Achieve Marketed Gigabit Speeds in Router Mode

  • And of course now somehow (after fiddling some more, hooking up another Asus router to test - which btw was faster on the 5ghz wifi and it was bridged through Amplifi LAN port no really, this mesh stuff seems bogus) I lost the gigabit ethernet on my wired desktop. It's capped at 100mbps.

    Something about the order in which I restart these things now? Some magic dance?

    Sorry guys this may be the last ubiquiti product I buy. This is pretty bad. I'm super shocked here given my experience level, the reviews, other engineers I follow on Twitter, everything. I'd love to see what unifi usg with some APs and a switch looks like but, I just don't have the money to shell out right now and if it goes anything like this, it'll just be a waste. I'd just look for something open source if I'm gonna sink the time in and have more fun. Some pfsense router and what not.

    It's 1:20am and my kids get up at 6am. This has officially failed the dad test. I might as well have just gone with the overly complex configured gear at this point.

    I guess of you don't care about speed (or have fiber), Amplifi works pretty easy. Great coverage. Looks nice. That's about all I can say here. Drop the price point by $100 or so and yea. I'd say its worth it for the average user. Especially if they don't have fiber. But you couldn't possibly sell this thing to people who have AT&T fiber with a straight face.

    Sheesh now I just want that stupid 80mbps if it means I can get back the gigabit on the Ethernet.

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  • @jayson-knight also, this is another really good link to bookmark

  • So my wired issue was probably just a weird windows thing. Disabling and re-enabling fixed that back to gigabit speed.

    Though I also switched to my older ASUS router. Immediate speed improvement. Unbelievably I saw 500mbps on one test. I never expected that. 300-350mbps would be fine. Another test a few hours later 393/190.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding the meshpoint stuff. Is it supposed to be like the old repeaters? Where it just tanks speed? I thought the hype was that you still got good speeds.

    I might try resetting the Amplifi hd and trying again but, I'm pretty shocked. Im curious if the unifi line would be better. I could get PoE and all that. Though it's just an expense I can't do at the moment. The Amplifi was intended to be a hold over...and at this point I'm doubting unifi performance too.

  • Hi @tom-maiaroto - AmpliFi does not use dedicated wireless backhaul links, so WiFi performance will degrade on wireless mesh points

    Wireless performance on the main HD router should be “decent” depending on your environment and what type of connection your client negotiates (band, MIMO links, connection rate, etc.) which you can see under client details in the family tab

    There has been a lot of discussion about improving wireless performance that AmpliFi appears to be working on, such as enabling features like A-MSDU, but I wouldn’t expect to see theoretical maximum wireless performance

    I assume you have a kit with 2 MeshPoints?

    You also said your future plans would likely be PoE access points

    This is just a comment from experience, a second HD Router acting as a mesh point with wired Ethernet backhaul can provide a sizable amount of WiFi coverage without the speed degradation (if the physical layout of your environment allows based on the modem location and where you can run Ethernet, etc.)

    You might consider that option before dumping AmpliFi for a completely new system after considering the cost vs. risk

  • @derek-saville thanks for that, I guess I wasn't aware the mesh points meant slower speeds. I'm now a bit confused about the hype though.

    At any rate, yes I could try the Amplifi hd upstairs in bridge mode as an AP over Ethernet... Then I'm still at a loss for what to do with the two mesh points. Yes, I got the kit.

    I do need some sort of range extension for sure. Signal is completely out of range upstairs on the other end of the house. Slow is better than zero I suppose. I just wish it got faster the closer I got to it. It does but, it's no where near the speed of the ASUS.

    I have an ASUS AP as well (didn't remember I had it - and sadly it doesn't have another Ethernet port so I lose a spot on the wall - and it's also only N not AC so not great). If I could swap the Amplifi for a unifi switch (which I also could use), I'd love to do that and stick to the ASUS for the wifi. Sadly the retailer doesn't sell unifi switches. So if I can only get credit here, I'm a bit stuck.

