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Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit Review: An Odd Pair of Wi-Fi Tango

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If my previous mentioning of the AmpliFi Alien mesh portion sounded a bit like a tease, that’s because, at the time, I knew Ubiquiti would release an Alien Kit but couldn’t talk about it.

Even though you can use two Alien routers—at $380 each—to form a mesh, it makes more economic sense to get a router and mesh point combo. That kit is now available for $699—not exactly affordable, but it sure is less expensive than getting two routers.

This review focuses on the mesh aspect of the Alien. It makes more sense if you have already read my take on the Alien as a standalone router. So, make sure you do that first.

Overall, I find an Alien-based system quite excellent, despite its lack of a dedicated backhaul band, the high cost, thin network customization, and restrictive hardware options. For some odd reason, chances are you’ll love it, too.

AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit
The Alien Mesh Kit comes in a fancy retail box.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh: A kit unlike any others

The AmpliFi Alien mesh kit includes an Alien router (model Fi-ALN-R) and an Alien MeshPoint (AFI-ALN-P) packed together in a fancy box.

The Alien MeshPoint shares the same look, physical size, and Wi-Fi specs as the router, but it has just one Gigabit LAN port on the underside. There’s also a signal indicator on the front that shows the quality of the link between it and the router, which is helpful when you need to figure out how far to best place it from the router.

The MeshPoint has no touchscreen, no speaker, but only the bottom ring of bright green status light, which flashes to respond each time you make some setting changes or want to locate it using the AmpliFi app. As the name suggests, the MeshPoint can’t work as a standalone router but only as a mesh satellite unit.

To build an Alien mesh system, you can get two Alien routers or this Alien Kit. While the choice seems straightforward, it’s not.

Not so flexible hardware options

First of all, the MeshPoint is not available by itself, but only as part of a mesh kit. So, if you already have an Alien router, you can’t expect to get a MeshPoint and go on your merry mesh way. You will need to get another Alien router.

As a result, from a financial standpoint, the mesh kit is only a good deal for those who haven’t bought a standalone Alien router yet. Also, it only makes sense if you don’t need more than two hardware units. That’s because once you’ve gotten a kit, the only way to scale up your network now is to get another Alien router.

Considering the mesh’s excellent coverage—more on this below—chances are two hardware units are all you’d need. Still, the fact you can’t buy the MeshPoint unit by itself means Ubiquiti’s Alien-based mesh offering is restrictive.

Even worse, a Mesh Point is married to the router of the same Alien Kit—it won’t work with just any Alien router. And just like some marriages I know—not mine—the router of the kit is free to pair with any other Alien routers to form a mesh.

The main issue here is if somehow the Alien router of the package stops working, the MeshPoint becomes a paperweight.

Keep in mind that this is the current state of play. In the future, Ubiquiti might release firmware to set the MeshPoint free, or it might not. The company was quite ambiguous to me on this.

AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit’s detail photos

Alien Kit
The AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit in retail box

Alien Mesh Kit Open
The AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit’s packaging is quite fancy.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Kit
Alien router and Alien MeshPoint look quite different from the front, thanks to the lack of a touchscreen on the latter.

AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit
And from behind or upside-down, they are even more distinctive.

Alien Mesh Point Port
The Alien MeshPoint has just one Gigabit LAN port on its underside.

Alien Mesh Point Reset Port 1
There’s also a reset button.

AmpliFi Alien Box LANs
The AmpliFi Alien router has more Gigabit LAN ports in addition to its WAN port.

AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit
Here’s the AmpliFi Alien mesh kit next to a single router. You’ll need both if you want to have a 3-pack mesh system.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit: Hardware specifications

The Alien Kit mesh system includes two hardware units, a router, and a mesh point as a kit. After that, you can add more routers and use them as additional mesh points. You can use as many router units as you want in an Alien mesh system.

