Unifi Auto Optimize Network

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Updated on April 17, 2022

Ubiquiti UniFi Access Point has a new feature called Auto Optimize Network. This feature aims to boost the connection automatically and improve device performance. However, most users experienced otherwise. Reports are saying that the Auto Optimize Network prevents certain security systems from connecting to the internet. Once the Ubiquiti UniFi AP has the feature enabled, some systems will lose their connectivity with the network, even if it’s configured properly. 

Auto Optimize Network feature on any Ubiquiti Access Point is highly discouraged because of the connectivity issues encountered when this feature is enabled. It is best to keep the Auto Optimize Network feature disabled to avoid connectivity loss for some systems. In this article, we will feature some of the basic troubleshooting that you can apply regarding UniFi Auto Optimize Network. 

How does Unifi auto optimize network works? 

A new setting has been included in the UniFi Controller 5.10.12 called Auto-Optimize Network. The new UI version of the controller auto-enabled the Auto-Optimize Network feature, which allows high-performance clients to connect to a 5GHz network, and blocks multicast and broadcast traffic. 

However, Auto-Optimize Network functionality has caused trouble for some users losing the connection of their devices. Additionally, there is no specific algorithm to determine which devices are high-performing clients. Some users have complaints about the Apple Watch, MAC device being disconnected after the Auto-Optimize Network has been enabled. Therefore, most of the users opt to disable the feature to allow other systems to connect to UniFi without any problem.

How to turn off Auto Optimize Network?

Since the Auto-Optimize Network feature has caused losing connectivity to some important devices at home, users look for ways how to disable this functionality. Below are simple steps on how you could fix the Auto-Optimize feature.

A.      For the old UI version of UniFI, follow the steps below to turn off Auto- Optimize Network

  • Step 1 Go to UniFi Network setting
  • Step 2 Click Site
  • Step 3 Go to Auto Optimize toggle switch
  • Step 4 Switch off the Auto Optimize Network option

B.      For the new UI version of UniFI, follow the steps below to turn off Auto- Optimize Network

For the UI version, Auto-Optimize is enabled by default. Some users reported trouble in their devices after the update as they cannot turn off this feature.

  • Step 1: Go to UniFi Settings
  • Step 2: Select System Settings
  • Step 3: Select User Interface   
  • Step 4: Turn off New User Interface
  • Step 5: Apply changes

Once this is done the old UI version will display, then you can proceed to the steps on how to turn off Auto- Optimize Network.

How to Optimize and Troubleshoot UniFi Wireless Connections?

Since there are issues with Auto- optimize network feature, which proms users to turn it off, here are simple tips for optimizing your UniFi network that you can use as an alternative instead of relying on Auto-optimize: 

  1. Update your firmware 
  1. Check your cables and replace them as necessary.
  2. Enable Smart Queues to Optimize UniFi Wired connectivity.
  3. Check the Access Point Proximity or move closer to the UniFi Access Point. 
  4. Set a custom to transmit power or TX power for more than one Access Points
  5. Optimize and troubleshoot UniFi WiFi by modifying the DTIM period setting (18dBm is sufficient). 
  1. Determine any uptime issues to optimize and troubleshoot UniFi networks further.
  2. Configure the Airtime Fairness to put limits on your clients connected to the AP. 

What happens to security systems if Optimize Network is enabled? 

There are complaints from users stating that when Auto-Optimized Network is enabled, certain security systems such as security cameras, or alarm systems, lose their ability to connect to the network. Most of the security panels will continue to work and remain monitored using a communication path when it has a cellular backup. Otherwise, it will lose its ability to send out signals to a monitoring platform if it only has an IP-only service.

On the other hand, some security systems work well with Auto-Optimized Network when it’s enabled, such as UniFi Camera (G4 PTZ, G4 Pro, G4 Dome, AI 360, G4 Instant, and G3 Flex), Network Video Recorder Pro, G4 Doorbell Pro, ViewPort PoE, and Smart Flood Light.

What are the known issues in Unifi if auto optimize network is enabled? 

Auto-optimize Network is designed to optimize users’ traffic, however, some of the reported issues when the Auto-Optimized Network is enabled include: 

Unable to stream

Inability to stream anything in Chromecast Ultras. The video takes forever before it starts playing. Videos buffers take 1 to 2 seconds. This error is caused by Auto-Optimize Network, which blocks multicast.

Signal Drops

Signal drops while client devices are still connected. The traffic stops for a few seconds, then later resumes as if nothing happened. However, some services like Skype call totally disconnect. 

Security system loss of connection

Loss of connection for some security systems such as CCTV cameras and security alarms.  

Smart home appliances failed connection

Some appliances like Samsung TV could not connect at all, including iPhones dropping off the network and reconnecting constantly.

High Latency

Users are experiencing high latency issues with devices, even High-Performance Devices such as iPad, iPhones, and laptops.