How to Get Started With Ubiquiti’s Cloud Hosted UniFi Controller (IT Toolbox Blogs)

So you’re shopping for a network solution. Maybe it’s just Wi-Fi, or maybe you’re looking for the proverbial “full stack”, with WAN/LAN/and WLAN. And… you’ve decided you want it cloud-managed and at ridiculously low cost.


Welcome to Ubiquiti UniFi in the cloud, baby. But how to get started? I been there, I tellya. And I’m going to share the important nuggets with you- right here, right now (quick nod to Jesus Jones).


The assumption for this blog is that you know what UniFi gear you need (security gateways, switches, access points), and that you will NOT manage it from a local PC, from the CloudKey, or from YOUR OWN cloud instance. In this tutorial, you are letting Ubiquiti handle the cloud hosting of the UniFi Controller instance. That being said, you still have to decide which paradigm suits you- Cloud Controller ($99 year, up to 100 UniFi devices) or Elite Controller ($10 a month, + per device costs).


For Elite, here are the current per-device rates, on top of the $10 per month charge for the Elite controller.



Remember- this gets you Ubiquiti’s premiere support and away from the usual forum-based support model (you love it or you hate it, but remind yourself how inexpensive Ubiquiti gear is).


So how to start? First take a trip to and look for CLOUD CONTROLLER SETUP in the upper right of the display.

This gets you to where you choose between basic Cloud or Elite. Get that squared away, and you’ll need to add licenses for devices, if you’ve gone the Elite route. Still on the page, look for the settings icon (two little gears) on left nav bar, towards the bottom. Click in, to SUBSCRIPTIONS.


Once the licenses are accounted for (if you’ve done Elite), you are ready to get your devices added to the cloud controller instance you just enabled. HEAD’S UP- THIS AIN’T MERAKI OR OPEN MESH. You can’t just plug in the UniFi devices and have them magically connect to the cloud controller. Note the URL of your cloud controller, and how to launch it.

Once the cloud controller setup is done, get your devices on the wire- all on the same subnet with Internet access to begin with. You’ll either use a chrome extension or Ubiquiti’s discovery tool from a laptop to discover the local devices (you have to be on same subnet). Discovery is fairly quick- as long as you are on the same subnet.


From here, you provision the devices to get your cloud controller for adoption, and this blog explains that process well.


The first time I ran through all of this, I felt like an idiot. The problem? I’m so used to how other vendors do it, I couldn’t wrap my mind around Ubiquiti’s flexibility when it comes to managing UniFi. With a little nudge from my pal Omar Vazquez (Ubiquiti expert and an excellent gentleman), I got past myself and the whole UniFi cloud setup thing clicked, along with the other management possibilities. Thanks, Omar!


Next comes the fun stuff- you now have a network to configure! Here’s where you see the global settings, and we’ll leave it there for now.


Omar Vazquez
Cloud Wi-Fi

Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 2, 2017 at 02:09PM