Hardware ModelsAFi-ALN-RAFi-ALN-P
Full NameAmpliFi AlienAmpliFi Alien MeshPoint
Mesh RoleRouterSatellite
Dedicated Backhaul BandNoneNone
Wired BackhaulYesYes
Dimensions9.84-inch (250 mm) tall,
4.33-inch (110 mm) wide
Same as Router
Weight2.65 lb (1.2 kg)Same as Router
5GHz-1 Wi-Fi Specs4 x 4 Wi-Fi 5
 Up to 1733 Mbps 
(low band)
Same as Router
5GHz-2 Wi-Fi Specs4 x 4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804 Mbps 
(high band)
Same as Router
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs4 x 4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 1148 Mbps
Same as Router
Channel Width Supported20Mhz/40MHz/80/160MHzSame as Router
Backward Compatibility802.11ac/n/g/a/bSame as Router
Touchscreen Specs4.7-inch (110.38 mm) Diagonal, 
274 x 1268, 
279 PPI, G+F Touch, Full Color
Mobile AppAmpliFiSame as Router
Web User InterfaceYes (simple)None
AP (Bridge) ModeYesYes
USB PortNoneNone
Network Ports4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 
1 x Gigabit WAN port
1 x Gigabit LAN port
Link AggregationNoN/A
Multi-Gig PortNoneNone
CPU2.2 GHz 64-Bit Quad-Core CPUSame as Router
Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit’s hardware specifications.

Simple setup

Like the case when you use a single router, setting up an Alien mesh system is extremely simple.

With an Alien Kit, the two hardware units are permanently synced by default. So, they are already connected as soon as you turn them on. You only need to do a quick setup process on the router, picking a Wi-Fi network, and your mesh is ready.

If you want to use multiple Alien routers, the process is similar.

First, set up one Alien to work as the primary router. Then place another Alien near it and turn it on—the AmpliFi mobile app will detect as “New Mesh Point.” Now you can tap on “Add to network” and give it a name, and that’s it.

After a few seconds, the router now works as a satellite mesh point.

The only benefit of using an Alien router over using an Alien MeshPoint is that you’ll get four more LAN ports at the far corner. But that fact can be the de facto considering using a MeshPoint is not an option for many of us anyway, as mentioned above.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh: Thin customization, unique feature set

Once a mesh is set up, you can use the app to name each mesh node to your liking, such as Living-Room, Man-Cave, or take the default model number. After that, you only need to work with the router unit for the most part. The satellite units generally will replicate the primary router’s settings.

Alien Kit App
AmpliFi mobile app makes setting up an Alien mesh system a breeze and allows for some useful Wi-Fi customization.

It’s worth noting that, like any mesh system, an Alien mesh has all the features and settings of the router unit.

Consequently, as I’ve noted in my review of the Alien router, the Alien mesh system is rather thin on network settings and customization. But it does have unique and useful Teleport VPN and adblocking features. However, as a mesh system, it has some new helpful Wi-Fi settings.

Independent extra Wi-Fi networks for each node

Using the AmpliFi app, you can choose to use the Alien with its default Wi-Fi settings, where all three bands use a single network name. Or you can turn the Common SSID Name setting off and make a separate name for each network. In either case, the Alien works just like any other mesh system. The Wi-Fi settings will replicate in all hardware units.

However, an Alien mesh system also gives you an option to create a new virtual network for each band. If you choose to do this, the additional network remains at the hardware unit.

This setting is helpful if you want to create an exclusive network in a particular band for individual clients at a specific location. It’s a way to manage the system’s bandwidth. For example, you can force dated Wi-Fi clients to only work on the 2.4GHz band.

AmpliFi Alien MeshPoint Light
The MeshPoint’s link strength indicator lights come in handy during the mesh setup.

