Unifi vs. Cisco– Which router reigns supreme?

When you go out looking for a Wi-Fi router, you may have to choose between Unifi and Cisco as they are both popular and well-reviewed brands by its users. Which ranks higher?

More often than not, choosing the right Wi-Fi router for your office or home can be quite the chore. This is because you have to pore through many technical details and features to find the right one for you. After all, poor or signal connection simply does not cut it for the home or office.

For router systems, there are many brands in the market that have premium quality features. To stand out, the best must have good backing behind their products. Here is a look at two brands that have proven to be worthy of their good names in the market.

What are the differences between Unifi and Cisco?

Model
Unifi
Cisco (Winner) 
Production
Varied designs in models and series
Designs vary with use
Affordability
Reasonably priced
Wide variety of prices
Performance
U.S. distributor
U.S. distributor
Reliability
For commercial-use mainly with their enhanced tech specs
Both commercial and consumer-level use at homes
 

 Unifi vs. Cisco – A look at how they differ

Production

Unifi is part of a long line of products that are mostly produced for commercial use. For example, it is a mesh system that is capable of offering stable Wi-Fi signals in airports and hotels. Currently, the Ubiquiti Company is in the process of redesigning Unifi routers to enhance their performance as well as their versatility. Cisco routers on the flipside are also part of a long line of networking devises. The rather impressive portfolio of Cisco routers shows you that they are designed to be more intelligent and integrated into the network. Cisco routers are also generally more responsive than others.

Performance

For Unifi, some of its most popular products are the wireless access points and switches. These are configured to ensure the highest performance possible. They also come with security features to protect your network at all times. Most Unifi routers for example come with VLANs that are easy to configure to your exact security needs.

Cisco routers are also high performance routers. Some are designed for commercial use and others work quite well in the home-area. Wherever you place it, Cisco routers do as you would expect. They offer wide coverage as well as additional accessories like the creation of a guest network for visitors. All these enhance the overall performance you get with a Cisco router.

Cisco routers also come with the Cisco Connect software that opens you to additional options. For instance, you can access advanced network settings to configure them to your preferences.

Unifi Overview

Ubiquiti has been a common name in the networking industry, especially for enterprise routers as opposed to smaller, consumer routers. One of its most popular models is the Unifi which does take quite a bit of learning to get to understand it. However, with the proper knowhow, you can easily customize these routers to suit your requirements. To add, they do stand out for a number of reasons.

First, they provide a reliable and stable connection for use in your home or office. They work well with a wide array of access points including gateways, switches and IP camera systems.

Yet another reason why Unifi routers have had a longstanding name in the industry is the wide coverage you get with these routers. Wherever you place it, you can be assured of a Wi-Fi signal that blankets your entire home from the indoors to outdoors.

Here is a look at three Unifi routers that have the impressive features that cut across board with Unifi products.

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi

Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US), Single,White
  • Manage Your Networks from a Single Control Plane
  • Intuitive and Robust Configuration, Control and Monitoring

Primarily sold in white and in a 5-pack, the Ubiquiti Networks Unifi has all the premium quality aspects that you need with a connectivity device. Through a single control plane, you can easily manage your network. The router also has a rather intuitive interface for monitoring and controlling your router. You can also configure the router to your specific needs. Ubiquiti Networks Unifi also comes with additional accessories that enhance your overall experience with the router. For example, you can set up a guest network to protect your network from unwanted eyes as well as make it easier for your visitors to get online.

Regarding its technology, Ubiquiti Networks Unifi has MU-MIMO (multiple-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) and auto-sensing abilities. Coupled with the fact that it comes with 3 dual-band antennas and wireless compatibility, this router is a good fit for wide range of people. To add, it has the dimensions 6.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches and weighs 1.5lbs further adding to the usability of this router.

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Ubiquiti Unifi NanoHD

Like all other Unifi routers, the first thing that stands out with Ubiquiti Unifi NanoHD is its huge capacity that makes it a good fit for enterprises. For this router, it supports more than 200 users who can be on the network concurrently with minimal interruptions.

Ubiquiti Unifi NanoHD is also rather modern with all the tech-specs it is designed with. For example, it entails the Wave2 technology (four streams) it is also compatible with a wide range of Wi-Fi devices including those that support the newest network protocols like 802.11ac.

If you get sold on this router, remember that you can purchase the optional covers it comes with. Once on, the Ubiquiti Unifi NanoHD can also blend in with right about any room if you want it out of the way. Nonetheless, it is still compact sized weighing 1.5lbs such that it will not be a bother if you do not want it around.

Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC Lite

Ubiquiti Unifi Ap-AC Lite - Wireless Access Point - 802.11 B/A/G/n/AC (UAPACLITEUS), White
  • Ubiquiti Networks networks Unifi AC Lite AP Wi-Fi 802.22
  • 2.4 GHz Speed : 300 Mbps, 5 GHz Speed : 867 Mbps

This is one of the well-rated Unifi routers in the market. First, it is a dual-band router that has the fast theoretical speeds of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps on the 5GHz band.

To add, Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC Lite also has good structure and design. With the dimensions 6.30 x 6.30 x 1.24 inches and the weight of 6oz, this router is also a good fit for people who are not keen on bulky routers. It has a low footprint and sleek design making it a good blend with right about any room.

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Cisco- Overview

The Cisco Business is a well-known brand in the tech-world. Since its inception in December 1984 in California United States, Cisco has expanded its reach and it now deals with many networking products both hardware and software.

