New UniFi Gateway Max Released

Ubiquiti has released yet another gateway in its UniFi product line. The new UniFi Gateway Max (UXG-Max) is a multi-WAN gateway, designed for high throughput with full 2.5 GbE support.

It, however, doesn’t come with UniFi OS, so you will need a CloudKey or Hosted controller to run and manage this gateway.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the specs of the new UniFi Gateway Max and how it compares to the recently released UniFi Gateway Ultra and UniFi Gateway Lite.

UniFi Gateway Max

The UniFi Gateway Max is a powerful, but compact, multi-WAN gateway. What stands out the most about this gateway is that it has a 2.5 GbE WAN port and four 2.5GbE LAN ports. This makes it the ideal gateway for fast WAN connections.

UniFi Gateway max

Ubiquiti has recently also released the UniFi Cloud Gateway Ultra. When you look at both devices, you will notice that they have the same form factor and look almost identical. But there is a big difference between the two.

In the UniFi product line, we have Gateways and Cloud Gateways. The Cloud Gateways run on UniFi OS and come with the UniFi network app. The normal gateways, don’t run UniFi OS. This means that you will need either a CloudKey or a (locally) hosted UniFi network server.

So when you want to use the UXG Max, you will need to run the UniFi Network app on a different device. If you have multiple sites, then a hosted controller is often the best solution.

Specifications

CPUQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 (IPQ5322) at 1.5 GHz
Memory2 GB
DisplayNone
Max IPS/IDS Throughput1.5 Gbps
WAN Ports1x 2.5 GbE RJ45
LAN Ports4x 2.5 GbE RJ45
Power methodUSB C (5V / 3A)
Max Power Consumption9.6 Watt
Dimensions142 x 127 x 30 mm
UniFi Gateway Max Specifications

When we look at the specification then you will see that the throughput is limited at 1.5 Gbps with IPS and IDS. These features are great but are not needed in every scenario.

Good to know is that you can re-map one of the LAN ports as a secondary WAN port, offering you a multi-WAN solution. This is great for fail-over when you need to guarantee a high uptime.

The UXG Max doesn’t come with a display. We only see that on the Cloud Gateways and some switches.

If we look at the usability of this device, then it’s good to notice that there are only a few UniFi switches and access points (only enterprise models) available that are capable of using the 2.5 GbE connection.

How does the UniFi Gateway Max Compare

The UniFi Gateway Max is mostly suited for small and medium businesses that need the high throughput that the gateway has to offer. So how does it compare to the recently released Gateway Lite and Cloud Gateway Ultra?

UniFi Gateway Max vs UniFi Cloud Gateway Ultra

The Cloud Gateway Ultra was released only a month ago and has the same form factor as the UGX-Max. It also offers a 2.5 GbE WAN connection, but it can only utilize 1 Gbit of it.

If we compare both devices, then you will see that the specifications are almost identical. The biggest difference is of course that the Cloud Gateway Ultra can run the UniFi network app, allowing you to manage your UniFi network.


UniFi Gateway MaxUniFi Cloud
Gateway Ultra
ProcessorQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 at 1.5 GHzQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 at 1.5 GHz
Memory2 GB3 GB
Runs UniFi Network appNoYes
Routing Performance with IDS and IPS1.5 Gbps1 Gbps
WAN Port2.5GbE  RJ45 Port2.5GbE  RJ45 Port
LAN Ports(4) 2.5GbE  RJ45 Port(4) 1GbE  RJ45 Port
Price$199$129
UniFi Gateway Max vs UniFi Cloud Gateway Ultra

This way you won’t need to run the UniFi Network app locally or buy a CloudKey which is of course a big advantage. The downside however of running UniFi OS is that the Ultra is a bit slower than the Gateway Max.

We have seen the same difference between the UniFi Express and the Gateway Lite, where the Express is just a bit too limited when you want to run IDS and IPS as well.

UniFi Gateway Max vs UniFi Gateway Lite

The UniFi Gateway Lite was released at the end of 2023 and is, as the name implies, the smaller and lighter version of the Gateway Max.

Both Gateways require either a CloudKey or a hosted UniFi Network server to configure and manage the devices.

UniFi Gateway MaxUniFi
Gateway Lite
ProcessorQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 at 1.5 GHzDual-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 at 1 GHz
Memory2 GB1 GB
Runs UniFi Network appNoNo
Routing Performance with IDS & IPS1.5 Gbps1 Gbps
WAN Ports2.5 GbE  RJ45 Port1 GbE RJ45 Port
LAN Ports(4) 2.5 GbE  RJ45 Port1 GbE RJ45 Port
IDS and IPS Threat detectionYesYes (limited to only 11 features)
Price$199$129
UniFi Gateway Max vs UniFi Gateway Lite

If we look at the specifications, then we can clearly see that the Gateway Max is more powerful than the Lite. The difference in the routing performance with IDS and IPS turned on isn’t that big, but important to note here is that the Gateway Lite only supports a limited set of IDS and IPS features.

Also, the Gateway Lite only has one LAN port, so it doesn’t offer multi-WAN support.

Which Gateway should you use?

The UniFi product line of gateways has expanded a lot past 6 months. We have now 4 new (Cloud) gateways to choose from, so which one should you buy?

When you need to choose a new gateway you should consider the following questions:

  1. Is your internet connection faster than 1Gbps?
  2. Are you managing multiple network locations?
  3. Do you need a multi-WAN connection?

If you need to manage multiple locations, often the case with small and medium business environments. Then it’s easier to use the Gateway Lite or Max and a hosted UniFi Network server. This way you have one central place to manage all your UniFi devices.

When your internet connection is 1 Gbps or lower, then the Cloud Gateway Ultra or Gateway Lite are more than enough.

If you need a multi-WAN connection to support fail-over or load balancing, then you should pick either the Cloud Gateway Ultra or the Gateway Max.

Learn more about the different UniFi Controllers in this article.

Wrapping Up

The new UniFi Gateway Max is a great gateway when your internet connection speed exceeds 1 Gbps. However, the lack of affordable 2.5 GbE capable switches makes the use case a lot more limited. At the moment, the only non-rack mounted 2.5 GbE capable switch is the UniFi Enterprise 8 PoE.

This switch costs almost $500, which is quite a lot compared to the Gateway Max. I really hope that Ubiquiti will soon release a switch with at least a 2.5 GbE uplink port.

I hope you liked this article, if you have any questions, just drop a comment below!

6 thoughts on “New UniFi Gateway Max Released”

  1. I think you have the wrong price for the Max in the table under UniFi Gateway Max vs UniFi Gateway Lite.

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