What ports does the mesh unit use to connect to router?

  • Looks like I need a 3rd Alien if I keep them. Right now I'm sure. They are cool though. Anyways, I need coverage in my detached garage. So bare with me but my setup is NAT'd. ISP in bridge mode as much as it can be, it's a Bell Home Hub 3000. Everything is working as it should, range is just bad. Canadian model Alien. Canadian Alien? lol

    So basically like most people I have ISP -> Alien router -> Mesh. All hard wired. But my Alien router is actually about a 50' foot run from my ISP router. My detached garage is about 35' Away from ISP Router in the opposite direction. So to get a cable directly to my Alien router or house switch is quite the run. But I already have wires ran from Garage to ISP router. So if I could plug an Alien into my ISP router, basically just a HUB at this point, and port forward it through my Alien router, would it connect as a mesh? Right now I see my only option as connecting it, and running it as another separate AP but the main Alien Mesh won't see it. I'll have the same issue if I go Unify Ap's. Or, I start running a 75+ foot cable in a very hard to run location straight to the main Alien.

  • Hi @newfubq - you have a few other options depending on budget, what your target throughputs are, and the spec of the existing Ethernet cable...
    Three Aliens = 3 x $379 USD = $1,137
    UDM (installed at ISP gateway location) + 3 AP's = $299 + 3 x $179 = $836 (U6-LR / NanoHD reference)
    Upgrade to the UDM PRO (+$80) or eventually UDM PRO SE (+$200) and still be under the cost if the Aliens
    Save a little bit of money on lower spec AP's (U6-PRO, U6-Lite)

    Other options for the detached garage can get a little pricy for high bandwidth...
    If you have line of site access a Building-to-Building 1.7 Gbps PtP Bridge ($499) up to XG 3.8 Gbps ($999)
    With managed switches you can trunk VLAN's across a single Ethernet cable splitting the bandwidth between the ISP gateway and the Alien:
    2 x $29 Flex Mini for a shared Gbps link
    2 x $299 Flex XG for a shared 10 Gbps link if you have rated cable

  • @Derek-Saville Thanks bud. Believe me I've played with the numbers and I'm questioning my own sanity here with the Alien vs a proper AP setup. But the Dream Machine Pro seems to have some issues as well, and I really don't need protect, camera's, anything other than the router itself. The SE again would be overkill, and I'd want the long range AP's in my place with a lite as a 3rd unit so the POE on the SE is basically useless.
    I deal with managing this stuff all day, I got to say I really like these little Aliens. Anything that claims "it just works" never "just works" but other than range, so far I haven't had to touch them in the week I've had it. I do miss the tinkering side, the stats, control, IPS etc, but again, I just want to come home and at most reboot a router. I do think the Aliens went too far with the "simple" side. They show a lot of promise, whether they get it, who knows. They also really need a 2.5 port to be competitive in the segment, and wpa3. I'm hoping they come out with a updated 6e router with a 2.5 port that has compatibility with the original Aliens. That would be cool, I could just add one of those. But that's a massive gamble, one I don't have to take with a UDMP setup.

    Anyways my garage is wired cat6, so I'm not shooting wireless at it. As for AP's, the woman doesn't like the idea, but ultimately, I'd try to find a way to conceal them it's just a lot more work as you know. The ability to just drop another Alien on a corner table is a LOT easier. I got to make the decision soon. Stick with Amplifi or send it back and go UDMP/AP. I wish I had both side by side.

  • I understand @newfubq - in similar situations I have gone with Netgate pfSense+ for routing and I set up Ubiquiti AP's with a CloudKey or just run the console on a PC for configuration and don't bother with an online console

    Tried out the original Dream Machine when it launched and it just wasn't ready for the real world at the time, so moved on and never gave it another go

    A FlexHD is an equivalent Alien tabletop formfactor and if you really need 802.11ax the U6-Mesh pops up on EA access every so often
    I personally haven't found the roughly +11% real world throughput advantage for a single client using 802.11ax to be significant yet over 802.11ac and I don't have enough 802.11ax clients to make its OFDMA efficiencies worthwhile yet

    The In-Wall HD also works for rooms if you have Ethernet run to wall plate, although the Wi-Fi 6 version was kicked back to the drawing board for the chipset not passing compliance

    Anything over 2 Alien's is a tipping point cost wise to me and all of my Alien installations are single units, so I cannot comment on their meshed stability
    Sometimes I wish I could use a second meshed Alien just to join in on the fun...