As I have mentioned in the standalone review, the Alien is an odd tri-band router. It has three different bands: one 2.4GHz band, one Wi-Fi 5 5GHz band, and one Wi-Fi 6 5GHz band. That is also the case of the Alien MeshPoint. As a result, the system can’t dedicate one band to work solely to link the hardware unit in a mesh setup.

Using the AmpliFi mobile app, though, you can dictate which band to work as the backhaul link—or backbone as Ubiquiti calls it—at any given time. So, for fast speed, you can pick a 5GHz band, or for a more extended range, select the 2.4GHz band.

Alternatively, you can also use a network cable to connect the two units. In this case, you will need to use the AmpliFi app to turn on the Ethernet Backbone setting. If not, the mesh point will still use the Wi-Fi link.

Since the system doesn’t support the 160MHz channel width, Gigabit wired backhaul is the best way to get the fastest performance.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh: Excellent performance

I tested the mesh portion of the Alien in every possible way. First, I used two router units, then an Alien Kit of a router and a MeshPoint. After that, I used all of them in a mixed system of multiple routers and one MeshPoint.

AmpliFi Alien Router Performance

The throughput speeds were the same, whether I used a MeshPoint or a router as the satellite unit. Since there’s no dedicated backhaul, the performance wasn’t the best I’ve seen, compared to other Wi-Fi 6 systems, as you can see in the charts below.

Compared to Wi-Fi 5 system, however, the Alien-based mesh is still much faster. By the way, I tried out the wired backhaul option, too, and in this case, as expected, the MeshPoint delivered the same performance as the router unit.

AmpliFi Alien MeshPoint Performance

In any case, an Alien mesh system can, for sure, deliver any sub-gigabit broadband connection in full, most of the time.

What I like the most about the system are the coverage and reliability. With a two-pack set using a 5GHz band as the backhaul, I could cover some 6000 ft² (560 m²) of space—half of which is open space. And during my 3-day stress test, I didn’t experience any disconnection at all.

By the way, the AmpliFi mobile app allows you to turn on band-steering as well as router-steering. The former automatically connects clients to the least busy Wi-Fi band and the latter to the closest hardware unit. Both worked well in my testing.

AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit's Rating

8.5 out of 10
AmpliFi Alien Mesh Open
8.5 out of 10
8 out of 10
Design and Setup
9.5 out of 10
8 out of 10


Dead-easy to set up and manage

Excellent Wi-Fi coverage

Fast performance, wired backhaul supported

Users can manage the backhaul link and virtual Wi-Fi networks

Useful VPN and ad-blocking features

Cool hardware design


MeshPoint has only one LAN port and only works with one router of the same Alien Kit

No dedicated backhaul band



Just like dancing, it takes two to create a mesh. In the case of the Alien, it’s like you order a salsa and get a tango. The result might be a bit of an unpleasant surprise initially, but as time goes by, it grows on you.

So, you’ll find the Alien-based mesh system different from other mesh systems. You might hate it for the hefty cost and all sorts of other things—and I don’t blame you.

But if you decide to bite the financial bullet and build one—using an Alien Kit or a couple of Alien routers—chances are you’ll end up not regretting your decision. At all.

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83 thoughts on “Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit Review: An Odd Pair of Wi-Fi Tango”

  1. Dear Mr. Ngo,

    Thank you for the years of thorough work in this field. I’ve learned in a week reading your site more than I did as an enthusiast reading commercial reviews over decades. I will be buying you some well-earned Ko-fi.

    I ended up here because my old WiFi 5 Orbi router/mesh died and it didn’t seem to make sense to attempt to repair it given where we are in the transition from WiFi 6 to WiFi 7. You saved me from the maws of Eeero, which I was ready to install, but have sadly experienced some issues with the ASUS XT8, which I was hoping to make work but couldn’t (thank you for the troubleshooting page: I’d never have thought to change USB port speed).

