Help me think thru adding another AHD (bridge mode? switch?)

  • It's not causing me any issues, but I've got around 35 devices connected to my AHD. I'm thinking I could add another AHD by putting it in bridge mode and connecting it to my existing AHD?

    So, here comes a variety of questions:

    1. I'm assuming I would leave the non-bridge mode AHD connected to my fiber modem and then connect the bridge mode AHD to the non-bridge mode AHD?

    2. I'm assuming that each router has its own SSID so you simply connect some devices to one and some to the other? If they were both the same SSID and I had both AHD routers sitting right next to each other, AmpliFi wouldn't "hand devices off" to the other one because of signal strength (because it would be the same since they are sitting right next to each other - I'm making an assumption that AmpliFi hands off devices to AP based on signal stength).

    3. I'm assuming you have to tinker around with the DHCP subnet mask so that both are assigning IP addresses within the same subnet? In other words, the first router could assign IP addresses in the range and the other in the range so there are no IP collisions and everything can talk to each other? Is that the way this is done?

    4. Do you have to manually futz around with the channels to keep the two from being "on top of each other"?

    5. Is there a limit to how many AHD's you can run? In other words, could you have 10 in bridge mode and 1 in non-bridge mode?

    I understand you're losing functionality on the bridge mode AHD so I could keep devices connected to the other that needs quiet time, etc.

    Is all of this just easier plugging two AHD into a switch? I realize I would end up with two SSIDs but perhaps that is what I need?

  • Please don't feel like you have to answer all questions, if you want to just answer one, that would certainly help me.

  • Could you add a second AHD with a short Ethernet back-haul and then enable the Separate WiFi SSID option?
    That will create a lot of SSID's to manage on your clients.

    I am not sure if the AHD's would properly separate the channels of all of the different SSID's being physically located right next to each other or if the Advanced Wireless option will give you full control over the channels for the different SSID's on each AHD.

    Supposedly they are working on a new, easier to manage SSID scheme to make it easier to keep a meshed system and allow for individual access point band SSID's for fixed device management, but to my knowledge that hasn't shown up in beta yet.

  • @derek-saville If I cabled the second AHD to the first, would the second then be in bridge mode? I didn't think in that scheme the second AHD could broadcast an SSID?

    ...and THANKS for responding!

  • Hi @david-miller - AmpliFi supports a feature called 'Wired Backhaul' between meshpoints where the second AHD will function just like a wireless meshpoint broadcasting SSID's, but communicate back to the main AHD router over wired Ethernet = this is different than Bridge Mode.

    Your request to put two meshpoints right next to each other to share load in a small space is more complex than anything I have done.

    Do you want a single meshed SSID for both 2.4 & 5 GHz bands?
    Or are you okay with managing separate SSID's for each meshpoint and band?

    There is a also another feature to Separate WiFi SSID that you can turn on which will create unique SSID's for each meshpoint, but then my understanding is that you will lose the mesh functionality and you have to point your client devices to the specific SSID that you want them to use.

    I believe it has been discussed that Amplifi plan to implement a future SSID scheme where you have both the meshed SSID and can turn on unique meshpoint SSID's so that fixed device clients can be forced onto a specific meshpoint of your choosing, but that isn't ready yet.

    Finally, you would need to ask someone from AmpliFi like @UBNT-Gunars if all of this might work and if the meshpoints in such close proximity will automatically avoid interference using the same channels or if you can can individually control all of the channels in the Advanced Wireless option, especially if you have the Separate WiFi SSID option turned on.

  • @david-miller Hi David! If you want to distribute load between multiple cubes, you should place them further apart. It's also best to add the second router as a wired backhaul mesh point.

  • @derek-saville Thanks so much for the great response!

    It sounds like you're saying that the "wired backhaul" option allows a second AHD to act as a meshpoint. In my case, since I don't have the option on to broadcast different SSID's (I currently have 1 AHD and 1 meshpoint - that covers my entire house), the new AHD would also broadcast the same SSID. Since they are sitting next to each other, that seems wasted since all the devices would continue to connect to the first AHD? What I want here is to divide the traffic between 2 AHDs. Is this best accomplished by using a switch with 2 different AHDs each broadcasting a different SSID (and then I would have to divide the devices into two camps)?

    If the future update you describe is truly happening, perhaps at THAT point, I could use your "wired backhaul" feature and then connect half of my devices to the second AHD (since it is both broadcasting the one SSID and an individual for itself)? Perhaps that is the ticket?

  • @ubnt-gunars Can you please comment on my response to @Derek-Saville? Am I on the right track?

  • @david-miller If you have two routers sitting next to each other, and they are both broadcasting the same SSID, the distribution of clients between them could be random. But I guess you're also wondering about using a different channel on each of them. Not sure if it's supported with wired backhaul, but I will check that. Bridge mode is another way to do this, but the app will see them as two different systems.

  • Hi @ubnt-gunars - would Wired Backhaul work with Separate WiFi SSID?

  • Hi @david-miller - I wasn't aware that you already have a MeshPoint covering your house.

    How many total client devices are you trying to support?
    35 total clients, or more and the issue is that 35 are connecting to the AHD?

    Can you run an Ethernet cable to the location of the MeshPoint?
    I believe the first recommendation would be to replace the MeshPoint with a 2nd AHD that is connected via Wired Backhaul.

    You could then add the MeshPoint back in somewhere else if you need additional coverage.

  • @derek-saville we'll soon release an update that lets you create custom SSIDs on specific mesh points (including those with wired backhaul).

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