New guy here... Single router channel configuration


  • I’m new to AmpliFi having just gotten an Alien a few days ago. So far I like but I’m not in love with it. I’m hoping the community can clarify a few things and maybe change that sentiment.

    I have 1 gig (940/40) but when I run a speed test from the router I’m only getting 500-600mbps. But then I’ll run a Speedtest on my iPhone 11 Pro and it’ll pull down 700+. I get a similar result on my iMac, too.

    But why don’t I get those results when I run a speed test on the router?

    I didn’t go with the mesh option, single router only, hoping I could potentially save money if the connection could reach the second floor of my house from the basement. It can! But with a handful of iPhones, iPads, laptops, an iMac, three AppleTVs, a PlayStation, Sonos speakers, and Hue lights, I’m wondering if I’d benefit from a mesh system, but mostly, is there a recommended channel configuration for the single router.

    Do I keep the two WiFi 6 channels for iDevices and the WiFi 5 channel for the PlayStation, Sonos speakers and Hue lights?


  • @marcdecarli Welcome to the community, the speed test in our app can give inaccurate results at times. We are working to improve this currently.


  • Got it. I bought the Orbi AX6000 to test its performance vs. the Alien, and it seems there's no comparison. I'm pulling down significantly better speeds and consistently with the AX6000 compared to the Alien.

    I love the performance of the Orbi, but I love the Alien's hardware and iOS app. I love that the Orbi has a WiFi 6 backhaul, but I can designate channels with the Alien.

    I really want to love the Alien but the speed just isn't there.

    Any suggestions?


  • whats up @marcdecarli i currently am new to the Alien line as well. I used to have a Nexgear RAX120 and i have the same internet speed you have 1 gig/ 40 up i am currently experiencing the same issue except when i connect via ethernet i am getting the full gig down . When i run a speed test on the Amplifi App i get that same range of 500-600mbps i believe it is a firmware issue like support mentioned up above but other than that i have another Alien router coming on the way this by far is the best router i have owned to date so i would just give it some time and let these guys figure it out, I have an Iphone 11 pro Max and i can get up to 700mbps download via wifi its crazy haha but no really this thing can handle my 25 devices all running at the same time you gotta think about how it fares against the Orbi. So in other words i think it really is getting our gig speeds its just with the current firmware it's running isn't displaying it you know it is weird and it sucks but it happens with new hardware and software but i have faith that Amplifi is working on it for sure. There have been past firmwares that have shown the gigabit speeds and i believe ISP has an affect on that as well so its just getting it to work with ours Idk but it sounds like you have Xfinity gigabit am i right?


  • Hey, @BlakRhyTheM! Thanks for the response. I think you’re right about the Alien needing a firmware update.

    I decided to order another Alien to mesh with my existing one. I won’t be able to do a wired backhaul unless I use a MOCA adapter.

    But nonetheless I’ll be able to test the Alien coverage and speed against the Orbi AX6000.

    If the Aliens give me good enough speed, then I might be satisfied enough given the additional control I have over the channels, etc.


  • @marcdecarli said in New guy here... Single router channel configuration:

    I have 1 gig (940/40) but when I run a speed test from the router I’m only getting 500-600mbps

    At age 73, I'm far from a "new guy," but I still try to live near the "bleeding edge" (but behind a security fence provided by true pioneers). My experience accessing the internet goes back to when 300/sec was bits per second on dial-up, so reports of "only" 600 mbps are worth a few grains of NaCl.

    I purchased my Alien not so much for better speed (we were doing OK in my 2-story 1750 sq ft temporary rented home) streaming 4K to two OLED TVs, downloading to 3 Macs and 2 iPads, and running other smart home devices. In fact, the weak link was our 2.4 GHz-only 802.11n Nest "Guard" security unit that periodically would drop offline even though it was sitting within inches of our Apple 3 TB Time Capsule 802.11c. Nest support was unable to tell me whether it was the router or the Nest device itself, and every time I'd speak with them they wanted me to change my account from Nest to Google Nest, which I refuse to do. These episodes typically happened in the wee hours of the am, between midnight and 2 am, and would last from just a few minutes to as much as an hour, and they'd always rectify themselves (as reported in my Nest logs; typically there wouldn't be ANY user-obvious interaction with any of our LAN devices for us to notice during those times 😎).

    Setting up the Alien was almost without incident, and over the next few days the Nest hasn't gone offline even once, and it's our impression that streaming to our TVs is almost flawless now (I can't recall that dreaded recursive cursor interrupting a movie since the change).

