro
Hardware FirewallYes
Managed SwitchYes, PoEYes
Software
Built-in ControllerEmbedded Enterprise Application - Unifi Network Console
Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)Yes
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)Yes
Intrusion Detection System (IDS)Yes
HoneypotYes
DNS FilteringYes
GeoIP FilteringYes
VLAN supportYes
Automatic QoSYes
VPNTeleport, VPN Server (L2TP over IPsec), Site-to-Site tunnel, VPN Client (L2TP over IPsec)
NVR feature for CCTVUnifi Protect
Hardware
ProcessorQuad-Core ARM Cortex-A57 at 1.7 GHz
Memory (RAM)4 GB DDR4
On-board Flash Storage / SSD16 GB eMMC
Integrated 128 GB SSD (M.2 half-size)
16 GB eMMC
HDD bay2.5" / 3.5"
Power SupplyAC/DC, Internal, 240WAC/DC, Internal, 50W
Max Power Consumption50W33W
ESD/EMP protectionAir: ± 15 kV, contact: ± 8 kVAir: ± 16 kV, Contact: ± 12 kV
LCM display 1.3" touchscreen
LEDsEthernet
SFP+
HDD
RPS
Ethernet
SFP+
HDD
Networking Interfaces
Dual WAN1x 10G SFP+ and 1x 2.5 GbE RJ451x 10G SFP+ and 1x GbE RJ45
WAN1x 2.5 GbE RJ45 port
1x 10G SFP+ port
1x GbE RJ45 port
1x 10G SFP+ port
LAN8x 1 GbE RJ45 ports
1x 10G SFP+ port
PoE2x PoE+ IEEE 802.3at
6x PoE IEEE 802.3af
None
Wi-Fi built-inNone
Desk-mountableYes
Rack-mountableYes 1U
Management Interface
Ethernet, BluetoothYes
External Device Support
Power Supply Redundancy and FailoverUnifi SmartPower RPS (USP-RPS)
LTE Failover RedundancyUniFi LTE
Performance
ThroughputDPI with IDS/IPS: 3.5 Gbps
DPI w/o IDS/IPS: 8 Gbps
Product Support
Warranty2 years when purchased from UBIQUITI’S Webstores
1 year when purchased from an authorized UBIQUITI distributor or reseller

What is the Unifi Dream Machine?

The UDM line of products are essentially enterprise-level network appliances that combine the following functions into a single device:

  • Router
  • Managed switch (supports VLAN)
  • Hardware firewall
  • Unifi Protect NVR for Security cameras, Phone Systems, and Door Access
  • Redundant Internet (Dual WAN and LTE failover)
  • Power Supply Redundancy and Failover

Unifi UDM

The UDM is the cheapest product in the lineup and also includes a built-in Wi-Fi access point.

Check price on Amazon

Unifi UDM-Pro

The UDM-Pro was the first model to be released in the UDM family. It was released late 2019.

Check price on Amazon

Unifi UDM-SE

The UDM-SE was launched early 2022 and improved upon the UDM-Pro. The SE increased the bandwidth of the RJ-45 WAN port and added PoE support to the integrated switch.

Check price on Amazon

Which UDM is right for you?

If you are looking to power your security cameras or other network devices using Power over Ethernet (PoE), the UDM-SE has you covered. Its built-in managed switch has six 802.3at and two 802.3af PoE ports.

If you don’t need PoE-enabled Ethernet ports at all, the UDM-Pro will probably be fine. But do note that its WAN Ethernet port is limited to 1 Gigabit Ethernet.

Another reason to get the UDM-Pro is if you would rather use a separate PoE switch with more 802.3af ports or a higher wattage.

What else do you need to buy along with the UDM?

For Wi-Fi, you will need to get a Wi-Fi Access Point (WAP) such as the Unifi 6 Lite. You may choose the UDM Pro because you need more PoE ports than the 8 available on the UDM SE. In this case, consider a managed PoE switch such as the US-8-150W.

Do I need the UDM if I already have the USG?

If you have been with Unifi for a long time, you probably have the USG + Unifi Managed Switch + Cloud Key combo like I do in my smart home network. The UDM-Pro or UDM-SE essentially replace all 3 of those devices. So sure if you need any of the additional features of these newer devices, go ahead. But if you are happy with your current setup, there’s no need to upgrade.

Daniel Ross

Daniel Ross

I am Daniel and VueVille is where I document my DIY smart home journey. I focus on 100% local-processing and local-storage because that’s the only way to secure my family’s safety and privacy. Oh and I don’t like monthly subscriptions!

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