2.4 and 5 ghz same SSID or different

darkpollo

Occasional Visitor
Hi,
I am sure this has been post before but the search does not allow me to use these words, so i decided to ask.

I have the RTN66U and i have two bands, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.

Which configuration is better?:
1.- use the same SSID for both, so the devices will choose where to connect.
2.- have different SSID so i need to choose on every device.

Thank you
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
There is no "better". It depends on the behavior you desire.

Clients are not intelligent. They will typically connect to whichever network they see first.
 

darkpollo

Occasional Visitor
Well, i prefer the best performance configuration.
So I suppose this will be using two different SSID, isn´t it?
 

stevech

Part of the Furniture
yes, a unique SSID for each WiFi router and each AP, each band. That allows client users (people) to choose the expected best... if you name the SSIDs with a hint as to location/room name.
 

TonyH

Very Senior Member
Hi,
Pun intended to the OP. If you have dog and cat in your family, do they
have same name?
 

KGB7

Very Senior Member
In my personal experience, having two separate SSIDs is better.

Lets take an iPad that is able to connect to both bands and an Android Tablet that can connect to both bands. Each brand and make/models/OS version, will make a decision based on lines and upon lines of software code that is programed in to them. At the end of the day, there is no wright or wrong.

Now days, we call our devices "smart", yet they are only as smart or dumb as the people who programed them.

To make things simpler, look at your devices as if they were a 5 year old children. Now take that point of view and create a simpler, less confusing and a straight forward environment, so all your children on the network wont bounce off the walls is if they just had a shot of espresso.
 

stevech

Part of the Furniture
I wish IEEE's 802.11.alphabet had long ago set a standard for what I'd call "access point directed handoff". A WiFi router is simply an 802.11 type Access Point + a router all-in-one. (Access Point = AP)

Like some forms of cellular phone systems, the APs can know about neighbor APs via back-channel management packets per a standard. Then APs could direct clients when to re-associate with what AP, based on signal strength reported among neighbors (securely, intra-network only).

Long, long ago Cisco had standards for such things - that didn't require a complex controller based network. They also put into the IEEE standard beacon message in all 802.11/WiFi, a list of neighbor APs' MAC addresses, etc. This better enabled client-self-directed re-association).

All these are firmware only, no hardware costs. But alas, we still have nothing but proprietary handoff methods and nothing interoperable - to avoid today's sad state where a moving client will stick with an AP even as its signal falls into the noise.

A novel idea: A national association of users to petition the IEEE 802 working group. I sat on one such group and know that it is a mix of freebie volunteers at these meetings, pecking order of voting members well funded by their companies, and zero input from real users.
 

darkpollo

Occasional Visitor
Hi,
Pun intended to the OP. If you have dog and cat in your family, do they
have same name?

No, my dog eat my cat. I do not want here to have the same problem. ;)

Thank you for the answers, i think i am going to have separate names.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Hi,
I am sure this has been post before but the search does not allow me to use these words, so i decided to ask.

I have the RTN66U and i have two bands, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.

Which configuration is better?:
1.- use the same SSID for both, so the devices will choose where to connect.
2.- have different SSID so i need to choose on every device.

Thank you

Depends on your clients - newer ones are typically smart enough to pick the better band at a given time. Some older (and some newer) don't do that very well. That's why the option is there.

I would start with common SSID, and see how it goes.

Same goes for multiple AP's.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
yes, a unique SSID for each WiFi router and each AP, each band. That allows client users (people) to choose the expected best... if you name the SSIDs with a hint as to location/room name.

I respectfully disagree here - doing this can actually hurt performance and inter-AP handoff's - esp. now with handhelds and handsets. By having unique SSID's, the clients are going to camp until they lose service before they can find the other AP (or channel/band class on the same AP).

802.11r has been around for some time now, and is part of the current 802.11-2012 rollup release. Most AP's, even consumer grade, that have been released in the past 18 months or so, do provide neighbor reporting for adjacent AP's and channels.
 

matthelm

Regular Contributor
I think it depends on the devices you have. If they all handle the same SSID on different APs, then do that, if they don't, assign them different names.

And as someone else said, the pass of should work, and work cleanly.
 

stevech

Part of the Furniture
802.11r has been around for some time now, and is part of the current 802.11-2012 rollup release. Most AP's, even consumer grade, that have been released in the past 18 months or so, do provide neighbor reporting for adjacent AP's and channels.
I haven't seen client devices that are thusly smart. But maybe they exist.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I haven't seen client devices that are thusly smart. But maybe they exist.

You know Steve - I respect your knowledge and experience, but this guidance and general thought train of yours is pretty much a dead end...

I'll put on my recovering 802.11/802.16 IEEE Working Group hat on, and a one of the systems design engineers contributing to both specifications...

Wireless SSID sets indicate that the wireless AP's are part of a single LAN to all STA's - as long as all AP's and Radio's in a Home/Small Office/Enterprise Network - the STA has an opportunity to attach to any AP/Radio it can. Whether that client can or cannot, that's a bug perhaps - clients are getting much smarter these days, and it's better to be a bit smart than to be dumb having to sort out different SSID's

Breaking out SSID's - having unique SSID's per AP/Radio means that the client will have to lose/break the association with the prior AP, including Auth, before it even has a chance to handover - it's going to camp on that association, and... well you get the point...

