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How does Dual Band work?

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  • Wireless Router
  • Linksys
  • Wireless Network
  • Dual
Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 11, 2013 6:21:53 PM

I realize this is probably a stupid question but I was wondering if somebody could clear this up. I was looking into upgrading my old wireless router (Linksys WRT54GL) and I was wondering how dual band worked. I realize there is a 2.4Ghz network and 5Ghz network but does that mean there are two different ssids? Occasionally while gaming if we have too many things going on at once I start to lag. I was wondering if I was to use one ssid for myself and one for everyone else would it stop me from lagging? Sorry for so many questions but I am mentally challenged when it comes to wifi.

Should add that I am in the attic with our wireless router in the basement and we have a 25MBs connection (cable). I am using an Asus AC wireless adapter as well.

More about : dual band work

July 11, 2013 6:46:39 PM

Dual-band means that the wireless access point has at least two radios with accompanying antennas which can be tuned to different wireless frequency bands individually.

One radio can be tuned to the 2.4Ghz frequency band, supporting B/G/N devices, and the other can be tuned to 5Ghz supporting only N devices.

If there are no B/G devices, and all N devices are capable of 5Ghz, up to 4 antennas on the transmitter and receiver can be tuned to 5Ghz for optimal performance.

When B, G, and N devices are all sharing the 2.4Ghz spectrum at once, there's a lot of interference and compatibility issues which can clobber performance.
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July 11, 2013 6:56:32 PM

So I guess my real question is.......if I stick everyone else on one frequency....and I go on the other one...will I run into interference? They could all live on one frequency with no issues at all.
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July 11, 2013 7:10:40 PM

To add to Pinhedd, the 5GHz also supports AC, which is what you said you have, but is backwards compatible (hence the 2.4Ghz for someone's iPhone). Now if you have a 802.11ac on your computer bit the Router is still 802.11 abgn, you won't use the AC till you upgrade the router.

That said, your issue is Quality of Service (QoS). Once you enable this on all devices (PCs, Router, etc.) you can set in the Router the QoS table on what takes priotiy number 1 , 2, etc. So if Youtube videos could be 5 while Gaming on ports 546-999 is Priority 1.

Also remember for Cable Internet, that is the MAXimum speed you can get, not guaranteed. So that means if everyone was home for the 4th of July weekend (your friends, neighbors, cousins) and they got bored before the fireworks and all got on their Cable Internet connection, guess what - you were slowed down too. So just expect that when 'everyone is home' times (usually after work/right after school) you will get slowdowns no matter what you are / not doing in your house.
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July 11, 2013 7:12:14 PM

am102392 said:
So I guess my real question is.......if I stick everyone else on one frequency....and I go on the other one...will I run into interference? They could all live on one frequency with no issues at all.


If your gameplay is lagging while someone else in your household is using the network I'd point to your cable's upstream connection as the culprit, not your wireless connection.

However, your existing wireless router is quite old and is long, long overdue for a replacement. If the cable connection is not the culprit, replacing that wireless router with one that is more up to date may very well solve the problem itself without any special configuration. Dual band routers should automatically toss all 5Ghz N capable devices onto the 5Ghz band where there's tons of bandwidth to go around.
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July 11, 2013 7:22:00 PM

Pinhedd said:
am102392 said:
So I guess my real question is.......if I stick everyone else on one frequency....and I go on the other one...will I run into interference? They could all live on one frequency with no issues at all.


If your gameplay is lagging while someone else in your household is using the network I'd point to your cable's upstream connection as the culprit, not your wireless connection.

However, your existing wireless router is quite old and is long, long overdue for a replacement. If the cable connection is not the culprit, replacing that wireless router with one that is more up to date may very well solve the problem itself without any special configuration. Dual band routers should automatically toss all 5Ghz N capable devices onto the 5Ghz band where there's tons of bandwidth to go around.


The Cable connection isnt the issue at all actually ours is pretty good. I was looking at these two as possible upgrades. I would go the AC route but I'm not sure its actually worth it if I am the only person with an AC compatible device.

http://www.amazon.com/RT-N66U-Dual-Band-Wireless-N900-G...

http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-Wireless-Dual-Gigabit-Rou...

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Dual-Band-Wireless-N-Router-...
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July 11, 2013 7:40:00 PM

802.11ac isn't finalized yet. Buying an ac router now is just asking for the same compatibility issues that draft-n had
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July 11, 2013 8:26:35 PM

Pinhedd: Oh I thought it was already, as the http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/802.11_Ti... shows the last revision was on 4-4-2013 with a 96% acceptance across the industry, and since then the products have been released and now on store shelves. I don't think we will have the 'draft-n' fiasco, the industry learned alot from that.

Back the question at hand: same or very closely priced (as I saw in the stores), you already have a AC device, it is backwards compatible for everyone who isn't. So to me it doesn't seem a big deal getting it, your going to move to AC anyway (just like all the B/G people didn't believe N would ever take off).
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July 11, 2013 10:21:40 PM

Tom Tancredi said:
Pinhedd: Oh I thought it was already, as the http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/802.11_Ti... shows the last revision was on 4-4-2013 with a 96% acceptance across the industry, and since then the products have been released and now on store shelves. I don't think we will have the 'draft-n' fiasco, the industry learned alot from that.

Back the question at hand: same or very closely priced (as I saw in the stores), you already have a AC device, it is backwards compatible for everyone who isn't. So to me it doesn't seem a big deal getting it, your going to move to AC anyway (just like all the B/G people didn't believe N would ever take off).


It wasn't the industry that caused the draft-n fiasco, it was the marketing departments who insisted on having the newest technology on their products even though it wasn't ready yet. It may be 96% accepted, but all it takes is one liberty by one manufacturer within that 4% to cause compatibility issues.

With the bulk of the chips being from Broadcom, Marvell, and Qualcom I doubt that there will be any issues on the scale of Draft-N, but even minor changes can cause immense headaches even if they are resolvable through firmware updates. It's easy to push a firmware update to a wireless radio on a phone, not so much on a PC. I personally will be waiting until the standard is finalized and fully compliant products are available on the market.
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April 13, 2014 10:26:27 PM

In addition, most routers have a transmit area that spreads out and down, hence your router in the basement and you in the attic is not optimum. FYI.
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