Medical Office UniFi Wireless Network Installation

Ubiquiti UniFi Wireless Access Point Installation for a Medical Office

At Express Interconnect, we specialize in Asterisk IP PBX design, installation, and maintenance.  However, for us to do that effectively, we have to have a solid understanding of network and its many properties that can affect Voice over IP traffic over a data network.  With that being said, one of my potential VoIP client was having an issue with wireless network in her office so I decided to help.

I am always for sharing ideas and information so below is an explanation of what was installed, and how it was installed for this medical office using Ubiquiti’s UniFi wireless access point.  Also, I have ordered this product and PoE injectors from a reseller in Arizona:  Data Alliance and they have served me very well and I am very happy to spread the word on their service.  They can be reached at


Background on Ubiquiti’s UniFi:
I know a lot of businesses use Cisco’s access points exclusively and I have to admit, they produce great products and I would love to use their products.  However, the price points are usually out of my league for implementing it into Small to Medium sized Businesses.  With that being said, I had to look for a enterprise quality product that had stability, configurability, and logging capability.  I looked at many vendors and their product line before settling in on UniFi access points.

Key selling points are:

  • Slim profile and aesthetics to blend into ceiling easily:
    UniFi can almost pass for a smoke detector and with slim profile, I can mount it on a false celing or a wall without it being noticeable.
  • Built in PoE to enhance mounting options:
    UniFi comes with a PoE Injector that I can connect to at the server rack which means that I can place this device pretty much anywhere with an ethernet cable.  Please note that they use a 24V power so it will not work with a PoE switch and needs to be plugged into the included PoE injector which is my only complaint but not a deal killer.
  • Ease of configurability using included Software:
    Included management software runs on both Windows and Linux workstation or server and allows me to easily configure and manage the access point.  The sotware is capable of managing multiple access points, sites, locations, etc.  The downside of their software is that it needs to run under a user context and it does not start up as a service.  This means that when the workstation or server is rebooted, you have to log in and restart the service manually.  However, it is only necessary if you want to monitor the wireless network and/or if you want to enable guest portal.
  • Stable connectivity with great range:
    UniFi is stable and does not lose connection and provides roaming capability amongst multiple access points.  I usually implement one UniFi access point per 2,000 square feet of office space and consider this a sweet spot.  I have used one UniFi access point for one office that is over 3,000 square feet and it has proven capable of this as well.  They also have a Long Range version which I have yet tested but is an option.
  • Built in Dual Antenna for Internal and Guest SSID:
    With built in antennas for two SSID, I can setup a Guest Portal for guests and visitors to use.  The guest portal is limited at the UniFi itself so that it cannot access the internal LAN.  This is a very simple way of restricting access by visitors to sensitive internal data network.
  • Very competitive pricing:
    UniFi access point runs around $80 each and they have a 3 pack that runs around $180.


Installation of UniFi access point:
**The UniFi needs to plug into an ethernet cable so the location must be thought out before you start drilling through any walls or ceiling**

Physical Installation is straightforward and involves mounting the access point on a ceiling using attached mounting hardware.  I usually mount this on a false ceiling by punching out 3 small holes for the bolts and one larger hole for the ethernet cable.  The included mounting backplate helps in stabilizing the access point and locking it down tight onto the false ceiling.

Once the UniFi is attached, plug the ethernet cable into the PoE injector labeled POE.  The other port on the injector labeled LAN should be connected to your network switch.  Make sure you do NOT cross these as the PoE injector will fail and never turn on again.

Once you connect the PoE injector to power source and attach all ethernet cables, the UniFi access point’s LED ring will slowly blink green and then turn red.  Red LED light means that it could not contact the UniFi management software which we will install next.


UniFi Management Software installation:
I usually load the management software on a server platform.  While there is no pressing need to install it on a server, it does provide more stable management base.  Additionally, if you are planning to use the guest portal feature, the UniFi will need to be able to communicate with the management console at all times.  One gripe about this is that the management software does not start as a service which means that some user account has to be logged into the server at all times and the application restarted.  While this could be an annoyance, I don’t think this is a deal breaker since I always log into the server when I reboot a server anyways.  This is to make sure all services are running and operational.

I do not use the guest portal feature in UniFi as Medical Offices needs to adhere to privacy standards such as HIPPA and I just do not feel comfortable using one access point for both internal and open connection.  This article will not cover guest portal for this reason.


UniFi configuration:
When UniFi starts up, it is set to DHCP client so it will take on the IP address assigned by your server.  While this makes it relatively easy to integrate into your network, I believe servers, gateway, routers, switches and access points should have a static IP address.  Once the static IP address is set, I update my spreadsheet for that office with this information for future reference.

A common issue with the management software during startup is that it will fail to start.  If this is the case, make sure you don’t have any web server running on that workstation/server which is located at: “%userprofile%/Ubiquiti Unifi.  If you do have a web server running, you will have to edit the UniFi configuration file to have it use a different port number instead of the default port 80.

Once the software is installed and running, set the access point to a static IP address and then configure the usual wireless settings such as SSID, encryption, authentication, etc.  A nifty feature of this software is that you can import a floor plan and drag the UniFi icons into it.  Once you specify a segment with dimensions, the software will give you a visual representation of the wireless coverage.

If you have multiple UniFi access points in the office, make sure to set ALL UniFis to use the same SSID, encryption, etc so that when users roam from one end of the office to the other, it will connect to the nearest access point.

Since UniFi 2.2.0, additional feature has been added such as having the Management console run as a Windows Service.  Information below is directly from their support forums located at:

Can I run UniFi Controller as a Windows Service?
Yes, we added the support since 2.2.0.
1. make sure UniFi is not running
2. run a command prompt (as an Administrator)
3. locate your java installation directory. On 64-bit, it’s usually at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin”; otherwise “C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin” 3. add the dir above to the PATH (from Computer->Properties->Advanced system settings)
4. cd <unifi_base>
5. java -jar lib\ace.jar installsvc


I have had great success using these devices at multiple locations and I hope you will find them just as easy to implement.  I am able to implement and maintain a wireless network for your Medical Office and Small Offices.  For any questions, please contact me at and I will help you in any ways possible.



About Express Interconnect: We are a Portland, Oregon based Small Business VoIP Phone Consultant specializing in implementing quality VoIP PBX system based on Asterisk IP PBX. We can be reached at 503-820-3513 or via email at: and can help with any questions you might have.

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