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Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite Revisited

Discussion in 'LAN & WAN Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    We revisit Ubiquiti's EdgeRouter Lite four years later and find a lot has changed but has also stayed the same.

    Read on SmallNetBuilder
     
  2. mokodi

    mokodi Occasional Visitor

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    The USG is probably better for most people since it will be easier to configure. I have the ER-X and it works really well but I agree configuring it is not straightforward even with the wizards.

    Some functionality doesn’t work with the GUI either like dnsmasq
     
  3. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Very Senior Member

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    Agreed....as much as I love (and sell/install)lots of Ubiquitis hardware, I don't consider their EdgeMax products to be "for the masses". I do recall reading that sales pitch somewhere...but I can't find it now.

    Their Unifi series is a little more user friendly...and for "residential/laymen" users...their side branch, Amplfi, makes the products for the home market.

    But back to the EdgeRouter..they're fast and stable little units..for a crazy low cost considering their "bang for the buck".
     
    netwrks likes this.
  4. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    The consumer all-in-one Router/AP's have done a nice job of simplifying configuration and most commonly used options. Going all the way back to the initial WRT's that Linksys deployed back in the day...

    Anything beyond that - it does take some experience and time to sort - port forwarding is a bit more work, QoS can be a bit more effort - some of the vendors do have "wizards" that can help, but even then...

    What's missing in this market segment - as there is a bit of overlap - is the efficiency of devices like the ERL/ERX and the simplicity of the consumer devices like the RT-AC68U/R7000/EA9xxx/Airports...

    Take something like an RT-AC68U/R7000 - remove the wireless and USB sharing stuff, and put some additional management features on the switched ports - and this would tick of many members' checkboxes...
     
    Makaveli likes this.
  5. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    ubiquiti edgerouters are good till you start using QoS, thats when things start to get slow. This is where your typical gigantic consumer wifi router excels over here.

    I treat the edgerouters as an embedded linux server, it makes more sense that way using only console and finding MIPS binaries for the software you want. My ERPRO may end up becoming a proxy cache, i know mikrotik has the RB1100AHx4 but their proxy sucks compared to squid.
     
  6. netwrks

    netwrks Senior Member

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    General guidelines on the expected Smart Queue shaping performance. QoS disables offloading:
    EP-R6 100 - 250 Mbps
    EP-R8 120 - 330 Mbps
    ER-X 100 - 250 Mbps
    ER-X-SFP 100 - 250 Mbps
    ERLite-3 60 - 200 Mbps
    ERPoe-5 60 - 200 Mbps
    ER-8 160 - 450 Mbps
    ERPro-8 200 - 550 Mbps
    -------------------
    dnsmasq set up via CLI, on the Edgemax is easy to setup. But.. as mentioned, networking / CLI knowledge helps, and, most importantly, a willingness to learn the CLI command structure, as well as gain some Linux knowledge. Personally not a fan of the USG, as it has limitations. I can live without the pretty bubble stats. (I do run the Unifi AP's though).. The home router consumer market has started to embrace these routers, as they are stable, quick, and, have a great price point...
     
  7. PaPaTheGMan

    PaPaTheGMan New Around Here

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    Just a comment to add to the 'Not for Networking Newbies' warning. I'm a long time IT professional, although not on the networking side. So, when i read the first review I, admittedly, took the warning with a bit of a grain of salt. I figured I could muddle through. The article pointed to a robust user community more than willing to help. With the ultra high performance ratings and my network consisting of a mix of hard wired plus wireless and the fact that I already had switches and a very good access point, I took the leap. Well, my experience started to slide from the first attempt to configure. Big warning message about the router configuration page being unsafe. Yes, you can push through, but you do feel very uncomfortable doing so? How can a router manufacturer profess to be top quality when they don't even bother to fix a certificate issue. If you question this in the user community you are met with snide remarks about not being worthy of owning the device. Or, a bunch of mumbo jumbo about creating your won certificate server. What the heck? For a $90 SOHO router I'm going to create a certificate server? What are they drinking. And, don't get me started on VPN configuration. Not easy, and community help is actually not very. Sorry for the extended rant, but I even took two networking courses just to try and get up to speed on the features/functions available in this device. Unfortunately I still don't feel comfortable with this device. I wouldn't be so easy on the warning. I'd say 'Only for Network Experts'.
     
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  8. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    These are all really good points - which again goes to what I mentioned earlier - I think there is a place for devices like this, and same with the more mainstream consumer routers/AP's.

    Obviously there is a market for a low-cost, high performance device like the ER-L (and similar), otherwise the product wouldn't be there.

