Amplifi Alien in very large house.

  • I have a customer with a 14,000+ square foot house on a lake. The main house has 3 stories and there are lots of device for home automation, entertainment etc. There is a separate garage that is very large and used a lot for work and needs good signal and it has has an apartment above it. It is on a lake with a dock. The would like full fast coverage inside the house, the garage, the apartment to the pool and the dock. The dock is a couple hundred feet from the back of the house. I was thinking I would need 3 of the routers (using bridge mode on two) and three of the mesh APs to get good full coverage but I am concerned about outside signal based on what I read on this forum. Also concerned since it says the routers nor the mesh points can be outside. With unifi setups I have had great success outside for long distances but I wanted to get Wi Fi 6 for the faster speeds on their new devices that support it. Am I better off just sticking with the UNifi stuff or wold it be better to use Alient Ampli? Also, is my spec estimate reasonable?

  • @Paul-Linck The AmpliFi Alien mesh points are not sold separately, so instead you would need to purchase additional Alien routers and add them as a Mesh Point (Avoid bridge mode if all routers are AmpliFi Aliens).

    Wireless signal will have a difficult time passing through not only one external wall, but in your customers situation two when going from the house to the garage. If you have an ethernet ran from building to building, than Ethernet Wired Backhaul would be the best option, or using a wireless building-to-building bridge.

    In regards to the outdoor dock, AmpliFi does not have a solution for anything outdoors, so unless you find a placement indoors near the dock, a UniFi solutions may be more ideal.

  • @Paul-Linck
    Personally I would stick with UniFi for this set up.
    Perhaps a dream machine and then set up various Access Points Flex HD, Nano HD etc. for the customer.

    Then at some point the APs can be upgraded to WiFI 6 if the customer wants which I’m sure UniFi will release at some point.

  • @Paul-Linck I have a similar setup, though not 14K Sq Ft. I ended up buying 1 Alien for the bottom floor, 1 for the main floor and 1 for the outlying areas. Works great. I think my next setup is to create various sub-network SSDs for things like "Entertainment", "Security", "Home Automation" though I haven't done that yet.

  • I am trying to stabilize my Alien set up. I went crazy and bought 5 routers as sets were not available. Despite having Cat6 cable connected backhoul on the most distant mesh (Router) unit it keeps falling off the network, total distance of about 70 feet of cable. Then in between this distant unit and the Router in the basement, are 3 other mesh (Router) units, all wifi only, not cable connected backhaul, BUT 2 of the 3 could be cable connected via preexisting cable from old UBIQUITY network.
    Should reset them all and start again, backhal all those that have the option?

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Stanley

  • @StanleyF Ethernet backhaul will be the best option without question if ethernet connections are available. With that being said, your Alien routers can be placed too close to each other causing overlap and unnecessary interference. My recommendation would be to place each RAMP (Router as a mesh point) at the desired location, but use the wireless distance evaluator in the AmpliFi app to gauge if that location is to close before hardwiring in that location.

    70 ft of cable is not too long of a cable to cause disconnects, but test with that connection coming directly from the Alien router and avoid any switches if possible.

  • Thanks guys. I have the main router setup with one mesh point. It was surprisingly easy, took like 10 minutes. I have two more routers with meshpoints and need to set them up with routers using backhaul. A couple things I don't get:

    1. Meshpoiints seem to be "stuck" to the router they came with. In my case, I will want 2 mesh points connected to one router, 1 mesh point connected to another router and the third router with no mesh points (for garage apartment). I will setup the two non-primary routers with ethernet backhaul but don't see instructions for adding meshpoints according my config.

    2. Why do mesh points have an ethernet port? Can they be bridged and act just like another access point vs mesh point? if that is the case, would that be wise to do if ethernet port is available?

    3. When I try to add the router as ethernet backhaul I get an error - it says error - unsupported device configuration - only standalone devices can be added to existing system. I dont get this , with this house I will need likely 3 backhauls and 3 meshpoints and that is exactly what I bought

  • @UI-AmpliFi Well, after going through all this with support I was quite disappointed.

    1. You can NOT setup an alien router that was purchased with a mesh point as a backhaul. It isn't supported. You must buy a separate router. There is an option in the app to setup a MESH point as a backhaul but you can only have the one mesh point for the router it came with. As mentioned, you can setup a standalone router as a mesh point though. This is all pretty restrictive and makes no sense to me. It seems one main router and as many backhauls and mesh points as you want would be the right way to go and how they are bundled when purchased shouldn't affect that.

    2. A meshpoint goes with the router it came with. Seems no way to associate with a diff router which seems silly.

    3. So, for now, I setup the separate routers as bridged onto the network. They are not seemless roaming with the single SSID but for now it should work although I find it silly that I have to do this as clearly back haul for far away places is the way to go.

    4. And, you can not add a router as a mesh point if you bought it bundled with mesh. It just does not work. They dont support. And right now, you can not buy standalone router on their site.

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