I ordered Single Alien for 2000 sqft home, should I have gotten the mesh system?


  • I just ordered the single Alien router, I have a 2000 sqft home and wondering if I should have gotten the mesh system. I know it says 3000 sqft coverage but I’ve yet to buy a router that actually covers what it says.

    I had the nighthawk rax200 AX11000 but return to Bestbuy because there support is terrible. I’m getting gig service Tuesday fiber to the modem 1000/1000 symmetrical service.

    I thought about the orbi 6 had it in my hand but though about the service you get from netgear. They force you to buy netgear armor for 69 a year or you have no security.

    Anyway I’ve never had a netgear that didn’t fail around the year mark. Only thing that makes me nervous about Alien is I can’t buy it from Bestbuy and get the geek squad warranty.

    I’m looking for real world experience, anyone with a 2000 sqft home end up buying a second unit because there coverage wasn’t good enough?

    I’d like to get coverage in the yard also, I did with the nighthawk but it started needing reboots so I returned it.

    I know we probably won’t get true gigabyte speeds consistently wireless until WiFi 6E comes out. I don’t really want to spend 800 bucks but if one isn’t a enough I guess I will. I’ve heard the orbi has better performance but again not a netgear fan.

    I’m sure I could call first thing Monday when they open and change order to mesh system if I need too.

    The isp I’m going to has something called a gigaspire blast router that’s WiFi 6 but I’ve yet to have a solid router from any isp. They get you by in my experience.

    Sorry for the long post, new to amplifier products and want people’s experience from the alien. I must say it’s hands down the best looking router I’ve ever seen.

    I’d like to get 700-800 on my iPhone 11 Pro Max but read enough on here to know that probably won’t happen.

    Anything is better than what I got now with only 200 down and 15 up with the cable company. I feel like a kid at Christmas getting fiber internet this week!!!


  • @jhamilton19 Hi There; You are safe to start with one unit. If for some reason, you do not have the coverage you need, you can add additional units later.

    I don't think it's practical to get 700-800, but you might, I'll be interested to see, because my GB internet sucks. With that said, you can pay some particular close attention to setup and configuration for a great overall experience.

    What you will find, is while this might not be "bleeding edge of speed" it is rock solid, and will perform well, with a reliable connection to all users.

    Some suggestions for you.
    Centrally locate the modem in the house, or where you want the best / fastest server. I put my central, which allows an Ethernet cable to the TV, Internet, and Feed into the Ethernet port. You can use the additional ports to feed a switch, and drive Ethernet Ports in other areas of the house if needed.

    If your cable modem might be in one room, and you want your wireless to another, you might want to have two cable runs to it, so you can feed that switch in the closet.

    On to configuration of your computers, phones and laptops.

    I suggest enabling "ADDITIONAL 5GHZ RADIO" with SSID of "ALIEN5G" for example. Put all your older not super high speed devices on it, like kids stuff, Roku, Cameras, stuff like that.

    Under "ROUTER ADDITIONAL SSID" Enable the first two options, with the SSID of your choice, same name
    Enable your two additional radios with a single SSID, ie: "ALIEN"

    These units are pretty bullet proof, so you can play with configuration, without fear of crashing it, or needing to reboot, it will generally do everything, gently and neatly.

    Bear in mind, because you mentioned Apple Stuff, the new OS for Apple will on some of the devices rotate MAC ID's for security. Disable that feature, it is going to create a huge mess in a lot of routers on the market today. You will be amazed, after all these years, to have a wireless router that comes as close to anything I have ever see as advertised, and the slickest I have ever seen.

    Please follow up with questions and report your results.

    Remember, you will not get anywhere near that speed on most devices unless it is AX enabled device, and generally speaking you would expect to see around 550-650 would be my guess, anything better will be awesome. I can't wait to see.

    More on that wireless speeds here in this article for the technical type. https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-the-us.html#wifi6
    0_1600570653794_axperformance-01.png


  • @unseenone the only thing with adding later it cost more money. The mesh pack is cheaper. I have no reason to need the extra ports to have two routers vs one router and a mesh point.

    It’s not cable internet it’s true fiber from my electric coop and it’s brand new. They started building it last year all buried underground so hopefully no outages!

