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Dual Band Channels

Posted on 2016-10-24
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I do just enough wireless to be dangerous but not enough to be really good at it. I am setting up Dual Band Access Points. I am pretty sure I want Channel 6 on the 2.4Ghz band because it is non-overlapping. What would be the recommended Channel on the 5Ghz band?
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Question by:LockDown32
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Paul MacDonald earned 672 total points
ID: 41857343
I always set these to auto and let the router figure it out.  Channels only matter if there are neighboring transceivers on the same channel.

There's an Android app called WiFi Analyzer that I've used to detect nearby routers for this purpose, when I felt the need.  You can give it a try.  I don't work for, nor do I receive compensation from, the company that makes that product.
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by:masnrock
masnrock earned 664 total points
ID: 41857351
The best wireless channels to use depends on the other wireless networks in the vicinity. You'd be best served surveying the networks nearby using an app like Wifi Explorer (I have this on my Android phone).

1, 6, and 11 are the nonoverlapping channels for 2.4 GHz networks.

5 GHz networks have 24 channels that don't overlap, so you should have far more flexibility.

Here's a link to educate you a little bit more:
http://www.metageek.com/training/resources/design-dual-band-wifi.html

In your situation, the best option might be to leave the channel settings on "Auto", then revisit the issue later when you have a better idea of the surround networks. Otherwise, do the survey as I've mentioned a little early. Hopefully the things you learn will help you become a little less dangerous :)
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by:r math
r math earned 664 total points
ID: 41857381
I agree with all of the above – channel setting is most useful when you have an interference situation where there are other access points within 300 to 600 feet.  Note, the 300 to 600 feet can vary.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41857384
There are no other surrounding networks. I do not like the Auto setting because you are relying on the AP to pick the best channel. I want to go Static IP and Fixed Channels. I was given the link above and after reading the article probably had more questions then answers. I have no intention of doing this for a living :) One shot and out. So pick any old channel on the 5Ghz huh?
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41857394
How many APs are you setting up, and over how large an area? Based on what you're mentioning, it almost seems to imply that you either have your own building OR the walls block networks from other nearby offices.

Well, for 5 GHz you can pick any of those 24 channels mentioned. With 2.4 GHz networks, you only have 3 channels to choose from. You want to try to plan in such a fashion that there are no two nearby APs are utilizing the same channel, which is where the channel planning part of the link I provided comes into play. (I've had to do this in a 10 floor hotel with 2.4 GHz APs. Trust me when I say it wasn't fun)

The problem that you may run into in the long run is that if any other networks get set up nearby and happen to choose the same channel, you will feel the impact and may have to revisit the issue. Just make sure you (or whoever will be supporting the wireless) is wary of that fact.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41857419
It is a "standalone" plant. No other wireless networks anywhere. It consists 5 buildings i a line. The only two APs that will be even remotely close are 300' apart and the only reason I need two in that building is because 1 won't cover the whole building. So if the "no two close and on the same channel" is the only issue I am home free. Using Ubiquiti UniFi. I guess channel 40 on the 5Ghz is as good as any.....
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41857521
Based on that answer, then yes, you should be fine. However, I'd be wary of the 2 AP building, and use different channels for the two APs. Reason: If any devices are in the area where the signals overlap, you might see that device get confused.
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