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How to discover and adopt UniFi APs into your controller

Published onApril 30, 2024

To set up a working Wi-Fi network with UniFi, you need to discover and integrate access points(APs) into the UniFi Controller software. This process makes sure that your APs are rightly configured and managed from a single interface. If you are running a network with multiple access points this is a must.

In this article, I'll outlin how to discover and adopt UniFi APs into your UniFi Controller.

Let's get yourselfs an effective network management setup!

Table of Contents

UniFi Discovery Process

The UniFi Controller uses a discovery process to detect UniFi devices that are connected to your network. It's not super difficult, but crucial for the initial setup setup of new devices (or when adding devices to your current network). This process allows the UniFi Controller to manage settings and apply configurations across all connected devices centrally. This is essentially what you want.

Discovering UniFi APs

Before you start the discovery process:

  • Install UniFi Controller: Make sure the UniFi Controller software is installed.
  • Connect APs to your network: Ensure that your UniFi APs are properly connected to your network via an Ethernet cable. They should be powered on and connected to the same Local Area Network (LAN) as your UniFi Controller.

Step 1: Launch the UniFi Controller

Open the UniFi Controller on your computer or access it via the IP address in your web browser.

Step 2: Access the Devices Page

Once the UniFi Controller dashboard is open, navigate to the 'Devices' section. This section lists all the devices currently managed by the controller as well as any new devices that can be adopted.

Step 3: Discover New UniFi APs

New APs connected to the network should appear in the ‘Devices’ section with a status indicating that they are ready for adoption. Now, Check for APs. They will be listed with a specific model number and IP address. They might be marked as ‘Pending Adoption’ or ‘Isolated’ depending on their current state.

Step 4: Adopt the APs

To integrate an AP into your network management setup:

  1. Click on the AP entry: Each new AP will have an option to ‘Adopt’.
  2. Adopt the AP: Click on ‘Adopt’. The UniFi Controller will initiate the adoption process. This includes adding your network's configuration setting to the AP.

Step 5: Configure AP Settings

Once an AP is adopted, you can configure its specific settings:

  1. Set AP name and description: This helps in identifying the AP in large networks.
  2. Adjust settings: Configure Wi-Fi networks (SSIDs), guest access, and other specific settings.

Step 6: Monitor the AP

After adoption:

  1. Check the AP’s Status: Ensure that the AP shows as ‘Connected’ in the devices list.
  2. Monitor Performance: Use the UniFi dashboard to monitor the AP’s performance, including traffic statistics and connected clients.

Troubleshooting issues

If your APs do not appear in the Controller:

  • Check network connections: Ensure APs are correctly connected to the network and receiving power.
  • Verify IP subnet: Make sure that both the UniFi Controller and the APs are on the same IP subnet.
  • Restart the APs and controller: Sometimes, simply restarting the devices can resolve discovery issues.

Final thoughts

Discovering and adopting UniFi APs into the UniFi Controller is a straightforward process. It helps a lot in order to manage and monitor your network centrally. If you follow the above steps, you improve your network setup and are ready to handle the demands of your user better.

If you need help achieving this, you might want to consider a managed hosting service like UniHosted. We provide managed UniFi Controllers to improve your network efficiency. Especially, if you are an MSP or IT-service business looking for reliable, secure and scalable UniFi network deployments, this is something for you.

Feel free to give us a spin! Additionally, I'm happy to walk you through personally. You can schedule a call with me (Founder of UniHosted) here.

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