  • @newfubq You mention you already have wires ran to your garage. Can you elaborate more on that?

  • @xacid480 It was explained above. A cat6 cable from house to Garage. It is however only going to my ISP box in the house, and my Alien is in another room. So, I can either extend that cable from my garage to get to my Alien, which will require quite some work. Or use that cable in the garage, get another Alien, plug that into my ISP router which is just a bridged switch at this point, but I need to let that Meshed router through my wan on my Alien via Port forwarding.......obviously not a normal question. But clearly these mesh points get an ip, and TCP to get back to the main router over some dedicated TCP port...so what is it is my question.

  • @newfubq So the cat6 cable coming from your garage what is that terminating into in the garage? Also the ISP box in the house is that cable / fiber / dsl?

    Depending on what that cat6 cable is doing all you would have to do is connect the ISP box to the 1st alien's WAN port then the cat6 cable from your garage goes to one of the LAN ports on the main alien. The cat6 in the garage would go into the WAN port of the 2nd alien. You just have to enable Ethernet backbone in the settings.

  • I've spent the day fighting with Sandvine/Procera, and Dell/Compellent over issues, and I am convinced that on this day....I can't explain anything right lol. I got you lost. I got myself lost. Once the pain killers for my back wear off, I'll try again lol. Thanks

  • Hi @xacid480 - it sounds like since the ISP gateway is in bridge mode and located in between the house and the garage with single Ethernet cable runs to each location @newfubq can't simply enable Ethernet backhaul as it would require a second Ethernet cable

    If a router was installed at the ISP location then Ethernet backhaul would work with the existing cables

    Or you have to run two VLAN's over a single trunk between two managed switches

    If the data requirements in the detached garage are fairly low and infrequent then this can be reasonably and cost effectively done using GbE which would divide the trunk link into two 500Mbps channels (worst case)

    If full GbE from the Alien router to the garage is needed at all times then managed 2.5GbE minimum switches are needed for the trunk and you are looking at the $600 range (2 x $300) for what is essentially a virtual Ethernet cable

  • @Derek-Saville
    If it wasn't clear. I already have 2 Aliens in the house. 2 routers. Wired Backhaul. I'm just trying to find a shortcut to add a 3rd wired unit in the garage without running cables. My isp which is in bridge mode is already wired to the garage, I have a Asus out there but its in ap mode running its own ssid. Technically the Asus is disabled while I'm testing the alien's. I'll start a drawing lol

  • Hi @newfubq - to add a 3rd wired Alien in the garage I thought you needed an additional Ethernet line from the LAN side of primary Alien network to the detached garage which only drops the ISP cabinet location and the single Ethernet cable from the ISP to the primary Alien is used for the WAN

    This has happened to me in Asia where the ISP cabinet and cable drops are in a remote cabinet and I wanted an Alien in a separate room to have LAN access to a different room for Teleporting a wired client

    So I needed to run both a WAN and a LAN connection over a single Ethernet cable to a closet with no power available

    Two PoE managed switches with VLAN trunk capability solved the problem, although I was cheap and used 1GbE so at full load the dual links are not capable of full simultaneous gigabit speeds, but in reality I never noticed

    Going up to multi gigabit managed switches was over $600 at the time, but maybe costs have come down now, although the cheaper multi gig switches are usually unmanaged

  • @Derek-Saville Thanks, but it seems it's easier just to extend the existing cat6 cable from the garage to the main Alien router. Nothing a few holes won't fix.

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