AmpliFi Alien Firmware v3.4.1

  • @Mike-P The only app I could find in the Apple Library is NetSpot - Wi-Fi Analyzer, but it wants you to use a USB device in order to use it.

  • And I am not even going to mention the fact that I still have the problem with the main router not broadcasting the 2.4GHz SSID upon a reboot unless you toggle the additional wifi6 SSID off then on or just leaving it on, UPNP is not automatically opening ports for my Xbox one and who knows what else since there is no list that shows what UPNP are currently in effect, and devices sitting less than six feet from the mesh unit still stay attached to the main router. And forget band steering I just went ahead and separated the 2.4 and 5 networks into two different SSID's today.

  • Hi @Derek-Splattstoesser - Apple limits what apps can access regarding analyzing the WiFi environment

    You can install the Apple AirPort Utility (even if you do not have an AirPort) and enable the Wi-Fi Scanner on the utility's settings page

    Then from the app you can perform a Wi-Fi Scan and see what networks are using what channels locally

    But as @Mike-P mentioned, the Alien only uses 5.8 GHz for WiFi-6 in the upper band with no options for manual channel selection, so in a dense WiFi environment (i.e. a condo) it can be a challenge...

  • And also can you tell me why the Alien is picking channel 153?0_1598324770669_Screenshot (27).png

  • I'm seeing devices that are 30 feet away, still saying 100% Wifi Experience. Something is wrong. 3000 sqf. house and cameras outside a stucco material on the opposing side of the router, connected via 5GHz, are still showing 95%. No way. And that is the reason they are not moving over to the mesh unit.

  • @Derek-Splattstoesser As @Derek-Saville stated the Airport Utility can scan for and display the channels used by neighboring networks. I use it frequently even though I no longer have an Apple Router.

  • @John-Pappas I downloaded that app and all I get is connected with my cell or WiFi. I disabled both, change my WiFi to not auto connect so it could search and all it shows is an orange dot and disconnected when I click on the globe. Interesting that I’m getting a different experience.

  • @Derek-Splattstoesser Go to Settings on your phone, scroll down to Airport Utility and then you should see the screen below. Toggle on Wifi Scanner and when you launch the app you’ll see a “Wifi scan” button at the top of the screen.


  • Great tip @John-Pappas, thank you!

    So I just used this utility and I saw a bunch of extra WiFi beacons that were unnamed.

    I have to run now, but I wanted to share my observations because I'm pretty sure something is not right. I have two Alien routers -- one is in bridge mode. On the bridge mode Alien, I had turned on an Additional SSID on the 2.4GHz band. It looks like turning on an Additional SSID on the mesh point's GUI leads to an unnamed beacon to be broadcast by the primary Alien -- even though the GUI for the primary Alien does not reflect that has happened.

    It also looks like the mesh point creates a third unnamed network in addition to the specified additional SSID.   I'm seeing two new virtual MAC addresses being created for some reason, this is what I am seeing:

    1 - Primary SSID with MAC Address: 74:AC:B9:5D:05:07 -- this matches the HW Mac Address listed for the mesh point's 2.4GHz radio
    2 - Additional SSID with virtual MAC: 7E:AC:B9:5D:05:07 -- randomized first octet based on the mesh point's 2.4GHz radio, this is expected
    3 - Unnamed network with virtual MAC: 86:AC:B9:5D:05:07 -- a different randomized first octet based on the mesh point's 2.4GHz radio, this is not expected

    You can see the Alien firmware randomizes the first octet of the MAC address when creating the new virtual MAC address . I have no idea why it is broadcasting 3 beacons -- that seems like a bug to me -- I would expect only 2.

    What's also strange is that even though the 5GHz radio was NOT setup to have an extra SSID, I am seeing virtual MAC addresses created for the 5GHz radio too -- both on the mesh point and from the primary router!

    And here's another observation -- after turning off the Additional SSID on the mesh point, I noticed the primary router's beacons with virtual MAC addresses continue to broadcast.  Since the GUI on the primary router never indicated that an additional SSID was turned on, and the GUI on the mesh point now shows it turned off -- it seems like the primary router is forever stuck broadcasting extra beacons.

    (EDIT:  Even after rebooting both routers these unexpected beacons persist. I will have to try power cycling and possible factory resetting the routers.)

    @UI-AmpliFi I'm pretty sure there are bugs with this section of firmware.

  • @gburlingame rebooting the Aliens seems to fix this issue, at least for me.

  • @Richard1864 Thanks — yeah, I tried turning off all Additional SSID’s and made sure the guest network is off — then I rebooted both Aliens and I am still seeing unnamed beacons with MAC addresses derived from both Aliens. Something is not right.

  • @Derek-Splattstoesser I believe you can use the NetSpor - Wi-Fi Analyzer desktop version (free).

  • @Richard1864 and @UI-AmpliFi This morning I did a factory reset of my two Aliens. After setting them back up I still observed Qty. 4 virtual BSSID's (unnamed networks) -- one derived from each of the 4 active radios.

    Radio 1: 2.4GHz on primary Alien (router)
    Radio 2: 5GHz on primary Alien (router)
    Radio 3: 2.4GHz on secondary Alien (bridge mode/mesh point)
    Radio 4: 5GHz on secondary Alien (bridge mode/mesh point)

    Worth noting is that I never turned on any additional SSID's or the guest network and I confirmed they appear off in the GUI. I am using an ethernet backhaul.

    I had a support chat conversation with a very nice rep. I sent him screen shots of the unnamed networks as observed in the Airport Utility. I also submitted a support email with log files. He said that he would escalate the matter.

    I see these unnamed networks on my MacBook Pro using the application WiFi Explorer -- I wanted to make sure this was not a quirk of the AirPort utility on my iPhone.

    I'd be curious to hear if anyone else is seeing these Unnamed networks as well on firmware 3.4.1. I never looked for these networks on 3.4.0, so I don't know if they were present on that earlier firmware or not.

    I don't know if these Unnamed networks are causing a problem but I don't think they are expected and therefore suggest a bug in the 3.4.1 firmware.

  • @gburlingame Yes they have always appeared. I’m not on 3.4.1, just 3.4.0 which I believe was installed when I first got my Alien. I had previously asked about those unnamed networks, and, although I didn’t understand completely, was told that these were networks that would be used to communicate to additional units if any in your set up. I may not have that right and someone with more knowledge would have to chime in. But their appearance is normal and have been there ever since I got my Alien months ago. I also have no additional networks enabled on the device.

  • @John-Pappas Thanks for sharing that info - do you recall if that was a forum conversation or a chat with a rep? I’m curious to understand why they would be creating extra networks.

  • @gburlingame It was one of the Amplifi guys. The conversation is below.

  • @John-Pappas Interesting. Even with the guest network off they broadcast beacons. That doesn’t seem right.

  • @gburlingame I do find it confusing but the networks do not appear at all other than on a scan so I don’t believe they’re active. I also see those unnamed networks from the Fios routers in my building. I’m assuming those are also guest networks that aren’t active. Since they don’t appear in my WiFi settings list even though the regular networks are all around me in my apartment building.

  • @John-Pappas That is interesting. Maybe the Fios devices use a similar chipset and drivers with the same behavior. I’ll reach out to a former colleague who heads up the radio engineering team at a past employer — he’s a WiFI guru. I’m curious to hear his opinion.

  • I hear if you have Roku devices in your home, you will see "Hidden Networks" too. They use wifi-direct for the remotes. It will use the same channel that your router or AP uses. Apparently Firestick's too.

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