I’ve got now five homes where I’m helping folks run their networks. Unifi is pretty awesome because you can configure the AP at home and then take it to someone and it is completely configured for them. It is so unlikely that a regular human can figure out the access point systems, so it is better to preconfigure and then wrap it up.
The UniFi software is pretty weird and hard to figure out. Here are the tips:
- You download a UniFi console and it becomes the center. All Access points connect to a single computer. They will operate on their own, but they are linked to that computer. Even if this is just a laptop, the good news is that you can configure and if they can’t find that console they just keep running.
- The UniFi console is actually an application that runs on socket 8443, so you use a web browser (Chrome seems to work best) to use it. So when you start, you get a small little box that says, launch browser
- The application itself is pretty confusing. The upper right has the “Site” id. The idea is that each site has a different layout.
- You need to click on the upper right click the
+sign and then you create one. Deleting one is really confusing because there is no delete button instead when you go to a Site, you click on the setting icon on the lower left as a gear icon and then you will see delete at the bottom.
- Finally within each site, you can setup a network group. You can attach any number of Wifi networks against any site. So for instance, if you have a work network set and a home network set then you can have multiple sites with just work, just home or both.
- Finally the APs themselves are linux boxes, they have an ssh port and have a single password set against them. You need to store this in 1Password or somewhere because that is how you get in to reprovision the APs.
- And when you want to use another laptop, you need to make sure that you have done a backup which creates a
INFfile and you can use that to restore the whole setup.