Setting Up Ubiquiti Unifis

Unlike many other Access Points, Unifi's do not have an in-built web interface. They are configured through software called "Unifi Controller", which is installed on your reception machine.  The benefit here is that you can configure how you want your wireless to work in the controller and all Access Points will automatically update.  No need to configure each one individually through its web interface.

Note: Installing software requires admin privileges.  You may be required to enter an administrator's password.

Note: Please ensure you are running the latest NuiNet software prior to plugging in the Unifis, as this is a relatively new feature. See Updates on how to do this.

Download Controller

The software can be found on the Ubiquiti Website url: https://www.ubnt.com/download/unifi.

Unifi Controller List

In the list marked "SOFTWARE" (below "FIRMWARE"), click the download icon appropriate for your computer's operating system.  I.E. if you have a Mac, click the controller for Mac's download link, otherwise click the Window's download link.

Note: In the above screenshot it's a bit confusing as the date on the older version 5.4.19 is newer than 5.5.19.  Ignore the date and go with the latest version. 

Unifi Download

You may need to agree to Ubiquiti's terms and conditions.  If so, click agree.  Once the download dialogue appears, click the "DOWNLOAD FILE" button.

Install Controller

Locate the unifi controller installer programme that was downloaded and open it.

Unifi Install Mac

Install the software by Clicking Continue, then Install.  Enter your computer's admin password if required.  Close the installer when finished.

Run Controller

Locate and run the UniFi application.  (On mac, it is located in your Applications folder.)

Unifi App Window

Click the "Launch a Browser to Manage the Network" button.

Unifi SSL Error

The browser will likely balk at connecting to Unifi's admin screen citing all sorts of scary things.  This is normal.  The webpages are encrypted, but it's impossible to authenticate the website because it's running on your machine.  Tell the browser to proceed.  On the Chrome browser (pictured above), do not click "Back to safety".  Click "Advanced" in the bottom left and then the "Proceed to localhost (unsafe)" link.

Configure Controller

Unifi Setup 1

At this point we start setting up the controller software.  Select your country and timezone and click next.

Unifi Setup 2

We don't have any devices setup, so just click next.

Unifi Setup 3b

Even though we want to setup wifi, the defaults won't work for us.  So just click Skip.

Unifi Setup 4

Fill in a login name, email and password.  It is critical that you write these down somewhere, as recovering by email doesn't always work.  We recommend that you email support@nui.global with your Unifi login and password so that we can record it with your account, in case it is lost.

Unifi Setup 5

Click finish.

Unifi Setup 6

You are more than welcome to create a Unifi Cloud account.  However, it is beyond the scope of this manual and unnecessary to setup the Access Points.  Otherwise, click Skip.

Configure Controller Wifi

Unifi Login

Now login with the credentials that you recorded earlier and Sign In.

Unifi Login 2

On successful login, we are presented with some stats and on the left a vertical list of clickable buttons with no names.  It's now time to fix up the wifi so it's compatible with NuiNet.

Unifi Settings Wifi

Click the Settings (cogs) button, followed by "Wireless Networks".

Unifi Wifi List b

 

This is where we setup our wireless network.  The current list should be empty.  If not, delete any existing networks.

Unifi Wifi Setup

 

Give the wifi a name.  Ensure the network is enabled, security is open and most importantly Guest Policy is NOT TICKED

Unifi Wifi Final

If the wireless configuration has been set correctly, there will be one network, with security set to open and guest network unticked.

Adding and Configuring Unifi Access Points

Ensure your NuiNet is running the latest software and Update if necessary. With the controller installed, and NuiNet up-to-date, connect and turn on your Unifi Access Points (see Setting Up for network diagram).

Before the controller can see the connected Unifi Access Points, NuiNet needs to configured to let the Access Points connect to the controller on the other side of NuiNet's firewall.

Unifi Nui Setup

Open NuiNet's admin page, click the configuration tab, followed by the Pinholes tab.  Set the UNIFI controller IP address in NuiNet to match the IP of the computer running the UNIFI controller.  (See How to find IP address of your computer if you are unsure how to find the computer's IP.)

Name and add each access point in the list.  These should populate automatically.  However, if NuiNet has been restarted recently after the access points have been turned on the list may be missing.  You can either wait a couple of hours, or reboot the access points.  A few seconds after rebooting the access points, click the Pinholes tab again and the access points should re-appear.

Note: The Unifis do not need access to the controller (or the machine that it is installed on), once they are configured. They only need access to the controller during setup.  Therefore it is unnecessary for the computer to have a static IP, nor does the controller need to be running continuously.  However, the next time you open the controller to make changes to the network, you will need to ensure that NuiNet has the correct IP entered into the Unifi controller field.  If you can't see the access points in the controller software, the IP field probably needs updating.

Unifi Nui Setup 2

After adding the Access points, they should appear in the Pinholes list.

Unifi AP Adopt 1

Thus we can now flip back to the Unifi controller software and configure the Access Points.  Click on the Devices icon (two concentric circles).

Unifi AP Adopt 2

The access points should appear in the list.  Click Adopt for each access point.  The controller will then go through the process of adopting and provisioning them. 

Unifi AP Adopt 3

We strongly recommend that you upgrade each access point once connected (if the option is available) by clicking its upgrade button followed by confirm.

Unifi AP Name

Although not required, it can be handy to label each access point.  To do so, click on an access point in the list, click configuration, give it a name (in the Alias field) and then click Save.

At this point your wifi should be ready to go.