Currently, the Cisco Business Family can be categorized into four main lines. First, Cisco routers are well-reviewed and rated in the market. Depending on the one you go for, Cisco creates routers that are high-performance for complex and intense environments like the business workplace. There are also Cisco routers that are good fits for private use in homes. Some features that across board with Cisco routers include the strong security features with VPN and privacy settings.

Cisco also has Switches and Wireless Access Points under its belt. These work for home use as well as for enterprises. Cisco Wireless Access Points, for example, deliver stable and secure connectivity to all your users including customers and employees. Finally, Cisco has a Find IT Network Manager that is a simple tool to remotely manage all your Cisco routers, switches and access points from one place.

Cisco RV320K9NA Systems Gigabit VPN Router

Cisco Systems Gigabit Dual WAN VPN 14 Port Router (RV325K9NA)
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet WAN ports for load balancing and business continuity
  • Easily manages large files and concurrent users to keep employees productive

One of the routers made by Cisco is this Gigabit VPN router that particularly works well for enterprises like small business. It is designed with high-powered Ethernet ports (Gigabit) that supports many connected devices for fast transfer speeds. The dual Gigabit WAN ports also allows for business continuity and load balancing with ease. In case you want to share a storage device with the network, this router also comes with dual USB ports that support all kinds of flash drives and modems including 3G and 4G.

Another reason why Cisco VPN router is well-loved is because of the strong security features it comes with. This router is loaded with hardware encryption as well as a firewall that protects your network from all kinds of cyber threats. The firewall is Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) guaranteed to offer protection.

As for its structure and design, it weighs 1.39lbs and it has the dimensions 3.25 x 11.0 x 9.5 inches. It also comes with 4 WAN ports as well as 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports that are high performance. This router is also compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless standards.

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Cisco RV340 VPN Router

Cisco RV340 VPN Router, 4 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports, Dual WAN, Limited Lifetime Protection (RV340-K9-NA)
  • PORT COUNT: Integrated 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch lets you connect your wired devices, such as...
  • CONNECTIVITY: Supports Dual WAN Ethernet, allows multiple Internet connections for load balancing and...

With Limited Life protection and all the hardware and software features to match, Cisco RV340 is another quality router by this manufacturer.

It comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports that offer fast wired connections for devices such as a shared printer, computers and other storage devices. The dual WAN port also ensures that you can have multiple internet connections with minimal interruptions.

Like all Cisco routers, the RV340 is also ramped up with security features. First, you can create a separate guest Wi-Fi network (separate Virtual Local Area Networks) that comes in handy for fast connection with visitors. This also protects your network from too many unwanted connections. Other security specs include the VPN functionality which ensures stable and secure interconnectivity through Cisco IPsec and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol among others.

Cisco RV340 also supports the Cisco Any Connect Secure Mobility Client. This ensures that even remote connections by mobile devices are secured.

For added peace of mind and good customer relationships, the Cisco RV340 comes with one year of technical support with free software issue fixing for a certain period. This router also offers a Limited Lifetime warranty. You can therefore be sure of the quality you are getting with this router.

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Cisco- Linksys E4200

Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router,Black
  • Transfer rates up to 300 + 450 Mbps speed for a premium home network experience
  • Full 3x3 MIMO antenna array boosts signal strength to provide exceptional coverage and reliability

By Cisco, the E4200 is a dual-band wireless router that has many notable features. First, it has fast data transfer rates to ensure you get the premium experience wherever you place it. The 2.4GHz band can manage 300Mbps and the second band (5GHz) can deliver on 450Mbps.

To add, this Cisco router has 3×3 MU-MIMO (multiple-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) antennas. This simply means that you guaranteed reliability and wide coverage with this router. Its antennas also boost the signal strength that you would ordinarily get with such a router. The Cisco Connect software also enhances what you get with this router. For example, the set-up process is made easy with this router. This software also allows you to customize your network to your own preferences. You can access the advanced network settings easily to tweak them. You can also set up a guest network for your visitors.

Cisco E4200 is also ramped up with security features like the SPI firewall and WPA/WPA2 encryption. Together, these features ward of any cyber threats as well as keep of any freeloaders who might be on your network. It also comes with the additional accessories like parental control options. You can filter out inappropriate content as well as set limits to how long your children can stay online.

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Now let’s compare these two Unifi and Cisco brand models.

Model
Ubiquiti Networks Unifi

 

Cisco E4200
Speeds
Combined more than 1Gbps (300Mbps+867Mbps)
Combined up to 750Mbps (300Mbps+450Mbps)
Coverage
1000 square feet
1000 square feet
Dimensions
6.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches

 

12 x 3 x 9 inches
Accessories
Unifi VoIP Phone
Cisco Connect, MU-MIMO
 

 

Conclusion

Both Unifi and Cisco are reputable companies that have catered to the Wi-Fi router market with their quality products. Some of the good features that cut across board include the additional accessories, wide coverage and fast yet reliable speeds.

Therefore, whichever company you settle for, you can be assured of a quality product that has been primed for stellar performance and good optics as well.

If you had to choose one though, consider going for Cisco routers.  It stands out because of its hardware and software specs like the Cisco Connect option. Cisco routers are also a tad better because of their versatility. Whether you want a router for home-use or commercial-use, you are bound to get a quality option with Cisco.

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