Considering Amplifi Alien over Eero. Could use some advice!

  • I have been an Eero pro mesh user since the company introduced its first-gen product. Have stayed with them through their second-gen and now with the introduction of WiFi 6 mesh units, I was again considering upgrading.

    Met this very cool guy on Facebook while asking a question about the Eero units. He advised me to look into Amplifi and he took considerable time out of his morning to talk to me personally on the phone about his home setup.

    My big question here is whether it is possible, with a 1GB incoming connection, to obtain anywhere near 800-900mbps speed throughout the home using Alien Amplifi.

    I am actually looking to buy 3 main units (not the extenders). The first two will be connected at opposite ends of the home via an underground 200' Cat 6 ethernet cable. That should reinforce the WiFi signal at the other end of the home. The third main unit will go in the basement where I have multiple home theater and gaming equipment consoles that need a direct ethernet input.

    Just kind of wondering how satisfied you guys are with your Amplifi units and what kind of speeds I can expect when I get my WiFi 6 iPhone and eventual Macbook Pros?

  • @Ronald-Epstein , obtaining Wi-Fi data speeds of 800-900 mbits/sec would require devices that have WiFi6 radios. The iPhones 11 and 12 do, and I know there are cards for Windows PCs that enable WiFi 6, but unless the devices in your home are capable of "doing" WiFi 6 you won't get those transmission rates.

    I have a single WiFi Alien router. My intent is to add a second, or even a third, when I move into a larger house in the next 6 months. However, I'm still a bit on the fence. I have fairly frequent episodes where my cable modem's LEDs show an intact connection but where suddenly the screen on my OLED 4K LG TV will freeze while displaying a recursive circular cursor in the center of the screen. Sometimes when this happens the Alien's screen reports "no internet." I've not had my iPhone accessible yet during these 20-30 second pauses, and the data transmittal glitches to the TV aren't ALWAYS accompanied by that message on the router. I have reached out to my ISP, and they claim they've reviewed their own logs, which they say have not shown any issues. I get my TV signals via YouTubeTV, and I've not yet taken this up with them.

    I have updated my Alien firmware to the current release, and the screen freezes continue.

  • Thank you for the response, jsrnephdoc!

    I have the same issue with my eero mesh units. They often go down for a few minutes while the Verizon Internet router shows a connection. It's one of the reasons why I am willing to make the switch from Eero to Alien but if the same thing is happening with those units, now I don't know.

    I do realize I need WiFi 6 equipment for the speed. I have an iPhone 11, soon to be an iPhone 12. Apple is releasing new Macbooks and Macbook Pros next week that should be WiFi 6 compatible.

    But it's good to hear that 800mbps+ speed is a reality with the format.

    Now just a matter of whether I change brands. Wasn't happy to hear about your experiences with the random disconnects.

  • Hi Ronald,

    I have an Alien gateway, meshpoint in the living room, and a Router as Mesh Point upstairs. I have them on an Ethernet Backbone over MoCA, and have ~50 devices connected to the network. I've been very happy and impressed with the system's stability and speed, although my internet plan is 400 Mbps, we get more than that in most of a 2,600+ sq ft house, not including a sizable backyard and a small front yard. I have 4 Apple TV's wirelessly connected and mostly watch YouTube TV without the freezing issues the user above shared. We also have 5 iPhones (four are Wi-Fi 6 capable), iPads, laptops, etc. (typical American family). I do not have 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands separated and don't have any issues with IoT devices or other 2.4 Ghz-only devices connecting to the network. The one major issue I've had with the Alien was Wi-Fi Calling not working consistently. However, I'm on the beta firmware testing along with others in this community and they seem to have solved the issue. Overall, I'm very happy with the system.

  • I appreciate the responses.

    The Alien does look like the prime candidate to purchase. I plan to do something crazy. I am not buying the main router and extender. I am buying three routers. That's a $1200 purchase though I think there may be a coupon out there that brings it down to around $960. Not sure.

    That's a little over $300 more than the eero 3-pack.

    Why three main router purchases? From conversations I have had with a guy out in California (who also has network knowledge) and from his conversations with Amplifi support, it's better to buy the three routers than deal with an extender. Plus, if you look at the extender it is missing additional ethernet ports on the back as well as the front touchscreen.

    The plan is to put two of the Alien routers in backbone mode (I think that is what it is called) with underground 200' Cat 6 ethernet connecting from one end of the house to the other. That should really boost coverage. The third will be put in the farthest end of the house, the basement. That third router will act as a mesh unit.

    The only bad thing I have heard about the Alien routers is that they have no multi-gig port nor support for 160MHZ channels. I don't know how important that is in my setup. There is no dedicated backhaul in mesh mode. I am not sure what that means, but only one of the three units will be used as a mesh (two will be connected directly). Whether Eero has the same issues, I don't know.

  • Hi there - I am in your situation and considering switching Orbi 3 units mesh to 2 Alien routers in a 3900 sqf 2 stories house. I am curious if you ended up buying the Alien and what has been your experience so far?

  • @roynir Not yet.

    I am waiting to see if prices drop for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Chances are slim Amplifi will drop their prices --- especially with these units in such high demand.

    The other problem is WiFi 6E. That's the next big thing and it will be introduced by the end of 2021. So, there is a little bit of hesitation even jumping into WiFi 6 until it's more finalized. I only have one single WiFi 6 device in my home right now so there is no rush to buy.

    However, again, if the price drops this month I will jump on it.

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