Unifi Network Calculator

I got a lot of questions about what Unifi products people should buy, depending on their house, the number of network devices and maybe even network cameras. So I figured, it’s maybe possible to calculate what products you need based on a couple of questions.

The form tries to find the best value for your money, taking into account the number of wired and PoE devices. The form isn’t perfect, but for most home networks it should do fine.

Unifi Network Gear Calculator

For the router, I suggest the Edgerouter ER-X or ER-X-SFP. The advantage of the SFP is that has 5 passive PoE ports that can be used to power the Unifi Access Points (Lite or LR) and the Unifi Cloud key. We can’t utilize all the 5 ports, because we still need to connect our internet to the router and we need one ethernet port to connect the switch.

Unifi Network Planner

House details

How many floors does your house have?

Number of devices

Amount of wired devices you have. Connecting devices wired is always better. Thinks of game consoles, smart TV's, computer, printers
Are you planning any Unifi Camera's? These will be added to the PoE Devices
CloudKey can be used to manage your Unifi Devices. You can also install the software on a computer or Raspberry Pi


Total wired devices:
without PoE
Total devices with PoE:
Access points, Cloud key and/or Unifi Camera's.
Total devices:
inc router, switches and optional cloudkey

Suggested Unifi Products

Unifi Switches Explained

In the calculation for the switches I mainly check the amount of required PoE devices. We utilize the PoE ports of the ER-X-SFP and have to take into account that one port on the switch is needed to connect the switch to the router.

Some switches come with SFP ports. You could use those ports, with a correct adapter, to create an extra Ethernet port. But taking that into account gets too complicated. (adapters are relative expensive, $15 – $30).

I also use the available Ethernet ports on the router to connect the wired devices. If you want to create a nice, clean network cabinet, I recommend that you only connect the client to the switch. This will give you the best result when it comes to cable management.

Unifi Cloud Key

If you are not going to use the Unifi Camera’s then the Unifi Cloud Key Gen 1 is more then sufficient for home use. The Gen 2 is 4x faster, but also almost $100 more and for a home network, you really don’t need the extra speed.


The Unifi Network Planner isn’t perfect, but it will give you a good starting point for your network. The amount of access points really depend on the layout and structure of your house. In general you can start with an Unifi AC LR and add additional AC Lite’s to it where needed.

If you have any questions, comments or detected a mistake in the planner, just drop a comment below.

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27 thoughts on “Unifi Network Calculator”

  1. I have two ISP broadband connections into my home. Is the Ubiquiti ER-X Network router able to handle both? I would like to keep both broadband connections for redundancy and load balancing as well.

  2. Hi Rudy

    I have a 3 floors to my house including the basement. I was planning to get one dream Machine, 2 AC light for the main and top floors and a POE switch.
    Currently I have most of my entertainment systems hardwired, except for the Ikea Symphonics speakers. Can I still utilize the existing gigabit switch and CAT5E wiring for the POE Ap’s. Thank you for your help.

  3. Hi Ruud,
    I have two questions regarding your suggested basic setup:
    1. If the Edgerouter already has PoE and it can power Unify APs, why would you still add a Unifi switch?
    2. Internet providers also provide a router, like the Experia box. Would it work to use that router, followed by a Unify switch for PoE, then connect the APs?

    • 1. Depends on how many connections you need in total. Also, the ER-X SFP provides 24v Passive PoE, so that should work with the AC-Lite and AC-LR.

      What we see last year is that the Unifi products are switching moreover to 802.3, for example, the Unifi HD, AC-inWall, and Flex-HD are all only 802.3. So yes, ac-lite and LR should just work with the ER-X SFP, but maybe it’s better to invest in the US-8-60W.

      2. Yes, that will work as well.

  4. Hi Ruud,

    nice job on building the calculator. Just wondering why you would go for an edge router instead of the Dream Machine for a home environment. The edgerouter makes things more difficult in my opinion as it can not be controlled from the unifi network.

    • Dream Machine is quite expensive and not everybody wants to place it in there living room (which is the best location to use it). But for a small set up it might indeed be a good solution.

  5. Great write-ups Rudy, I’ve used several when setting up my network. One question I have is about the CloudKey. I am using the EdgeRouter X SFP and wanted to power the CK directly off of the PoE port on the router. However, that doesn’t appear to work. Any advice? Thank you

  6. Thanks for the setup tool. I just wish I could find better support for the products. I got the Edgerouter X SFP and several others including Unifi Cloud Key. Figured out the router and access point, work great. But turn on POE to the Cloud Key and nothing all of sudden works. POE for their 4 port switch not working either. Just need some tech support they don’t offer.

