Just ordered a couple AmpliFi HD routers
So, after a few weeks of research I decided to purchase a couple of AmpliFi HD routers for our home. I have deployed several UniFi devices at the office and the performance has been excellent, so I figured I'd give it a shot to replace my router.
My current setup is a single 6th. Gen. AirPort Extreme. This is a 3x3 35 dBm dual-band unit, and although it's been discontinued it still is one of the best routers ever produced. However, it is not ideal for our house which is built with concrete and brick walls, which means that we only get 5 GHz coverage on the top floor where the router is located. Downstairs the signal starts to degrade, and I only get around 60-70 Mbps in the living room and about 40-50 at best in the dining room. Our internet service is rated at 100, which is what I get almost all the time upstairs. And yes, I have tried extending the network with an AirPort Express but that didn't work: signal dropouts and disconnects every single day.
My plan is to replace the Airport upstairs with one of the AmpliFi routers and place the second one downstairs in the living room where the signal is the strongest. I hope to be able to get better coverage downstairs, going all the way to our backyard (where we get about 2-5 Mbps at best, sometimes no coverage at all).
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi @guillermo-avalos - just keep doing what you are doing...replace the AirPort and then try the second HD router as a meshpoint in a few different locations to see what works best for your needs.
But you plan sounds just right.
If there is any way you can run an Ethernet cable from the top floor to the living room or dining room, AmpliFi HD routers respond very well as wired backhaul meshpoints since they don't have dedicated wireless backhaul radios.
My personal concern is that with 100 Mbps service you might not see significant speed increases downstairs when connected to the second router meshpoint. But it should offer better coverage and stability.
Hope it works out and meets your expectations.
@derek-saville Hi Derek, thanks for your input. I'll make sure to post my results when the AmpliFis arrive. I expect better coverage, at least in the dining room and kitchen (now I can't get more than 10) and backyard which is pretty much non-existent.
Regarding the ethernet backhaul, I would have to drill a hole in the upstairs floor which might be a bit tricky, so that would be the last resort. I understand there's no dedicated wireless backhaul in AmpliFi, but those other systems that do have it use a 5GHz band for it, and I fear that all the concrete and brick walls would also degrade the dedicated backhaul so... I guess I'll have to try and see what works best.
It was either AmpliFi, Velop or Eero. I was able to get two AmpliFi HD routers for about $200 (vs. $350 for the Velop and $500 for the Eeros). I also considered Orbi, but Netgear's firmware and software is terrible.
Hi @guillermo-avalos - please do let us know how it goes.
To me, every install is like a unique puzzle and you have to go one piece at a time.
With100 Mbps service you also have more options that might help only if you need them - for example I have used both power line and MoCA for backhaul in a couple tricky situations, but then you have to live with the additional tech equipment where you might not want it and additional points of failure that might need rebooting when the network goes down.
In each case it was better than nothing, but not ideal either, so I use sparingly as a last resort.
So start wirelessly and then quit once you are happy