Need AmpliFi Mesh or Router enough?


  • Hello.

    I recently purchased the standalone AmpliFi HD router for my home which is basically a 40' square (approximately 1560 sq ft) on two floors.

    The support docs say to place the router in the center of the house (which I have done on the 2nd floor).

    However, I would prefer to have the router in the office (front of house, center, 2nd floor). The two other main areas that are using the network are on the opposite side (back) of the house in each corner (bedroom on 2nd floor, living room on 1st.). Imagine a triangle within a square.

    I'm wondering if the router is powerful enough by itself to handle this layout. Or if I really should get the kit instead (router + 2 mesh points).

    Thoughts?


  • @richard-forester Crossing floors is always a pain point for a single AP. If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably have gotten just one AP and then purchased the add-on modules. Reason being that the current kits can't be separated at this time - so if you blow up your router somehow, you're left with two mesh points you can't really use anymore. However, if you piece it together, then you can always replace another component. It'll also give you a chance to test out how good of access you have with just the one, and quickly add the second if needed. If you have the ability to run a wire, you could even get a second mesh router and connect them by Ethernet and have the best of all possible scenarios.


  • @Michael-Eckhoff: Thanks for your input. I agree that crossing floors is a problem. I think this is why my current router wasn't able to do what I wanted (Apple Time Capsule).

    I have not heard of this dependency on the router for the mesh points. Why would AmpliFI sell mesh points as part of a "kit" that can't be used with a replacement router if the original dies? Or are you not really saying that?

    Walmart.com had a really good price on the "kit" with router and 2 mesh points for the past few days but now it's jumped back up again. That combined with your feedback has made me reconsider that route.

    I think I'll follow your advice and see how it goes for now. I have moved my AmpliFi router to the office and things seem ok. The real test will be when I try streaming to the TV downstairs.


  • @richard-forester They're pre-paired at the factory in order to ease installation, as it's been explained in other threads. Which I did like when I first got my kit as you just opened the box, plugged it all in, and viola. I'll defer to the UBNT folks as to if they want to comment about what to do if just the router dies or any future plans.

    I've been very happy with the system and the hardware quality is great, so I haven't worried about it.

    If you have any interest in the Teleport, you could consider getting the base router + the teleport kit (includes teleport + another router), as that one you can unpair the devices and adopt into your system. It's a few extra steps, but works great.


  • I didn't like the meshpoints so I just got a second router that acts as a meshpoint except with Ethernet backhaul if you can run it. Pretty cool setup, works great and no tired together hardware.

    I actually have a third router that can be put in place as a cold spare if I'm out of town and the current router or the ERx in front of it dies hehe.

    I would walk around and test what you have. Ubiquity has an app called USurvey that can show channel use and DB. If you find spots where the signal isn't that great, a second meshpoint whether meshpoint out meshrouter acting as one may help. Keep in mind meshpoints reduce throughout by 25% (??), But I do not have any reduced throughput using 2 MeshRouters.

    If you do get another, I would recommend setting your 5ghz channel spacing to 40% vs 80%.

    Good luck!


  • @michael-easlick Thanks for the suggestions! I looked for USurvey but it seems to be an Android only app. I wonder if Ubiquiti has something similar for iOS. I'll take a look. In the meantime, I have an app for my MacBook Pro which shows signal strength. Between that and the built in functionality in MacOS showing RSSI and Tx Rate I've been able to get a general idea.

    The idea of a 2nd mesh router sounds like a good possible option. I wonder if the two need to be connected via ethernet or if that can be done wirelessly. Running Cat 6 is not really an option in my house.


  • @richard-forester you do not need to use ethernet. It will connect and act as a meshpoint wirelessly. It actually does this by default when you first set it up. Changing to ethernet backhaul requires the selection of a toggle switch to enable, if you ever wanted to in the future.


  • @michael-easlick said in Need AmpliFi Mesh or Router enough?:

    If you do get another, I would recommend setting your 5ghz channel spacing to 40% vs 80%.

    Do you refer to 80/40/20 MHz bandwidth. Usually we recommend reduced bandwidth to work in noisy or overcrowded (in RF sense) environment. Setting 40 or even 20 MHz bw will reduce maximum bandwidth but improve link stability.

    Most customers don't need it.


  • I'll +1 the other suggestions: Just get a router to start with. If that's all you need, then awesome! If you have problems, then buy either a Meshpoint or a second router (depending on whether you want ethernet ports or not).

    If I were to buy my setup from scratch, i would mostly just buy routers and no Meshpoints because I want those ethernet ports either as a backhaul (back to the main router) or to create a "remote wired network" where I don't have ethernet running to (my TiVo units don't support wifi and I don't have ethernet running to them but the AmpliFi routers acting as a wireless mesh node provide wired ports into my network).


  • @dmitrijs-ivanovs yes don't know why I used percentages lol. My main router is in the middle of my basement, second meshrouter is in the middle of my upstairs.

    I found it I get in-between them at 80 MHz my phones internet would be very unresponsive. If I could pause the main router from broadcasting wifi I would put the meshrouters (I have one not in use) in either side upstairs and change it back to 80 MHz.

    Either way it works as is and I'm happy with it.


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