Using AirCube as Access Point on a Amplifi HD mesh network


  • Hi, I own a Amplifi HD mesh router (the white cube) and am wondering if I can add an AirCube to it as access point. I saw this thread, but the question was slightly different: https://community.amplifi.com/topic/1747/difference-between-amplifi-hd-and-aircube

    If yes, will I be able to manage the access point with the Amplifi App on my phone?

    What alternatives do I have for extending my mesh network? The long wireless super mesh points (that plug into a socket) are 3x the price of an aircube where I live.

    Thanks


  • What alternatives do I have for extending my mesh network?

    Hi @BasZSA - the AirCubes do not mesh with AmpliFi HD routers

    You can install standalone HD routers and/or standalone Inatant routers as additional mesh points (RAMP)

    HD routers are higher performing with better antennas, but more expensive

    Instant routers are cheaper with a corresponding lower performance

    FYI - AirCubes perform more similar to Instants from an antenna perspective

    The AirCube is like an Instant in a cube shell with PoE capability which AmpliFi still unfortunately lacks


  • Hi @Derek-Saville thank you for your reply.

    Do I understand you correctly, that the AirCube will work, but not as effectively as the HD router or Instant router? And that if I want to manage my network with the Amplifi app I will have to choose the HD or Instant router?

    Does it make a difference that I can connect the access point with ethernet cable?

    Thank you again


  • Hi @BasZSA - sorry for the confusion, no you cannot use an AirCube with the HD router

    The standalone Instant router would be the AmpliFi equivalent of an AirCube, the only differences being the Instant has a shorter case and has a small display while the AirCube has PoE capability which AmpliFi does not employ

    Using Ethernet cable to connect standalone AmpliFi router mesh points makes a huge difference

    AmpliFi does not employ dedicated radios for wireless backhaul, so there is a significant throughput reduction with wireless mesh points

    Using Ethernet backhaul allows the mesh points to achieve their maximum potential

    Note that the Instant has a slower processor and is not capable of gigabit speeds as it also lacks hardware NAT

    The additional cost to upgrade using standalone HD routers as mesh points can be worth it, in my personal opinion, if using Ethernet backhaul and throughput is a priority


  • @Derek-Saville Thanks a million for clarifying this.

    Your reply did trigger another question though. Hope you don't mind.

    Will I be able to connect a back up disk (with its own power source) to the Amplifi instant? Your "hardware NAT" comment has me worried.


  • Hi @BasZSA - is your backup disk connected via Ethernet or USB?

    If the backup disk uses an Ethernet connection (i.e. NAS with an 'S') then yes, the Instant routers each have 2 Ethernet ports

    If your backup disk uses USB to connect to a router, then no, none of the AmpliFi products have support for USB attached storage
    This was often confusing because the HD routers have a USB port, but it cannot be used to attach a backup disk

    Hardware NAT with a 'T' is a feature built into some router processors to allow them to achieve higher internet throughput speeds

    HD routers have this feature, the Instant routers do not

    This does not necessarily directly affect local traffic, but the processor inside the HD is also faster in general than the Instant, so I personally would recommend the HD for network attached storage, but again, it depends on your budget


  • @Derek-Saville

    Great, thank you for clearing that up and taking the time to answer all my questions! My ethernet enabled disk will be happy 🙂

    Have a great weekend!


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