UniFi - UniFi Cloud & UniFi Elite Summary


This article explains explains the UniFi Cloud and UniFi Elite Support services. There have been changes to these offerings since their initial release, this article will provide current up-to-date information.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Access the UniFi Controller Software
  2. Alternatives for Self-Hosting the UniFi Controller
  3. UniFi Cloud Service
  4. UniFi Elite Service
  5. Competitive Price Comparison
  6. Related Articles

How to Access the UniFi Controller Software

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There are several ways to access and operate the UniFi Controller software:

Self-Hosted and Managed
UniFi Cloud Key (UC-CK)
UniFi XG Server (UAS-XG)
Own data center 
Standalone (configured with UniFi mobile app)
Provider hosted, self managed
VM instance at AWS, GCE or similar
UniFi Cloud
UniFi Cloud Access Portal https://unifi.ubnt.com (self-managed for free)
Ubiquiti managed Cloud Service (paid service)
Third party managed services
Resellers and other providers
Offering, pricing and service levels vary
Not part of Ubiquiti offering

Alternatives for Self-Hosting the UniFi Controller

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Using Cloud Key

The UniFi Cloud Key is a full headless computer with local storage.

  1. The Cloud Key provides an on-premises solution for network management needs. It provides a centralized network management whether your location is online or offline. The Cloud Key's small form factor makes installation easy anywhere.
  2. UniFi Cloud Access (unifi.ubnt.com) provides central control for all Cloud Keys.
  3. Cloud Keys can manage networks up to 20 UAPs, best suited for small business and home networks.

Installing Software

Ubiquiti offers the UniFi Controller software license for free. The Controller software can run on a Cloud server or a local server. Supported operating systems include Linux (Ubuntu), Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 and macOS 10.11 and above.

  1. The Controller software can run on a Cloud server, like a Virtual Machine instance, or on a dedicated server.
  2. The Controller software may also run on a server within a company network. For software maintenance and security updates, the server needs Internet access.
  3. UniFi Cloud Access (unifi.ubnt.com) provides central control for all Controller instances. These include those running inside the company network.
  4. Recommended for medium and large enterprises, and advanced users.

UniFi Mobile App - Standalone Operation

The UniFi App provides two alternatives for setting up your network: standalone and remote. The UniFi App itself does not run the Controller software.

  1. The standalone mode provides automatic discovery and QR code reader functionalities for configuring network elements. Devices run in standalone mode without UniFi Controller software.
  2. Remote Controller Access mode lets the user connect to an already installed Controller and perform configurations on it.
  3. You can download the UniFi App from the Apple and Google Play stores. For more information on the UniFi mobile app, see our UniFi - Getting Started with the UniFi Mobile App article.

UniFi Cloud Service

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The UniFi Cloud Service is a modern, scalable and secure software service. Service runs on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and operates in data centers within the United States.

You can subscribe to the service and manage it at: https://unifi.ubnt.com/. Subscribe to this service by going to the UniFi Cloud Access portal and clicking on the Add New Cloud Controller.

Service is paid with a credit card. You can find the valid pricing in the portal at the time of adding the service. Subscription services must always purchased through the portal. It is important to clarify that the UniFi Cloud service is not the same as using the UniFi Cloud Access portal which is available for free for all UniFi users.

Service Availability

  1. The UniFi Cloud service is currently available only for customers in the US, Canada, and Mexico. There is no set date for availability in other regions. Customers in other regions should explore the other alternatives for running the UniFi Controller software and related services. It is important to note that payment must be made from a qualifying IP Address (i.e. payment made with a Canadian credit card, for a Canadian-located deployment will not be possible from a geography other than the three mentioned above).
  2. Ubiquiti operates and offers managed Controller software platform services. Service does not include managing customer equipment configuration or performance.
  3. Periodic software upgrades keep the latest stable version as the running version. Controller upgrades also include device software version upgrades. Service maintenance windows are customer specific and they are configured in the dashboard Cloud controller tab (https://unifi.ubnt.com).
  4. Customers will receive information about longer maintenance periods by email. Devices continue operating during Controller maintenance, but certain services like RADIUS authentication or Captive Web Portal services using Ubiquiti Controller will be unavailable.
  5. Customers can migrate UniFi devices from one UniFi Controller to another Controller. Information on this is available in this article.

