Fixed Frequent UniFi Wireless Disconnects

My network is based on Ubiquiti’s Unifi platform. I’m on my second generation of the equipment and have been very satisfied with it overall. Normally it just does its job and disappears into the background. So you can imagine my frustration when multiple devices started randomly flapping. My Oculus Quest would disconnect and reconnect mid-game. My wife’s iPad and kids laptops did the same.

Nailing down the cause was troublesome. I couldn’t find a pattern or common denominator to drill in on. No changes coincided with the onset and all the software and firmware were up to date. The event logs on the controller and devices recorded the disconnects but didn’t show a reason.

I spent a few hours working through Ubiquiti’s excellent support material. Specifically this document https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/221029967-UniFi-Troubleshooting-Connectivity-Issues#intermitten. Unfortunately, it didn’t directly lead to a resolution.

I had installed Wireshark as part of the troubleshooting process and left a capture running while I used my laptop. Eventually the issue occurred and I was able to see in the trace that the RESET packet was coming from the AP that I was connected to. It was intentionally disconnecting my client. Thinking about this logically jogged my memory.

The UniFi system has a load balancing feature that can be used to control the number of clients connected to each access point. I checked and mine was set to five devices. I have more than thirty connected devices at any given time and three radios. The system was disconnecting and attempting to move clients too frequently trying to satisfy the load balancing setting. I bumped the limit up to fifteen devices and haven’t had the problem since. Not only that, but my wireless devices are actually being balanced across the available radios again.

Clients per radio should be a quotient of active devices.

About Kevin Trent

IT professional with almost 30 years of experience in Infrastructure, Architecting, Administration, Development, and Communications.

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