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Thread: Ubiquiti & Social HotSpot Assistance

  1. #1
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    Nov 2004
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    Default Ubiquiti & Social HotSpot Assistance

    Good night all. I've done work with a couple different networking products - and about two (literally) Ubiquiti devices, but it seems like I may get more into them for their Unifi feature. However some checks into social HotSpot kinda shows some different equipment to be used. So here's a few questions for persons that are more versed in these pieces of equipment. Hopefully you guys (and the few girls in here) may have had some experience with the actual setup and not the brochure version - because the documentation shows Ubiquiti can do it all, but I think the pfSense/SmoothWall/MonoWall/etc boxes - and maybe even DD-WRT - has some more features than what the EdgeRouter may have. So here are the items.

    I think they mentioned that I will need a controller/manager for the devices. While I know I can setup an AP on it's own, what are the benefits of using their controller? Can I use an EdgeRouter-X to do this, or will I need separate equipment?

    I use pfSense primarily. I've been using it for maybe more than 10 years and I love the features. Am I going to be losing anything moving to EdgeRouter? Can I use my existing setup and just integrate with the Ubiquiti stuff?

    Doing checks seem to show OpenWRT as the thing to use with a paid service online - captive portal and redirect. Is there any free way to do this locally? I know some of the sites will give you like 500 authentications for free, but what other options would I have?

    For the Captive Portal authentication - if I'll just abandon the whole social HotSpot - I'm having a challenge integrating with a receipt printer for random key prints. Does Ubiquiti offer this easier?

    Thanks in advance for any advice and insight.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Just noticed your thread. I just got done switching my home network over to Ubiquiti products.
    EdgeRouter 4 (ER-4) > UniFi Switches > Unifi AP

    Unifi Controller/Manager
    This is only required for devices that are part of the UniFi family (i.e. anything on this page: )
    You won’t be able to use the EdgeRouter to manage any of those devices, as those are part of the EdgeMax family.

    I am not super familiar with pfSense, but if you can provide some insight on what features you use. I can then try to shed some light on if the EdgeRouter family is capable and whether you will lose anything.

    Yes, you should be able to integrate your current pfSense build with the EdgeRouter. You would turn off all the services (including the Firewall) on the EdgeRouter you don’t need and connect it to your pfSense box. But at that point you wouldn't need the EdgeRouter if you won't be using most of its features.

    Social Hotspot
    I haven’t tested this out, but UniFi does have this feature to allow a captive portal.

    You can find details here:

    CP Authentication

    I am not entirely sure, but the links above may shed some light on that capability. You can also check out their forums, which are pretty good.


    You can check out the UniFi Controller here:

    To manage EdgeMAX, EdgeSwitch, airMAX and UFiber devices, they are working on Ubiquiti Network Management System (UNMS) **Beta**:
    Last edited by King_Jay16; Yesterday at 12:52 PM. Reason: Add additonal info
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Most of the places don't use much. No VPN or anything. Really just:

    1. DHCP
    2. Captive Portal
    3. MAC/IP filtering/whitelist/blacklist

    I am going to connect to one soon and add more details later on.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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