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UniFi Access - Getting started

 

UniFi Access (UA) is a POE-powered door access control system that supports your electric bolts and strikes, magnetic locks, motion sensors, push buttons, alarms, and other 12V access accessories. With your Unifi Access application, you can also conveniently manage users, visitors, schedules, and access policies.

This article will introduce your primary UniFi Access system elements, as well as detail the processes for wiring them, setting up your UniFi Access application, and adding devices to your UniFi Access deployment. In this article, you'll find the following sections:

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UniFi Access overview

The UniFi Access (UA) system consists of four elements:

  • UniFi Access application: The control center for your Access system, hosted on the UniFi Dream Machine Pro (UDM Pro). Your Access application is easily upgradable and offers a host of features that simplify access policymaking as well as personnel, space, and device management.
  • UA-Hub: A secure I/O hub that authenticates inputs registered by your Access readers (UA-Pro & UA-Lite), push buttons, and sensors. Your UA Hub can also control door locks, alarms, and motorized door openers.
  • UA-Pro and UA-Lite: The Access system's card or motion reading devices that unlock doors with a swipe of an NFC card or NFC-enabled mobile phone. Please refer to the Current and Future Access Modes section below for more information on current and future access methods.
  • UA-Card: A NFC card that is specific to your Access system and encrypted with a special algorithm that cannot be replicated, unlike other NFC cards. Your Access system will support any NFC card, so you can retain your current access cards.

Currently, your Access system supports two access modes:

  • NFC Mode: Physical cards, NFC-enabled mobile phones, and analog cards for electronic bracelets are supported. Doors are unlocked after a card swipe and a successful identity verification.
  • Hand Wave Mode: Doors are unlocked after waving your hand near the UA Lite reader. Since this mode does not require identity verification, it is recommended for installations within your premises.
  • (currently UA-Pro only) PIN code: Doors can be unlocked by PIN codes assigned to specific users. For more information, see UniFi Access - Assign, use, and manage PIN codes.

In the future, your UA system will be able to unlock doors via the intercom and mobile app.

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Setup requirements

Since the UniFi Access setup process includes registering the Admin NFC card, it can only be performed by someone that holds the Owner, Super Admin, or Limited Admin roles in the UniFi OS Console (UDM Pro).

 

Connection and role requirements

Before setting up your Unifi Access system, please ensure that:

  • The UA-Hub and UDM Pro are connected to the same local network.
  • The UA-Pro and UA-Lite are plugged into the UA-Hub.
  • You hold an Owner, Super Admin, or Limited Admin role in the UniFi OS Console.

Hardware Requirements

  • UDM Pro
  • UA-Hub, UA-Pro, and UA-Lite
  • Network cables that support PoE (network cable of Cat5E quality or higher)
  • 18-22AWG cable. Two tested cable recommendations are:

Note that the UA setup process requires the registration of an Admin NFC card, which can only be performed by users with one of these roles.

Wire the UniFi Access devices

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When wiring the UniFi Access devices, keep in mind that the UA-Hub supports 12V at 1A.

For any installation with a 24V lock, use an external power supply and follow the Quick Start Guide instructions for connecting devices to an external power supply.

The image below displays a typical UniFi Access setup with two UA-Hubs managing two doors.

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For a detailed UniFi Access installation guide, watch the Hub & Reader Installation video or follow the steps below:

To install your UniFi Access Hub and Reader:

  1. Connect the UA-Hub to your local network with an Ethernet cable via the “PoE In” port. Follow the instructions on the UA-Hub Wiring section of the Quick Start Guide.
  2. Configure the switch port for UA-Hub. Ensure the switch port for the UA-Hub is configured for the same network segment or VLAN as the UniFi OS Console and that it supports POE+, POE++.
  3. Connect the UA-Pro, UA-Lite, and/or a UniFi camera to the UA-Hub port with the matching icon.

    Note: We recommend connecting these devices to the UA-Hub before launching the setup wizard on the UniFi Access application. If you connect them after the setup wizard is launched, you will need to manually map the UA-Pro/UA-Lite to their respective UA-Hubs.

  4. Reference the Quick Start Guide to connect third-part, such as third-party motion sensors, magnetic locks, and push buttons as needed.

    Note: Not all the connections mentioned are necessary. Only follow the instructions for the connection type needed in your specific deployment.

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Set up the UniFi Access application and adding devices

For detailed Unifi Access application setup instructions, see UniFi Access - Set up the UniFi Access application.

If you're starting with a new UDM Pro, follow the device's Quick Start Guide or see UniFi - UDM: How to Set Up a Dream Machine Pro for more information about setting it up.