    Your occasional (ha!) recommendations to wire your home have prompted me to explore and design how to do that in the coming year. But I won’t be able to pull that off just yet, especially in the Florida summer. After trying to settle on a new Orbi, I began exploring the Ubiquiti UniFi and AmpliFi. I am now torn on whether I should start investing in something that I could repurpose later, like the UniFi UDR, or even the Alien Mesh system. The former cannot be bought readily, and the latter may not integrate as seamlessly in our wired future.

    I got the impression from reading your reviews of this that one could, with some configuring re-purpose at least the Amplifi router in a wider network, but perhaps not the mesh AP unit. With all of that said, does my makeshift solution and plan for the future seem reasonable?

    Keep up the wonderful work.


    -Ed Crow

      • Dear Mr. Ngo,

        Thank you for your kind remarks. I also thought it’d be pointless to go with UniFi until I’ve resolved the cabling situation. Sadly, our new home builder went with the old Henry Ford approach to customization: “You can have whatever color as long as it’s black.”

        Nonetheless, with the phasing out of WiFi 6, it’s a great time to buy router systems that might have been twice or more as expensive a year or two ago. My goal is to get something that works well in WiFi 6 as I prepare for wiring the main rooms and can then invest in WiFi 7 WAPs for the long term.

        My first choice was the XT8, which sadly didn’t play well with one of our WiFi security cameras. Your articles on troubleshooting and configuration changes proved very insightful, but sadly I couldn’t resolve the problem. ASUS also stopped supporting quick customization in their app of the XT8, indicating that their support for it may be out the door soon.

        I’d already ordered the Amplifi Alien + mesh which has been quite interesting to install and use. Let’s see how it behaves over the next week or so, as I’ve run into some odd behavior that others have been reporting on Ubiquiti’s support site. If they don’t work out, I’ll give ASUS a try again with the GT6 at your recommendation.

        There’ve been so many routers in our home this past month that my wife has taken to calling me “Goldilocks.” I plead the 5th!

        Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week,

        -Ed Crow

  2. Hello Dong,

    Total noob question, but I have an Alien router and love it, but I’m thinking that using a second router (since I didn’t buy the kit) would improve my coverage. Just confirming that the second router doesn’t need to be connected to anything but power? The location I would be placing it doesn’t have a wired connection to the internet.

    Thank you,

      • Thank you, Dong.

        I did read your review in its entirety, but unlike you, this is not my area of expertise, which is why I reached out to you.

        After reading your linked article, I think staying with my single router is my best course of action.

        Thank you,

  3. I have the Ubiquiti HD and have what I can only guess is “thick walls” for a 2000 sq ft home. The first satellite has 65% drop-off from the router at any reasonable distance that services the rest of the house. The second satellite has an additional 80% drop-off if positioned in what would be the most useful space for extension but we’ve had to abandon that and just put it in the next room to the first satellite to get 60% drop-off.

    I expect the answer is “get a wired backbone” but in lieu of that given this is a rental, would the Alien help get us a bit less drop-off and therefore a more reasonable speed at the back of the house? Would it be better ( if I’m on the right path ) to get two routers versus the mesh system in our case?

    Thank you in advance for any help. Your site has been really helpful in running down options. I did read this post ( ) as well and after looking at the reviews for the other options I prefer to stay with the devil I know, all else being equal.

  4. I know almost nothing other than how to turn my computer on. I am building a 4000sf new home and trying to figure out what I need for really good wifi and excellent internet connection/speed as I work from home. The research I found on the Amplifi Alien system with mesh router sounded like it was sufficient. Will this work for my situation? I have kids that game online and other computers using the network at the same time. Is this going to work for me? After reading some of the comments her I’m now questioning my decision!

  5. Hey Dong,

    I’ve settled on 2 of the Amplify Aliens to improve my WiFi. I had 1GB service from Xfinity and the XB7. I recently ordered the Netgear CM1200 and was advised that brining my own modem with the unlimited data plan bundle I have would actually cost me more ($30). I realize why Xfinity would want to deter this but I am trying to decipher if keeping the CM1200 at an additional cost will give me better performance. Also, is there a better modem I should consider? I have a 3 story, 5000 sq foot home where most rooms are wired with Cat6.

