Troubleshoot Confused about separate 2.4ghz and 5ghz WiFi on new router

jetman

Level 8
Verified
Jun 6, 2017
386
List of current issues
Separate 2.4ghz and 5ghz WiFi signals on new router.
Steps taken, but have been unsuccessful?
None
I have just started using a new router (TP-Link VR2800). This broadcasts WiFi on both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz frequencies. They have separate SSID names and separate WiFi passwords (although I have made both passwords the same). When I connect my devices to the WiFi I have to select either the 5ghz frequency or the 2.4 ghz frequency.

My previous router also broadcast on both 5ghz and 2.4ghz. However, there was only one SSID and I just connected my devices to that. I didn’t need to choose between frequencies. This seemed easier to me.

Can anyone advise me whether I have set my new router up correctly ? As the 5ghz signal doesn’t travel as far as the 2.5ghz signal any devices which move out of range will presumably lose WiFi connection ? They won’t automatically switch to the 2.5ghz signal, which presumably is what happened on my old router ?
 

Gangelo

Level 4
Verified
Jul 29, 2017
196
Check the user guide or download it from the TP-Link website if you don't have it.
It should have instructions on how to set up the SSID of both your networks (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz transmit separately) and set the same SSID for both.
Alternatively you can set your wireless devices to remember both frequencies with different SSID's and they will pick up the strongest each time.

Personally, I do not use the same SSID for both frequencies because I do not want them to interfere between bands and if a device is 5GHz capable I want it to use this frequency (less noise). If a device is further away in the house and has weaker reception I connect it to the 2.4Ghz SSID.
 
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Tiamati

Level 11
Verified
Nov 8, 2016
513
My previous router also broadcast on both 5ghz and 2.4ghz. However, there was only one SSID and I just connected my devices to that. I didn’t need to choose between frequencies. This seemed easier to me.
You can left both 5 and 2,4 Ghz with the same SSID. Your devices will - presumably - connect to the best at the moment.

Can anyone advise me whether I have set my new router up correctly ? As the 5ghz signal doesn’t travel as far as the 2.5ghz signal any devices which move out of range will presumably lose WiFi connection ? They won’t automatically switch to the 2.5ghz signal, which presumably is what happened on my old router ?
Android devices automatically changes from 5 to 2,4ghz when you are far from your router, and move back to 5ghz when you are closer, even if SSD is different. I tested with Android 9, 10 and 11. But i can't affirm anything about notebooks and other devices.
 
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roger_m

Level 33
Verified
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,279
Android devices automatically changes from 5 to 2,4ghz when you are far from your router, and move back to 5ghz when you are closer, even if SSD is different. I tested with Android 9, 10 and 11.
That may vary from device to device. I have two 2.5GHz networks with the same SSID. When I move my Xiaomi phone, it switches to the strongest network. My Samsung tablet on the other hand, always stays connected to the original network, even when the signal from the other network is stronger, unless I manually disable and then re-enable Wi-Fi. This possibly applies when one network is 5GHz and the other is 2.5GHz.
 
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Digerati

Level 7
Verified
Mar 2, 2017
318
however I prefer to keep both bands with different names for performance and convenience reasons.
I don't see how different SSID names affects performance (or avoid interference), but I agree with it being more convenient if your router does not make it clear.

In my home, every wireless device is already set up with authorized access to both bands so they can pick the best signal.

HOWEVER - this feature must be enabled in my router first. I have a Netgear R7000P and the feature, called "Smart Connect" is disabled by default. It needs to be enabled to,
Let the router intelligently select the best WiFi band 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz for your WiFi connections. Smart Connect requires the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks to use the same WiFi network name (SSID), security options and password
 
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Digerati

Level 7
Verified
Mar 2, 2017
318
5.0 will reach to every part of your home unless you have a huge home or old hardware.
Sorry but not true. Well, you say "reach" then yeah since RF essentially goes nearly forever until blocked. And that's the problem - it does not take much to block 5GHz.

The number of barriers (walls, floors, and ceilings) play a big roll there. Even a simple wallboard wall with wood studs can greatly attenuate 5GHz. Add a floor or a ceiling and 5GHz could become ineffective. Put a bunch of electrical wires and metal pipes in that wall, or metal file cabinet between the AP and the wifi device and forget about it.

5GHz is great for line-of-sight with no barriers up to about 50 feet. Beyond that, or you start adding barriers, and performance significantly degrades.
 
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