    I hope the community and AmpliFi's community monitors won't mind a few questions:

    • The AmpliFi alien says my Nest devices are on a 5 GHz SSID (thermostat and Guard; all the portal sensors communicate locally with the Guard over some proprietary wireless protocol). Any idea why this is? Is it because the app and LED screen don't report the use of the 2.4 GHz band unless I separate it into a designated SSID?

    • I know that the AmpliFi is broadcasting a 2.4 GHz signal (detectable by my "iStumbler" WiFi monitoring utility

    • Decommissioning the Airport Extreme Time Capsule took away one of my backup routines (to Apple's Time Machine software). I had planned to put the Airport Extreme Time Capsule into bridge mode to accomplish this, but it turns out that while Apple's Airport Express (802.11n) modules can extend networks wirelessly, the Extreme routers must be connected via their ethernet WAN port to whatever non-Apple router is doing local NAT, and I've already used up all 4 of the gigabit LAN ethernet ports on my Alien.

    • That gives me another idea. There are two places in our home where the density of devices desiring LAN and internet access is high: the living room, where our DOCSIS 3 Arris 6120 cable modem is located, along with several devices connected by Cat6 cable from the Alien (OLED 4K LG smart TV, Apple TV 4K, one desktop computer, a Phillips Hue bridge), and several used on WiFi (phones and tablets, Garmin 1030 cycling computer, and a few other "smart home" devices, including an Apple HomePod). The second locus is an upstairs office, where there are two more computers, one attached to multiple monitors using a Thunderbolt 3 hub, 3 networked printers, a networked scanner. Now that I have the Alien, speedtest.net tests run from OOKLA's website while sitting at my upstairs desk chair, about 40 feet from the Alien router, yield typical download speeds of 420 mbps (I'm paying Spectrum for 400, so no complaints). HOWEVER, I'm wondering whether, if I added a second Alien upstairs and configured it as a MESH point, that would make gigabit ethernet communication among devices in that upstairs room possible, using the 4 ports on the second Alien (also makes me wonder why AmpliFi's dedicated MESH unit has only a single gigabit EN port). If that works, it might also permit me to resurrect the 3 TB drive inside my Apple Airport Extreme Time Capsule and resume my Time Machine backups, by connecting it to the upstairs Alien.

    • Of course, this raises yet another question: does anyone know whether, when one is attaching an Apple Airport Extreme router in bridge mode to an AmpliFi WiFi device, it has to be to the device doing NAT, or can it be to a MESH point?

    Thanks so much in advance for any comments or suggestions.


  • @jsrnephdoc said in New guy here... Single router channel configuration:

    Any idea why this is? Is it because the app and LED screen don't report the use of the 2.4 GHz band unless I separate it into a designated SSID?

    I am not sure why it is reporting that way. Each device in the device list on the mobile app should indicate whether it's using 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz regardless of SSID's being split.

    if I added a second Alien upstairs and configured it as a MESH point, that would make gigabit ethernet communication among devices in that upstairs room possible,

    If you added a second Alien router, it can be configured wirelessly or via Ethernet Backhaul if you have an ethernet connection ran to that location. If it is wirelessly connected, the backhaul will use WiFi-6 which can provide you with <400 Mbps (greater than your ISP limit) and the 4 ethernet ports on the RaMP (Router as a MeshPoint) will be active.


  • @UI-AmpliFi

    If the second Alien router is 30 feet away from the router doing NAT and I do the backhaul over WiFi (no opportunity in my rental home to do it over ethernet), and then I want to add the Apple Time Capsule as a bridged device, must ITS WAN port plug into the AmpliFi doing NAT and acting as router, or can the Apple Time Capsule in Bridge mode be connected by ethernet cable to the upstairs Alien which is functioning as a RAMP device?

    And, can you comment on why AmpliFi's own Alien MESH point has only 1 Ethernet port?

    Thanks again,
    Jim Robertson


  • @jsrnephdoc said in New guy here... Single router channel configuration:

    must ITS WAN port plug into the AmpliFi doing NAT and acting as router

    No, you can wirelessly mesh the Alien MeshPoint to the primary Alien router, and use the ethernet port to connect the Apple Time Capsule, placing it in bridge mode.

    The MeshPoint in the Alien kit has two differences compared to using two Alien routers, the lack of the LCD screen and the 4 port LAN switch. This is where the $60 savings come from purchasing a kit.


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