    Thanks in advance,


  6. Hi Dong, Love the site, really informative.

    Wondering what you’d recommend? I have 1Gb/s FTTH, with a Firewalla firewall, so would need Bridge/AP mode rather than fully functional router.

    Property is 15m x 15m square, with 3 storeys, and keen to get coverage to Ring cameras on driveway too!

    I’ve been looking at Orbi RBK853, Linksys Velop MX5300 (with three units) or the Amplifi Alien (and Mesh).

    Would you recommend one specifically over the others? Thank you 🙂

  7. Hello,

    I am wondering if 2 Aliens can be meshed if neither is the main router? Does the mesh setup and configuration work if the are both in Bridge mode?


  8. Hi Dong, I’m lookin for a very fast AND reliability Wifi router. My main concern is a router that drop connection the less. It’s for a small house (around 1500ft square) but many devices (around 15 cell, tablet and computer working simultaneously, and maybe 40 connected total).

    Is the AmpliFi Alien is a good choose? How compare to TP-Link AX11000 or Netgear AX12?

  9. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for the review. Down to between this and the Orbi ax6000, my only hesitation is that we could see updates to both in the short term since they have been out for a year?

    I also have a Gateway XB7 through Xfinity. Thinking of replacing with ARRIS SURFboard T25 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem. Thoughts on that?

  10. Dong great thorough reviews

    I am considering the AmpliFi Alien mesh kit as an upgrade from my current Linksys AC router connected to a Unifi AP AC LR (via TP Link powerline adapters), both the router and the access point are circa 2015.
    If I connected the Alien router to the mesh point using TP Link powerline adapters, would that function well as a “wired” backhaul?


      • Dong thanks for the swift reply.
        I did read your take on powerline adaptors and I learned some things. Thanks.
        I am trying to upgrade my WiFi soon as my 3 kids are starting to have issues with the WiFi going out as they are trying to take tests and upload papers for school. I checked with my ISP and no service interruptions were noted for my account when the kids lost connections and diagnostics on the modem show no problems so the problem must be my router.
        I have had good WiFi performance over the last 5 few years with a Linksys MAX STREAM AC 2600 router and Unifi AC AP LR connected by TP Link Powerline adaptors. But now the WiFi is deteriorating with more frequent drops of service and more frequent router restarts required.
        Would a Ubiquiti Alien mesh kit improve my home WiFi performance and stabilty? and would I need to replace the Unifi AC AP LR?
        I have a large house (6000 sq ft) and yard. We use WiFi out in the yard often to control music and lights etc. Ubiquiti does not appear to offer WiFi-6 AP’s presently but is this even necessary with the Alien mesh kit.
        Also, if I went with the Ubiquiti Alien should I try the wireless mesh setup first to see if it is adequate rather than connecting the units by powerline adaptors initially? In other words, could the wireless backhaul perform better than the powerline adaptors?
        Is there a powerline adaptor brand you like best?
        Thanks in advance.

    • It does support wired backhaul, Brandon. Generally, folks want a tri-band system because they DON’T have the wired backhaul option, and vendors want to emphasize that fact. If you have wired your home, though, you should pick a dual-band system.

  11. Hi Dong,

    I live in a fairly large condo (~2,000 Sq ft). My router powers a network switch, that powers 2 Audio Visual Recievers, 2 Apple TVs, 1 Amplifier, and four smart TVs. On top of that, I have 3 google homes, 3 smart thermostats, my computer, my wife computer, and a wifi enabled speaker all running on Wifi (probably a couple other things I’m forgetting too)

    I currently have a Google Wifi Mesh setup, but the performance is not where I would like it to be and I am looking to upgrade.

