If you have been using UniFi switching equipment for any amount of time, you'll be familiar with the unique way UniFi handles VLANs. For any experienced users having used EdgeMAX switches or Cisco, the VLAN process can be a bit different.

In this post we'll look at what switch port profiles are, how to use them and then at the end, how they differ from VLAN management on EdgeSwitches.

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What are switch port profiles?

How does this differ from EdgeSwitches?

What are switch port profiles?

Custom port profiles is the way UniFi handles multi-VLAN management, as well as a few other things. If you want to untag one VLAN on one port, then you don't need to use this feature. But if you start adding configurations for a selection of VLANs tagged on one port without tagging all of your VLANs then you will need to use port profiles.

Port profiles can also be used for batch settings changes, things like PoE type, voice VLANs, link speed, rate limits and much more. These can be set within the port profile and then changed quickly within the port management section of a UniFi Switch.

So to summarise, port profiles are used to apply many settings to a switch port at once, for quick batch setting changes. It is also the only way UniFi allows you to make custom VLAN changes to a port too.

How does this differ from EdgeSwitches?

For the VLAN section, this is very different to what people may be used to with something like an EdgeSwitch or Cisco.

With EdgeOS and the UISP Switch too, the VLAN section shows a visual representation of the ports on the switch with a box for each port. The VLANs are down the left hand side, you then click the box for what you want each VLAN to do.

U for untagged, T for tagged and E for excluded. However, this is very different in UniFi.

In UniFi, you need to make a whole new network, give it a VLAN ID then make a new switch port profile and choose which VLANs need to be tagged where, if you don't want every VLAN tagged to every port in the network - which isn't recommend.

In this example, I have VLAN 12 untagged and then two networks tagged. I can then name this port profile, then assign this to various switch ports in the network. For example, I could make a VoIP phone VLAN with the voice network set.

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