  • Hi @tom-maiaroto - FWIW...if it was me, I would try to get a store credit for the HD Mesh system (~$340) and buy 2 standalone HD Routers (~$150 each) and spend the remainder on something else (i.e. Ethernet cable), or if you really need a 3rd access point, kick in another ~$60 for a standalone Instant Router (~$99)

  • @jayson-knight thanks! Makes total sense. I just misunderstood the whole mesh thing. I thought it was more like APs and that signal didn't degrade. I didn't realize it was more like the repeaters/range extenders. I guess the advantage being ease of setup and not needing to connect to another network??

    At any rate, I think the idea of two amplify routers is better than the mesh points. I think it'll be enough coverage then and as a bonus I guess there will be 3 LAN ports where ever I place the other router. That's pretty handy.

    I did a complete reset of everything last night and speeds are improving - but I don't have it in bridge mode. I enabled hardware NAT though it didn't seem to matter for the wired connection at least. I'm able to still get the gigabit wired. At least now wireless is faster when next to the router.

    I'll assume getting two routers is the way to go.

  • Haha oh well I think someone tossed the receipt in the move. Wonderful. eBay? 😂

    Taking the mesh points offline here, near the router I got the 300mbps down. I'm sure time of day, the test, etc. Probably could get better. Guess it was the mesh points. Now I really wish I could find the darn receipt.

  • Hi @tom-maiaroto - if you paid by CC your statement will have the transaction details to show them and if you are only looking for a store credit to exchange product it doesn’t hurt to call them and ask if they will work something out with you

  • @tom-maiaroto said in Achieve Marketed Gigabit Speeds in Router Mode:

    I'll assume getting two routers is the way to go.

    I would agree with this, ESPECIALLY if running ethernet to the second unit isn't a problem. As you now understand, wireless hops eat speeds. For the you's and me's of the world, just the cube routers with wired backhauls make sense in all places possible.

    The Meshpoints only make sense in locations where you cannot get ethernet and are willing to have clients limited to ~100mbps (which, frankly, is fine for many/most wireless devices, IOT, phone, or TVs), or in situations where people don't have the technical capacity to understand wiring nor bandwidth and want it to "just work" without any help. I personally use Meshpoints to fill in one gap in a rarely-used part of our house (our house is pretty big) as well as to extend out into the back yard.

    One last variable to consider if you wish is to get an Instant for your second unit. It's a bit cheaper but is also a bit slower wirelessly than a second cube. I think it's 2x2 MIMO vs 3x3 MIMO or something like that (I'm not sure of the details), but it does support wireless backhaul and it does have one extra ethernet port on it to plug something (like a TV or a switch) into. It's also a flatter form factor with a much lower-key display that might work better in some locations. I have never had one, just speaking from what I've learned through research. This with an ethernet backhaul would be tons faster than a wireless Meshpoint.

  • @shane-milton thanks! Makes total sense. Anyone know if they will ever make a meshpoint with more than just 1x1?

    The cube is only 3x3 you said? Hmm wish it was 4x4. I'm really confused why they are marketing this whole set up as fast. Boy I fell for the marketing (sad given I do so much of it myself).

    My wife doesn't care much about the speed. At a certain point of course but, I think it'll be ok. For me I have the wired gigabit. I do want faster wireless sometimes. Guess I'll get another cube maybe. Kinda sad now I lost that darn receipt.

    Can a unifi AP be used with this set up?? Maybe I can try one of those.

  • Hi @tom-maiaroto - the MeshPoint HD's are actually 3x3 MIMO and on paper have the same WiFi performance as the cubes
    In reality they do not perform nearly as well as the cubes
    And once you have wired Ethernet backhaul, the cubes (HD or Instant) are a much better options than the MeshPoints

    If you can afford the extra cost, always go with HD's as mesh points
    HD's have a higher antenna transmission power (and subjectively a better antenna design) over the Instants which I have witnessed in real world applications

    BTW AmpliFi does not have MU-MIMO either, so 4x4 wouldn't really make a difference...

