Super Slow Wifi-6 speeds


  • @Bare-Necessities I'd be stoked to have 650mbps wireless even if it's not on Wifi-6 so I'll look into that if I end up returning the Alien.



  • Hi @Irene-Pavico-Tsukayama - what client are you testing with (i.e. Android/iPhone model)?

    WiFi-6 is not about higher speeds over WiFi-5... https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-the-us.html#wifi6
    ...unless you have a crowded environment of WiFi-6 capable devices, which could allow for more efficient use of available spectrum

    The HD is "Tri-Band" (2.4/5.2/5.8 GHz) with 2 radios, so 5.2 and 5.8 GHz are shared, 3x3 MIMO capable with up to 80 MHz channel widths

    The Alien is also "Tri-Band" (2.4/5.2/5.8 GHz), but it has 3 radios (one for each band), is 4x4 to 8x8 MIMO capable, and still using only up to 80 MHz channel widths

    Most mobile WiFi clients are still only 2x2 MIMO

    So, a 5 GHz, 2x2 MIMO client using an 80 MHz channel on an HD will have the same speed as an Alien in the same environment (interference, congestion, etc.)

    That is likely what you are experiencing

    If your client can support 4x4 MIMO then an Alien should outperform an HD, but speeds fall off with range

    In the Dong Knows Alien Review you can see he achieves speeds in the 800's with 2x2 MIMO clients @ 80 MHz, but 4x4 MIMO is only marginally better (likely because speeds are limited by the 1 Gbps ports)

    If your client supports 160 MHz channel widths (and your environment allows it) then an alternative 160 MHz router will perform better
    (AmpliFi have indicated they are working on 160 MHz channel support for a future firmware update, but it isn't guaranteed)
    Here again though, Alien's bandwidth will be limited by the 1 Gbps ports, so 160 MHz may not make a tangible difference

    If you are asking why your client speeds are so much lower than Dong's then this explanation may help... https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-the-us.html#wifispeeds
    ...but there is also the possibility of the Alien's firmware being an issue as well

    The odd thing about the Alien is its 3 Radio Tri-Band setup

    Ignoring 2.4 GHz, by default only the WiFi-6 5.8 GHz radio is enabled, and for now, we cannot manually select the channel
    (AmpliFi have indicated they are working on manual channel selection in the 5.8 GHz band for a future firmware update)

    Or a fix that helped them get faster speeds on their Alien?

    For various reasons, AmpliFi implemented an optional 5.2 GHz radio which does not support WiFi-6 technology, but WiFi-5 vs. WiFi-6 really doesn't matter at this time unless you have a lot of WiFi-6 clients

    And you can manually select the 5.2 GHz channel if you need to find one with less congestion or interference

    Some people have found that enabling the "Additional 5 GHz Radio" and giving it a separate SSID from the Common SSID, allows their devices to connect to a better 5.2 GHz channel and achieve higher speeds than what is available on the 5.8 GHz channel
    (calling it WiFi-5 versus WiFi-6 does't matter because WiFi-6 is not about speed)

    Since the Additional 5 GHz Radio is using a different band, it causes no interference with the WiFi-6 SSID - there is no negative effect

    However, if you cannot find a better 5.2 GHz channel than what the Alien is using on 5.8 GHz then there will be no improvement

    But keep this in mind when comparing results between an Alien and another router

    For example, if the Alien is using a poor congested 5.8 GHz channel, and the alternative router is using a clear 5.2 GHz channel, then the Alien will appear inferior

    However, if the Alien is using the same channel in the same environment, which might require the Additional 5 GHz Radio to be enabled for the 5.2 GHz band, performance should be very similar for clients using the same number of MIMO chains and the same channel width


  • @Derek-Saville Thank you for posting those duck ware links. Very informative and good information for all. Learned something today 👍


  • @Derek-Saville said in Super Slow Wifi-6 speeds:

    For example, if the Alien is using a poor congested 5.8 GHz channel, and the alternative router is using a clear 5.2 GHz channel, then the Alien will appear inferior

    Should not a $400 router figure out a least congested channel like the "auto" automatically does on Netgear? And for the 52 GHz channel it does seem to do that. By the way changing channel does not seem to give me any improvements with 5.8 GHz - still the same ~100 Mbps speeds while the 5.2 GHz on auto gives me ~600.

