Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite

UPDATE: As of 5/2015 I have switched all of my locations to Peplink products for the router side of things.  I will be writing this up as soon as I can.  I still use Ubiquiti AP products for all of my WiFi networks at two locations, but I no longer use the Edge Router products due to limited support for a number of things.

UPDATE:  As of 10/15/2013 I’ve removed the Ubiquiti Edge Router from my network.  After repeated instability during high traffic loads (50Mb/sec or higher) and then finally a complete failure of the hardware, I’ve gone back to using pfSense on a Soekris net6501 platform.   So far I’ve seen faster performance, more stability, and more flexibility.

A few months ago, I was looking for a low power, low noise solution for a firewall at home, and stumbled across the Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite.

I had moved to Ubiquiti’s UniFi AP Pro for my wireless AP at home a few months before then, and was really impressed by their use of Linux and the overall product quality and configuration capabilities.

The Edge Router Lite is a relatively new product from Ubiquiti, and had a lot of negative comments in their forums about the initial versions of software being limited or unstable in various ways.  However, the later posts for the software version I’m running are far more positive.

My experience so far has been fantastic.  It’s super small, very light, and built very well.  It has an external power brick, but that is expected given it’s small size.  It runs what appears to be a derivative of Vyatta Linux, and has a lot of features.

What I have been most impressed with is it’s speed.  I have a 100Mbit up/down Internet connection, and I can get almost line rate without going much above 10% CPU utilization on the router.  It’s really quick to boot up as well, and configuration changes are very speedy.

The dashboards and views into statistics are great as well.  I can see near real time bandwidth usage which is much more granular than my 30 second polls from my PRTG network monitoring system.  Our new Roku3’s can fill up that 100Mbit pipe when first starting an HD video stream for about 5-10 seconds, which I rarely see in averaged stats from PRTG.

I have used the DHCP server, DNS server, have three different zones/ports configured, and some NAT’s as well.  All work as expected, and are pretty straightforward to configure as long as you research what you’re trying to do on the Ubiquiti forums.

I’d have to say that would be my biggest complaint – very poor or non-existent documentation on the product itself.  But that’s not unusual for Ubiquiti, as I’ve seen similar things with the ToughSwitch Pro and the UniFi products as well (more details on those coming in later posts).  They are known for having a thriving forum community as a replacement to all inclusive documentation, and that is a good thing in my opinion.  It can be a little limiting when you’re trying to setup a router, and have no access to the forums, but that is a 1st world problem…

One of the great things is how fast Ubiquiti comes out with new features and functionality.  I’ve seen this on their UniFi line, and can already see it happening here with EdgeOS, the name for their software stack.

Overall I am very happy with the product, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a compact, full featured standalone router that is capable of high speeds.

6 thoughts on “Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite

  1. You may be interested in this forum discussion: http://community.ubnt.com/t… – in this case it was due to something funky on the ISPs switch but there could be something in one of your firewall rules that is artificially slowing your service down or something like that.

    • Thanks Mathew. It was more than just the speed issues. The unit itself died after about 6 months with no warning. Trying to recover it has proven a waste of time, and trying to get support on it has been the same problem. For $99 it is a great deal for someone who wants a Linux based firewall, but you get what you pay for.

  2. Nice review – thanks for the updates.
    WRT: Device failure.
    From what I’ve seen and heard, a lot of these initial units shipped with bad RAM, which started to show failure within the first couple weeks to months, and then caused eventual devices failure.
    I know this is a stretch, but I’d see if you can RMA it with Ubiquity. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they accepted it back, as they’ve acknowledged this issue with the shipment of some of the first units. They were provided bad RAM from a supplier.
    This trend is reflected in the Amazon reviews, too. Most that bought when you did was not happy. Now most everyone is happy
    To my understanding, they’ve since corrected the issue, and the reviews, at least, definitely reflect this.

    • Hi Brandon,I agree – it looks like they’ve fixed a lot of their initial issues. I did try to get some help from them, but never got anywhere.

  3. Also, by the way, I happened upon you blog because I currently run a Soekris Net5501, and I’m tempted to switch over to the EdgeRouter Lite from Ubiquity, mainly just to see how well it does in comparison.
    I love the Soekris, but for future cost savings, I’m curious to see if the EdgeRouter Lite will be a viable replacement.

  4. Just a follow up here…I ended up purchasing another one of these after my original died. My home internet connection was upgraded to 1Gbps/sec and no other low cost, quiet fanless router could handle that much bandwidth.

    So far it’s been a much more reliable product with v1.6.0 of the software. I’ll write up an updated review if I have time after a month or so of use.

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