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Friday, October 30, 2020

AmpliFi: Price, Availability, Design and Performance

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AmpliFi is the latest addition to the growing list of networked Wi-Fi routers that use additional Wi-Fi repeaters to help broadcast wireless networks throughout the house.

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This type of router is growing in popularity because it is easy to configure and efficient way to ensure that all devices in your home can access the internet.

AmpliFi is one of the most straightforward Wi-Fi solutions on the market. Thanks to the 3×3 Wi-Fi 5 spec – quite rare given that most existing canned network systems use 2×2 specs – it also provided excellent performance. Above all, it is a pleasure to use the well-designed AmpliFi mobile application.

Price and Availability

The AmpliFi System can be purchased as a package and includes a router base station and two wireless “super network points” called “MeshPointHD” to extend Wi-Fi coverage and costs $311.99, AUD380 ). You can also buy separate parts from the AmpliFi website, and the router itself costs $133.99 (£150, around $180).

It’s a more comfortable price, although of course, you miss a bit of functionality without network points. MeshPointHD can also be purchased separately and costs $108.99 (around £80, AUD 140). If you don’t have a large house, buying a router and individual network points will be more profitable.

However, for most people, it will be a complete package, which means it is one of the more expensive network routers. Google Wi-Fi, which we like, costs less, priced at 299 (approx AUD 389) for a set of three Wi-Fi units.

In the UK, Google Wi-Fi comes with a set of two units which cost £229. , and the additional units cost $129 (£129, about $167), which means it will cost about the same as the AmpliFi Mesh. Wi-Fi with the primary router and two mesh points.

Besides, the AmpliFi Mesh Wi-Fi system is cheaper than the Netgear Orbi, which costs $399 (£399, $749), although it only comes with two units (a router and a ‘satellite’). So to get the third unit you will need to pay an additional £249 or £249 (around $329) which will be a bit more expensive.

If you’re in the UK, there’s also the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi, which has cut the price down to just £199.99 and offers three units.

Design

Apple’s influence is evident here, from the frame to the design of the router. The box it comes in has a range of tabs and sliders that certainly look like the sleek packaging of Apple products, and it seems like Ubiquiti, the company behind AmpliFi, really wants to prove they are not nor an ordinary router.

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The central unit of the router is a white cube that can be placed on the palm, with a round LCD screen on the front and connectors on the back. Once again, the impact is clear, and it’s no surprise to learn that Robert Pera, CEO of Ubiquiti, once worked at a fruit-themed company.

Given the minimalist design, it’s good to note that the router still has plenty of ports, including four Gigabit Ethernet connections for wired devices and another Ethernet port for connecting to your modem. There’s also a USB port for storage devices and sharing printers on your network, as well as a USB-C power port.

This is one of the most exciting routers we’ve seen and says a lot when companies like Google and Netgear recently upped their games when it comes to sophisticated network devices.

It’s a device that you wouldn’t want to have on-screen, instead of hiding it as you like with uglier routers, which helps improve wireless power as you won’t have to worry about it. Once plugged in, the screen will turn on, and a subtle white light along the bottom edge of the unit will begin to illuminate.

Unlike some wireless network systems, such as Google Wi-Fi, the three units that make up the AmpliFi system are not the same, and the two MeshPointHD signal amplifiers are quite different, but still quite striking in the design of the primary router. . .

Both are elongated, white, and oblong that plugs directly into an outlet. The main body of the MeshPointHD is connected to a magnetic ball power supply. This allows you to tilt your body to improve Wi-Fi coverage.

In general, the MeshPointHD design is not as successful as the primary router. They are quite large and do not match the design of a low profile router. We see the usefulness of hinged magnetic joints for manoeuvring the antenna, but if the cute little squares looked like a router, the whole system would be more attractive.

Performance

When you connect AmpliFi system, the screen will light up and ask you to download the AmpliFi app for iOS or Android devices. You can also use the front touchscreen for more options. The app makes setup easy, and animated video walks you through the router connection process.

The application quickly found the AmpliFi router and showed us the steps to set up the device. The well-presented app, along with the router’s touchscreen, made this one of the most superficial router setups we’ve experienced.

Once installed, we were able to test the main AmpliFi router, and even without the MeshPointHDs installed, we found it to have an impressive range, reaching the third floor of our building with decent signal strength.

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When testing the internet speed, we got a download speed of 74.6 Mbps in the same location as the AmpliFi router (which was roughly the fastest speed of our connection). One more floor the speed was reduced slightly to 74.1 Mbps, and on the top floor of the three-story building, we had a transfer rate of 68.3 Mbps.

That’s a pretty decent performance for such a small router without an external antenna and shows how you don’t need to have a big bulky router in the Linksys WRT32X range for good coverage.

This impressive performance also means that you may not need MeshPointHD signal amplifiers unless you have a substantial home. Once we saw that, we noticed that the speeds on the top floor of the house (where MeshPointHD was installed) were up to 74.4 Mbps, roughly the same rate as when we were in the same room as the AmpliFi router.

So the performance of the AmpliFi is more than enough for quick setup and release to get the job done, competently delivering internet to every corner of your home, whether from the main router or through MeshPointHD.

Conclusion

The AmpliFi router is an excellent wireless router with range extenders that will look great in almost any home thanks to a great design that would indeed support Apple’s Jony Ive design.

It’s incredibly easy to set up and works great. If you have a large house, two MeshPointHD extensions will help you make sure it’s your Wi-Fi network covers it.

However, it is expensive and can be overkill for small buildings. If you don’t care too much about how your router looks and doesn’t mind playing around with more complex interfaces, there are cheaper alternatives.

But in terms of design and usability, the AmpliFi router is a great router that rivals Google Wi-Fi and Netgear Orbi.

Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate—Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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