WiFi devices not connecting to 2nd Alien set up as Mesh

  • My setup is main router (Amplifi Alien) is upstairs in the master bedroom and the mesh node (another Alien) is in my office downstairs directly diagonal opposite of a 3845 sqft house. I have wired ethernet backbone that runs from my main router down to the office and connects to the mesh. I have two desktops wired to mesh that work flawlessly in terms of performance, but all my wireless devices are going to the main router upstairs.

    I tested with my wife and I's Pixel 5 and my mother's Pixel 6 standing right next to the mesh and it would still be connecting to the main router upstairs (which has low signal and would consistently drop.. and connect.. and then drop again, etc).

    I know I can do a workaround where I give the mesh the 5ghz network and separate SSID to connect to, but I would like to understand why none of my devices prefer the mesh router over the main router. All my other devices are fairly static (doorbells, cameras, etc) so they are decently stable connecting to the main router, but the phone will drop when going towards and into my office. Ideally I'd like my setup just to have 1 SSID and be able to connect to the optimal router.

  • @kevolution Hi, please reach out to our support team. Don't forget to add as many details as possible and attach a support file generated from the mobile app or web interface.


  • So after some troubleshooting, I realize that if I run it with wireless backhaul it will work (2.4ghz because 5ghz apparently just isn't close enough to maintain a steady connection); however my speeds are obviously a lot worse on wireless backbone (50-70Mbps down vs 300+ Mbps when I have wired backbone). The issue is when I do used wired backbone, none of the devices seem to want to connect to the RAMP. They just all go to the main Alien router upstairs, so in the scenario with my phone - if I'm in my office, it will still try to connect to the farthest router and not the RAMP, resulting in ~2-3Mbps and frequent drops.

    My goal is to just have one SSID and have it switch over seamlessly, not to have multiple SSIDs and having to pick which AP I want to connect to.

  • @kevolution additionally we can inform you that the Wi-Fi client chooses to which access point it want's to connect.
    If you are using Ethernet backhaul Alien won't be so aggressive doing the steering between nodes, because there is no way to know how far is the second unit from the first one and if the new connection will be established successfully.
    On the other hand, if you use Wi-Fi uplink, then the signal between routers is measured and smarter decisions can be made.

  • @UI-AmpliFi Yes but the thing is once the client is out of range of the main router, should it not try to connect to the RAMP (given it's literally right next to it)?

    After more testing it seems like if I enable Wireless Backbone well within the range (let's say <70dB) of the main router, it will work choosing the right router to connect to and then enabling Wired Backbone in the same location works as well; HOWEVER, the moment I move the RAMP slightly further away and out of range of the main router, all the devices will subsequently drop and move back to the main router after a certain amount of time (it happened while I was sleeping overnight). I'm not sure if that's due to DHCP lease time or what.

    Why can't I seem to get a stable network going with 1 SSID and Wired Backbone? In theory, it should not be this difficult.

    Edit: My 2.4GHZ now drops intermittently as well.

  • @kevolution the situation you are describing should be avoided if router steering is turned off in the mobile app. Could you please reach out to our support team? We need a router log file to understand what is happening in your case. Please generate a support file (log file) right after you have the issue. Thank you!

  • @UI-AmpliFi

    What do you mean by should be avoided? As in it shouldn't happen, or as in I shouldn't put the two routers so far away? Should I try turning on router steering?

    Btw, even with wireless 2.4ghz backbone, the signal sometimes drops, so it's not even stable with wireless backbone. I can't necessarily move the RAMP any closer due to how far my office is from the main router room (upstairs directly diagonal of downstairs office), and I need certain devices to be wired to the RAMP, leaving me with less versatility in placement.

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