    I have a friend that got hooked up three weeks ago he was the 10th person hooked up and he gets 900 plus wired but I went over there with a Note 10 and only got 350-400 but that was a isp supplied router.

    My main concern is coverage, honestly 500 megs on a cell phone should be more than anyone ever needs. I have the router in the center of the home and our two Xbox will be hardwired.

    Will the alien delivery gig speeds hardwired? I paid for the fastest shipping so I’m guessing it will ship tomorrow (Monday) but I’d call at 9am MST when they open and see about paying the difference in the mesh if that was possible.

    If they wanted to cancel the order and me re-order the mesh than I wouldn’t because I’d have to wait a few days for refund back to my card.

    I watched a few YouTube videos and even in a 2000-2500 sqft home seem the access point help. I don’t really want to spent 800 bucks on network routers but if you guys with actual experience think I should I will.

    What do you mean disable on the apple? Is that a alien setting or a setting in the iPhone. You mentioned it might not be the fastest but it’s reliable.

    That’s confusing, everything I’ve read and watched people say this alien is a BEAST.

    I will say I’d rather have a alien give me a consistent 500+ and be stable and maybe need a reboot once or twice a year vs a router that gives me 700+ and needs weekly/monthly reboots.

    300-400 megs should be all one ever needs for streaming TVs surfing on MacBooks or playing on cel phones.

    The meat and potato devices on our network that have heavy down loads Xbox/PlayStations will be hardwired.

    Thanks for the reply, and please go in detail about the issue with apple thanks 🙏 again


  • @jhamilton19

    On the Apply MAC address thing, it's on more devices now with version 14. I'm not an Apple person, but we have a couple. Here's a link explaining it.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211227

    https://help.utk.edu/kb/index.php?func=show&e=2854

    With all due respect, the bundled package mesh unit, isn't as 'fancy' with only 1 Ethernet Port, for the money I would prefer multiples of the one you ordered. The price difference isn't that big. I would really relax and just enjoy the one you have, see how it goes, and add more later if you need it.

    What you describe being said, is how my Son set his house up. He ran two Ethernet Runs to where he wanted to Alien, installed the Modem, an Ethernet Router, and punched down multiple Ethernet Jacks throughout the house. You plug one Cable to the Modem WAN to Alien WAN and one from the Alien 4 ports to the Router to feed the other cables. It will work perfectly, he reports, not a single problem, and better than he's paying for performance (400).

    With my xBox, I see 550-650 speed tests, so you can expect to see at least that, or better, although most downloads are far, far slower, and there is a fundamental flaw in how slow their downloads get, which your high speed will not fix. If you need help with port rules let me know.

    Please report back with results on your new modem.


  • @jhamilton19 We no longer have gig service. Verizon Fios was previously providing gig service at no extra charge for a few months starting in the spring during the worst of the Covid outbreak. At that time I had an Apple router which would consistently get 300/300+ over WiFi on our original Fios service which is 200/200.

    When gig service was provided we would get approximately 500 up and down on our iOS devices. I replaced the Apple router with the Alien and those speeds remained the same 500/500+ over WiFi but coverage was actually better.

    Now that we’re back on our original service we again consistently see 300/300+ I believe mobile devices will be somewhat limited in what WiFi speeds you’ll see even if you have gig service. I use the Speedtest app to check this. We live in a condo apartment with multiple networks around us so someone else may see higher numbers than we get.

    Using the AMPLIFI app and running its native speed test we do see higher numbers than we do on the Speedtest app. Depending on your layout and whether you can locate the Alien fairly centrally in your home, one should be sufficient. However if it turns out that another is necessary for your needs I would go for a second Alien rather than the mesh unit.


  • @unseenone

    Thanks again for taking the time out of your day to respond. I take it from your reply and the guy below you that in the event I do need another access point the main router is well worth the price difference vs mesh point.

    I’m sure one it will be enough, I’ve seen no reviews on YouTube of any disappointment with the unit. I can’t wait to get the new internet Tuesday, I live in the south in small town America never dreamed I’d ever get a fiber connection.

    My local cable company is garbage, and I know I’ve never had any isp router that wasn’t trash. I’ve hear this company makes great products


  • @John-Pappas thanks for taking the time out of your day to respond. It will be as centralized as possible. It’s centered in the house length wise but 5 or 6 feet from center depth wise it’s be in the hall way to do that and I don’t want it there.

