Dual Band N WiFi Printer Question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SeaSalt, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. SeaSalt, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    SeaSalt macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    I apologize in advance if this is a silly question/

    Our family owns an iMac, 2 Airs, iPod, 3 iPhones and 2 iPads. We have a Netgear dual band N wifi.

    The Airs and iPhones can only detect the 2.4 ghz band while the iMac and iPads can detect both 2.5 and 5 ghz.

    I want to replace our old printer with a wifi airprint enabled printer (looking at the Canon MX890).

    Here's the question:
    Do all our devices need to be connected to the exact same band as the printer in order to print wirelessly?

    In other words, if I set up the printer on the 5 ghz connection will our Airs and iPhones not see the printer since they can only detect 2.4 ghz?

    And likewise, if I set up the printer on the 2.4 ghz connection yet our ipads and iMac are always on the 5 ghz connection will i need to toggle them over to the 2.4 band every time we want to print?

    Again sorry if this too basic and a stupid question, I just want to understand this aspect before purchasing. Best Buy sales just had a blank look on their face and mumbled it didn't matter but I wasn't too confident they really knew.
  2. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    You'll be just fine. Be sure to have the SSID (wireless names) for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio be the same. This will also have the added benefit of your computer potentially getting faster speeds compared to one band (this really depends on how your house is laid out, how far from the router, etc.).
  3. SeaSalt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    Thank you for your time. I understand you feel all devices should be able to see the printer irrespective which band they are use and which band the printer was set up on. Thank you again.

    However I must have a serious disconnect in my knowledge. We have given each band a distinct name so we could point some of our devices at the 2.4 band while the others use the 5.0 band. I assume the bands require unique names otherwise how could one control which band it's using.

    We are trying to avoid all the devices using the same band. We thought directing devices to dedicated bands so as to balance traffic was the real purpose of dual band wifis.
  4. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    Ahh, yes. You're right, my mistake. I use the dual-bands together to get a bit faster speeds than just one band but, yes, you should be able to have them separate but still communicate with the same devices. I've also done this before but just had a bit of a derp moment.
  5. SeaSalt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    Thank you for taking time for me.

    I did a simple test that I think supports the notion that a device should see a printer regardless of which wifi band the device and peripheral is using.

    As I said the iMac is using the 5ghz band while the iPhone can only use the 2.4.

    From the iPhone I navigated to Settings---->General---->iTunes WiFi Sync and from there I could see our iMac.

    Maybe not perfect logic but I feel better. Thank you again for your time.

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