Poor wifi coverage at home? Want enterprise-class wifi for an affordable price and easy to install? Sound too good to be true, but it’s possible. Take a look at Ubiquiti Unifi Access Points, they are pretty cheap, decent and centrally managed with a controller (a small piece of software).
Installing the Unifi Access
So we now know what to buy, where to place it, but how do we install and manage it?
Step 1 – Unpack and connect
I won’t go into detail too much about the actual placement of the Access Point, the Unifi Access Points come with a perfectly clear installation instruction on how to to mount the Access Point.
But before you actually place it, first just connect it to your switch or router with the supplied PoE adapter. This way you can install it, reset it and see what happens more easily than walking upstairs to check the light all time 😉
Step 2 – Manage your Unifi AC
There are multiple options to configure your Access Point, you can use a Controller (a small piece of software), cloud controller (requires Cloud Key) and a mobile app.
- The Controller doesn’t need to be running all the time, so you can install it on your notebook, configure your Access Points and they will keep working, the only disadvantage is that you don’t have all the insights that you get when the controller is running 24/7.
- Cloud key is a small device that is bought separately for $ 90,- and that you connect to your network. When connected you can manage your network remotely.
- Mobile App can be used to configure a standalone device. So if you have just one access points and no specials needs (like multiple SSIDs) then you can use the Mobile App to set it up.
Download the Controller Software
- To install and manage the Unifi Access Point we need to download the controller. Go to the download page at ubnt.com and download the latest controller from Windows, Mac or Linux:
- After you installed the software, start the controller and hit “Launch a Browser to Manage a Network” or goto https://localhost:8443 in your browser. When you get a warning just click “Advanced” and “Continue to..”
- Select your location and timezone and continue.
- On the next page, Configure devices, you will the see the connected Access Points. Select the devices that you want to configure. If there are no discovered devices, but your Access Point is running and the light is glowing white then there is something wrong (obvious).
- Check your local firewall. If you have any internet protection software running like Norton, Avast or any other firewall software on your computer, open it and disable your firewall to see if you can find the devices.
- Download the Ubiquiti Device Discovery Tool from the Chrome App store. With this tool, you can scan your network for Ubiquiti devices. Check if there are on the same network as you are.
- Reset the Access Point, hold the reset button for 5 sec to set it back to factory settings.
- Configure your Wifi network, enter a name for your Wifi network and a strong password. You can change these details later.
- Next is the admin credentials for the controller and the device credentials. The latter is to manage is Access Point without a controller.
- When done, click finish and login in for the first time into the Controller. You will see the dashboard with the connected devices.
Optimizing your Access Points
So we are now logged-in the controller and our Access Point is running you first should upgrade the firmware. This contains the latest bug fixes and features for your Access Point.
- Goto Devices and click on Upgrade on the right side
- If your controller is not online 24/7 you should turn off the Uplink Connectivity Monitor in Settings – Site. This will make the Access Points work better when the controller is not available.
Disable the wifi on your old Router
The last step is to disable the wifi on your old router because the UAP is strong enough to cover your entire house. You can’t just unplug your router, you need it for you internet connection. To disable the wifi on your router, you need to login the admin interface of your router (most of the time you will find it on http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.1.254), find the Wireless settings, and turn it off.