Airport Extreme "Dual Channel"

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by wahoo10, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. wahoo10 macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    How does the dual-channel work? If I use both, what does the Guest run off of?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    What do you mean by "how does it work" ? It broadcasts on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency spaces.
  3. wahoo10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    I think i found my answer. I want to be able to set up two networks and it appears I can do that.

    Here's more specific questions:
    1) I have my HDD hooked up to the Extreme. However, I have housemates. Can I block access to this drive somehow? Or should I keep one band for myself, and set the other up for other housemates?

    2) Which band has longer range? 2.4?
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The drive sharing in AirPort Utility allows you to restrict access to the drive using a password and/or setting up accounts (I believe). Another solution is to give your housemates access only to the guest network, but that blocks them from using other network resources such as printers, etc.

    To answer your first question, the guest network runs off of whichever radio modes you've enabled for your main network. If you have both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands broadcasting in 802.11n only, only 802.11n devices can join your main or your guest network (so be sure the 2.4GHz band allows G devices if you have any needing to connect).

    Also, you cannot separate or disable either of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Both give access to your network whether or not you choose to give them separate SSIDs. Giving them different SSIDs just allows you to choose which band your device connects to, otherwise it would be up to the device to switch between the bands.

    Lastly, 2.4GHz has longer range as it can travel through walls better than the 5GHz frequency.
  5. wahoo10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    Great! I have an MBP and iPhone 4GS, so I'll set up the 5ghz as n only. Another computer in the house only supports g, so I'll set up the 2.4 as a g.

    As for the drive, I'll just password it. I don't want to be broadcasting my signal so I won't use the guest. Hopefully my roommates are respectful and won't use my printer :rolleyes: Plus, this way I reserve the 5 for the upstairs two rooms, downstairs two will use 2.4
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Just to clarify, the 2.4GHz doesn't have to be a G only band. It can be 802.11b/g/n, just so long as it supports G devices. Also, the iPhone 4S only supports 2.4GHz, so if you want it to connect at N speeds you'll definitely need your 2.4GHz network running as b/g/n compatible. And I recommend giving the 5GHz band a unique SSID. You can do that in the Advanced section in AirPort Utility's Wireless tab.
  7. wahoo10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    Awesome. Thanks for the great help, it's been really informative.

    Would my 2009 Unibody support 5?
  8. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
  9. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    Not strictly true, you can set up 2.4GHz to be a/g only if you don't want 2.4GHz n. You can get to all the possible combinations by option clicking on the radio mode in the airport utility.

    +1 on the different SSID for the 5GHz
  10. wahoo10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    All set up!

    Have the dual band running, n only on 5, everything on 2.4. This way I get max coverage on the house but can use the 5 on the closest computers. Separate SSID for the 5. I just wish you could use different passwords but all is well.

    Any way to not broadcast the 2.4?
  11. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Unfortunately, no. It's an all or nothing thing with broadcasting SSIDs.
  12. wahoo10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    It just needed a was broadcasting my 2.4 but not the 5, then reset, and it's not broadcasting either anymore. Worked like a charm..

    The only problem now is I can't see my HDD on there anymore. I have it sharing, but TM doesn't seem to see it. I'll have to monkey around with it tonight after getting home..

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