    I am willing to spend up to $1,000 on a new solution to get the best possible network.

    Would you suggest this – or how about the Amplifi Alien router, with 2 Unifi APs? Or is there a better solution you could suggest.

    Thanks very much in advance,

      • Thanks for the quick response, Dong.

        My one concern with going the Asus route, is the heavy customization/set-up. Is this something that I should be concerned about, or is the best performing option?

        • That’s generally a good thing, Joel. But you can just create the admin password your own Wi-Fi network(s) and leave the rest alone.

          • Hi Dong,

            Thanks for your guidance. Quick update, I purchased the AX11000 and set it up.

            All seems to be well, but I noticed that the signal strength drops off in my living room. Would router would you suggest as a secondary purchase to setup as a node for AI mesh?


  12. Hi Dong, I have a question. I’m looking hard at the Alien as an upgrade for my current setup. I’m trying to decide between getting it as a standalone, vs the kit with the meshpoint. I live in a relatively small house, only about 1225 sqft. Plus about a quarter acre of yard, and a large back deck where I’d like at least decent coverage. You’d think a single unit would be enough to cover this. But currently with my existing setup, (AiMesh with a couple of Asus RT-AC68P routers in mesh mode with wireless backhaul) if I use only the one router I get very bad coverage in my bedroom, only about 40 feet away from the main router but through a couple of walls. Hence the second router as a satellite. This works, but I’ve been having some other issues lately, hence looking at the upgrade. My question is, given my existing coverage struggles, Do you think a single Alien would cover my property sufficiently? Or should I spring for the kit and set up up similarly to what I have now? I realize I could get the single unit and add another if it doesn’t work, but if I’m going to have to do that anyway I’d rather save money and get the kit. Thoughts?

    (As an aside, I have some new Cat 6e cables coming and I’m going to make my existing setup have a wired backhaul instead of wireless. If that works to solve my other issues then this becomes a moot point in the short term. This question is assuming that change doesn’t solve my other issues. Thanks so much, I’ve only just discovered your website and I’m finding it to be super useful already. Keep up the great work!

    • The X90 is a tri-band system, Juan, so in a wireless setup, it’ll definitely be better than the X60. But it’s not out yet, so we’ll need to wait and see.

  13. Hi Don, great website and reviews. Extremely helpful to decide on the best of the best. The biggest challenge is to select the winner. I’m working on remodeling an older house. It is 12000 sq ft, three floors house, and outside walls are made out of cement bricks. I purchased a gigablast service from Cox for the home. Now the decision is to select the right modem and router system to get coverage in and outside the home. I’m planning on having a ring security system, WiFi electric switches, WiFi TVs, music, etc, if there is a possibility to creat a mesh through the house. I was thinking of using Nighthawk CM1200 as a modem. As a router, I was thinking of using an Orbi AX 6000 (3 pack). Would that be a good system for the house? Will a 3 pack system allow for the adequate coverage? How would I connect the components if I need more routers or satellite points? I was also considering Amplifi Alien routers or router mash or Asus XT8 ZenWiFi AX6600 router mesh? Would really appreciate your recommendation.

    • For a house that large, Klavdiia, you MUST run network cables. No wireless system will do. Once the wiring is done. You can choose a nice router and a set of a couple of access points, like this setup. Or you can use almost any mesh system that supports wired backhaul.

  14. Hi. Thanks for the reviews.
    I believe that the mesh point is hardware locked to the router in this kit. Hence the mesh will not work with any other router.
    For this reason I bought just the Alien router for my current needs. I would like to know, should the need arise for a mesh in future, do I necessarily have to buy an Alien mesh, or any other cheaper mesh unit from AmpliFi would also work with the Alien router?

