Alien Coverage


  • @Nick-Nystrom said in Alien Coverage:

    doesn't have near the coverage as my Amplifi HD system

    The HD system with router and two mesh points will provide a greater coverage area, simply because you have 3 WiFi points to stretch the signal. If you compare HD router to Alien router, the Alien will outperform the HD.

    You can mesh two Alien routers to give you greater coverage, the can communicate wirelessly using WiFi-6 or using ethernet backhaul.


  • @Carlos-Flores For sure thanks for the recommendation. I am hoping they will cover the cost to ship it back since it isn't as good as a legacy system of theirs.


  • @Derek-Saville This is bad advice. They should really fix / tweak the band steering instead of people having to use split SSIDs, which is a very inelegant solution. The router can't force a device to stay on a band, but it absolutely can force a device to switch bands. That's what band steering is, and @Carlos-Flores is right about it forcing devices to drop from 5 GHz to 2.4 GHz too soon. I'm experiencing the same thing as him.


  • This is bad advice.

    Hi @gtg465x - that is why I wrote "This method won't be a good idea for most people..."

    But it does work in certain situations, such as described in Why is signal from the 5 GHz AC radio so poor?

    Every WiFi environment will be different and what may not be elegant for some, works very elegantly for others
    One nice thing about this community is sharing different experiences to help find solutions, but no one suggestion solves all problems for everyone, at least as far as I have seen

    The router can't force a device to stay on a band, but it absolutely can force a device to switch bands

    I have no inside knowledge of AmpliFi's Band Steering execution, but anecdotally it seems a little closer to a consumer grade implementation than an enterprise level one

    AmpliFi's own description of the Band Steering feature states...
    "Band steering directs your devices to the 5 GHz band for higher performance. If the signal weakens, it redirects to the 2.4 GHz band (which has more range). Enabled by default, you can disable it and manually select 2.4 or 5 GHz."

    What is AmpliFi using to determine the signal has weakened?
    What is AmplFi doing to 'redirect' a client to 2.4 GHz?
    Can those algorithms be improved?
    Will those improvements work for every WiFi device?
    Are those improvements mesh friendly?
    How will those improvements affect roaming?
    Can and does AmpliFi use 'absolute force' to move a client off of a band?
    Should AmpliFi use 'absolute force' to move a client off of a band?

    I feel for the developers...tough gig


  • Just an update to my previous comment... it seems even with band steering off, my iPhone is switching to 2.4 GHz sometimes in one room of my house even though the 5 GHz connection is still faster, so it must be iOS choosing to do this and not the Alien as I suspected before.


  • Hi @gtg465x - you could perform the most inelegant test of separating your 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz SSID's (just temporarily) and see if your iPhone still roams off of 5 GHz in that room

    But then again iOS might have different criteria for switching bands on the same SSID versus switching SSID's on the same AP...and that criteria can change with each iOS update

    AmpliFi has never detailed if their Band Steering implementation is using some form of 'Minimum RSSI' as you can set on UniFi AP's

    Even with Band Steering disabled AmpliFi may still be sending de-authorization packets below some RSSI threshold
    (I consider de-authorization packets a soft approach, since they try to influence clients onto a different connection but they do not prevent the client from just immediately reestablishing the same connection again, even multiple times over, so it doesn't meet your objective of absolutely forcing a device to switch bands)

    UniFi implemented 'WiFi Experience' a year ago or so, and also has never really explained the metrics to the UBNT community, so I doubt they will do it here
    Maybe they moved from RSSI/RCPI to some other form of quality metric that includes SNR and/or ToF?
    AmpliFi comments on the Support Info files having some form of interference reporting, although encrypted so we can't investigate ourselves
    They seem to be headed towards an "Auto-Optimize Network" feature, similar to UniFi, although that community still doesn't seem to look to favorably on it yet...


  • @Carlos-Flores So back to this post...... in a nutshell I “upgraded” from the amplifi HD kit to 1 Alien and speeds are great But coverage is lacking compared to the HD and for whatever reason my iphones like to switch to the 2.4 GHZ band when I am in my bedroom. So I pulled the trigger and I just ordered another Alien to put on my bedroom. So what I am hoping is to extend the coverage further out to my yard and to finally have the iPhones stick to the 5ghz band. The Aliens will be mesh wirelessly. My question to you guys is both aliens will connect using the WiFi 6 correct? My ISP speed is around 600mbs I should see it close to that or will there be a noticeable degradation on speed when connected to the mesh alien in my bedroom ( not the main alien connect to the modem? Thanks


  • @Carlos-Flores said in Alien Coverage:

    My question to you guys is both aliens will connect using the WiFi 6 correct?

    That is correct. Once you have your second Alien added as a mesh point it will communicate with the primary router via WiFi-6 and you can run the internal speed test to confirm performance between the two.

    There will be degredation with any wireless hop, but it will be far superior to the HD because of the WiFi-6 backhaul


  • @UI-AmpliFi Thanks for the reply... will the second Alien that is already using WiFi 6 to communicate with the primary Alien be able to still communicate with devices using WiFi 6?


  • @Carlos-Flores yes it will also be able to communicate with Wi-Fi 6 devices.


  • There will be degredation with any wireless hop, but it will be far superior to the HD because of the WiFi-6 backhaul

    Hi @UI-AmpliFi - how much backhaul traffic can there be simultaneous with client traffic?

    With 8x8 MIMO chains has some of the advantages of Wi-Fi 6 been implemented on 5 GHz for superior backhaul?

    Is UL MU-MIMO implemented?

    When you enabled Wi-Fi 6 on the 2.4 GHz band did you also implement DBS?


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