For as long as I can remember the unifi controller software has allowed to either upload custom images/blueprints to the controller or to link the google maps image to your deployment location. This was a nice feature, but in reality, it didn’t really do much. Wherever you placed the devices on the image all it did create a gradient circle around the device. This didn’t take into account interference. Also, the google maps image was confusing too, because unless you had a large outdoor deployment then all you’re doing is putting devices on the roof of your house. But not anymore, Ubiquiti Unifi Adds Useful Wireless Heat Maps to account for all of this!
What is a Wireless Heatmap?
A couple of years ago I got exposed to Aruba Central. Aruba Central is Aruba’s cloud based controller for their instant access points. Aruba took this concept a couple of steps further.
- Upload blueprints of the building and place devices
- Outline the walls and windows with different material types to reflect the coverage map.
- Show connected client devices on the map.
Ubiquiti, has caught up to Aruba by completing step 2.
I’m not sure when this feature was released i just found it when I set up my Unifi Dream Machine Pro and had to re do it manually because my Ubuntu VM controller was too new of a version higher then the up to date controller software on the Unifi Dream Machine Pro.
Overall its pretty simple process to add Unifi wireless heat maps to your configuration. In your controller go to and select the Map Icon.
Once in the Map Section change the view from Topology to Floorplan.
If you haven’t already done this in the Top Right corner select Add New Floor Plan to Upload an image of your deployment.
After uploading you floor plan, I suggest you set your scale first. Because the scale sets the coverage distance on the map. Select the bottom icon from the left, select feet or meters, and then click a drag a distance you know and type it in the box.
After the scale is set, add your devices to the map. You can add switches as well, that feature doesn’t do anything more then just show where they physically are in the space.
Now for the magic, Start tracing your walls. Select the Pencil icon and choose the type of wall you have. Then start tracing. As you go change the wall type is needed to reflect Windows or cabinets.
If you have the coverage toggle enabled then as you add more walls to the blueprint the coverage changes based on your floor plan.
As you can see in my house, the center rectangular wall causes my coverage issues. In reality, coverage is worse then that because in that rectangle is the main return air vent for the entire house. But now at least i have an easy to read picture of each floor to show my wife why we (I) need more Unifi Access Points.
When I had to pick network drop locations while building the house, the mechanical routes were not on the blueprints or else I would have accounted for that during building the house.
As you can see my issues continue upstairs as well. So as soon as the new Unifi Wifi 6 APs come out of Early Release I’ll be replacing so APs.
This is a very nice addition to the Unifi feature set. The previous maps were only useful if you had an outdoor deployment or if you wanted a picture of a generalized layout. Now that we can add walls and materials you get a better representation of the impacts of the structure to your wireless environment.