    Perhaps the solution is for "wizards" and/or a simplified UI... (with the nuts/bolts under a "Pro" settings interface and command line) - @PaPaTheGMan sounds like a fairly smart guy, and it goes to say, one should not get flummoxed like this to do basic networking configuration.

    FWIW - even experienced network engineers can have problems across different vendors - as each vendor kind of does things "their way" - put a Cisco guy up against a Juniper Box, and there's a learning curve that must be climbed. Same goes with F5 Load Balancers, Palo Alto Firewalls, Proofpoint SMTP/Anti-Spam agents, InfoBlox DNS/DHCP boxes, and the list goes on - for each one of the items I mention above, there's a competitor that performs similar, but has a completely different means and methods to do the same tasks.

    The certificate issue - that's something that could be fixed - and cert issues are not limited to just the ER family, it's common right now across the industry as browsers get more strict with self-signed certs (pfSense for example) or TLS changes...
     
  9. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    i wouldnt call it hi performance, and i dont bother with the stock features either. Before i mentioned elsewhere that i have both the ERPRO and CCR1036.

    Also regarding the certificate issue, you can however circumvent it in the edgerouter by diving into the linux bit and skipping the GUI altogether. He is right about the community, both mikrotik and ubiquiti communities have their elitists, and i do enjoy irritating their elitists (with mikrotik simply mention torrent client, xsane, cups,..), with ubiquiti its their real lack of performance when not using hardware acceleration.
     
  10. jauling

    jauling New Around Here

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    Would be interested to see how the ER-X performs with its latest 1.9.x firmware too!
     
  11. DanH

    DanH Regular Contributor

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    Well I had zero network experience. When I say zero I mean zero.
    I bought a Edge Router Lite, and with the help of various sites (this one included) and their forums (and these forums), I was able to get it to do everything I wanted to ( Installed my own certificate, set up a vpn, got it to block ads, dynamic dns etc...) So no, I wouldn't say it is for experts only, just someone willing to spend a few hours reading. It was actually pretty fun learning how to do it all. Kind of had me hooked for a little bit to where I wanted to learn how to setup a mikrotik router as well. ...
    So I bought one of those cheap hex r3 to try that out to. That was more obtuse with a much less helpful forum. Did not demand as much CLI use though, so difficulty was sort of a wash.
    Both routers were pretty awesome I thought.
    I ended up getting a USG-Pro (which currently isn't being used since even with new fans is too loud... I really need to get a network closet setup).
    I am now just back to using an orbi as a router since it is so quiet, and at the end of the day does what I need anyway.
    Long story short...this review makes me want to dig them out and mess with them again.
    Thanks for the review.
     
    ma678 and Nullity like this.
  12. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Performance has different meanings for different people ;)

    That 'attitude' is common across many of the more focused Router platforms - it's not just uTik/UBNT there - I think it comes down to what many want from a platform...

    Consumer Routers are like Mini-Vans - they do a lot of things, and folks want the DVD players, in car HotSpots, vacuum cleaners even (Honda was a leader there with their North American Odyssey) - but not everyone wants a minivan...

    There are folks that want a router that does one thing - route the packets, protect the network - nothing more, nothing less.

    No switching (we have switches), no printer and/or disk sharing, no download manager (e.g. torrents), maybe not even VPN stuff - because there are solutions for each one of those items that the Consumer Router/AP's (aka BHR) include as checkbox features, solutions that do a better/more efficient/more secure performance of the task at hand....

    Sometimes it isn't that much more costly than what one would pay for a BHR (some BHR's are hitting that $500 price point these days, which is kinda silly if one would ask me)

    That being said - nothing wrong with BHR's, or Mesh Solutions, or a component based approach - everyone has their own priorities, and their own expectations of performance.
     
    abailey likes this.
  13. DanH

    DanH Regular Contributor

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    I also wouldn't tell people that the USG is easier. A lot of the functionality of the USG is not in the UI and it is a much more difficult process to use that functionality let alone to make it stick after a reboot. It is not just oh go to the CLI and make it happen like the edge routers. If it is in the UI, yes it is easier, if not, than no its much more difficult.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  14. d-m-z

    d-m-z New Around Here

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    Quite a timely update, as I believe there is an updated version of the ER-Lite coming Real Soon Now™. Rumoured to have performance 50% greater than the ER-Pro (which is already quite a bit faster than the ER-Lite).

    That's how self-signed certificates work everywhere. No reason to feel uncomfortable. Not sure how you would "fix" that without installing your own signed certificate that matches the domain name you're using. (Or disabling HTTPS which is less secure.)