Data Centers, Security, and Privacy

  1. Ubiquiti uses US-based Google data centers to host the Controller software service. Google Computing Engine (GCE) Services comply with all major certifications, like ISO 27001, SOC 2/3, and PCI DSS 3.0.
  2. The Ubiquiti Cloud Controller is a multi-tenant service and provides secure isolation between customer accounts. If managed single-tenant services are necessary, please review the alternative hosting methods or contact your Ubiquiti reseller.
  3. Cloud service supports Two Factor Authentication (2FA). You can enable it in your SSO settings on your Ubiquiti Account.
  4. European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective as of May 25, 2018. While European General Data Protection Regulation GDPR is not mandatory within the US, it requires consideration. You must not add UniFi devices in Europe to UniFi Cloud service. Operating UniFi devices in Europe with service hosted in the US-based data center will be non-compliant with GDPR rules.
  5. General UniFi Cloud Service Terms and Conditions are available here: https://www.ubnt.com/legal/unifi-elite/termsandconditions/


Self-service UniFi Cloud Service configuration allows customer accounts up to 500 UniFi devices. If you need more, please contact UniFi support.

UniFi Cloud pricing

The price of the service is as follows:

Number of UniFi Devices Price per Year
10 or less $299
11 - 20 $498
21 - 30  $697
Each +10 UniFi Devices above 30 +$199

UniFi Elite Service

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UniFi Elite is an optional service including enterprise phone support, extended device warranties and advanced RMA replacement. This service is currently available only in the United States. Service is available for new purchases made through select distributors and resellers. Please note that Ubiquiti does not offer new customers the UniFi Cloud service as part of UniFi Elite service. If you are currently using Elite with Controller software, you can continue this service model until the end of your current subscription period.

  1. The Elite service does not require use of UniFi Cloud, but you need to use UniFi Controller version 5.6.27 or later and enable Cloud Access in the Controller Settings to get Elite Support.
  2. UniFi Elite comes in four tiers based on the range of MSRP of the associated products.
  3. More information about Elite Service can be found here: https://unifi-elite.ubnt.com/
  4. Ubiquiti Distributors sell Elite Services. https://www.ubnt.com/distributors/
NOTE: You can currently only purchase UniFi Elite through the following distributors:


Elite pricing is tiered based on the MSRP of the device: 

Elite Pricing (Jan 8, 2018) TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3 TIER 4

Annual Elite License MSRP





Device MSRP Up to $250 $250-$500 $500-$1000 $1000-2000
Access Point













WiFi BaseStationXG (UWB‑XG, UWB‑XG‑BK)













Security Gateway USG USG‑PRO‑4   USG-XG-8

Competitive Price Comparison

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Below is a price comparison between Ubiquiti, Aruba and Meraki software subscription prices. Comparison uses list prices. Aruba and Meraki do not offer Cloud or SW maintenance alone, they always include extended phone support also. Ubiquiti offers more flexibility for better value. Comparison below separates these services for better clarity.


Subscription service comparison, 100 APs, 0ne year




Ubiquiti, example 1      
Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud subscription, 100 APs Tiered 100 $2,090
No Elite service      
UniFi Cloud subscription 1 year     $2,090
Ubiquiti, example 2      
Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud subscription, 100 APs Tiered 100 $2,090
Elite service with UAP-AC-PRO, AP list price $145 (Tier 1) $25 100 $2,500
UniFi Cloud subscription and Elite support 1 year (UAP-AC-PRO)     $4,590
Ubiquiti, example 3      
Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud subscription, 100 APs Tiered 100 $2,090
Elite service, with UAP-AC-HD, AP list price $349 (Tier 2) $50 100 $5,000
UniFi Cloud subscription and Elite support 1 year (UAP-AC-HD)     $7,090
Meraki 1 year Cloud subscription, 100 APs $150 100 $15,000
Meraki Cloud subscription 1 year     $15,000
Aruba 100 APs      
Aruba Central Cloud: Device Management, 1 years - Y925AAE, 100 APs $100 100 $10,000
Aruba Central Cloud Services, 1 years, Guest Nw support - JY928AAE, 100 APs $25 100 $2,500
Aruba Central Cloud Services, 1 years, Clarity support - JY928AAE, 100 APs $25 100 $2,500
Aruba Central Cloud subscription 1 year     $15,000

Related Articles

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UniFi - Install a UniFi Cloud Controller on Amazon Web Services

UniFi - How many APs can the Cloud Key handle?

UniFi - Getting Started with the UniFi Mobile App

UniFi - Migrating Sites with Site Export Wizard

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