Stupid Airport 5GHz configuration question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Wolfpup, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #1
    This is super dumb of me...

    I thought that the 5Ghz stuff just happened automagically, that like compatible devices would talk to the router (in this case a 4th Gen Airport Extreme) and the router and device would just use whatever was working best, like automatically go to 5Ghz if that was a stronger connection, or whatever.

    Umm...so I think I may have been totally wrong about that?

    Do you have to set the 5GHz network as a totally separate network with it's own SSID, and manually connect to it separately?

    I remember there being a setting that's off by default that lets you name your 5GHz network in the Airport utility. There was a checkbox of some sort with it.

    I wasn't sure what it meant, assumed I didn't want to check it/name it as I'd want it to just use both networks interchangeably...but now I'm thinking that's not how it works. I may have never actually been broadcasting a 5GHz network LOL

    Frankly there's not a lot that seems to actually support 5GHz anyway, but this came up when I'm sitting here wondering if the 5GHz network support is worth paying $70 instead of $40 for a Roku...
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #2
    Nope... you were correct. It works automatically.

    Ordinarily you would want to leave that UNchecked so the 2.4 and 5 both broadcast automatically over the same SSID.

    Do you get lag or video drop out now when using the Roku on 2.4?
     
  3. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #3
    Thanks! I guess I was accidentally right the first time. I have no idea if anything's ever used that 5GHz network before or not lol.

    I actually don't have a Roku, but am buying one I guess as it's the only device with analog output (save for the last gen game consoles). The Roku 1 and Roku 2 seem to be identical except the 2 adds 5Ghz support...but considering they're both outdated and slow and the price goes from $40 to $70, I'm not sure that's worth it. (Not that price would normally be an issue with this stuff...I'd sooner buy a $100 Apple TV or Amazon Fire or Roku 3, but they don't support analog out.)
     
  4. priitv8, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    For whatever reason, for me the 2.4GHz signal is always 2..3dBm stronger than the 5GHz signal, so my laptop would always pick the 2.4GHz connection if I had them on same SSID.
    To conquer that, I've specifically given them different names.
    Helps also to insure that 5GHz is always selected when waking from sleep.
    You can use the WiFi Scanner to evaluate your signal strength and S/N ratio.
     

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  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    What kind of laptop? My Retina MBP always seems to grab the 5Ghz and I just have the router left on auto.

    It is odd that that small a difference would make it take a pass on the 5Ghz.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #6
    I guess I should ask you guys then-any thoughts on whether having that 5GHz band on a Roku would be useful? I thankfully don't have TOO many networks around me compared to a lot of people probably, but I do still have a half dozen maybe.

    EDIT: Going from $40 to $70 just to add another Wifi band seems sort of silly. Especially when I actually wish it just had Ethernet!
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    Like you mentioned, it could help if there are a lot of other 2.4 networks nearby.
     
  8. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #8
    Hmm, I think I'm talking myself into the 5Ghz version LOL
     
  9. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
    #9
    15" Retina MBP. Early 2013.
    The same WiFi Scanner tool can also illustrate how crowded the 2.4 and 5GHz ether is around you:
     

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  10. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

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    Mar 1, 2013
    #10
    I had similar issues with a 2012 rMBP and a 4th gen Time Capsule. Strangely, the rMBP started to prefer the 5GHz network once I set both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels manually with AirPort Utility. It does not seem to matter what the channels are, just as long as they are set manually. If I set them back to Auto, the problem reappears.

    I have not figured out why this works, and this is the only Wi-Fi network within a one-kilometer radius (I live in the middle of nowhere), so congestion is pretty much ruled out.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    Hmmm.... odd. My 2013 MBA and 2014 13" Retina always grab 5Ghz with the Time Capsule on auto.

    At your suggestion I grabbed the wifi app. Nice app.
     
  12. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Estonia
    #12
    Just like laurihoefs, I'm using the 4th gen Time Capsule.
    The best(looking) for OS X I've seen so far.
     
  13. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

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    Midwest America.
    #13
    I had to do the same thing. Odd...
     

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