New Amplifi Alien Customer Questions

  • So just picked up 2 Amplifi Alien routers to run in a mesh network. I'm coming from an ASUS AX11000 which I loved but it couldn't keep a stable 2.4 network and was driving me crazy.

    Anyways just a few questions. So how I typically setup my network I use 3 separate SSIDs. (all with different names).

    I'm a bit confused on which settings I'm supposed to use on the Alien (I have not hooked up the second Amplifi but I plan to use a wired backhaul) so lets ignore that.

    On the app I turned off Common SSID so it split the WIFI.

    So I have one 5 Ghz Network WIFI 6 and one 2.4 Ghz WIFI 6

    Where is the 3rd WIFI? Is that where it says Additional 5ghz radio? How is that different from below where it says Router additional SSID (5 ghz wifi- 6, 2.4 wifi 6 and 5 ghz

    Also is there no place to set separate passwords per SSIDs? It seems that there is only 1 option for Wireless Security and it seems to be used for 2.4 and 5ghz.

    My next question is it worth turning on any of these options on the web UI:

    Hardware acceleration
    Bypass DNS Cache
    Ad blocker
    802.11r - Fast BSS Transition
    802.11k - Neighbor Report
    802.11v - BSS Transition Managment
    Enable DFS Channels
    Enable Latency Optimization

    Thanks in advance from a newbie.

  • Welcome Instegone!
    Regarding your Multiple SSID questions: The settings you'll want are all within the "Settings -> Wireless" section of the app (same place you found the Common SSID setting). There are a couple of ways to achieve 3 seperate SSIDs depending on what your desired final outcome is so I'm going to take the approach of explaining what the relevant settings do in hopes that then you'll be able to extrapolate what your desired end state should be:
    1- General - Common SSID Name: This setting only controls the Wifi 6 "capable" (I say capable because it's "backwards compatible" and "previous gen" wifi devices can use it as well...) networks' "base" SSIDs. If you have it on then they both have the same SSID and your devices get to negotiate which frequency to use. By turning it off you get to assign unique names to the Wifi 6 capable 5GHz network as well as the Wifi 6 capable 2.4GHz network, essentially giving you two SSIDs but locked to those specific frequencies. The SSIDs setup here will both use the "common" Password and Security settings shown right below the "General" section. Note that this setting gets "replicated" to mesh nodes if/once you set those up.
    2- General - Additional 5 GHz Radio: This setting controls the additional Wifi 5 capable 5GHz radio/network. If you turn it on then you get to have an additional Wifi5 capable 5GHz network but not necessarily an additional SSID. You get to select the SSID Name so you can give it the same SSID name as your Wifi 6 capable networks or you can give it a unique name. The SSID setup here will use the "common" Password and Security settings shown right below the "General" section. Note that this setting also gets "replicated" to mesh nodes if/once you set those up.
    3- Guest: This settings section allows you to configure an additional guest network (with its own SSID / password / security) that you can then turn on/off with the "Guest" section of the app. It's unclear to me if it would be a Wifi 6 or Wifi 5 only capable network and if it would be 2.4GHz only, or both 5GHz and 2.4Ghz (I haven't tested it). Note that this setting also gets "replicated" to mesh nodes if/once you set those up. I personally only recommend using this only if you have a guest device that you only want to give temporary access to.
    4- Router Additional SSID: This section allows you enable an additional SSID independently for each of the 3 radios (Wifi 6 capable 5GHz, Wifi 6 capable 2.4GHz, and Wifi 5 capable 5GHz). The SSIDs setup here will both use the "common" Password and Security settings shown right below the "General" section. Note that this setting DOES NOT get "replicated" to mesh nodes if/once you set those up, so you would have to replicate them in the app if you so desire them.

    What my current personal settings are: I currently have a 3 Alien setup in my home servicing about 80 devices (mix of wifi/wired). The two RAMPs are both using ethernet backbone. I have "Common SSID Name" enabled and "Additional 5 GHz radio" enabled... both are set to the same SSID Name and I just let my devices negotiate which ones they prefer with the Aliens. I also have the "Router Additional SSID - Wifi6 capable 2.4 GHz enabled with a different SSID name (on all three of my Aliens)... this is my current "IOT" network (note: this doesn't really segregate the networks but I'm not going to get into that here). This setup gives me two effective SSIDs, both using the same password/security. I have "Band Steering" turned on in the Wireless -> Other settings section (to have the Aliens "help" the devices in their negotiations for which band to use (it works OK for me but I know some people in the forums who prefer to have their setup to have this turned off) but I have "Router Steering" off because I didn't love how the Aliens were "helping" with that and found that the devices that "move around" (laptops/tablets/phones) do a better job negotiating that by themselves. I also have a Guest network with it's own [3rd] SSID setup but its off most of the time (I only turn it on if a "stranger" needs temporary access... like someone coming by to provide a service).

    Hope that helps!

  • Great info. Thanks!

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