    Here is my issue with this router - it is marketed as simple, for home use, plug and play - which clearly does not seem to be the case? If, as an Engineer, I am struggling so much with this router, I wonder what someone who does not understand networking much will do?


  • @Bare-Necessities I mean it IS simple to setup but to get it to perform the way it's marketed is the caveat here. The biggest pain in the butt is going to be re-connecting all of my devices back to my HD once I return the Alien.

    And to answer Derek up there, yes, I did try turning on the other channels which seem to perform slower than the main one. I'm testing it on speedtest.net which Amplifi tells me to using the latest macbook pro located in the same room as the Alien. I've also tested it on older laptops which get slower speeds as well as my iphone 11 pro max.

    I feel like a brat complaining about my 300+ mbps when some people can barely get 50mbps but if I'm paying for services up to 1gbps and a router that promises double the speed of my old one, then yeah I'd want it to perform and like Bare Necessities said, a $400 router should figure things out itself and not need me to be on a chat with service for 2+ hrs.


  • @Irene-Pavico-Tsukayama My biggest issue is with 2.4 GHz devices, they are barely able to function, so I've had to switch back to X10.


  • Hi @Bare-Necessities - ...

    Should not a $400 router figure out a least congested channel like the "auto" automatically does on Netgear?

    Yes

    The Alien is supposed to find the least congested 5.8 GHz channel automatically (manual selection is not available, although I have not tried v3.4.0 yet)

    The Alien does attempt find the least congested 5.2 GHz channel automatically if the Additional 5 GHz Radio is enabled (manual channel selection is optional)

    If you enable the Additional 5 GHz Radio, but do not give it a separate SSID, the Alien is allegedly supposed to band steer WiFi-5 clients to the 5.2 GHz channel, but I have not tested that myself as I prefer to use the dedicated SSID

    By the way changing channel does not seem to give me any improvements with 5.8 GHz - still the same

    My Alien does not allow manual selection of the 5.8 GHz channel, and in my environment, it never changes automatically, but I am still running an older firmware revision

    I am not trying to promote the Alien, or defend it, only comment why some people see the results that they do

    My personal interest in the Alien is purely for improved Teleport performance, and aside from that, I do not personally recommend any WiFi-6 router at any price at this time...but that is just my opinion


  • @Bare-Necessities Ohhh, thankfully my devices running on 2.4 GHz are running fine [for now] and that includes the Ring doorbell and a few Yi surveillance cameras so it'd definitely be important that my 2.4 GHz works.


  • Hi @Bare-Necessities - I believe it was with firmware v3.3.1 that AmpliFi implemented WiFi-6 technology on the 2.4 GHz band and some people experienced connection issues

    That is one of the reasons I have stayed on v3.2.5

    As you stated, Alien should "just work", but it seems like there are firmware issues being sorted out

    For my use, v3.2.5 has been highly stable and performed great since the update in early January, but I do also take advantage of the Alien's Additional 5 GHz Radio capability, which I believe has contributed to my positive experience, especially while being stuck working from home

    And I do understand your frustrations, as I had a similar experience with the HW Teleport for a very long period of time

    I hope either v3.4.0+ helps to solve your Alien problems or you are able to return it... cheers


  • @Derek-Saville said in Super Slow Wifi-6 speeds:

    My Alien does not allow manual selection of the 5.8 GHz channel, and in my environment, it never changes automatically, but I am still running an older firmware revision

    Thank you, I am just frustrated and it was not directed at you.

    I upgraded to 3.4.0 a few minutes ago, unfortunately, there is no option to change 5.8 GHz channel here too.

    • For 5.2 GHz, whether I find a less crowded channel or auto - I do not see much difference. "Auto" option seems to work well and find a good channel.
    • For 2.4 GHz, I've tried setting various "good" channels, same ones I get good speeds on my X10 - but it still crawls...

