Question Band Steering and Backhaul Setup

Sep 16, 2021
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Good afternoon. Our home is currently set up with our main router, an EA9500, multiple RE9000 tri band range extenders and multiple repurposed EA8300 & 8500 routers set up as bridges/APs and connected to the main router over the pre-installed Cat5 cable in the house. All of this in an effort to get wifi into the far reaches of the garage, office, backyard, etc. All the APs and REs are setup on different channels best suited for their location. The REs are used to get a good boost to the main wifi into the bigger rooms of the house (kitchen & LR). Most of the wireless traffic flows through the 2 range extenders via one of the 5 ghz bands to the main router. (The main router would not have any wireless clients except for the REs). Our have not had any issues until late due to increased traffic due to 2 remote workers, adding a T-Mobile booster (mini cell phone tower tied back to the internet), and all entertainment being streamed.

Question is this -

A) would I be best served to use the band steering on the 2 - 5ghz bands on the main router combined on the back haul wifi?
-or-
B) Setup each RE on a separate BH 5ghz channel from the main router?

Either way, this would force all wireless traffic over the APs tied into the hardwire side of the router or onto the RE9000 units. As a sidenote, the 2.4ghz band in our neighborhood is jammed packed with traffic and dropouts are very frequent due to interference.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
It is hard to say how much the band steering really works. This is one of those things I think is more for theory than real life. It has been really hard to show it actually increases anything except in extremely controlled lab conditions. A lot of the problem is the wifi signals do not necessary go in straight lines they might be bouncing off the walls and going though doorways etc to get the best signals.

The 5g channel also is likely jammed with traffic. The channels you see on the 5g band only represent 20mhz. Most people to get maximum speed are using 80mhz. There are only 2 blocks this large in most countries. There are other that are subject to radar avoidance rules that many routers and end devices do not support. This pretty much means any tri band router uses all the available bandwidth. Since now days it seems everyone is packing their house with multiple router and repeaters etc their is massive overlap even inside the house. This is made even worse with wifi6 using 160mhz channels.

There really is no optimum solution anymore for assigning channels. If nobody else was around you can actually get by with weaker signals. In a way putting in things like repeaters is what is causing the need to put in even more repeaters. The wifi companies you think almost planned this to sell more units.

The only solution I suspect is to go to wifi6e and use the 6g radio band. This will only be temporary I am sure they will make devices that have 10 radios and use even wider channels and eat all this radio spectrum up also.
 
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