Hi all! I am going to do a quick run-through of adding UniFi Access Points to a controller running on a Windows host.

Let me start off by saying how impressed I am with the UniFi line. They really are giving the big wireless guys a run for their money, including Cisco and Meraki.  With their no-license model and free controller software (that’s right – FREE), they are a great solution for any small, medium, and even large businesses. You can do a ton of options with UniFi, including guest policies, portal customization, WPA-Enterprise, and much more. Hopefully I will get a chance to cover all of these cool features in the future.

So, you’ve purchased a single UniFi WAP or 3-pack and have no idea what to do next. Well, first you MUST install your controller software on a Windows, Mac or Linux machine. If you don’t have a PoE switch, they also come with power injectors in the box!

After installing the controller, configure the initial admin username/password and login. Plug-in the APs. Hopefully, your APs will show up automatically during the setup process and you can add them to the controller. If they do not show up, chances are that your APs are on a different subnet than your controller. Basically, the APs will send out a broadcast discover to find out the location of the controller. Standard networking concepts will tell you that broadcasts do not traverse subnets. So how do you add it to a controller on a different subnet?

You will need to get the IP address of the AP by searching on your DHCP server – the MAC address will start with 04:18. After figuring out the IP address, SSH into it with a client like PuTTY. Login to the AP with ubnt / ubnt. Then, run the following command:

set-inform http://<ip of controller>:8080/inform

This will cause the AP to send a discovery unicast packet directly to the controller. You should now see the AP appear on the controller. Adopt the AP and run the set-inform command again. The AP will then reboot and then will be officially adopted on the controller!

Unfortunately, this particular multi-subnet scenario is not documented well in the UniFi documentation. So I hope this helps – enjoy your new access points!

Official user guide: http://dl.ubnt.com/guides/UniFi/UniFi_AP_AP-LR_User_Guide.pdf

Good Wiki documentation: http://wiki.ubnt.com/UniFi_FAQ