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I'm sorry, but asking someone to switch from Ubiquiti to a Mikrotik is like asking someone to go from macOS to 1990's Linux.

The user interface is beyond atrocious and even basic features you'd need in smaller/home setup need digging through Wikis to get the arcane settings you need to click. Basic things like NAT loopback or basic VPN setup. OpenVPN is still neutered and broken.

What's even worse - the defaults are all wrong. There's no simple "enable firewall" switch for basic use-cases like other equipment has. Instead you need to manually configure firewall rules in chains like working with raw IP tables and if you do a small misstep, you'll drill a hole in your network easily. Or make your internet horribly slow because you need to be careful about fasstrack rules and lack of NAT acceleration.

It's really about the most disappointing piece of hardware I bought in last few years and doesn't come close to niceness of Ubiquitis management. Sadly it's also the only company that makes a compact router with SFP and PoE+ to power Ubiquities.




While I'm a big Mikrotik advocate, I completely agree with you: Mikrotik is not even in the same league as Ubiquity when it comes to UX. Mikrotik is for professionals who desire control and know what they're doing, Ubiquity is for a non-technical prosumer audience.


One could argue that Mikrotik provides a UX that it’s target market is looking for.


Yes, but that also means they're not a replacement for Ubiquiti then and shouldn't be peddled as such.


Uniqiti has several product ranges; the EdgeMax line is the advanced one; Unifi is the simple one.

Yes, you can set up simple things with Unifi in a simple way, but the more advanced ones are a tragedy, that you must also google around, dig wikies and forums for arcane incantations of the right json keys, so you can deploy your config in json, there are even no arcane settings to click.


I don't think the EdgeMax is the 'advanced' line by any stretch. They both run a fork of Vayatta and share a CLI. The Unifi stuff has more features accessible via the GUI and receives far more attention from Ubiquity.

However, the biggest and most major difference between the two lines of products is the requirement of the Controller to run the Unifi line of devices. For that simple fact I would pin the Unifi line as more 'advanced'.


The controller and the sdn concept is exactly the difference.

They might share CLI, but that does not mean that your changes persist on USG. You can rely only on whatever you configured in GUI and half-rely on gateway.config.json; for example, they both have dnsmasq and I'm still figuring out how to configure it, so the changes persist. It would be otherwise trivial on edgemax or other pure dnsmasq-using system, like openwrt.


RouterOS is basically designed for network engineers. From our perspective, NAT loopback is extremely complex and has many implications, which RouterOS doesn't hide from you. And we typically don't run a VPN concentrator on the same device as a router. I think it's just a matter of different practices in different industries.

ETA:

> What's even worse - the defaults are all wrong.

There is a new-ish thing in the web UI called "QuickSet" for these use cases.


I agree. Mikrotik has great devices but they are great if you can cope with them. Imagine as getting Cisco Catalyst and then complaining it is not as good as Ubiquiti due to the sheer number of options. It just doesnt work that way, there is equipment for the masses which is "good enough" and the other side where you can tacle everything in transmission but you need to know what you are doing.

Anyway, I wouldnt recomend ubiquiti as replacement for microtik. It is just too complex for most home users and even technical users (on the other side I wouldnt use ubiquity even if it is a giveaway).


Honest question. What is the market for Mikrotik? I’ve only seen them in use at home by enthusiasts and a few SMBs trying to maximize bang for buck. There offerings just don’t seem very enterprisy.


Having had the displeasure of managing a network for a company that installed about 40 mikrotik switches behind a mikrotik firewall, I can safely say they belong in a small business with max 1 or 2 at a time.

Managing more than that is crazy with the current software. Not to mention these are some of the cheapest and lowest build quality switches you will find with these insanely powerful features.

Unifi switches are a materially better build quality.

If you want great carrier grade look at Arista. You can even score a 10Gbit 48 port Arista switch off eBay used for about $700 last I checked.


Quite popular in the WISP market


Lower tier ISPs.


Yes, I fully understand that it was built for company admins to have fun and cover their use-cases.

But unfortunately I constantly see those admins recommend them for prosumer, unmanaged small business and home use-cases. In those cases they're horrible to manage and lack features users expect.


What features? I have heard a lot of complaining over mikrotik, but lack of features was typically not one of them.


An easy to use, user friendly WebUI is a feature. The only part of that MikroTik has is WebFig, which is neither easy to use nor user friendly.


Everyone uses either CLI or WinBox GUI app, which is excellent. https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Winbox#Work_Area_and_c...


Which is covered by

>horrible to manage and lack features users expect

Users expect WebUIs, and WebFig is horrible to manage.


Users expected faster horses, got cars. WinBox is so much better than any web UI I've ever seen, didn't know I wanted it before I had it.


1. WinBox only works on Windows. 2. Android version of WinBox is buggy and also only works on Android 3. It may be better if you have expertise in network administration and know RouterOS inside and out. Most people who buy Ubiquiti gear do not, but their needs aren't met by regular consumer routers which do not allow any kind of "prosumer" settings.

MikroTik may well be better for you (I used it for 5km PTP links, but that's because it's cheap, if I had the budget I would've gotten LiteBeam or AirGrid), but that doesn't imply it's a suitable replacement for everyone. And it is most certainly not a suitable replacement of airOS for most people who use airOS.


It’s probably the wrong product for you. I like my Mikrotik devices as it doesn’t hide anything and is crazy configurable for the price.

I run my VPN server on a different device, I can understand why you might want to run it in your router, but again this isn’t plug and play trivial networking gear and most administrators will be doing the same as me.

There are many companies selling what you want.


> I run my VPN server on a different device, I can understand why you might want to run it in your router, but again this isn’t plug and play trivial networking gear and most administrators will be doing the same as me.

Which administrators? In what environments? Remember, the thread started with someone telling us that Mikrotik is a good replacement for Ubiquiti use-cases. Whose EdgeRouters and USGs have easily configurable VPNs with good defaults.

I'd also love to hear about any alternative products which support SFP for WAN and 802.3at PoE with ease of setup and use as Ubiquiti. Or even a SOHO ASUS router.




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