airMAX - Configure a Point-to-Multipoint (PtMP) ISP-style Access Point

Point-to-Multipoint (PtMP) links are used routinely to serve up to 100 locations from a single Access Point (thanks to Ubiquiti's airMax technology).

There are many approaches to providing PtMP services.  This example is the simplest, using a single Ubiquiti radio with an omnidirectional antenna to create a bridged network.  Even a simple IP addressing schema is included!

Clearly, a more complex approach is often desired; one that uses multiple Ubiquiti radios with sector antennas along with a fully routed (rather than bridged) configuration. That however, is not this article.  Most new users will benefit by starting with this simplified approach to become familiar with PtMP or to serve a smaller, limited area.

FIRST: Install a router as shown above. Configure it as a DHCP server with an IP pool that is large enough to serve the number of customer devices (e.g. - computers, printers, etc.) you need to serve. NOTE: The pool should not extend lower than 192.168.1.21. The instructions for doing this are different for each router manufacturer. Please consult their FAQ for assistance if needed.

Configuration and Setup

Accessing the Radio:

  1. Restore your radio to FACTORY DEFAULT values. This is critical, especially if you are troubleshooting a problem.  To perform a reset, press-and-hold the [Reset] button, power-on, release the [Reset] button when the lights begin to flash.
  2. Connect the radio to your computer using an Ethernet cable. The Ethernet port is auto-sensing. You are not required to use a cross-over cable.
  3. Using a web browser, enter 192.168.1.20 as the "URL" to gain access to the radio's management console.
  4. Enter "ubnt" as the administration account and "ubnt" as the password.

Configure the radio labeled as 192.168.1.2 (the Access Point):

A. Choose the |Wireless| tab and change only the following values:

  • Wireless Mode: Access Point
  • WDS: [X] Enable
  • Press the [Change] button

B. Choose the |Network| tab and change only the following values:

  • IP Address: 192.168.1.2
  • Press the [Change] button
  • Press the [Apply] button

DONE with this radio (the AP), proceed to Customer Radios after repeating steps 1-4 above with them


Configure the radios labeled as 192.168.1.3 through .102 (the Customer Radios) above:

C. Choose the |Wireless| tab and change only the following values:

  • Wireless Mode: Station
  • WDS: [X] Enable
  • Press the [Change] button

D. Choose the |Network| tab and change only the following values:

  • IP Address: 192.168.1.3 (increment by x.x.x.+1 for each additional Customer Radio ... skipping 192.168.1.20)
  • Press the [Change] button
  • Press the [Apply] button
  • repeat the steps in this section for all Customer Radios

DONE


If using a Cable/DSL Modem:

E. Reboot or power cycle the Cable/DSL modem off and on before using this link.

ALL DONE

 

Radio Installation errata:

  • Install all outdoor radios using Ubiquiti ToughCable Pro (for routine installations) or ToughCable Carrier (when co-locating with a high-power VHF or UHF transmitter).
  • If the Access Point will be co-located with high-power VHF transmitters, use Ubiquiti ToughCable Carrier cable
  • Use UBNT's supplied Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapters and plug them into properly grounded AC outlets

Configuring Customer Computing Equipment:

  • The router / DHCP server will serve configuration information to all connected computers. Configure computer equipment for "Automatic" configuration.

 



NOTES:

1 - Secure your installation - modify the default administration account

  • Select |System| tab > System Accounts
  • Administrative Username [change it from 'ubnt']
  • Hover over icon to the right, "Change Password" and change it
  • Press [Change] button, press [Apply] button

2 - Secure your backbone/distribution wireless network from unauthorized use by others

  • Select |Wireless| Tab > Wireless Security
  • Security > WPA2-AES (do NOT use TKIP, it uses CPU cycles)
  • Preshared Key: [enter something long, but memorable to you]
  • Press [Change] button. Press [Apply] button.

    Alternate Customer Premises Equipment 


SOHO WiFi Router

Rather than terminate in a single device or computer, you may wish to provide your customers with a SOHO WiFi Router. Using a Ubiquiti device is advantageous because it allows you to manage the full network all the way into the home or business. It also provides an additional layer of security because you can isolate a customer from your wireless backhaul network very easily.

