2 Aliens + ATT fiber?

  • Hi Amplifi Community!

    I know there's a thread that was already setup titled Alien + ATT Fiber, but I felt like I need to start a new thread as I have a variation on the problem that was being talked about there.

    A little backstory:

    I purchased a single Alien last year, and then discovered that due to the thick walls in our small, older apartment, I would need either a second router or a mesh point to get anything resembling good speeds in our living room. I decided on buying a second Alien as opposed to the mesh point because... well why not? So... the second Alien was piggybacking off the wifi from the Alien in the office. It took a bit of maneuvering but the setup worked decently enough.

    Today, I finally upgraded from our Spectrum plan to AT&T's 1Gig Fiber. As I have two Aliens, I'm hoping to make the best use of them as extenders to the BGW 320's network.

    Currently I have the first Alien hardwired to the BGW 320. I didn't reconfigure anything on it. I just plugged it in. It's not in bridge mode and the wi-fi network it already had works well - I'm even seeing faster speeds on the second Alien in our living room. I just don't know quite how to proceed with both these Aliens. Do I need to delete the networks that I had created and start from scratch? Do I put one or both Aliens into bridge mode? One is hardwired, the second still needs to connect to a network via wi-fi. I should add that I had the AT&T tech drill a hole in our wall in the living room, so eventually, I hope to run a line from the BGW 320 all the way to the second router, and have both Aliens hardwired to the main router.

    Can someone either explain the best way to configure my Aliens or point me to someplace on this website where there might be instructions on what to do? I would be most grateful for any advice.

  • @mcdannyj It sounds like things are working, why make changes? I've done without bridge mode for years. Adding a hard wire line for the second Alien would give you faster speeds off that second Alien.

  • @mleeds You're right that things are working... and I don't know if putting a router into bridge mode improves things. I just feel like I can do better for my living room setup.

    Hardwired from the router to my computer, I get 940MB up and down - which I can really use for the work I do. Via Wi-fi, off the Alien... not even the BGW320 in my office - I can get between 500-600MB (down). I know that's really good. I know that Wi-fi cannot match what a hard line can deliver. It's just that when I go into my living room, because of the walls - and mind you, this is a small apartment - the best I can get off any of the networks from either Alien is between 200-250MB. That's not terrible, by any means, but like I wrote... I literally haven't done any tweaking to my setup.

    Maybe I don't need to reconfigure the Alien in my office but until I can actually run a line to the living room, I'm just wondering if there's a way to configure the second Alien to access more of the speed that both the office Alien and BGW320 put out. Am I asking for too much?

  • @mcdannyj There is a lot of variability to measuring bandwidth. Would I be correct in assuming you're using some speed test site for your speed measurements, and you're using the same wireless device, moving from location to location to test bandwidth off your hardwired Alien and then the back-hauled Alien. Once you get your hardwired back-haul installed for that second Alien you should see similar/identical performance from it as from your other Alien. Until then, the performance you're getting in the living room is reasonable. It's possible that repositioning it to be as close as possible to the office Alien may help.

    If you have admin access to the BGW320, I'd turn off the WiFi on it, as depending on channel selection it can interfere with WiFi on the Aliens. Two Aliens in a small apt should be all the coverage you need.

    I've ATT fiber at my home and I turned off the WiFi on my BGW320 as it was unneeded.

  • @mleeds You're correct - I'm using my iPhone and the Ookla Speedtest app to test the bandwidth off the Aliens. I've got plenty of different apps to measure bandwidth. I tried multiple positions on the Alien in our living room, and I think I've found the best location... heck, the Amplifi app says the reception is "perfect"and received signal strength is "great". So I don't really have a right to complain. 😬

    I'll check out the controls on the BGW320 and see if I can turn off it's WiFi (though I'd not be shocked if AT&T tried to lock me out of that functionality). Really, at this point my biggest headache is that the holes in my office and living room walls aren't big enough to fit the RJ45 jack on any new ethernet cable I'll want to run... which means I'm looking into a CAT 7 crimping tool so I can buy a 50' wire, cut off one end, and re-crimp/re-head the other end, so I can pass it through my living room wall.

    Such a silly first world problem to have. 🤣

    Thanks for the advice!

  • @mcdannyj For Gb all you need is 5e. CAT 7 would be overkill unless you're planning on eventually moving up to 10Gb. Just don't route the cable in parallel with other wires like power lines and so on. Amazon offers kit for around $20 US.

  • @mleeds Happy to not go too overboard or spend too much money, but 5e? Not even CAT 6A or plain ole CAT 6?

  • @mcdannyj Solely pointing out that all you need for Gb is 5e. Personally I'd pull CAT 6 of some sort depending on plans for future proofing.

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