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  1. #1
    Airport Extreme; to use or not to use separate SSID for 5GHz
    I have a question about the set up on the tower AE. So in the wireless set up, you can check a box to create a separate SSID for 5GHz band I've been reading differing opinions from internet searches so I thought I would pose the question here. I understand the 5GHz is faster than 2.4GHz band but it has much shorter reach. I've read that people suggest not creating a separate SSID because either the device or the tower AE will automatically connect to the faster band. For my example, I have 2 iphone5's and 2 ipad2's along with other various wireless clients.

    For the Iph5 and ip2, would it truly connect to the faster band if the SSID was the same? Previously, I didn't give this any thought but my tower AE recently died and I replaced it and in going through the menu noticed that I could give it a separate SSID. Is it the AE that decides which band the device will connect to or the device that decides? I'd imagine that if distance wasn't a concern, you'd always want to connect to the fastest and therefore the 5GHz band, I should crate a separate 5GHz SSID and just have the iphone5 and ipad2 connect to that and only that band correct?

    I guess if at some point in the future, I find that the 5GHz is reaching where I need it to, I can always add an Airport Express or another Airport Extreme to extend the network. I would do extend it with a hard wire to the opposite end of the house and extend my network that way. I guess I wouldn't be too worried about the 2.4GHz being extended since it already has a much farther reach but I would definitely want to extend the 5GHz.

    Is there anything I need to know in extending the 5GHz band if I create a separate 5GHz SSID in the main Airport Extreme?

  2. #2
    Airport Extreme; to use or not to use separate SSID for 5GHz
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Rep Power
    The choice to use separate SSIDs will depend on your individual setup. However, even if both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands have the same SSID, your device is going to connect to the one with the stronger signal which in all likelyhood will be the 2.4 GHz one. The 5 GHz band is better to use when you're in a crowded network area (living in a condo or apt building) because of the availability of channels and much less interference.

  3. #3
    Airport Extreme; to use or not to use separate SSID for 5GHz
    RadDave's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 20, 2012
    North Carolina
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 13" (2013); 8 GB RAM; SSD 256 GB; OS 10.14.2
    Rep Power
    @ halfmonkey - boy, you are really trying to 'overthink' this issue - let your router do its job - I'm sure that you've been reading up on all of the Wi-Fi GHz issues of speed vs. range which unfortunately have an inverse relationship - as already stated by Chscag, the stronger signal over distance will be supplied by the 2.4 GHz band (see the first image below - from the web) - also, there are apps that can help you analyze your home network - I use several but Wi-Fi Explorer is the one I prefer - see the second screen capture from my MBPro (I've blanked out my SSID) - I'm using an older AP Extreme router that broadcasts 4 networks - 2 personal & 2 guest, each w/ 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz frequencies (which you already know) - at the moment, I'm in the den (two rooms away from the router) and am on the 2.4 GHz frequency (highlighted in blue) which has 78% signal strength in that location; my 5 GHz personal broadcast signal is only 50% - I also use this app and walk around the house (and into my computer room where the router is located) to assess the signal strength, so another useful feature. Dave

    Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 8.45.27 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 8.32.59 PM.png
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