24h Dream Machine SE: First Impressions

Guiding through the UI of the new UniFi Dream Machine SE I'm showing you what's behind the marketing slides. Get ready for some traffic insights.

24h Dream Machine SE: First Impressions

As I've written yesterday, I got a new Dream Machine SE. The initial setup was straightforward, and all Access Points got migrated without any issues. After almost 24 hours of playing around with settings and having more data, I'm able to leave my first impression.

Let's run through every menu point on the left side and explain what's behind it and what I know and think so far.

Dashboard

On the Dashboard, you get a quick overview of the overall health of your Dream Machine and the network. You see the system's uptime, the internet connection's uptime, latency and utilisation. Furthermore, all relevant information about the overall traffic within the last day, week, or month. Which client types have been connected and if the Wi-Fi Experience has been good or bad. All within one view. Well done.

Topology

An interesting view on all your devices and where they are connected too. Having more UniFi devices would probably make this page more useful to me. The Floor plan doesn't work with the new UI (yet). So, I couldn't say anything about it.

UniFi Devices

This is the place to go to if you want to access your UniFi device's settings rapid to check the Firmware status or change some minor configuration like turning of the LED on the access points. You can also back up the configuration there and restart each device if you need to. I like it.

Client Devices

Like the list of UniFi devices, but with all connected clients. This is more exciting than the Topology view as you can see the current bandwidth usage of all devices and rename the devices, update their icon or pin them easily to a specific access point. Sadly, this list isn't sortable by current outgoing or incoming traffic. Overall, could be slightly better but still well done.

Traffic Stats

Having so much data about the incoming and outgoing traffic in a nice, structured and nice way is just wonderful. The data nerd within me gets triggered a lot. Being able to see what traffic is related to different apps and services like Apple, iTunes (Music), YouTube, GitHub or just the STUN protocol is interesting.

But that's pretty much it here. You're unable to drill it further down. You cannot see which device accessed a website on a specific time. The only thing you can filter down is by selecting specific sources and then see: Thomass-MBP-2 used Box for 242 MB in the last 24 hours. Wow (sarcasm). I expected way more from this, especially as this is one of the main features marketed by Ubiquity.

WiFi Insights

Nothing exceptional here. Just a list of found WiFis which are around the neighbourhood. With the data displayed here, one could easily spam deauths 😇 but that's another topic. For me, pretty much useless as I already had the data before.

Traffic Inspector

In 1 hour blocks you see how much traffic there has been and to what services. You can filter by devices and drill it down a bit. I can see that my washer is contacting the internet every hour for around 30kb via SSL/TLS – and that's it. I am very disappointed with this view and the data provided to me. About the Threats and the Threat Map, I can't say much, as it is empty. I don't even know if it's working. 🤔

And that's it. Tomorrow I'll dig deeper into the Settings tab, as there are some new elements and the Traffic & Security tab is worth a post alone. Stay tuned.