Frequently asked questions

Does UniFi Access support IPv6?

Your UA system supports IPv4 at the moment but will support IPv6 in the near future.

 

Can I use a single UA-Hub to manage multiple doors?

A single UA-Hub can only manage a single door. For multiple doors, multiple UA-Hub devices are required.

 

How many UA-Hubs can be managed by the Access application?

The Access application hosted on a UniFi Dream Machine Pro (UDM Pro) can support up to 100 UA-Hubs. Currently, we do not have confirmed information about the supported UA-Hub limit in the Access application hosted by a Cloud Key Gen2 Plus.

 

What is a relay?

Relays are your UA-Hub's input and outputs, including:

  • Input Relay Types: REL, REX, REN, and DPS
  • Output Relay Types: Lock and AUX relays

You can see more information on relays in the UniFi Access Data Sheet and Quick Start Guide.

 

Can I use dry relay instead of powered relay?

The UA-Hub's power relay supports 12V. However, you can also use dry relay as well if you want to use external power supply to their lock.

 

Do I need to purchase specific maglocks to use UniFi Access?

The UA-Hub should work with most maglocks on the market. However, your chosen maglock must support 12V and its maximum current shouldn't exceed 1A. In this case, the power lock relay will be used, and you will not need an external power supply.

If your maglock is 24V, you can still use the lock dry relay on the UA-Hub with an external power supply. If you don't want to power your maglock with an external adapter, though, you can use the UA-Hub's power lock relay.

 

Can I connect the UA-Pro and UA-Lite directly to a PoE switch instead of the UA-Hub?

The communication between the access readers and the hub is proprietary communication and we have special security in place. So for security reasons, we do not allow the UA-Pro or UA-Lite to work if they are connected directly to a UniFi Switch.

 

Does UniFi Access have emergency-specific functionality for events like fires, lockdowns, and evacuations?

The fire panel can bypass the UA-Hub by being wired directly to your electric or magnetic locks, allowing it to lock and unlock doors. The UA-Hub and the UniFi Access application do not have to be functional to do this.

Alternatively, the fire panel can also connect to the UA-Hub's REL input. Once connected, the door(s) will unlock. It requires UA-Hub to be powered and functional.

Once your Access application is set up and all related devices are connected, you can configure emergency lockdown and evacuation settings in the application's interface. For more information, see UniFi Access - Emergency lockdowns and evacuations.

For all other inquiries related to situational emergency protocol, please consult your local authorities regarding regulations and compliance standards.

 

Do I need a hard drive (HDD) installed on my UDM Pro in order to save clips recorded by the UA-Pro?

An HDD is required to store video clips if you are using the UniFi Access application as of v1.3.23+1903 or later. For more details about this application release, see our Community post.

 

How can I factory reset my UA-Hub?
With a pin, press and hold the Reset button, located on the device's front panel, for several seconds until the status light begins to flash. The UA-Hub will revert to factory settings, but will still be managed by your UniFi Access application.

To remove the UA-Hub from your Access application's managed device roster, open the UA-Hub's detail panel and click Forget. This will reset the UA-Hub and its connected devices, as well as remove said devices from the Access application's managed device roster.

 

What are the UA-Hub's power requirements, and will these change depending on the number of connected devices and relays?

We strongly recommend using a PoE++ (802.3bt) power source for the UA-Hub.

The power consumption of the UA-Hub will range between 3-6W, while the consumption of the UA-Pro or UA-Lite will range between 2-6W. Users should also check the power consumption of their third-party relays (e.g., electric locks, motion sensors), which can reach up to 12W.

Using a PoE++ power source with a maximum output of 60W will allow the UA-Hub to operate comfortably under the limit. Users can also use a PoE+ power source with a max output of 30W, but they could face overconsumption issues when connecting multiple energy-intensive devices.

 

Will UniFi Access remain operational during a power outage?

Yes, the UA-Hub can operate offline without the UniFi Access application. The UA-Hub's power is supplied by either a UniFi Switch PoE++ or a Ubiquiti PoE Adapter. As an added power contingency, a UniFi Switch can also be backed up by a Universal Power Supply (UPS).

Alternatively, you can physically wire locks to be fail-safe or fail-secure, and set doors to be locked or unlocked during a power outage.

 

Does UniFi Access support key fobs?

Additionally to NFC cards, the UniFi Access supports third-party key fobs as long as it supports standard 13.56Mhz NFC.

Related articles

UniFi - UDM: How to Set Up a Dream Machine Pro
UniFi Access - Set up UniFi Access

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