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The Dream Machine

The other day, I purchased the Ubiquiti Unifi Dream Machine. A company well known by the guys over at /r/homelab and /r/homenetworking. Ubiquiti have made a name for themselves in the enterprise world, but over the last few years, more and more homelabbers have taken it upon themselves to set up enterprise grade hardware at home.

Why did I buy The Dream Machine

So for me personally, I wanted it just for fun. But also, the simple UI and VLAN management is what sold me the Dream Machine. I know that it’s possible to set up VLANs with other routers, but Ubiquiti have made it simple.

I want to host more at home, and feel safe behind a firewall. Having my servers on a VLAN means that if my site is compromised, my home services don’t suffer. In theory, anyway. This site is currently being hosted from my loft, on a Raspberry Pi 4, within a VLAN (welcome to my loft!).

My experience with The Dream Machine so far

So far, there have been some hiccups, for instance, my Huawei P20 Pro is not loving life. It keeps flicking between my Dream Machine and my UAP-AC-LITE Access Point, which I have installed downstairs. It only seems to be my phone though, all of the other devices in my house have been working flawlessly!

I love the threat management that is included with the Dream Machine, I am able to see the attacks on my network, set up honeypots and set explicit firewall rules to block IP’s or even countrys from hitting my network. I’m able to seperate my VLANS and allow specific ports to and from. Really cool stuff if you’re into that kind of thing.

Deep down though, I’m a sucker for some graphs. As a Software Engineer, I live for detailed break-downs and stack traces. I want to be able to see everything going on in the network in order to troubleshoot any issues.

What’s next

I’d like to put The Self-Hosting Blog onto my local network, just so I can practice what I preach. When my ISP becomes more reliable, I’ll make this shift. I’d like to purchase another Raspberry Pi 4 to run the blog on, maybe a couple and load balance it, which my co-writer spoke about in his recent blog post.

I also found out that my switch is not Gigabit. Which made me really sad, as I managed to nab it from my previous workplace when they were clearing out. So I need to check with the boss (my wife) and see if I can invest in a Gigabit switch.

This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase an item based on my recommendation, I gain a few pennies at no extra cost to you.

Published on March 20, 2021


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