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Dual-Band Wireless Router Question

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I just purchased and installed a Netgear WNDR3700 Dual-Band wireless router (2.4GHz and 5GHz). This is the first dual band router I've owned, and I'm not really sure how they're supposed to operate.

 

What's puzzling me is that I never see any "activity" on the 2.4GHz band ? it all seems to be on the 5GHz band. Is this how it's supposed to work ? or are both bands supposed to be working simultaneously? Maybe I need to adjust some settings, but not sure what to change.

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It operates on one or the other, in case you have devices that operate on the 2.4Ghz band (like Wireless phones) so they don't bother eachother.

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The idea of having 2 different frequency ranges was to avoid interference from other Wifi routers, cordless phones and microwave ovens.

If you have a wireless N network adapter then you can use either 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz but older ones i.e b,g can only operate at 2.4GHz.

 

Richard S.

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It's an "N" type router. So does the router automatically determine which frequency to use, or do I have to manually select one or the other?

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If it's only broadcasting N and not mixed g/n then it's probably set by default to 5Ghz band, but you can manually change it.

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Supposedly, the 2.4GHz band is broadcasting b/g/n and the 5GHz band is broadcasting a/n. This stuff is all new to me, so I'm not sure what it all really means.

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Wifi b,g is limited to 11 channel slots around 2.4GHz, if you're transmitting on the same slot with another router you'll get reduced performance like some of my neighbours. :D

 

wifi_android.jpg

 

Having the ability to transmit on the 5GHz band gives you the freedom to avoid clashing with other b,g wifi equipment or cordless phones and thus solving performance issues or drops.

 

Richard S.

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I really appreciate all the comments, but I may not have made myself clear (probably because I know so little about this stuff).

 

I was thinking that I could use the 2.4 band with a laptop and the 5.0 band for streaming HDTV (Netflix), but I don't know how to set the router up to accomplish this. Do you enable both bands so that they work together simultaneously ? or do you have to manually select one band at a time for each particular use? Guess I was thinking that the laptop would somehow automatically grab one band and HDTV would automatically use the other.

 

I thought maybe the two bands worked together concurrently in an "auto-switching" manner. In other words, in the event that one band became overloaded or ran into problems handling/transmitting the data, it would automatically roll over to the other band. Will it do this, or doesn't it work that way?

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Likely you have to access the Router's firmware and set it manually, whether or not you can set it to broadcast on both bands at once, I don't know.

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I was thinking that I could use the 2.4 band with a laptop and the 5.0 band for streaming HDTV (Netflix), but I don't know how to set the router up to accomplish this. Do you enable both bands so that they work together simultaneously ? or do you have to manually select one band at a time for each particular use? Guess I was thinking that the laptop would somehow automatically grab one band and HDTV would automatically use the other.

It sounds as if what you are hoping for would be :-

An Internet connection running at 100+ Mbps,

A 2.4 GHz link giving its entire 54 Mbps capability of downloading/browsing/etc. to the Laptop by blocking out Netflix.

A 5 GHz link giving its entire 54 Mbps capability to Netflix by blocking out non-Netflix traffic.

 

A Router that could do this is feasible,

but the Internet would have to be much faster for many people before there was a market to make it worth designing such a router.

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