  7. Hi Rudi, great site thanks. Has been really helpful. I have a couple of questions.
    My ISP has provided a combination Modem Router, and I’m looking at getting the NETGEAR ProSAFE switch (actually cheaper here in NZ than the US-8-60W), with 1 x Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR and 2 x Ubiquiti UAP-AC-IW access points, and a Ubiquiti Cloud Key, all downstream of the switch.
    1) Am I right in expecting the Cloud key to act as the controller for all wireless access points, so users will experience a single wireless network through the house (single sign on)
    2) Is there any reason why I would need another router between my ISP’s provided Modem/Router and the switch? What are the advantages of this ?

    Apologies for some pretty basic questions.

    Thanks, Chris

    • Hey Chris,

      1. You are correct. The cloudkey is the controller and allows you to create a single wireless network in your house.
      2. There are a couple of reasons, but you will have to decide how important you find it your self. One is security, the provider can manage the router. Placing your own router behind it will make sure that the provider never can access your network (But personally I find that far-fetched). A more common reason is the lack of controls for vLAN for example of if you are experiencing bufferbloat.

  8. Just a quick question about a potential setup that I am considering. I will start with my internet setup. I am connected with a fiber optic connection with no intermediate router needed. It is a 1Gb connection. It is about 1800sf and 2 floors.

    I was thinking about going with the EdgeMax ER-X and one access point. My thought was to have the passthrough PoE for the access point and then have 3 hard-wires for devices (2 tvs and 1 game console).

    Am I correct in the thought that I would have to add a switch before I could incorporate an additional AP?

    Based on the above, would my setup work by basically utilizing the switch built into the router for basic function and then if the need arose I could add the switch in later?

    • Hi Brandon, this should work indeed. You can always add a switch later to your setup. But you might want to consider the EdgeRouter X SFP, this one has 5 ethernet ports and can provide PoE on all 5 of them. So you don’t need the passthrough PoE Adapter and you can add an extra access point later on.

  9. I’ve got groups of wired devices in different rooms, so i’m thinking of a central switch from a 5 port unifi switch at the USG with a single cat6 to a unifi 60W in each room. Are there any downsides to daisy chaining switches like this?

    • The only downside is that the connection between the USG and the first switch will receive the most traffic and could be your bottleneck. But for normal home use that won’t be an issue.

  10. I’ve read several of your posts and they are interesting. Nice job. I’ve also read a number of other posts on Ubiquiti before I went out and purchased some equipment.

    I went with (for home use): USG – 8 Port Switch 60W – AP AC Lite + Cloud Key Gen 1

    My initial config got the wifi and wired working but things didn’t seem to work from the software so the next day I reset the equipment and things went well. This weekend I’ll tackle why there seems to be a UUID issue and how to fix that.

    As a tech person I’m finding the options interesting. Plan to set up multiple wifi networks and isolate any home “smart” (dumb security) stuff on one of the wifi networks although I don’t own any of them right now.

    Eventually I want to integrate a system running Security Onion into the network for more visibility into what is going on. I setup SO for work and would love to do the same for home use. Just not sure how to mirror all of the traffic going to/from the Internet.


  11. I’m a fan of Ubiquiti. Just not for their warranties. We have a bunch of Unifi 48 and 24-port switches powering our wifi networks at work, and they work well but if they die and the year’s warranty is gone it’s on us to replace.

    They’re brilliant for home networking though 😀

  12. Hi, tks for the article, very clear. I need to connect 62 devices, 16 wired and the rest wireless, 2-story house made of thick brick and also need coverage in the back garden. Lots of gaming online and streaming, both from inside and outside home. Do you think the Edgerouter you recommend here is up to the task or should I go with other model, Ubiquiti of course?

    Tks in advance!

    • Yes, and EdgeRouter would be perfect. You only have to check what kind of internet connection you have, the line speed. In depending on the line speed you might want to get a faster model of the EdgeRouter. Perhaps a EdgeRouter ER-4

      • Great! Since I only have 50 MB for the line speed (that’s pretty much the top over here) I think the model you recommend is enough. Tks for the answer!

  13. What cameras should i buy if i’m going to use them in- and outside my house. I want to be able to watch what happens at home when i’m on vacation.
    Can i have any motion detectors that work with the setup too, so i know if someone is at my house so i’ll be able to call the police if someone unwanted tries something when i’m not Home?

    • For outdoor you should go for the G3 Flex, they are really nice and affordable for home use. You could also use them indoors if you want, or pick the G3 Micro if you find them too big for in your home.

      I hope to write an article about securing your home with the Unifi camera’s in a couple of months when I am finished with my new garage.

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