Mixed first impressions

  • I have a single Router HD connected to a 100 megabit cable connection that's been set up for about a week. (No Mesh Points, just the router. In the future, I might get another Router HD and connect via ethernet backhaul.... but the signal from a single router is pretty good.)

    The Good: Even though I would appreciate a Web UI, the iOS app is quite nice. The appearance of the hardware and software are both pretty slick. So far, I've found every setting I've needed.

    The Mixed:

    • My iPhone X reverts to 2.4 Ghz when it shouldn't. In an initial test, a couple rooms away from the router, I was only getting 18 Mbps. I turned off Band Steering (which reset the router, or at least the wireless, I believe) and it jumped up to the full 120 Mbps. After more tests, I don't think turning off Band Steering was the fix, it was just that my phone reconnected to 5 Ghz. I think with Band Steering on, when the signal drops below 50%, the router switches it to 2.4 Ghz. But that results in a massive speed drop, so the signal threshold should clearly be lower. I'm not really sure what behavior "Band Steering: OFF" is supposed to produce. Does it then rely on the client to pick a band?

    Bottom line: My phone won't consistently stay on 5GHz. Sometimes, even in the same room as the router it remains on 2.4 Ghz. (or at least doesn't switch right away. I've only done limited testing.)

    I played a bit with the separate SSID option, but that doesn't really seem desirable. You kinda lose the benefit of range. I've also read in another thread that once I add another router or mesh points, you end up with separate SSIDs for each router/mesh point independently. It sounds like this will be fixed in a future software update, as well as adding the ability to specify a specific band on a client basis.

    • A bigger problem. My son was downloading a huge game patch and it seemed to effectively kill the internet on all the other devices. He was using almost all the 100Mbps connection, and other devices were slowed or completely killed. I was able to set his downloader to a maximum of 10 MB/s (80Mbps) which freed up bandwidth for everything else... but isn't this kind of load balancing what a router is for? Later he was running a different game downloader, that didn't have any way to set a max rate, but luckily no one else was really using devices at that point.
      Side niggle: real time bandwidth isn't shown for clients connected via ethernet which is unfortunate.

    So I want to like this router, but I'm concerned with the basic performance issues above. I'm considering trying an alternate router, and coming back to Amplify once the software gets more reliable.

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