  • @derek-saville said in Achieve Marketed Gigabit Speeds in Router Mode:

    the MeshPoint HD's are actually 3x3 MIMO

    I have been under the misunderstanding that they were only 2x2. Thanks for correcting me!

  • @tom-maiaroto said in Achieve Marketed Gigabit Speeds in Router Mode:

    The cube is only 3x3 you said? Hmm wish it was 4x4. I'm really confused why they are marketing this whole set up as fast. Boy I fell for the marketing (sad given I do so much of it myself).

    Keep in mind that there are different ways to qualify "speed". I think your assumption for "speed" is maximum possible throughput for a single client, such as a drag racing car on a racing strip. I'm not sure AmpliFi has ever emphasized such a thing, though I could be mistaken (I really haven't seen much of their marketing - mostly word-of-mouth stuff). I think the angle AmpliFi is taking is more that of a 7-lane highway in that a single car (client) might not have the maximum possible speed, but it can handle a LOT of different cars (clients) all at quite fast speeds without any of them bogging down.

    This is generally the angle mesh networks take in terms of speed. A couple of them attempt the other angle, but the reality of the situation is that they don't quite deliver and you're just not going to get that in a $300 package with 3 networking appliances. The economics simply don't work out. Either get a single $300 non-mesh high-end router or invest $1,000 in a more complex setup (like UniFi) if you really need those super high wireless speeds for single clients.

  • @jayson-knight said in Achieve Marketed Gigabit Speeds in Router Mode:

    Unifi AP's should be fine, though I don't know how you'd configure them other than issuing raw SSH commands to them perhaps?

    Agreed that UniFi APs should be fine if that's the approach you want to take. However, you'd then be losing a lot of the benefits of an "it just works" AmpliFi setup, so if I went that route then I'd also just go ahead and get a UniFi Security Gateway & Cloud Key to have a single integrated system.

    As for managing a stand-alone UniFi AP, couldn't you just run the management software in a VM (or I think a Raspberry Pi?)?

  • @shane-milton said:

    a 7-lane highway in that a single car (client) might not have the maximum possible speed, but it can handle a LOT of different cars (clients) all at quite fast speeds without any of them bogging down

    AmpliFi WiFi has two 3-lane (MIMO) highways, one faster (5GHz) and one slower (2.4GHz)

    Since AmpliFi does not support MU-MIMO each on-ramp has metering lights allowing a caravan of up to 3 cars at a time onto each of the highways as long as all 3 cars are going in the same direction (half duplex) and to the same destination

    If a caravan contains less than 3 cars then some lanes will go unused

    And only one caravan can be on each highway at any given time, so the goal is to get them on and off the highway as fast as possible, and we hope for a lot of Ferrari’s & good weather (no interference)

    If traffic is overall pretty light, the metering lights on a few on-ramps can serve a lot of vehicles in a small time window

    If there is heavy 2-way traffic (including wireless mesh point hops)... 😢

    Wired Ethernet backhaul opens up massive 2-way autobahn expressways... 😁

    (edited in an attempt at not hurting @Shane-Milton‘s head)

  • @shane-milton The AmpliFi Instant is a 2x2 system, maybe thats where the confusion came from.

  • @derek-saville I was going for a simple analogy. Now my head hurts!! 😉

  • @ubnt-brett said in Achieve Marketed Gigabit Speeds in Router Mode:

    The AmpliFi Instant is a 2x2 system, maybe thats where the confusion came from.

    Could be. Am simultaneously building out some new ML stuff, researching Ryzen 3000 leaks, acclimating myself to my new Pixel 3 XL, updating some ETLs to one of our partner's utilities major migration, and trying to learn - a couple technical details leak out from time to time. 😉

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