    I've recommended EdgeRouters to technically-minded people (who don't work in IT) and they've had no problems whatsoever.
     
  15. Cloud200

    Cloud200 Senior Member

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    The platform is already out in public beta and called EdgeRouter-4 (no lite).
    The major upgrades are a routed SFP port and change of the CPU from 2 cores at 500mhz to 4 cores at 1ghz.

    As for the difficulty of the platform, I can only speak for myself. This is not a system for the average user. It is hardware and software catering to small ISPs and for anything other than basic config requires a networking professional to get working. For myself it has been a joy and pleasure to use but would never subject my parents to setting one up like a Netgear or Asus.
     
  16. DanH

    DanH Regular Contributor

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    Network professional is stretching it man, I think someone who can read and is semi-technical is all that is required.
     
  17. jramskov

    jramskov Occasional Visitor

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    Bought an ER‑X just recently. I'm not a network professional at all, but got it up an running after a few tries. It's certainly not as userfriendly as many consumer routers, but it is a very small and nice little unit. I got it because I also recently got a pair of mesh network wifi AP's (http://www.airties.com/product-4920.html) as part of my "internet connection package" from my ISP when I upgraded to 300/300Mbit fiber.

    I've only had the setup for a few days, but so far it seems to run without any issues and performance is fine and everything has been stable. So far, I'm like the little unit, especially for the price.

    OFF TOPIC:
    As far as performance, I have only done a quick test using speedtest.net and was able to get >300Mbit both up and down on my late 2013 Macbook Pro when connected to the AP that's wired to the router and between 150-200Mbit when connected to the other AP that's located on another floor.
     
  18. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    This is an elegant way of saying things - and it rings true...

    The routers that Ubiquity, MicroTik, and even pfSense - they offer much more functionality, and "with great power comes great responsibility" - and these devices generally assume that someone is working in the field. If one is someone working in the profession - any of those platforms is a great place to start - one can set up the gateway with a fair amount of granularity, and get good performance and good security for the network behind the device.

    General Purpose Consumer Router/AP's hide a lot of things, as they're generally good defaults, and that's ok, as those defaults generally work.

    That being said - right now, the ER-x/ER-l - it's a good start for some, but Joe Six-Pack isn't going to get it, he is going to get frustrated, and he's going to return it, and bad-mouth it on every social media platform he can.

    Esp. for devices where the ports are interfaces - and take a bit more work getting them switched... or once Joe has sorted that - port forwarding is a two step process, which is good for a network pro, but Joe don't get that - defining the service/host and then the port on the firewall - easy for some that work in the biz, but most home gear, scripts take care of that behind the scene.

    Joe gets mad again, and it's not because he's stupid - it's just outside of his realm of knowledge and experience. Because Joe is not a networking pro/expert, he just wants his stuff to work.

    Not a good place to be for Joe or the Vendor...

    That being said - take something like the popular and well known Router/AP's (RT-AC68U/R7000), remove the wireless, and that's what Joe Six-Pack wants - esp. if Joe is following various threads that multiple AP's are better wireless wise than a total BHR all-in-one solution...

    With home networking - Joe Six-Pack wants the Mini-Van - not the Miata...

    Joe Six-Pack has better things to do rather that spend hours sorting out his router.

    Joe wants his BitTorrent server, because folks say that's cool for media - Joe wants his whole-network VPN client, because again, that's cool - he wants that shared USB drive, whether it's good or not, it's on the box - and those boxes have big and bigger numbers... more seats, more doors, one can watch DVD's and streaming media - so 2013 - my old 2003 Honda Odyssey does this already...

    That's what drives the BHR market, and while many of us might agree that Joe's a sucker for believing it...

    It all fits inside that Mini-Van that the BHR vendors offer - and this equals profit, as this checks off all the boxes of the OEM business development guys...
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  19. jramskov

    jramskov Occasional Visitor

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    Agreed. As far as I can tell, there really aren't many router only products for the consumer market. Perhaps they'll arrive with the whole mesh network systems market getting more mature?
     
  20. mervincm

    mervincm Occasional Visitor

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    I don't own this device, but I do regularly use many in the category (inexpensive managed devices targeted to small ISP and cost conscious network pros.) I have multiple Ubiquti, Mikrotik, pfsense, QNAP, Synology NAS etc. They all behave this way. if you hit their management page you either do it using HTTP (no security) or you configure your own cert (purchased or via your own cert.) and use HTTPS. I am not sure how they could do it otherwise, thus my post;

    What would have met your expectation?
     

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