Beginners setup question
I recently got 2 Amplify routers that I'm planning to use. I've got a gateway/router from my ISP that I need to use at least the foreseeable future.
I want to use the Amplifi routers for wireless and I would also like to use the lan ports (as a switch). The second router will use wired backhaul.
Is this possible and how do I set it up?
I have this set up in my office, but be aware that you cannot turn off the wifi radio in the backhaul router. Here is an advanced config from @Derek-Saville (I have not tested this out yet on my home network, but I trust his knowledge) that configures the 2nd router as strictly a bridge device. I plan on implementing this into my home network when I have time to test it out, reason being is that since you can’t turn off the wifi radio, you can get channel clashes (like I am currently since mine are in close proximity). This config also allows you to use the 2nd router as a dedicated VPN/Teleport device, which is what I need, but won’t try this until the new Teleport kernel code is done to improve performance.
Hi @jayson-knight - this is just my understanding and there may be more complex factors at play or things I have wrong too!
AmpliFi does not have dedicated backhaul wireless radios.
So the wireless mesh points configure themselves on the same band channels for communication (or simplicity)
AmpliFi added Ethernet backhaul, but did not add an option to change the band channels on the wired mesh points, so you are still stuck with the single band channel configuration.
So having two mesh points next to each other with wired backhaul will be seen as nearly the same, and how are clients supposed to choose?
I don’t fully understand the airtime fairness, guard intervals, etc., but if you have multiple devices and access points competing on the same band and channel, they need to play nicely and share, which lowers your available total bandwidth per device.
Ideally, AmpliFi would allow an option to change channels on Ethernet backhaul mesh points, or have the Pause mesh point option disable the WiFi radios (and only wake them up if the WAN Ethernet cable is unplugged)
Before you return the router, consider converting it to an independent Bridge mode configuration.
Take it offline and have your main router “hide” it to forget it.
Do a factory reset and then power it up.
Instead of joining your mesh, do a stand-alone router install, just if you were setting up a brand new system, but give it a different SSID and login -this router has to be managed separately.
You might take your main router offline and plug into your modem if it isn’t going easily.
Once it is working as a router then you can pair a Teleport if necessary - don’t bother finishing the configuration yet.
Now change the new router to Bridge mode and take it offline.
If you bring your main network and router up you should be able to plug the new second router into it.
Since it is in Bridge mode it will pull the IP address and DNS from your main router, the switch will work, and you have a new SSID to configure, where you can manually change the channels if it didn’t already avoid your main network, so they don’t interfere.
At this point you could also set up the Teleport that was paired to the new router.
However, I think you said you won’t use UPnP, so you will probably need to do more port configuration on your main and secondary routers.
The secondary router is independent and has to be managed separately in the app, logging out of one router and logging in to the other.
But you can do most things you need with the web interface and the LCD of the secondary Bridge router.
It isn’t part of your main network or mesh.
It becomes more of a combo switch + access point + VPN host.
I just wish we could turn the WiFi off, although you can hide the additional SSID’s.
Just make sure they are on a different channel from your main network.
@jayson-knight Wow, not as easy as I thought it would be. Am at work right now, so I'll have to read it when I get home. Thanks
Hi @håkan-selberg - do you mind providing a little more information on what you are trying to accomplish?
Do you know if your modem+router supports “modem only bride mode” to allow using 3rd party routers?
Do you care about Guest WiFi access and QoS on the AmpliFi WiFi network?
Will your 2 AmpliFi routers be used in the same room/space or located relatively far apart (on opposite sides of home) and you want them to form a mesh WiFi network?
These answers will help determine how to setup the main AmpliFi router and then what to do with the second AmpliFi router.
"Do you know if your modem+router supports “modem only bride mode” to allow using 3rd party routers?"
Yes I think it's possible to put my modem/router in bridge mode, but for the time being I'd prefer to use it as I do now (as a router with firewall, dhcp, but with wifi off).
"Do you care about Guest WiFi access and QoS on the AmpliFi WiFi network?"
Guest wifi would be nice, but well functioning wifi is most important. That's the main reason I'm trying this out. I lived without guest wifi for many years so that's not a problem.
"Will your 2 AmpliFi routers be used in the same room/space or located relatively far apart (on opposite sides of home) and you want them to form a mesh WiFi network?"
If you draw a straight line between them they are not very far apart but on seperate floors and each floor is approx. 85 sq. meters (915 sq. ft). Both would ideally be wired (I've got a wired network in my house). What I want is one wifi network, regardless on which florr I am. Something like this crude sketch
Hi @håkan-selberg - thanks
I would recommend you to install the first main AmpliFi router and set it to Bridge Mode ON.
This will allow your modem+router to continue to be your DHCP and firewall, but you will lose Guest WiFi and QoS.
If you can, I recommend doing the installation with the AmpliFi app on a mobile device which has Bluetooth turned on.
You can get things up and running via the LCD or web portal, but I personally find the app easier.
Follow the instructions to install the first HD router, connecting its WAN port to a LAN port on your modem.
Once the HD router is installed make sure to turn Bridge mode ON and hit the check mark in the upper right to save the configuration.
If everything is working then power up the second HD router near the main HD router, still with Bluetooth enabled on your mobile device, and no Ethernet cables plugged in to the 2nd HD router.
The app and/or the LCD should ask you if you want to add the 2nd HD router to your mesh - confirm to do so.
Now in the app you should see the 2nd router as a mesh point.
Go into its configuration and enable Ethernet Wired Backbone and hit the check mark in the upper right to save.
Now you can power the 2nd HD router mesh point off and move it to the other room.
Plug the Ethernet cable into the WAN port.
The other end of the Ethernet cable should be plugged into a LAN port on the main HD router.
When you power up the 2nd HD router everything should be working and the app will show a wired connection between the 2 HD routers.
You WiFi mesh should be working and you can come back here if you run into any problems.
Let us know how it goes or if you have any further questions.
@derek-saville Thanks! I've come as far as installing the first Amplifi (it's working), but not yet put it in Bridge Mode. I haven't received the 2nd Amplifi router yet but I'll come back when I've tried this
Hi @håkan-selberg - glad to hear it is working.
Just know that if you leave the AmpliFi router in DHCP mode connected to your modem+router which is also still functioning as a firewall, there is a strong possibility that you have a ‘Double NAT’ situation and some things like online gaming (i.e. Xbox) and things that require UPnP or port forwarding, may not work.
To eliminate Double NAT you will probably have to run either your moden+router or the main AmpliFi router in Bridge Mode.
There are some other possible solutions, like creating a DMZ on your modem, but things get a little more complicated to set up, so it depends on your needs.
Just be aware of the possibility.
I personally recommend putting the AmpliFi router in Bridge mode if you don’t need Guest WiFi access and your modem+router has decent throughput, firewall and QoS capabilities that meet your needs.
If your modem+router is not so strong and has a Bridge mode option to disable the router, then go with that to take full advantage of the AmpliFi.
@derek-saville Just curious, what do you do for a living?
Hi @jayson-knight - product development engineering (R&D and Manufacturing)