 

The isolation is a result of configuring your AP Router (the Gateway) to a different subnet (change from using 192.168.1.1 to use 192.168.2.1 instead) and then associating the SOHO routers WAN port on it, then having the SOHO router serve IP addresses to LAN customer devices within the 192.168.0.x subnet. This configuration makes the 192.168.1.x subnet invisible to customer devices!

 

The diagram to the right shows this variation graphically. The table below describes the simplest IP plan that will work. Instructions below that describe how to configure a Ubiquiti SOHO Router as described.

Begin by configuring your AP Router (Gateway) interface to 192.168.2.1. Because each router is different, please refer to your router manufacturers FAQ for assistance.


Bottom-loaded IP Plan in alignment with graphic

AP Router IP Access Point IP CPE Radio IP SOHO Router IP
192.168.1.1 192.168.1.2 192.168.1.3 192.168.1.103
- - 192.168.1.4 192.168.1.104
- - 192.168.1.5 192.168.1.105
- - 192.168.1.6 192.168.1.106
- - 192.168.1.7 192.168.1.107
- - 192.168.1.8 192.168.1.109
- - 192.168.1.9 192.168.1.109
- - 192.168.1.10 192.168.1.110
- - 192.168.1.11 192.168.1.111
- - 192.168.1.12 192.168.1.112
- - 192.168.1.13 192.168.1.113
- - 192.168.1.14 192.168.1.114
- - 192.168.1.15 192.168.1.115
- - 192.168.1.16 192.168.1.116
- - 192.168.1.17 192.168.1.117
- - 192.168.1.18 192.168.1.118
- - 192.168.1.19 192.168.1.119
- - SKIP / OMIT x.x.x.20/.120
- - 192.168.1.21 192.168.1.121
- - 192.168.1.22 192.168.1.122
- - 192.168.1.23 192.168.1.123
- - 192.168.1.24 192.168.1.124
- - through through
- - 192.168.1.102 192.168.1.202


Configure the Ubiquiti SOHO Wi-Fi Routers:

Assuming you begin with the units at FACTORY DEFAULT, proceed . . .

 

F. Choose the |Wireless| tab and change only the following values:

  • Wireless Mode: Access Point
  • SSID: (something easy for the customer to recognize such as: last name, phone number, address, etc)
  • Channel Width: 20 MHz
  • Wireless Security > Security: WPA (some older computers may not work with WPA2)
  • Wireless Security > WPA Authentication: AES
  • Wireless Security > WPA Preshared Key: (something known and relevant to the customer)
  • Press the [Change] button

G. Choose the |Network| tab and change only the following values:

  • Network Mode: SOHO Router
  • WAN IP Address: 192.168.2.2 (linking it to the AP Router interface, which should be set to 192.168.2.1)
  • IP Gateway: 192.168.2.1
  • Primary DNS IP: 8.8.8.8 (a public server, choose your favorite if not this one)
  • Secondary DNS IP: 4.2.2.1 (a public server, choose your favorite if not this one)
  • LAN Network Settings > IP Address: 192.168.0.1
  • LAN Network Settings > Netmask: 255.255.255.0
  • LAN Network Settings > [X] Enable NAT
  • LAN Network Settings > Range Start: 192.168.0.2
  • LAN Network Settings > Range End: 192.168.0.99
  • LAN Network Settings > Netmask: 255.255.255.0
  • Press the [Change] button

H. Choose the |System| tab and change only the following values:

  • Device name: (something memorable to YOU; Customer Name, etc.)
  • Time Zone: GMT (Western European Time)
  • Administrator User Name: change it to your standard; do NOT leave it at factory default
  • Hover over spyglass icon to the right of Administrator User Name: change password to your standard; do NOT leave it at factory default
  • Press the [Change] button
  • Press the [Apply] button
  • repeat the steps in this section for all Customer SOHO Routers

DONE

Special thanks to community member BeanPlanter for this helpful tutorial!

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