Wireless uplinks with Unifi

Posted 03.05.2020 ยท 3 min read

In the apartment I live in there is only ethernet between the place where the fiber connection is and the tv point in the living room. In the place with where the fiber connection is located there is a technical closet without room for anything more than the ISP modem. Thus, we have an home office without an ethernet connection. In that office we need some equipment that gives a lot more value if we are connected to it with gigabit ethernet.

I already had the network set up with Ubiquiti Unifi equipment that I am quite happy with so I looked into if I could have two different wired networks and have them connected with wifi. They have a feature called wireless uplinks, which is usually used to create mesh networks, but it can also be used to share the wireless connection with a switch. I decided to buy another access point and switch to try to connect everything. The experience of setting it up was straight forward. I connected the switch first to another switch and updated an adopted it. Then I disconnected it from the switch and connected the access point and adopted the access point which then reconnected the switch.

The setup is as following. In the office there is an unifi nanoHD connected to a 8 port POE switch. The nanoHD is connected to a unifi flexHD over wireless uplink, which again is also connected to a 8 port POE switch. The diagram below will hopefully make it clear. I started out with the Unifi mesh access point but figured I would get more speed with a more high end access point.

Diagram of network connections

This setup has been working nicely. The speeds do vary, which I guess is due to inference, but it is more than acceptable as an uplink to the computers and the network storage connected to it.

A few tips when setting up with wireless uplinks

  • Set the channel explicitly. This is probably a good idea wether you use wireless uplinks or not.
  • If you are moving an endpoint that was previously using wired uplinks it might help to reset it and adopt it over a wireless connection.
  • Turn off the wireless networks on the AP that does only have a wireless uplink. If you don't need it for extending range this will keep your wireless network faster.

*[POE]: Power Over Ethernet