  • Hi @Bare-Necessities - the last few months have been a terrible time to face WiFi / Internet issues, and I am sorry to hear the Alien has caused so much frustration...it just shouldn't be that way

    If you are willing to give it a shot, I would recommend downgrading to v3.2.5 just to see if it improves performance, especially for your 2.4 GHz clients

    Much changed in v3.3.1, and not for the better in my experience


  • @Derek-Saville said in Super Slow Wifi-6 speeds:

    If you are willing to give it a shot, I would recommend downgrading to v3.2.5 just to see if it improves performance, especially for your 2.4 GHz clients

    How do I go about doing that? I need to get the firmware file from support? Also, I probably need to check if 3.4.0 -> 3.2.5 downgrade is supported haha


  • Hi @Bare-Necessities - yes, you can make a request to the support engineers to obtain a download link

    Once you obtain the firmware file you can manually install it at http://amplifi.lan/fwupdate.php


  • FYI: Although there have many issues and concerns on this Forum regarding the Alien router, it does not make it an inferior product. I am not an IT expert, but it is apparent to me that wifi and internet speed/bandwidth is very complex and involve numerous factors making most problem an isolated and not a systemic problem. I have an Alien router and 2 Alien routers hardwired as RAMP mesh system and it has worked well for me. I have 52 devices on my network running on 1 Gigabit internet. I get >900's mbps on ethernet-wired speedtest and > 600's mbps on wifi 6 Dell xps laptop and iPhone 11pro speedtests. Obviously, those wifi speedtest results are best case scenario dependent on the traffic on my local and neighboring networks. So for my environment, the Alien has worked well and as expected. But before I discovered the Alien, I tested and returned many other routers and mesh systems: Orbi wifi5 and Orbi wifi 6 mesh systems, Arris mAX Pro, Netgear RAX 120 and RAX 200 (all within a 3-4 weeks timeframe). I returned them all because of various issues and not meeting my needs. In fact, I was on the phone with Netgear tech support for 3-4 hours twice without finding a remedy. But I am sure there are many many people including on this forum who will swear by Netgear. Therefore, those products were not systemically poor products but it just didn't work for me and my home environment. I am only writing this comment to hopefully give you either confidence in the product and continue to work toward a solution or just move on to a different product. In the end, it may not work for you due to either an unclear isolated environmental reason or a defective unit but does not make the Alien a generalized poor product.


  • "In the end, it may not work for you due to either an unclear isolated environmental reason or a defective unit but does not make the Alien a generalized poor product."

    @tonytrung I am not sure who here said it is an inferior product?

    All we (the four folks on this thread having issues) are saying is that this product is not working for us. At the end of the day, however good a product may be - it is of no use if it does not work for oneself.

    I do not get your point - I understand you like the product and want to evangelize it - but this probably is not the thread for it? No one denies there are complexities that come into play, but a router that claims to be next-gen gotta handle it, right?

    What I am trying to say is - this thread is specifically for issues that several of us are seeing - and just because it works for you or someone else is beside the matter. Let's not behave like groupies here for a minute?

    Also now that at least five folks are reporting the exact same issue, dismissing it as "unclear isolated environment" or "defective unit" does not seem logical. And yes, I will return the router once I have exhausted all avenues, but not before I make sure the support is fully engaged and have really made an effort to debug the issue.


  • I get 850 consistently on wifi 6. Even got as high as 1 gbs at times. Using a oneplus 8 pro. I know 3 other people with this router and they have same experience. I initially had the router under my TV and the tv caused interference with the low 5mhz channel to where it wouldn't broadcast. S o this router can be finicky with placement, also when I connected my phone to control the tv, it would also cause interference as it connected via WiFi, same as with Amazon firesticks. My point is, I think the issues some are having could possibly be fixed by relocation of router ,as it fixed issues I was having


  • @Christian-Walker-0 said in Super Slow Wifi-6 speeds:

    My point is, I think the issues some are having could possibly be fixed by relocation of router ,as it fixed issues I was having

    Let me try this, my router is not very close to the TV, but TV is indeed around there....


  • @Bare-Necessities I just tried moving it 6ft further from the TV [cable connection is behind the TV] and I thought that solved it since I got a speedtest result of 624 mbps on my iphone 11 pro max but after running tests a few times and on my latest macbook pro, speeds are back to 300-380 mbps.

    I feel like I'm playing slots every time I do a speed test lol hoping to hit the jackpot but falling short. I'm still waiting for Amplifi to email me back to see if there are issues found in the support data that I sent them.

    Keep us updated if moving the router away from the TV works wonders for you.


  • @Irene-Pavico-Tsukayama Lol you bet me to it.

    I got ~200 Mbps when router moved away by 8 feet (same problem here - cable connection from Xfinity is right behind TV and I can only move so much in my apartment) - and it did not make any difference to me haha.

    Amplifi asked me to confirm if X10 gives me good speeds in the exact same spot as Alien, and I confirmed. My X10 was placed exactly where I now have the Alien.


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