I'm local in SAN, so I'd be happy to meet up for coffee somewhere in East County if you want to chat a bit - like I said, you're a smart guy, and I'm happy to meet you.

sfx
 

azazel1024

Very Senior Member
Hi,
Pun intended to the OP. If you have dog and cat in your family, do they
have same name?

Yes, fuzzbutt.

As for what to do. It depends on you. I prefer both the same. Different wireless devices have different tendancies. Sometimes it is first heard, other times it is signal strength and other times they'll prefer a specific band.

My laptop in the driver settings I can set 5GHz prefered. About the only time it'll select 2.4GHz is if it is very far from any of my access points (which pretty much never happens), but that is fine, because 5GHz 11ac is faster in all parts of my house than 2.4GHz, only outside is 2.4GHz sometimes faster (on the outdoor AP). My tablet is very, very much it depends. It doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason as to which one it connects to, other than if it is on one band, it tends to stick with that band when it roams between APs (so if it was on 2.4GHz, it tends to stay with 2.4GHz). My iPhone and my wife's generally sticks with 5GHz. My son's Android tablets tend to stick with 2.4GHz. My FireTV stick tends to stick with 2.4GHz. My wife's iPad doesn't seem to have a preference for the band.

Both phones and all tablets do seem to switch over to 2.4GHz sometimes if they are a bit far from the AP, as 2.4GHz 11n performance is a bit better in parts of my house than 5GHz 11n performance (my wife's phone, which is an iPhone 6 with 11ac, pretty much just stays with 5GHz inside...but then again, 5GHz 11ac is generally faster than 2.4GHz everywhere in my house).

In general, I prefer this behavior. The client ends up picking "the best band" maybe 60% of the time. The "worst band" isn't the worst by a whole lot most of the time. It also typically spreads things between bands a bit and there is zero manual intervention needed to play with SSID selection or anything else like that.
 

azazel1024

Very Senior Member
I respectfully disagree here - doing this can actually hurt performance and inter-AP handoff's - esp. now with handhelds and handsets. By having unique SSID's, the clients are going to camp until they lose service before they can find the other AP (or channel/band class on the same AP).

802.11r has been around for some time now, and is part of the current 802.11-2012 rollup release. Most AP's, even consumer grade, that have been released in the past 18 months or so, do provide neighbor reporting for adjacent AP's and channels.

Interesting that you mention that. I have noticed since swapping my WDR3600 for a newer AC1200 AP that between it and my Archer C8, roaming does seem slightly happier now. It was okay before, but it seems just a touch faster, especially with my iPhones and Facetime seems to not be breaking now. I don't know if any of that is related to the change to a newer AP rather than one 2-3 years old, or if it is better 5GHz performance, or simply iOS updates in the last release or two and totally coincidental to the change in AP.

I do know the iOS/last few years of iDevices support 802.11r and ax. I have no idea if the Archer C8 or the Ac1200 AP specifically support either protocol, but they are both 2014 or newer.

Transitioning to my WDR3600 that is now being run as my garage/outdoor AP seems okay, but I haven't tried facetime transitions or really bothered to check to see how fast roaming is going from inside->out or outside->in. Indoors, previously my iPhone would hang on the AP on the opposite side of the house when I walked across my house for maybe 6-10s, now it is transitioning within 1-2s when I enter the room on the opposite side of the house from the connected AP.
 

mlg321

Regular Contributor
I use the same SSID For 2.4 & 5. It avoids confusion with anyone in the house on what to connect to and when. Usually when I'm in the same room as an AP, it will connect to 5Ghz. When I'm not as close, 2.4. Works for me. I also have a Guest SSID, so instead of 4 SSIDs, I only have 2.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I use the same SSID For 2.4 & 5. It avoids confusion with anyone in the house on what to connect to and when. Usually when I'm in the same room as an AP, it will connect to 5Ghz. When I'm not as close, 2.4. Works for me. I also have a Guest SSID, so instead of 4 SSIDs, I only have 2.

I only enable Guest SSID when I have company over for more than just a social visit - otherwise it's off... the second SSID does have some overhead that'll slow down bandwidth, even just broadcasting the Beacon for the Guest SSID (about 10 percent actually).
 

stevech

Part of the Furniture
I use different SSIDs so one can easily see which one was chosen by the device.
With my dual band router, the phones/tablets switch to 2.4GHz after a short while unless they are in line of sight of the router.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I use different SSIDs so one can easily see which one was chosen by the device.
With my dual band router, the phones/tablets switch to 2.4GHz after a short while unless they are in line of sight of the router.

Do as you wish - just remember, when using a different SSID, you introduce, explicitly, an OBSS issue, and that will impact performance of both SSID's...

If you keep a common SSID, then all BSS's are part of the same network as an ESS set...

This is all basic stuff...
 

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