Ubiquiti’s consumer brand Amplifi has launched a new Wi-Fi 6 product line called “AmpliFi Alien.” The original Amplifi products were typically sold as three-piece Wi-Fi mesh kits, so we got a little excited when we saw a price tag of $380 for Alien.
Unfortunately, that price is for a single router, not a kit—which means that Amplifi Alien, like Orbi AX6000, is still in stratospheric “you probably don’t want this yet” territory where price is concerned. We have a sneaking suspicion both these price points are a bit of a gouge, since TP-Link’s Broadcom BCM6750-based AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 router is already available for under $100.
Like Amplifi’s earlier products, Alien features a small touchscreen on the router which can display the time, speed-test results, and offer some simple direct network control. Its power and WAN ports are recessed inside the base of the unit with a cable-management tunnel, but the four LAN ports are arranged along the back side of the barrel, opposite the touchscreen.
Under the hood, Alien offers 5GHz 8×8 and 2.4GHz 4×4 radios, and—curiously—a Wi-Fi 5-only 5GHz 4×4 radio. Given the marketing copy, we expect that Alien will use the Wi-Fi 6 radio for backhaul in a multiple-router mesh setup. We think it’s an odd choice to include a Wi-Fi 5-only radio instead of sticking with Wi-Fi 6 on all three bands, though.
Amplifi describes these radios as delivering 7685Mbps total capacity and Alien as covering “twice the square footage” of Amplifi’s previous mesh Wi-Fi efforts, complete with a bar chart demonstrating the difference between 2 and 1. However, as we have exhaustively covered in the past, Wi-Fi marketing numbers are useless. We won’t really have any idea of how good Alien is until we’ve gotten a unit or two to test.
Alien hasn’t shown up on Amazon yet, but it’s available directly at the Amplifi website.