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Author Topic: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID  (Read 28188 times)

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Offline mparadis

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2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« on: September 19, 2014, 09:30:22 pm »
I know when setting up a standard 2.4 range extender utilizing the same SSID and password  devices can hand off between the networks much easier. My question is if I name my 5 ghz the same as my 2.4 ghz network with the same password will I still be able to hand off between the best connections and connect to the 5 ghz where possible and 2.4 ghz where it isn't as strong as the 5 ghz? I ask because I have a hand full of extenders that are 2.4 and only the almond+ broadcasting in 5 but I'd like to utilize 5ghz where in range of the almond+ without switching back and forth manually. Thanks for the help!


LGNilsson

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 11:42:48 pm »
Wi-Fi isn't smart enough to hand off to the best connection between 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, but in my experience it tends to favour the 5GHz network when a device connects the first time if the two networks have the same SSID and password.
In your specific case I'm not quite sure how it'd be working though, but why not simply give it a try, it's not as if you can't change it back if it doesn't work well.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 12:30:11 am by Lars »

Offline mparadis

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 11:49:05 pm »
Thanks for the quick response! Will test it out.

Offline christiangraves

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 12:04:21 am »
This has been my configuration since I got my unit. It works well. I had spotty reception with 5GHz (as expected) and the 2.4GHz takes over when needed. However, it doesn't hand back to 5GHz when back in range

Offline Zimmie

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 11:23:13 am »
WiFi is a great, well-specified standard ... if you have exactly one access point. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly meant to hand off links between access points. Almost all of the roaming decisions are left up to the client device, and clients have wildly different roaming implementations. Some will happily roam to a 5 GHz signal when it is available. Some won't even roam between 2.4 GHz access points until they can no longer reach the original access point for a few seconds.

I would really love to see a way to set up multiple Almond+ units to all spoof the same access point MAC so the network could make the roaming decisions for the clients. With either a wired or 5 GHz backhaul between the APs, this could give clients on 2.4 uninterrupted service, though it wouldn't get clients to roam from 2.4 over to 5 when available. That's still going to be a client implementation issue.

Offline joltdude

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 11:50:56 am »
Usually not a good idea on home routers to use same ssid for both 2.4 and 5ghz... In my home however I do use the same ssid per frequency with my two Asus routers..  Usually call one Network 2.4g and Network 5g.. Though their device has a slight feature to reject
Connections or disconnect below a set dB (roaming assistant) ..  For seamless wifi you need pro equipment like ubiquity unifi   

Offline mparadis

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 07:14:18 pm »
Thanks for all the responses. I will try out a few things and see what works best for my arrangement. Thanks!

Offline SteveD

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 08:35:49 pm »
Usually not a good idea on home routers to use same ssid for both 2.4 and 5ghz... 

Can you reference any documentation on the recommendation to not use the same SSID for both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands? The advice from a former Apple wireless engineer is that you DO want to give both frequencies the same SSID so your devices can pick which frequency to use based on which gives the best performance. If you give them different names, the priority is determined by the order the names appear in the known SSID list. See http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/answers/4-wi-fi-tips-from-former-apple-wi-fi-engineer for more details.

Offline joltdude

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 11:03:27 am »
Might want to read further in the Mac forum thread, esp Bosco and Vpndevs post on that forum http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/answers/4-wi-fi-tips-from-former-apple-wi-fi-engineer ... Also there are many non-apple devices that don't quite handle the band switch well or at all and leave you to choose the band (Roku anyone?)

Its a interoperability issue.. Lars explained some of it, along with the other forum members (Zimmie) In an ideal world.. this would work... but also realize that Apple networking equipment doesn't always play well with others.. Like everything with a certification, theres still room for interpretation and optional components... (mDNS issues anyone?) ... Might want to read some of the posts here and on http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15656 (which is an Asus forum)..

Your apple device might autoswitch, but many other devices just pick the stronger signal.... By having the two frequencies separate, you can make the choice for yourself and not rely on autoswitching.. And frankly IOS 7/8 have issues with autoswitch.. Known issue with IOS 8 btw...Youll save headaches esp with non-apple devices on your network by making the choice yourself than relying on autoswitching from 5 to 2.4g..

