Updated on December 31, 2020 at 5:25 pm
I was finally able to grab one of these after being constantly out of stock.
It’s only been a few days, but the difference between this device and my Netgear mesh system is night and day.
The Netgear had a base and two satellites. This is just a single device and covers a two story house without issue. I am getting a second one of these to mesh them.
The Alien has WiFi 6, multiple antennas and can do multiple streams.
I think the issue with the Netgear and other older systems is the inability to handle large numbers of devices in the age of IoT. I had about 30 devices connected to the Netgear and they seemed to often be stepping on each other.
The Alien doesn’t even flinch and you can also optimize each device connected to the Alien for streaming, gaming or normal use.
I’ll add more to this post as I continue to use it.
After 6 months of use, here are some helpful hints that might help others with the Alien or similar products.
The house I’m in has metal studs and it is apparently wreaking havoc on the 5ghz band. It is also a two story and the signal does better through the floors than through the walls on each floor.
I also have more than 30 devices connected at any given time to the wireless network.
I originally had a mesh network setup with two Alien devices using 5ghz as the backhaul. However some devices connected to the mesh router were having slow throughput issues. Signal strength was fine, throughput not so much.
After much fiddling with settings and the sacrificing of various animals, here’s the configuration I ended up with.
The two Alien wifi routers are connected individually to the network and are broadcasting the same SSID. One device on each floor and no backhaul.
One of the Alien routers is using a MoCA adapter to the coax cable (no cat5 in the house unfortunately).
I also disabled Band Steering on the two Aliens since that directs devices to try and connect via 5ghz first which is the band I’m having trouble with. I also suspect some devices weren’t hitting the signal threshold for dropping back to 2.4ghz which meant they stayed on 5ghz and had dismal throughput.
In addition to disabling band steering, I also enabled an additional 2.4ghz network under a different SSID. I did this for connecting things like iPhones to force them to use 2.4ghz if they were having trouble with throughput on the 5ghz band.
It should be noted that I still have both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands enabled. For whatever reason some devices have been perfectly fine on 5ghz.
At least with this configuration, I can manually optimize devices if I need to. And it seems to be working for me much better than what I’ve been dealing with for the last few months.