airMAX - Configure a Bridged, PtP Link using airMAX-ac radios & airOS-7

Overview


Readers will learn how to configure a bridged, Point-to-Point (PtP) link using two airMAX-ac radios with airOS-7. airOS-7 is the next generation of radio configuration and management software, and is pre-installed on all airMAX-ac devices.

You can freely download the latest version of this firmware from Ubiquiti's website.

Video Tutorial


Background / Topology


By default, each Ubiquiti radio has an IP address of 192.168.1.20. During initial configuration, my laptop is on the same local network, and has an IP address of 192.168.1.10. Make sure the radios are on separate physical segments to avoid IP conflict, and later, a network loop.

 

Steps


The steps below outline the process for configuring two airMAX-ac radios based on the topology provided in this guide. First, to configure the Access Point (AP), second, to configure the Station:

Access Point - Wireless Configuration

  1. Connect your laptop to the physical segment on which the airMAX-ac radio is connected (e.g., TOUGHSwitch).

  2. Navigate to 192.168.1.20 in your web browser, then navigate to the Wireless page.

  3. Select "Access Point PTP" from the Wireless Mode dropdown, when configuring the AP side of the PTP link.

  4. Assign an SSID which the AP will broadcast so that the remote Station radio can see, associate and connect to the AP.

    Note: Like all Wireless Settings, the SSID defined on AP and Station must match in order for the Station to associate to the AP.

  5. Select a Channel Width from the dropdown menu.

    Note: As a principle, wider channel widths are best for short distance links, while narrower channel widths are better suited for links across long distances.

  6. Select a frequency on which the AP may broadcast.

    Note: While optional, adding channels to the frequency list specifies possible frequencies on which the AP may broadcast. When AUTO is selected, the AP scans all possible frequencies and selects the clearest channel at time of boot to begin broadcasting.

    Note: Because the available frequency / channel settings are dependent on region, make sure the correct country code is selected at time of initial configuration.

  7. Assign a wireless passkey to secure the wireless interfaces of the PtP link.

    Note: It is recommended to use WPA2-PSK with AES encryption.

Access Point - Network Configuration

  1. Set the Network mode to Bridge mode.

    Note: While in Bridge mode, the radio works like a switch, transparently passing traffic across the wired and wireless interfaces.

  2. Leave Simple network mode selected, then configure all necessary IP settings (e.g., static IP, Gateway, DNS).
     
    Note: With a valid Gateway and DNS address, the radio can reach foreign networks and resolve hostnames, like if NTP is enabled.
  3. At the bottom-right corner of the screen, click Save Changes to Apply and Save to the radio's boot configuration.

    Note: The AP will reboot and begin broadcasting the SSID to nearby 5GHz Stations.

 

Station - Wireless Configuration

  1. Disconnect the laptop from the physical segment that connects to the AP (e.g., TOUGHSwitch), then re-connect the laptop to the other Rocket-ac (e.g., PoE Injector LAN port).

  2. Navigate to the airMAX-ac radio's default IP address of 192.168.1.20, then navigate to the Wireless page.

  3. When configuring the Station in a point-to-point link, select "Station PTP" from the Wireless Mode dropdown. 

  4. Either assign a matching SSID for the Station or use the Site Survey tool to find a matching SSID to which the Station will associate.

    Note: The Site Survey tool is a more precise method for joining an AP. This tool scans the spectrum based on available frequencies, then displays information like SSID, MAC address and signal levels of all nearby APs.

  5. Select a Channel Width from the dropdown menu.

    Note: The Channel Width should also match that of the AP. For example, AUTO 20/40/80 matches the bandwidth of an AP whose bandwidth is set to 80MHz.

  6. Select possible frequencies that the Station will scan when attempting to associate to an AP.

    Note: While optional, adding channels to the frequency list specifies possible frequencies on which the Station may "listen". When AUTO is selected, the Station scans all possible frequencies.

    Note: Because the available frequency / channel settings are dependent on region, make sure the correct country code is selected at time of initial configuration.

  7. Assign a wireless passkey to secure the wireless interfaces of the PtP link.

    Note: This should also match the security setting defined on the AP.

 

Station - Network Configuration

  1. Set the Network mode to Bridge mode.

    Note: While in Bridge mode, the Station works like a switch, transparently passing traffic across the wired and wireless interfaces.

  2. Leave Simple network mode selected, then configure all necessary IP settings (e.g., static IP, Gateway, DNS).
     
    Note: With a valid Gateway and DNS address, the radio can reach foreign networks and resolve hostnames, like if NTP is enabled.
  3. At the bottom-right corner of the screen, click Save Changes to Apply and Save to the radio's boot configuration.

    Note: The Station will reboot and begin scanning for possible all possible AP radios broadcasting matching wireless settings (e.g., SSID, channel width, frequency, wireless security). The following image describes the wireless parameters that must match for an AP and Station to properly associate and pass traffic.

Final Topology


Based on the sample topology provided, here is an example topology that would work in a production environment.

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