  15. Hi Dong! Love your reviews. I am looking for a mesh network with wired backhaul that can do three things – a smartconnect single SSID (for phones, laptops that move), a guest network at both router and the mesh node, and the ability to have a full-time 2.4 ghz for smart devices around the house. Would the Alien mesh be able to do that? Currently have two ASUS RT-AC86U but can’t do the guest network or dedicated 2.4 ghz network at the node. Any thoughts? Thank you in advance!

  16. Great review. I have been an HD user for 2 years and love the product.
    Do you know if the 4x ethernet ports would be usable if using a second Alien router as the mesh point?
    Thank you for your insights.

  17. Dong, wondering if there are any plans to test the Linksys MX10 Velop AX Whole Home WiFi System? Two (2) features I like in my search to eventually replace my rock solid and beloved Apple Time Capsule…is that apparently the Linksys MX10 allows its USB 3.0 port to be used for Storage. Plus, the potential of becoming an Apple HomeKit approved Router is honestly appealing, as well. Thanks for all you do…I loved your reviews on CNET and now love them on your website, too!

  18. Thanks again.
    Yeah, I am now leaning toward Alien (routers, vs the mesh kit) as well (because I have wired backhaul – if I didn’t I would get the Orbi for certain); now it just has to come back in stock.

  19. No problem at all! Yes both setups were very similar. I had 2 devices (the orbi 2 pack and the alien mesh kit) with each scenario. With the Alien, using wired ethernet backhaul I am getting similar speeds from both the mesh point and the main router. I was doing all testing with an iPhone 11 pro max, a macbook pro and a Thinkpad Lenovo laptop.

    Agreed on the supply shortage…..I was waiting quite some time for it to come back in stock and when the mesh setup was released, I picked it up immediately.

    One other thing to call out, I went with the mesh kit over 2 routers only because like I previously mentioned, this was replacing a full Unifi setup so I already had some switches laying around from Ubiquiti. Had this not been the case, I would have opted for the 2 full Alien approach (if there were in stock.)

  20. Mitch,
    thank you – super helpful and really appreciate the detailed report and comparison. Do you have 2 or more Aliens (and Orbi) in that test/ scenario? Also, did you still see a slightly lower performance on the alien mesh point(s) versus the main router when the backhaul was all ethernet?
    Thanks again!

    PS – Amplifi (ubiquity) is not doing themselves any favors by not fixing their supply chain – it’s been nearly impossible to purchase Alien on their store (not to mention any other retailer) and when it doesn’t come back, it stay in-store for barely a day; contrasted with the freely available Orbi W6…

  21. One other comment to add. In the month that I have had the Alien setup installed, it has been absolutely rock solid. Literally not one complaint or problem, and the range of the Alien is ridiculous. The Alien setup does, in my experience, have slightly greater range that the Orbi had (although they Orbi range is also really good.)

  22. Hi Dan/Steve.
    I purchased both and put them both through their paces. I wound up keeping the Alien and returning the Orbi in the long run. This was not because I was displeased with the Orbi by any means. In comparing the two, the Alien looks and feels like a better built device. With that being said, I consistently had slightly faster speeds with the Orbi. If you are unable to do a wired backhaul for the Alien, this will be even more apparent. With the Orbi, I had full speed everywhere in my house regardless of wired/wireless backhaul, while with the Alien, if I was on the mesh device, my speeds were slighly, but noticeably (on a speed test) slower then connected to the main unit. I do have my devices on a wired backhaul which fixes this for me.

    There really were two main reasons why I wound up going with the Alien over the Orbi.

    First, I had a previous gen Orbi and would randomly experience weird issues with it. This actually lead me to ditching that Orbi setup and had me setting up a full Ubiquiti Unifi system in my house (before coming back to the mesh I am at now.) Additionally, even though it does have a web ui, it is not super great.

    Secondly, while testing both of these setups, I was randomly experiencing weird latency issues and couldn’t figure out what was going on. When I had the Alien setup in place, using the app, I noticed that one of my machines was doing an automated off-site backup and doing an upload in the evening that was the main culprit to the latency/lag I was experiencing. I was able to identify this directly from the alien app and block/limit this upload until our streaming session was done. The Alien app is pretty solid and gives that granular level of client insight and control that when I was using the orbi I just did not have insight into.

