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

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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 Ubiquiti switch (recommended), or a third party device. This is intended to be a beginners' article, covering each step of the process. More advanced users can use the links in the Table of Contents to navigate through the steps.

Table of Contents

1. Before you Begin

2. Connecting the Hardware

3. Configuring your Cloud Key & Access Point

4. Related Articles


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 (CK) 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) besides the UAP and CK, then you will need less items to begin. If that is the case, read the following adaptations before you begin:

  • The devices will be connected in the following manner: 
    • Your functioning router's LAN port > US8 (any port) > UAP + CK + Computer (all three connected to the UniFi Switch--this means your router only needs one available LAN port).

  • No power injector will be needed for the UAP once it has been plugged into the UniFi Switch 8. The US-8 will provide the necessary power for the Access Point.
  • The Cloud Key does not require a USB power cable or adapter--it will be powered via the US-8, just as the UAP.
  • The UniFi Switch needs to be adopted by the controller, and have firmware upgraded in the same way as the UAP (see step 4).  No additional configuration will be needed.


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2.1 Insert Memory into your Cloud Key

Insert the microSD card provided into your Cloud Key. Note: for steps 2.1 - 2.3 you might find the images in the Cloud Key's Quick Start Guide helpful, specifically pages 5 - 7. 

2.2 Connect the Cloud Key

Connect the Cloud Key to one of the available LAN ports on your existing router (or switch) using the short Ethernet cable provided with the UCK.

2.3 Power the Cloud Key

To power the Cloud Key, connect using a micro-USB power cable to an outlet (cable not provided). Note: if using a UniFi Switch, this will not be necessary, since the LAN port serves as PoE (Power over Ethernet).

2.4 Connect the UniFi Access Point

In order to connect the UniFi Access Point (UAP), you will have to open the back (to do so, follow the instructions in the UniFi Access Point Quick Start Guide. Using one of your three Ethernet cables, connect the LAN port in your Gigabit PoE adapter (black power injector that comes packaged with the UAP) to a second LAN port of your existing router (or switch). Note: for steps 2.4 - 2.5 you might find the images in the the UniFi Access Point's Quick Start Guide helpful.

2.5 Power the UniFi Access Point

Using a second Ethernet cable, connect the Main port of UAP to the PoE port in your Gigabit PoE adapter (black power injector that comes packaged with the UAP). Plug the Gigabit PoE adapter into an outlet.

2.6 Connect your Computer

Using your third and final Ethernet cable, connect your computer to the third LAN port on your existing router (or switch).


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3.1 Log into your UBNT Account

Chrome is the recommended browser for this installation (download here). If you prefer to use another browser, find instructions in the CK Quick Start Guide (starting in page 13).

Go to and log into your UBNT account. If you do not have an account yet, you can register and create one at this moment.

3.2 Find Cloud Key

Make sure the Discover Cloud Key feature on the top toolbar is ON. UniFi will automatically search and find your Cloud Key. It might take a moment. Make sure that you have installed the Ubiquiti Device Discovery Tool.

3.3 Adopt Cloud Key

The new Cloud Key will appear in the Controllers list with a Status of Pending Adoption, and with possible Actions of: Adopt, Manage and Upgrade Firmware if applicable. Click Adopt.


If the firmware is outdated, a pop-up window will appear to facilitate the upgrade. Click Upgrade Firmware. The upgrade may take some time, do not interrupt the upgrade. After upgrade is done, the Cloud Key will reboot.


A window to fill in the Administrator Information will pop up. You may fill it out here, but the fastest set up will be achieved using the UniFi Setup Wizard. If you wish to use that instead, click Cancel, and then once back in the Controller list, click Adopt on your Cloud Key once more. 


3.5 Proceed to the UniFi Setup Wizard

Click the Open Controller Wizard button


You might get a warning message that says "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.

The UniFi Setup Wizard will now appear and guide you in filling out the required information.

3.5.1 Select your country and timezone, if you need help in finding your correct timezone, this table might help.


3.5.2 Configure devices: any unmanaged devices in the network will appear here. Select those you wish to manage and click Next.


3.5.3 Configure your WiFi network.

In the Secure SSID space type in the name you wish to give your network, followed by its Security Key (password). You may enable an open wireless network for guests at this time by checking the corresponding box and naming it in the Guest SSID space. The Secure SSID and Security Key are your WiFi network name and your password, this is what users will see when they try to connect to your network.


3.5.4 Controller Access: provide the information for the Controller's access. The Admin name, email and password are for entering and managing the Controller itself. By checking the SSH access box, you allow UniFi to use the same name and password for SSH access. If left unchecked, the Wizard will prompt you to create SSH credentials as well.


3.5.5 Confirm your information and click Finish.

3.5.6 Log in to the Cloud. These are not the credentials you just created, but the ones for your UBNT account (if you didn't have one, you would have created one in step 3.1)


3.6 Enter the UniFi Controller

Type in the credentials created with the UniFi Setup Wizard in step 3.5.4 to get access to your Controller. Under the Devices section you should now see the Access Point you configured in step 3.5.2 of the Wizard. 

info_i_25x25.png Tip: To change the device name as it appears in your Controller, click on the UAP in the devices list. This will open the Properties panel on the right hand side of the screen. Give it the name of your choice in the Alias space, under Configuration > General. This will not change your network's name. 


And if you go to Settings > Wireless Networks you will see the two networks you created in step 3.5.3. You will also see them under your computer's WiFi networks (you might need to refresh your computer's WiFi networks). Just connect to one of them and you're set!


3.7 Disconnect your Computer

You can now disconnect your computer from the Ethernet cable.

Related Articles

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UniFi - How to Manage & Upgrade your Cloud Key

UniFi - Does the controller need to be running at all times?

UniFi - Understanding PoE and How UniFi Devices are Powered

UniFi - How to Manually Change the Cloud Key's Controller Version via SSH

UniFi - UAP Status Meaning Definitions