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Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Owlcroft
Aspirant

Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Just purchased an AC4000 router. I combined the bands on my old router under a single SSID. Is there a downside doing this with the AC4000?

 

Thanks

 

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 10
janus51
Aspirant

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

If the "smart connect" option is available on your router, that should combine them all into one SSID, and give the best range/performance (the router will use the best band for each client). 

 

https://kb.netgear.com/25346/What-is-Smart-Connect-and-how-do-I-enable-or-disable-it-on-my-Nighthawk...

 

Note that the info is a little misleading; it doesn't mention the 2.4 GHz band but you'll see when you enable it that it affects that band too (indeed it is a feature of Nighthawk routers that only have just one 2.4 and one 5 GHz band)

Message 2 of 10
IrvSp
Master

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID


@janus51 wrote:

Note that the info is a little misleading; it doesn't mention the 2.4 GHz band but you'll see when you enable it that it affects that band too (indeed it is a feature of Nighthawk routers that only have just one 2.4 and one 5 GHz band)


It is NOT a feature and wasn't on the R8000 Tri-band initially. However the last firmware update did include all 3 radios.

Message 3 of 10
janus51
Aspirant

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Sorry, you're saying the R8000 has Smart Connect but the R8000P doesn't?  I thought the P model just added some fanciness to the R8000

Message 4 of 10
IrvSp
Master

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Sorry, what I was saying or meant to say, both the initial Advertising/spec's for the R8000 had Smart Connect managing ONLY the 2 5GHZ bands. However the just released firmware now has Smart Connect managing all 3 radio bands.

 

Don't know (read that as I have not looked) what the R8000P was originally sped'ed to have and not all NG routers with 2 or more bands may have the same 'treatment' for Smart Connect.

Message 5 of 10
janus51
Aspirant

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Gotcha.  Thanks for pointing that out.  I have an R7000 and an aquaintance has an R8000 that I helped set up.  This was right around when Smart Connect was introduced; I thought I remembered that the R8000 Smart Connect worked the same as the R7000 in that it combined the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz with the same SSID but I guess I misremembered (I now see that there is a different Smart Connect article for the R7000).

 

So to circle back to the original question of this thread: I admittely have a different router, but I've had no trouble combining the channels into the same SSID, and in fact the most recent firmware update allowed this for the guest Wifi as well (it was one of my few annoyances about my router).  So combined with what Irv was saying -- with the newer firmwares they've been going even further in this direction of being able to combine channels into one SSID.  So unless someone chimes in saying it didn't work well for them, I think you can expect it to be a fine configuration.

Message 6 of 10
IrvSp
Master

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Well, you asked Smiley Very Happy

 

I'm chiming in... I had to disable it. See under the initial version the basic selling point was it would manage to slower 5Ghz radio  for slower devices and the faster 2nd 5Ghz radio for faster devices. That means the N devices on the slower band and the AC devices on the faster band.

 

I should mention that there are many choices for Smart Connect and there is a possible Dynamic Smart Connect as well as other choices. NG did NOT implement Dynamic, which would allow device to switch bands when there was space on the other one. It seems NG implemented Load Leveling with out that Dynamic feature. So if I had only AC devices, at some point on would be put on the slow band. When I looked at the ACCESS list I noticed devices on the wrong band... so I disabled it and set my own connection settings on each device.

 

If you don't have the knowledge to make those choices, and aren't 'nuts' like me and want to wring out the best performance, Smart Connect is for you.

Message 7 of 10
janus51
Aspirant

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

That's really interesting.  I thought, like you did, that it was more dynamic and would allocate things a little smarter, but sure enough their docs do say that if a new device joins in, even if it's a 'slower' device it may get joined to the faster 5 GHz because it has fewer devices: https://kb.netgear.com/25345/What-is-load-balancing-and-how-does-my-Nighthawk-X6-R8000-router-use-th...

 

and here is the info about there being a "fast 5 GHz" and a "slow 5 GHz" (https://kb.netgear.com/25362/How-does-my-Nighthawk-router-s-tri-band-WiFi-feature-improve-the-speed-...)

 

So it sounds like for best best performance, you should make them all different SSIDs and manage it yourself as to which devices go on which band. 

Message 8 of 10
Owlcroft
Aspirant

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Appreciate all the responses: lots of great info. I did combine them into a single SSID using Smart Connect. So far it has worked well. Appreciate the input.

 

Wayne

Model: R8000P|Nighthawk X6S—AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Message 9 of 10
wenzelja
Star

Re: Combine 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, & 5GHz-2 bands under a single SSID

Chiming in as well. 

 

MY recent experience has been that the Smart Connect appears to be booting my mobile phone (iPhone 8) from the fast 5GHz (215Mbps) to a slow 2.4GHz (60Mbps) speed, but am not entirely sure if its caused by Smart Connect or something else.

 

I recently upgraded my cable speed from 100 to 200 Mbps, and ultimately had to turn off QoS.  Now I'm having the above issue.  If I reboot the router, the iPhone will connect at the fast 215 Mbps speed, but after some time ( matter of only a few hours) the phone will only connect at 60 Mbps. 

Model: R7000P|Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 10 of 10
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