    Hopefully one will get the job done, the nighthawk rax200 did it was just glitchy and needed reboots. Not sure about company grade equipment, but it seems full gigabyte service isn’t possible on a consumer Wi-Fi system


  • @jhamilton19 You bet, my pleasure. It is best to share, so we don't each have to spend dozens or hours figuring it out. Which town, you hit the lottery that's for sure. If you needed another one, you can join them to form a mesh network, do not change settings on the 2nd one, all settings will automatically go to the additional units. Then you can do wireless mesh, or configure with Ethernet Backbone.

    Good stuff all the way around. Some of their other stuff needs serious work, lessons can be learned from the rest of UI by the team responsible for this product. They really have done a great job, and it shows, in the product, their attitude, packaging, etc. Nobody is perfect, there is room for improvement, hopefully they get better.

    I'm excited for you, because the product rocks.


  • I agree. The Alien has been rock solid. I just want to add, I’ve had the Apple WiFi setting “private address” enabled on many Apple devices and I’ve had zero issues with it. No slow downs either.


  • @jhamilton19

    You should do what I did regarding the warranty. I'm also a big BestBuy geek squad warranty as I've never seen another company that you can just bring something in anytime before the warranty expires and they'll give you the exact amount you paid or another unit, your choice. But since we cannot do that I opted to go with squaretrade and buy the Misc. Electronics warranty through them. That'll give you 3 years which is probably about the time some new unit will be available and you'll want to upgrade anyways. The 1 year Amplifi gives you I think is really short, especially for a device like this that has LCD screens, fans, etc. running all the time

    Frankie


  • @jhamilton19 I ordered a single Alien router for my home which is only 1100 sq ft. I thought it would be sufficient for whole house coverage but it was not. It's a single-story with garage below. It could be because of the placement with our Xfinity modem, which is located in our rear guest room/office. It's only 50 feet from the living and dining rooms at the front of the house. My home has hardwood floors and plaster and lath walls. I'm not able to relocate the modem to a central location at this time.

    Coverage was good for 5 Ghz but I have several HomeKit devices up front that only operate on 2.4 Ghz and would lose connectivity consistently. Coverage was good in my garage where I have some iDevices switches and a MyQ Bridge for my garage door.

    Fortunately, the Mesh Kit was back in stock and it's ordered and on the way. I have no doubt that it will work much better. It will be replacing my Airport Extreme network which has served me well over the years but it's showing its age. It's been dropping modem connection (wired) and power cycling the Airport is the only cure.

    It a very daunting task switching routers when so many HomeKit devices (wired and wireless) are installed. The wireless devices are a pain because all have different ways of being reset to join a new wifi network. I have to rebuild the contents of my Home app basically.


  • @mistergsf I wonder if your walls are the issue, my house is wood and Sheetrock. Why didn’t you just order a second alien vs the mesh system if you already have one? You think you’ll need 3 units for your house?


  • @jhamilton19 I decided to get the mesh kit instead of a standalone Alien because we will be building out the garage and adding some additional square footage into the backyard. That was supposed to happen earlier this year but then COVID-19. So, I think I'll be well served having the 3 units. My buddy also expressed interest in taking the standalone off my hands if I change my mind.

    I think you are right about the plaster and lath walls being my issue. I currently have two Airport Extremes in my network. I took a chance by getting just one Alien based on the information on their website. I really thought it would blow away the Airports in terms of coverage because it was newer tech. But wi-fi is wi-fi and walls are walls, LOL.


  • Unfortunately I have a to return this router, I can’t get it to work on my new fiber internet. You have to connect there router then hook this one to the isp router which creates a double nat.

    The isp router has better range, I did use the alien on my cable internet and the fiber isp on the cable and the isp actually Outperforms alien in all aspects. I’m shocked, never seen a isp router be better. I also got a extra router from the isp which performs a true mesh system for only 4.99 a month extra.

    The alien is beautiful and if I was keeping the cable I’d keep it but it won’t work on the fiber modem without setting it up as a double router which is pointless.


