Optimum Alien Setup with Edge Router


  • Hello 👋,

    Should I ditch my edge router lite (ER3) and use the router on the alien 👽? Or keep my ER3 and put the alien in bridge mode? Looking for the optimal setup.

    I’ve tried to contact UI to get more information on the Alien’s routing abilities, but they don’t seam to want to share (or know).

    I have an Edge Router Lite from my prior setup but wanted the WiFi 6 and mesh capabilities of the alien.

    Thanks for your insight.


  • @Dslav1 It depends, if you want to use QoS on the Alien or use family settings that the Alien offers. The Edge router will likely offer things you will want that the Alien does not, it is merely up to your preference and needs.


  • @UI-JT what about routing speed?

    I like the simpler interface of the alien and configuration, but I don’t have an issue using the ER lite if it means improved performance.

    Also, if offloading the routing from the alien will it improve performance?

    I guess I could test, but figure I would ask before dismantling and reassembling my network.


  • @Dslav1 I'll preface my answer with: I don't yet own any Ubiquiti devices, but I am an engineer and should be able to give you a pretty good "best guess."

    TL;DR - Setting up the Alien in bridge mode, and offloading the routing to the edgerouter would potentially improve both the Alien's AP performance (not dealing with routing), and the overall routing performance of the router, as the edgerouters are pretty serious, for their price point.

    Details:

    Router performance largely is based on the available resources the router has (cpu, memory), the quality of its QoS algorithms, and probably most importantly, the number of internet-connected devices on the network.

    Back in the day (not that long ago) home wifi routers (e.g. the venerable Linksys WRT54g) were built to be affordable given the tech at the time, and homes had maybe a handful of connected devices (a computer, a couple cell phones, and maybe a gaming console), and so routing wasn't really a challenge.

    These days, many homes are utterly filled with internet-connected devices, from cell phones to home automation devices, home security cameras, gaming consoles, thermostats, and more. The tech has matured considerably; but what is affordable, and the resources provided to a wifi router these days hasn't really scaled well for the increasing demand "normal use." In the modern home, with internet-connected devices grossly out populating the residents, having a real router can greatly improve network latency and throughput.

    In fact, in our home (we're two engineers), we have 4 kids who each use the various streaming services, 3 gaming consoles, two desktops, a myriad of laptops and tablets for work, school and play, everyone has a cell phone, a bunch of IoT devices, raspberry pi's, ham radios (yep, connected to the internet) and more, and so connecting an Amplifi Alien + 2 Mesh Nodes to an EdgeRouter4 is exactly the setup i'm looking to build.

    Let us know how you get on!


  • @Liam-Conrad Thanks for the response!

    I’m thinking along the same lines. I’ve been working to organize all my network equipment and move it all over to a small rack. Hopefully, I’ll get back to it soon and have it up and running with the new setup. A little lazy, using just the Alien. However, I miss my overkill network setup.

    AMPLIFI does not really speak to the router speed of the Alien, but figure that’s cause the target market is heavy WiFi and WiFi 6 users.

    I’m surprised that the Ubiquiti and AmpliFi teams don’t look at the integration of their products. Almost the two work in a vacuum. I figured this was a slam dunk answer, to just use the ER3 lite and Alien in bridge, but they will not just say that for some reason.

    I also have two Ethernet ports on my modem and was thinking about Link Aggregation, but last time I tried that it messed something up and took me a while to get things back up and running.


  • @Dslav1 LOL so, we have Spectrum in our area, and TDS is laying down fiber in front of our house this weekend. (I joked about them just running some across the street, but the utility contractors didn't find it funny at all.) I was considering setting up load balancing in the future ER4 with the two ISP's, but my partner (also an engineer) thought that was too much overkill, despite my argument that, since we're both f/t wfh with all the covid business, having the redundancy would be pretty nice, not to mention the potential for better network latency amidst 4 kids streaming and gaming at the same time. 🤷 She didn't go for it.

    Serious, though, let us know how your setup goes. I'm going to pull the trigger on the ER4 tonight. The Alien is still unavailable everywhere, but at the least it'should improve things with out current setup (the orbi).


  • @Liam-Conrad it comes back in stock in my experience a few times a week when I snagged mine. Just have to check back a few times a day.


  • I'm surprised that the Ubiquiti and AmpliFi teams don’t look at the integration of their products.

    Hi @Dslav1 - the UniFi Dream Machine sort of embodies that integration

    With the planned FCC vote on the 6GHz spectrum to happen on April 23rd potentially enabling WiFi-6E routers to be launched late this year or early 2021, I think many are hoping Ubiquiti is skipping WiFi-6 and going straight to 6E


  • @Dslav1 Who's got two thumbs, and about to write a app to scrape their website? This guy. 👍 😬 👍


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