Part 2: Creating a New Network


Step 1: Create a new network

1. Navigate to and login with your credentials.

2. Hover over Devices and click Networking Status.

3. On the Networking Status page you will see a list of your new devices and current networks. Click Add New AP or Switch. The Create a new network group dialog box will appear. Assign a name to the group, and click Create.

4. The Create a new network dialog will appear.

Complete the following fields:

  • Network name: This is the name you want to give this specific network. You will use this name to make changes to the network, display reports, etc.
  • Password: This is the password for local administrators. It should be different from your master account login. This limits access and prevents users from making changes to your network.
  • Email: Enter your email address or the address of a local administrator to contact. We will never share this with others.
  • Network Location: Enter a street address for the first access point. To add access points, you will be shown a map that you click on to place access points. By entering an address here, you will be centered on the correct location for your network.
  • Email for Notifications: Enter the email addresses, separated by spaces, for all people you would like to receive outage notifications. These are sent hourly.

5. Click Create. You will be redirected to the Manage  → Access Points page. You will be prompted to add your first Access Point.

Step 2: Add access points to your network

It’s time to let Datto Networking know which access points you want to include in the network. Adding them will allow you to manage and monitor the access points from anywhere.

Navigate to the Manage → Access Points screen. 

There are three options to add access points to your network: click the "Add New" button to add access points one at a time by clicking on a map, or use the down arrow to the right of that to add access points in bulk.

If you add access points the default way, you’ll be taken to the Map tab of the Access Points page. A Google map, centered on the address you entered when you created the network, will show a popup to enter your first access point. You can often (depending on location) click the “Satellite” view button and zoom in for a closer look. 

Fill in the following information:

Name: Enter a name for this access point. This name is used to reference its location and will be displayed in reports. It does not affect users.

MAC address: A MAC address is a sequence of 12 numbers and the letters A-F often separated by colons (Eg: 00:02:6F:8A:B2:6E). This can be found on a label on the bottom of the router and on the side of the product box. 

Description: You can enter optional descriptive text that will be shown on the reports. This is typically used to keep notes on where the access point is installed, etc.

Click “Add” and repeat the process for each additional access point.

Quick Tip: Moving access points you’ve already placed

Didn’t get the placement of a access point quite right? You can move it around by clicking and dragging a access point to a new location.

If you need to add a large number of access points, you may want to add them in bulk. You can do so two ways: by entering the MAC addresses in a text field (one per line), or by uploading a list of access points (along with optional name, location, channel overrides, etc.) in a CSV file.

For both of these options, your access points will be added to the map based on your network location. You can reposition these access points on the map after adding them.

When adding by CSV, the CSV file must be in a specific format. You can download a sample CSV file here

Step 3: Install the access points

Once your access points are added to Datto Networking, it’s time to install them.  

First, connect your Gateway unit to the Internet with an Ethernet cable. This can be plugged in directly to your high-speed modem (if it has a single Ethernet port, power cycle it first), or it can be fed from a router or switch. If it can get an Internet connection through the cable, it’ll connect to Datto Networking. Once the Ethernet cable is plugged in, connect power.

Next, plug in additional access points as either gateways (connected to Ethernet) or repeaters, connected only to power.

To ensure strong, consistent signal coverage, follow these guidelines:

  1. Place your gateway in the center of the network. For most devices, every time data is transmitted over one repeater hop, it loses half its speed. A central gateway minimizes the number of hops required.
  2. Never go through more than three to four walls or floors.
  3. Never go more than 50-150 feet (depending on building materials) between access points.
  4. Install no more than about five repeaters to every one gateway.

Once all access points are plugged in, you should see them turn green on the Network Status page in about 5 to 15 minutes. For more detailed information on planning and optimizing your network, see the Network Planning Guide

Quick Tip: Where should your Gateway go?

Your Gateway as central to the area you want to cover as possible. Place repeaters around this gateway to extend coverage, as shown here.

Adding more gateways as you expand the network helps ensure consistent speeds and improves reliability.


Next: Configuring your Network

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