UniFi - How to Set Up your Cloud Key and UAP (for beginners)


This article will guide the user from unboxing their UniFi Access Point (UAP) and UniFi Cloud Key (UCK), to the moment of connecting to their newly configured wireless network. The user will be able to use either a UniFi Switch (recommended), or a third party device.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Before You Begin
  3. Connect the Hardware
  4. Configure the UniFi Controller
  5. Related Articles


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It is not mandatory to have the full UniFi topology in order to use the UniFi Controller. However, keep in mind that when you use third-party devices, you will not be able to manage them with the UniFi Controller. Most importantly, you will not be able to use features that are available to configure in the UniFi Controller. See the Feature Matrix below to see what features are provided by each type of UniFi device.

UniFi Feature Matrix

UniFi® AP HD

UniFi® Switch 8-150W

UniFi® Security Gateway XG 8

UniFi Access Points 

  • WiFi
  • Traffic & Client Statistics
  • Client Rate Limiting
  • MAC Filtering:
  • RADIUS MAC Authentication
  • Captive Portal
  • Guest Access Control
  • RADIUS Assigned VLAN
  • airTime (only UAP-SHD/XG/UWB-XG)
  • SNMP v1/2c/3 

UniFi Switches 

  • IGMP Snooping
  • RADIUS Assigned VLAN (802.1X) 
  • VLAN
  • DHCP Snooping/Guarding
  • 802.3ad LAG
  • SNMP v1/2c/3
  • Port Egress Rate Limiting

UniFi Security Gateways (Firewall) 

  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention System 
  • Smart Queues QoS
  • Deep Packet Inspection
  • DHCP server
  • PPPoE/DHCP/Static IP on WAN.
  • IPv6 
  • DNS Forwarding
  • Dynamic DNS
  • uPNP
  • PPTP/L2TP Client VPN 
  • IPsec Site-to-Site VPN 
  • OpenVPN Site-to-Site VPN 
  • RADIUS Server
  • Firewall 
  • SNMP v1/2c/3

Before You Begin

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Before you begin, make sure you have the following at hand, along with all the elements in the UniFi Access Point (UAP) and the Cloud Key (UCK) boxes.

  1. Three ethernet cables
  2. One micro-USB power cable (5V, minimum 1A as DC output).
  3. Your existing router (with at least 3 available LAN ports).

If you have a UniFi Switch (such as a Unifi Switch 8-150W) you will need less items to begin. Also keep in mind that no power injector will be needed for the UAP, nor will the UCK need the USB power cable once they have been plugged into the UniFi Switch. If you will be using a UniFi Switch the devices will be connected in the following manner: 

  • Your functioning router's LAN port > US-8-150W (any port) > UAP + UCK + Computer (all three connected to the UniFi Switch--this means your router only needs one available LAN port).

Connect the Hardware

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1. Connect the Cloud Key. Follow the Hardware Installation on the Cloud Key's Quick Start Guide to connect the Cloud Key's Ethernet Port to the UniFi Switch if available, or the LAN port of the ISP router, and to power it with the USW if available or a USB power source.

2. Connect the UniFi Access Point. Follow the instructions in the device's Quick Start Guide (downloadable here) to connect the UAP to the UniFi Switch if available, or the second LAN port of the ISP router. 

3. Connect your computer. Using your third and final Ethernet cable, connect your computer to the the UniFi Switch if available, or the third LAN port of the ISP router.

Configure the UniFi Controller

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SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Use Google Chrome as your web browser, as other browsers may have limited functionality.

1. Create your UBNT Account, if you don't have one already. This Single Sign-On (SSO) account and password are your credentials for the UBNT Community, the UBNT Store, and the UniFi Cloud Access Portal.

2. Go to the UniFi Cloud Access Portal and log in. 

3. Follow the instructions in the UniFi User Guide, Chapter 2: UniFi Cloud, the UniFi Cloud Key section to find and adopt the Cloud Key, and then run the UniFi Setup Wizard. 

User Tip: During the Setup Wizard, take note of the second and third set of credentials you will create. The Admin Name and Password are the credentials for this specific UniFi Controller you are setting up. You will also have the option of selecting a different set of credentials for SSH access, or using the same Controller Admin Name and Password.

You might get a warning message stating "Your connection is not private". Click Advanced and then click on Proceed to (your IP) at the bottom of the message to safely continue to the next page.

4. During the Setup Wizard you will be asked to select your country and timezone, this table might help finding your correct timezone.

5. After you have completed the Setup Wizard you will be prompted to login with your Cloud Credentials. This is your SSO account, created in step 1. Fill in the information and click Enable Cloud Access.

6. The UniFi Controller login screen will appear. Here you will input the Admin name and password you created during the Setup Wizard.

7. Under the Devices tab you will see the devices you adopted during the Setup Wizard. 

User Tip: You can give all devices an Alias to help identify them on the Devices list by clicking on them to open the Properties panel. Go to Config > General and set an Alias.

8. If you go to Settings > Wireless Networks you will see the network you created during the Setup Wizard. You should also see them under your computer's available WiFi networks (you might need to refresh your computer's WiFi networks). Just connect to one of them and you're set! You can now disconnect your computer from the Ethernet cable.

Related Articles

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UniFi - Getting Started FAQ

UniFi - Understanding PoE and How UniFi Devices are Powered