Adding AmpliFi Router to Third Party Router's Network

  • I have a third party router with its own SSID and access point, and two AmpliFi products (one MeshPoint and one HD Router) providing a pseudo-mesh from that. The AmpliFi HD Router has one device connecting through its ethernet, so I can get that wired device onto the same network using the HD Router's wifi connection. Everything's working fine with that, but for the life of me I can't figure out how I did it to try to add a second HD Router in the same way.

    This page seems like the right idea:

    But nothing I do looks like what it describes. Starting from a freshly-reset device:

    • If I try the AmpliFi app from a phone, it only shows the two existing devices I already have. (After all, how is it going to see the new device if it hasn't yet been set up and isn't on the network? I feel like the instructions are missing something crucial here.)
    • If I instead try the AFI-R-HD-..... setup network, it doesn't offer any option to connect to an existing wifi network. I'm forced immediately to set my own SSID and password, and if I make them the same as my existing network, it just makes a second independent network and then complains that it has no connection. The configuration options then just show the usual IP and wifi settings with nothing about being an access point on an existing network.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any tips.

  • @Jesse-C I recall that I had encountered a similar problem and could only resolve it by noticing a message on the main router's LCD screen stating that a new device has been discovered (or something along these line) and whether I wished to have it added to the network by tapping the screen itself.

  • @Ali-Hadi Thanks Ali, but, how does your device know to connect to the existing network in the first place? (Do you mean this would happen if the new AmpliFi device starts up for the very first time without being told any network details?)

  • Hi @Jesse-C - are you installing the AmpliFi HD Router and MeshPoint HD in 'wireless extender' 3rd Party Router Mode for your existing router's SSID?

    Or are you installing the HD Router in Bridge mode via Ethernet from your existing router's LAN to the HD's WAN port?

    If you want to use wireless 3rd Party Router Mode then you can follow this support article...

    I don't believe you can add a mesh point to a device in 3rd Party Router Mode - but maybe @UI-AmpliFi can confirm tin case things have changed

    My potentially outdated understanding was that you had to set up each standalone device in 3rd Part Router Mode independently

  • @Derek-Saville Yes, that's the same support article I linked to originally, and yes, my goal is the 'wireless extender' 3rd Party Router Mode for my existing router's SSID.

    But (see the two bullet points above) I can't see how to actually do what the article vaguely describes (there's no option to add my new device in the app -- how could it see the new device on my existing network anyway? -- and there's no option via the setup-only wifi network to join an existing network). Am I missing something?


  • Hi @Jesse-C - I am not completely sure how many AmpliFi standalone devices you have in total, and if any are already setup

    However, if you go into the AmpliFi app and tap the 3-bar 'hamburger' menu slide-out in the upper left, and then select "Add Site" it should take you to the initial setup screen where you can select "Set Up AmpliFi Standalone Mesh Point" and then proceed with the 3rd Party Router installation process

  • Hi @Jesse-C. Why not just add the AmpliFi kit to your third party router as a bridge rather than a standalone mesh? This will avoid you getting into all sorts of complications.

  • @Derek-Saville that was the missing piece! I have two existing AmpliFi devices, and the app knows this, so it didn't show me the welcome screen shown on the instructions. "Add Site" was what I needed. Now I can get through the app-based instructions (and one mystery solved-- it's using bluetooth for this part). That still leaves a second mystery-- how you could do this with the setup wifi network when the HD router web interface doesn't show the same setup wizard the instructions show for the Meshpoint-- but it's a moot point for me since I'm up and running now.

    @Ali-Hadi ideally I would use bridge mode, but running ethernet cable to the new AmpliFi device isn't feasible in this location. I need the pseudo-mesh for this. In the long run I might end up with all-AmpliFi and have a "proper" mesh but either way it'll be wireless (no ethernet backhaul).

    I think you both helped me figure out the AmpliFi terminology in a previous post so at least I knew this time around I didn't have the bridge option, even though I couldn't remember how I got to the standalone pseudo-mesh option. Thanks to you both!

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