  • @jhamilton19 Your needs are probably different but I have Verizon Fios fiber internet and tv. You have to use their router for certain tv and other functions but I’ve never used it for WiFi. It’s in a storage closet and an ethernet cable is connected to my personal router. When I first moved into my condo it was my Apple router placed in bridge mode. Now it’s the Alien which is also in bridge mode. No double NAT and no issues. Range is better on the Alien than it was with the Apple router but not really significant in my apartment.

    I don’t know how the Fios router would perform since I’ve never turned on the radios but since it’s in that closet I assume it would be impaired.


  • @jhamilton19

    To avoid double nat'ing set the amplifi into bridge mode. Then turn off the radios on your isp's router. I just setup a pair of routers tonight testing both ways, <without bridge mode and bridge mode> and the difference is substantial when setting amplifi to bridge mode and avoiding double nat. My isp router/wifi is wifi6 but its nowhere near the speed/coverage of the alien

    Thanks
    Frankie


  • @Mr-Frankie

    I just don’t like going router through router even if it’s in bridge mode. Like I said I actually got better distance on the isp router compared to the alien using both on my cable connection.

    My modem and isp router are separate devices so I’m confused why I can’t use my own router connect straight to the modem.

    The isp router has no way of putting it in bridge mode form the settings menu. This is a brand new fiber connection and the company is still learning. I’m probably the 30th person Hooked up to date.

    I’m sure as time goes on they may be able to figure out how to connect straight to the modem. Like I said this isp router is the best isp router I’ve ever seen. It’s shaped like the new Xbox a mini fridge lol.

    This internet is the best I’ve ever seen, I get 500 megs speed test on my iPhone 11 Pro Max around the house and 700 right by the main router.

    My Xbox shows 850 hardwired on the speed test in settings. I’ve no zero buffing issues or loading issues since I got this fiber connection. I love it.

    I shipped the alien today back to them, it just wasn’t any advantage to keeping it. As long as I don’t have any problems with the isp router I see no point in buying one. I have a mesh system with the isp that works great.

    The cable companies modem was trash, had I stayed with cable or if the cable ever upgraded to gig service and is competitive with pricing I’ll buy the mesh alien.

    I don’t see that ever happen, I don’t know of any cable companies with symmetrical Gigabyte service with 1000 upload also.


  • @jhamilton19

    Thats a very strange situation your experiencing. I have symetrical gigabit service for years now, via Fios in NYC. I just had them install into our new house were renovating and the router they gave us looks almost the same as the Alien router, and is also Wifi6. I have a 5800sqFt house and just the one alien router has given me service throughout all floors, albeit its not perfect but i added one more mesh last night and have anther one coming tomorrow. Via hardwires im getting 980/990, mesh test getting 1700/1800 and over Wireless Im getting 700/800 on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G and 450/475 on my Iphone X. Now I did have to play with multiple settings to get it properly but I haven't had a wireless router that performed like this ever.

    I think you have something weird going on over there but as we all know with wireless alot of weird things can happen. For me Im in a center hall colonial where nobody is super close hence not very many overlapping wifi signals, I think you said your in a building where each apartment has wireless and channels are probably super congested. Anyways wish you all the best luck and if you ever need any help this is the right place

    Thanks
    Frankie


  • @Mr-Frankie I’m the one in an apartment building with a lot of overlapping networks. I don’t know if @jhamilton19 is or not. But if his isp supplied router is as capable as he says then he really needs nothing else and there really isn’t much else that would be better. However I have essentially the same type of service and I could connect my Alien directly to the Fios ONT box that is essentially the modem, and eliminate the Fios router altogether. But I need it for some tv functions. Otherwise I would do that save the cost of the Fios router.


  • @John-Pappas

    So let me ask you then as Im in the exact same situation as you. It's kinda strange I have both ethernet and coax coming from the ONT into the new Fios 3100 Wifi6 Router. Now since we are on Fios we don't have a modem, and I thought we could go directly but it seems when you need the TV information it creates some issues. I found a post where they list 9 ways to accomplish using the alien as a router directly but I havent moved in yet so i havent really had a chance to test it out. The house is an active construction site but we finished the top floor of the house and I have my mother/brother in law there so i wanted to get Wifi working for them. How are you accomplishing using the Alien as your main router while preserving the VOD/Guide functionality with Fios?

    Frankie


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