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Question dual band router - how to use it?

galkimhi

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Oct 16, 2012
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I got a brand new dual band router from my ISP.
So, if I understand correctly - I the router should be using the 2 bands simultaneously (2.4 & 5) with the same SSID and password, and each device would automatically connect to whatever band it can, right?
that's it? or should I limit certain devices to 2.4 and others to 5?
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You will need to access the GUI of your router to see if the radio's are both active and the SSID that they're broadcasting. If the router is bespoke to the ISP, often times they won't want you to get into the GUI. You could try 192.168.1.1 but they might be held back by a password/login info which you're going to need the ISP's assistance on.

Lastly, what is the make and model of the router?
 

galkimhi

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Oct 16, 2012
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You will need to access the GUI of your router to see if the radio's are both active and the SSID that they're broadcasting. If the router is bespoke to the ISP, often times they won't want you to get into the GUI. You could try 192.168.1.1 but they might be held back by a password/login info which you're going to need the ISP's assistance on.

Lastly, what is the make and model of the router?
I've already gotten into the router's preferences and changed the SSID to another name, but you didn't answer my main question....

can't recall the router model... not at home atm...
 

Krotow

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It is plain and simple. 1) Change SSID-s for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (it is 5.8 GHz IRL) to distinguishable names like

MyHomeAP - for 2.4 GHz
MyHomeAP-5G - for 5 GHz

And 2) Try to utilize 5 GHz if possible (larger overall speed and more channels, less interference with neighbors if router is in office building or you are living in apartment). At least for all nearby devices who support 5 GHz bands. Keep 2.4 GHz for devices without 5 GHz WiFi support and for work in larger distances (like 2-3 rooms away).
 

galkimhi

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Oct 16, 2012
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It is plain and simple. 1) Change SSID-s for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (it is 5.8 GHz IRL) to distinguishable names like

MyHomeAP - for 2.4 GHz
MyHomeAP-5G - for 5 GHz

And 2) Try to utilize 5 GHz if possible (larger overall speed and more channels, less interference with neighbors if router is in office building or you are living in apartment). At least for all nearby devices who support 5 GHz bands. Keep 2.4 GHz for devices without 5 GHz WiFi support and for work in larger distances (like 2-3 rooms away).
ok cool , but what if all of my devices support 5 GHz? should I only use that network?
 
Mostly people set the ssid the same on both radio bands because they are lazy. It is always best to manually assign devices to where they work the best. In general 2.4g is absorbed less so it will go farther. The problem is the way a device selects what to connect to is based on the strongest signal. This is not always the best choice since 2.4g maybe stronger but in many cases it will be slower, ie not have the same maximum bandwidth. This is where a person making the choice will do better and you need different SSID to be able to do this. BUT many people are just lazy and let the devices connect where ever and then complain it is slow.
 
Reactions: Krotow

Krotow

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People without knowledge about wireless communications simply expect that WiFi works - like electric light or water in tap. They begin to bother only when some speed related resource does not respond in speed they expect.
 
Dec 7, 2020
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The answer to your question...

2.4 is slower but has an extended range of reach.
5 is faster with a shorter range.
Select the bandwidth you want to use relying on that. If you find your reach is failing at one end of the house on 5,
try it on the 2.4 network.
If you run a speedtest on both networks, you'll see the difference.
You can have multiple users on both bands at the same time. Your devices will remember which frequency you're using if
you turn them off as long as they're set to automatically login to the network.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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I prefer to have the same name (SSID) and "password" letting the WiFi "unit" select which radio to connect to based on availabliity and signal strength. Especially interesting if having more than one AP. You might have to make (at least for computers) the "unit" able to do this (roam between available radios/APs with the same SSID/"password"). I wanted this so I've tried DD-WRT firmware in a couple of older "routers" (now running as APs) which then allowed me to configure those old "routers" this way (not always possible in (older) equipment with their standard firmware, you don't want to "brick" stuff and I would leave ISP proprietary stuff alone ). I also altered the settings in my computers (laptops) to encourage "roaming". Now I can walk from room to room and the WiFi stays "connected" by roaming between APs.
 
Wifi was never designed for roaming like a cell network is.

The largest issue you have is it is the end device not the network that controls what it is connected to. The mesh stuff is all smoke and mirrors that pretends it can get some seamless roaming but it still does not always connect where it should The network has no ability to tell how strong the signals really are at the device. The device will make selection based on these levels all the network can do is force it off the network and hope it connects correctly.

Not sure what to suggest you seem to not want to put any effort into doing this correctly. You can not use the same ssid for 2.4 and 5 and have it perform correctly.

If that is really your goal just go buy some mesh system and pat yourself on the back and claim you have the best system.

Here are your major issues
2.4g is slower than 5g but has stronger signals. Device will always choose 2.4 over 5 even though it is slower.
Wifi "roaming" is based on signal levels. Unless a device is forced off the network it will only look for a new network when the level drops below a certain value. This takes careful setting of the signal strength on your remote radios to get the proper overlap of signal levels.

In most cases as long as you do not put in too many wifi AP the device will switch fairly reliably without you doing anything so mesh buys you nothing. If it doesn't switch it is as simple as stopping and starting the wifi, this is pretty much what a mesh system does when it forces off the device. Now sometime devices insist on connecting to the wrong AP and there is really no way to fix that since you have no control over which AP it connects to......unless you make all your SSID different for all the radios.

You need to step back and say how many times per day do you actually move room to room. Even if you do how much effort is it for you the person to select the best network option. This is not like a cell phone driving down the street.

I can't wait until some of the router companies pushing mesh get sued by someone who falls down the stairs in their house while staring at netflix on their phone. They actually have animations showing people doing that so if someone gets hurt they will get blamed for telling people to do stupid stuff.
 

Krotow

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Wifi was never designed for roaming like a cell network is.
.......
You need to step back and say how many times per day do you actually move room to room. Even if you do how much effort is it for you the person to select the best network option. This is not like a cell phone driving down the street.
Completely agree about all you said.

I can't wait until some of the router companies pushing mesh get sued by someone who falls down the stairs in their house while staring at netflix on their phone.
At least if judges and jurors will have sane mind, this will not happen. I actually hope that more stupid people will die due to not paying attention to their surroundings. And this fact will become widely known and pictured as example what people must not do.
 
Last edited:
Feb 3, 2021
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I got a brand new dual band router from my ISP.
So, if I understand correctly - I the router should be using the 2 bands simultaneously (2.4 & 5) with the same SSID and password, and each device would automatically connect to whatever band it can, right?
that's it? or should I limit certain devices to 2.4 and others to 5?
You should choose a unique SSID for each band. Choose the 5GHz band if possible and use the 2.4GHz if it will not connect to the 5GHz band.
 

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