UniFi - UniFi Network FAQ


Click on the question that interests you to expand and collapse the answers. If you don't see the answer you are looking for, search in our other UniFi FAQ article: UniFi - Controller FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a full UniFi topology with a UniFi Security Gateway, UniFi Switch, and UniFi Access Point or can I use a third-party device?

No, you do not need the full UniFi topology in order to use the UniFi Network Controller. Just keep in mind that when you use third-party devices, you not only lose the centralized management system that the Controller provides, you will also be missing features that are available to configure in the Controller. See our Feature Matrix to learn what each type of device brings to the table. A typical topology might look like this: UniFi.beginner.950.png  Or with the all-in-one UniFi Dream Machine, it would look like this: UDM_219051528.png

What is the difference between UniFi AP models?

UniFi Access Point (UAP) models might have different radio rates, number of ports, number of concurrently connected clients, among others. To see any devices' full characteristics list, go to their Datasheet or Quick Start Guide, and check out the Specifications section. These documents will always be found at the bottom of the product page, which can be accessed when navigating from the Ubiquiti Products page. They can also be downloaded from our Downloads page.  See our UniFi - Access Point Comparison Charts article for a consolidated view.

How many access points will I need to cover my office?

Users have reported needing only one UAP for average-sized offices, but of course, all offices will have different needs depending on size, building material, wall distribution, number of floors, environment, among others. Use the comparison charts for UAPs and the device's Datasheets to select an AP that is enough to meet your needs. You can always start with the minimum number of UAPs, and add another if necessary. The UniFi Network Controller allows for easy adoption and scalability. You can conduct a wireless site survey to get a true idea of the different areas of signal strength in the building. Another tool that is useful to spot the need for extra access points is the Map feature. Find information about the Map feature and how to use it in the UniFi User Guide, Chapter 6: Map.

Where is the UniFi Network Controller hosted? Do I need to pay for a Cloud solution?

All our software is free, as well as all upgrades. You do not need to pay for the UniFi Network Controller software, or for the use of the UniFi Cloud Access Portal to have remote access to your controller. The Controller can be hosted on any of the following:
  • A dedicated network device such as a UniFi Dream Machine or UniFi Cloud Key. If running UniFi Protect as well as UniFi Network, the Cloud Key Plus or the UDM Pro are recommended
  • A local computer or server running Linux, macOS 10.11 (or above), or Microsoft Windows 7/8/10
  • A remote computer or server running Linux, macOS X 10.11 (or above), or Microsoft Windows 7/8/10

Only one instance of the UniFi Network Controller is required, even for multiple sites. For example, use either the UniFi Cloud Key or a local server, not both. A UniFi Cloud Key can be used as a remote controller. If you have a number of branch offices/teleworkers that each requires UniFi devices then Layer-3 adoption is required. For more on Layer-3 adoption, see this article: UniFi - Device Adoption Methods for Remote UniFi Controllers.

Please note that the Dream Machine line does not support multi-sites. 

What is Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud deployment allows for a mixture of on-premise and cloud hosted controller deployments. Being able to administrate networks from offsite using the UniFi Cloud Access Portal allows users to manage UniFi networks from any location with an internet connection. For reference on how to enable remote access on controllers please see this article.

Do I need to install and host software (UniFi Network Controller) to use UniFi? I just want to plug my UAPs and enjoy my WiFi.

No, not necessarily. If you only want to set up one or a few UniFi Access Points (UAP's) and don't want to install (and host) the UniFi Network Controller, you could use the UniFi mobile app's Standalone mode. You can also include a UniFi Switch if you want to use it to power the UAPs, but you will lose any possibility of configuration on the switch. You'll find the UniFi app for Android and iOS, available for free on the App Store and Google Play. With the Standalone mode you will not need to install the UniFi Network Controller and have it running on a server, computer, or dedicated device. The downside is you will not be able to take advantage of all the (free!) features included in the Controller. You can read all about de differences between Controller and Standalone Mode here

My password isn't working. What is the default username and password for UniFi devices?

The UniFi products in their factory-default state can have two possible default username / password combinations, remember both password and username are case-sensitive:

Username: root

Password: ubnt

Username: ubnt

Password: ubnt

It is important to note that there are several different sets of credentials you will create when using UniFi. Do not confuse the UniFi Device Authentication credentials with the UniFi Cloud Access Portal credentials, the UniFi Network Controller credentials or the UniFi Cloud Key and SSH credentials. Read more about that here.

What are the UniFi System requirements?

These are the minimum system requirements for the UniFi Network Controller to run optimally. It is important to read the Release Notes of each software version release. It will include any special considerations to keep in mind. A link to the Release Notes will he available in the Downloads page along with the corresponding software version, or find past Release Notes in the UniFi Updates Blog


When hosting on computer or server:

  • Operating System:
    • Linux: Ubuntu Desktop / Server 16.04; Debian 9 "Stretch"
    • Windows: Windows 10; Windows Server 2016
    • macOS: Mavericks 10.9, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan, 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra, 10.14 Mojave, 10.15 Catalina.
  • CPU: x86-64 Processor (Intel / AMD x64 Processors)*
  • RAM: 2GB*
  • Network: 100Mbps Wired Ethernet*
  • HDD: Minimum 10GB free (20GB or more preferred)*
  • Java: Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 8. Java 8 does not come bundled with the UniFi Network Controller software after version 5.11.47, so this must be installed separately. The UniFi Network Controller does not support Java 9.
  • Web Browser: Google Chrome
  • MongoDB: version 3.2 or later. Mongo is offered bundled: default is 2.4.14 (for macOS and Windows only).

*Actual Storage, CPU, RAM, and Network speed requirements will depend on many factors including the number of UniFi devices managed by the controller, number of clients, features enabled, and data retention settings. For database repair, you require free space equal to the current database size, plus 2GB. 

Do I need an account to get started? How do I create a Ubiquiti account?

The Ubiquiti SSO Cloud username and password are the Single Sign-On, UI.com account credentials created in https://account.ui.com/. This set of credentials is used in the UI Community, the UI Store, and the UniFi Cloud Access Portal. See this article to learn how to create your Ubiquiti SSO account.

Related Articles

Back to Top

UniFi - Controller FAQ

UniFi - Getting Started

UniFi - Access Point Comparison Charts

UniFi - Device Feature Matrix

UniFi User Guide

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