Setup Unifi ap without Controller

So you want enterprise-class wifi at home, but don’t want to use a controller? Normally you install a Ubiquiti Unifi Access Points with a controller. This way you can easily manage multiple access points and keep them all in sync and up-to-date. But what if you don’t want to keep a pc running 24/7/? Do you really need to controller? Nope, you can just install the Unifi Ap with you mobile phone. This guide will tell you howto install an Unifi AP without a controller.

Choosing the right Access Point

Before we can start we need to get the right Access Point. I have written about Unifi ap’s before, check out this post for some insights one choosing and placing the Access Point.

Installing without the Controller

  1. So first we need the Unifi App from the Google Play store (or IOS app store), download the app on your mobile phone.
  2. Next, we need to install the Unifi AP, make sure it’s connected with an ethernet cable to your network. When the led is solidly white, you know that the AP is connected and in the factory default state.
  3. Start the app on your mobile devices.
  4. The Unifi AP will show up in the list of discovered devices. If you don’t see the access point, make sure your WiFi on your mobile device is enabled. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code on the back of the AP. (Click on the menu top right > Scan QR)
  5. It will ask for a username and password, the default is ubnt/ubnt. Just pick a strong password and continue.
  6. Scroll down and enter your Wifi name (SSID) and password. Click on Apply Settings when done. It will take a few seconds before you new network is available.

That’s all there is. As you can see, you can get a Unifi AP up and running within 5 minutes by just using your mobile phone.

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9 thoughts on “Setup Unifi ap without Controller”

    • I haven’t tried it my self, but I think you could set them up with the app. But you can also install the controller only to install the device and remove it later on. The controller doens’t have to be running.
      About the seamlessly handoff (zero handoff), that was only prefered for the Gen1 access points. Roaming is for most situations sufficient and can be done without controller.

  1. As Ubiquiti products capture more of the home market, it’s a shame they can’t offer a better in-between solution. Pretty much every other access point on the market can be managed via web browser. Thanks for the writeup!

  2. Thanks for the quick tutorial. Can guest access be setup along with authenticated access without a controller?

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