This reminds me of a JTS harddrive I bought from a whitebox seller ... It was to one of the higher speed IDE/ATA specs.. it had compatibility issues however... most of the drives were returned.. Problem is.. even though it was to the published specifications, there were things that this newer company did not know were updated/undocumented revisions from the published spec, but were known by the major players in the industry.. and weren't shared....

Or you might have a device that sees both 2.4 and 5.. but the 5 is an unstable connection (due to distance or interference factors).. and it wont switch to 2.4... Have had this problem with streaming devices (Roku and a few others. Dont let you even see the diff between 2.4 and 5 if same SSID and of course they dont want to fix it.. But its not a single instance, just an example)

Apple networking devices hide a lot of configuration from the user, at the cost of not playing completely well with others..

« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 11:21:49 am by joltdude »

Offline SteveD

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 10:01:09 pm »
It's a myth that iOS 7 & 8 have auto switch problems for everyone. I often spend time at a campus where there are a mix of Apple 2.4 GHz and 2.4/5 GHz APs as well as generic 2.4GHz APs running DD-WRT where both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands have the same SSID. I have _never_ had a problem with an iPhone or iPad that was capable of using both bands automatically switching.

I used to use separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz bands on my AirPort Extreme at home. On my Macs & iOS devices (I don't care about PCs at home) I'd set the 5GHz band as the preferred one with the 2.4 GHz band the 2nd. As long as they could see the 5GHz signal, that's the one they'd use no matter what the signal strength. If I was on my patio and wanted a usable connection for streaming video I'd have to manually switch to 2.4GHz. About the time Apple released iOS 7 and Mac OS X 10.9 I switched my AirPort to broadcast the same SSID on both frequencies. Now when I'm on my patio I automatically get the 2.4GHz band, and when I move back to my office I get the 5GHz band. I like not having to manually switch to the optimal band since the auto switching has been reliable, at least for me.

I've replaced that AirPort Extreme with an Almond+, I'm still using the same SSID configuration, and I continue to have no problems with auto switching. Perhaps I'm just lucky though, as there are several other posts from folks finding their iOS devices unhappy with the current version of the Almond+ wireless drivers.

There's no question there are fewer configuration options with Apple APs than something like the Almond+, but that doesn't mean they don't play well with others. I deal with PCs connected to Apple APs on a regular basis, and I've never run into a problem due to the Apple hardware. It's usually a driver issue on the PC, or manufacturer that has their own wireless configuration tool rather than using the built-in Windows one. For most users I'd argue an Apple AP is a better choice since the configuration choices are so limited. For folks like us, where tinkering with the guts are probably as interesting as any other feature of the AP, the Almond+ is ideal.


Offline joltdude

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 11:15:44 am »
Again read my posts... I said it mostly works for Apple devices but most networks have devices other than apple products on them as well.. I knew this was going to end up turning into an Apple fight vs interoperability fight...  And I *AM* personally having switching problems with an IOS 8 device that I had to restore ipod,  due to the update failing, then restore backup separately... Try dealing with a ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, or other streaming device thats NON Apple and youll have issues... Im not imagining the IOS autoconnect issue... iv deleted profiles, restored ipods.. IT EXISTS... Do what you want but when something non-apple doesnt play right dont come crying to us

Offline SteveD

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Re: 2.4 and 5 with same SSID
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 11:40:44 pm »
Nowhere in my post did I deny you were having connectivity issues. I did dispute your assertion that iOS 7 & 8 have issues with autoswitch in general. Again you may be having problems, but it doesn't mean everybody is, and it definitely hasn't been my experience in multiple installations with over a hundred iOS devices. My post also acknowledged that there are several posts on the Almond+ discussion boards from Mac & iOS users having problems, something Lars has acknowledged that Securifi believes is a problem with the WiFi drivers from the component manufacturer. It doesn't impact 100% of users though, otherwise I'd be having the same problems. As with most things, YMMV.

I like to try the approach of take the easy way (e.g. same SSID on 2.4 & 5 GHz) first. If it doesn't work, one would certainly use the different SSID approach. That the latter is sometimes required doesn't preclude the former.

 

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