    So in the end, the feeling of a slightly better built device, the insight the app gives you and the slightly sour taste of the previous gen orbi lead me to go with the Alien.

    I would say, if I didn’t have the option to go with the wired backhaul for the alien, this would have been a much more difficult decision.

    Hope that helps!

  23. I am wondering the same thing i purchased two alien routers and wondering if i made the right decision.

  24. Stumbled across your review while searching on the AmpliFi Alien and glad I did. Great review, thanks!

    I’m a fan of AmpliFi HD Mesh as I tried everything on the market but had so much unreliability, especially with Orbi which was great when it worked but firmware updates kept killing it. It was an expensive disaster for me.

    Anyway 2 years of the HD and it’s been rock solid so can’t wait to get the Alien set up. I currently have 3 router HD units using wired backhaul and one Mesh unit. I’m pretty sure that just 2 Alien Routers (wired backhaul) should have me sorted now. I currently have 1gb down/up service and a handful of wifi6 clients so this will be great.
    Only downside…waiting for a UK release 😦

  25. Thank you for the reply – and the detailed reviews, always!
    That helps. So since neither unit today, supports 160 Mhz, in 80 Mhz, the max client-side streams are 8×8 for both? It seemed to read as it the Alien’s Radio supported 8 streams (8×8) while the Orbi ‘only’ did 4×4 (with the other radio ‘useless’ if I use all-wired backhaul).
    I know there are no clients out there supporting 8×8 but I figured more streams would translate to higher overall bandwidth.
    TLDR: In wired backhaul mode, both Alien and Orbi capabilities are essentially the same then? Are all 3 radios usable by clients in both devices if backhaul is wired?

  26. purely on the max client-side (assuming ethernet backhaul) – though: isn’t the alien potentially faster as it has 8×8 vs the Orbi’s 4×4? Or did I misread your review there? Both are unable to do 160Mhz. But the top speed of the Alien is given as 4800, versus the 2400 on the Orbi (Wifi6) ?

    • Both share the same Wi-Fi specs 4×4 (160MHz) or 8×8 (80MHz), Daniel. So both will deliver the same speeds with a wired backhaul assuming you use the same type of clients.

  27. I don’t think I’ll ever deal with netgear again after this issue with the Orbi cbk40 intel puma 7 chipset and the problems this has created netgear doesn’t want to take ownership and support sucks spent over 400 for junk 90 days phone support and one year hardware which I’m still under. Why is it so hard to get a replacement with netgear. The modem has so many Vulnerabilities

    • This is why it’s generally a good idea to use a separate modem and a router, instead of a gateway unit, Mike. Sorry to hear about your experience.

  28. I stumbled across your site and am still digesting the information you provide. So far I’ve read two articles. On another site that reviews hardware they provide a synopsis first, and then the detailed review. In between the two they have a section titled “Why You Should Trust Us,” and then a CV of the author. I read the CV of the author whose review I was reading & was’t impressed. It read like it was trying hard to impress, and so I left an editorial-like comment with a suggestion. In brief I explained if you truly wanted me to trust the reviewer, then they needed to do it not with a puffed-up list of credentials that could be massaged to sound impressive, but rather with the breadth, depth, competent analysis, and compelling conclusions wrought from exhaustive real-world use, including anecdotes and other poignant characteristics that were both valuable to the reader, and knowable only through deep experience and thoughtful analysis.

    In short, they should do what you do.

    • Hey, I hear you, Mitch. I have them all and it’s hard to decide which to use… I’ll update a post that might help. Check back in 24 hours or so. 🙂

  29. The main question I am trying to decide between. Wifi 6 Orib kit or the Alien Mesh kit? What do you suggest?


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