How to Set Up Smart Home Devices With 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi (2022)

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Whether you might be welcoming a new robotic vacuum into your own home, establishing sensible lighting, or including one of many newest sensible audio system, there’s an opportunity you might run into hassle getting your sensible dwelling units related to your Wi-Fi community. There are a number of potential causes, however the commonest is that many sensible dwelling units can solely join to the 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi band.

Simply put, most routers have a single community identify or SSID (Service Set Identifier), which is what your units join to. The router decides on the frequency band—selecting between 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz—primarily based on the gadget and sign energy, which is named band steering. The 2.4-GHz band has higher vary and penetration by means of obstacles like partitions, however the 5-GHz band is quicker.

The downside? If you utilize your telephone to arrange the sensible dwelling gadget through its respective app, you would possibly discover that the gadget needs to be a part of the 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi band, however your telephone is on the 5-GHz band. This disconnect can lead to a irritating loop the place your new gadget hangs on the connecting step earlier than finally reporting that it can not be a part of your community. Thankfully, there are three major methods to resolve this subject.

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Split the Bands

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi System

Photograph: Eero

Many routers and mesh methods permit you to arrange separate SSIDs for 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz networks through an app or net interface—you may want to seek the advice of the settings menu to determine how. 

By splitting the bands, your 2.4-GHz community and your 5-GHz community can have distinct names and passwords. This makes your own home community barely extra advanced, nevertheless it does permit you to resolve which band to be a part of. For units that function on 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz, like your telephone and laptop computer, you may need to be a part of each and let your gadget select (it ought to default to the quickest obtainable robust sign). It’s a good suggestion to append the identify of the 5-GHz band, so you recognize which is which. (For instance, identify them “mynetwork” and “mynetwork_5GHz.”) 

Smart dwelling units which have this connectivity downside throughout setup can join simply fantastic after you full the break up, so you possibly can swap again to a single SSID after your new gadget is efficiently related (simply be sure the 2.4-GHz band community has the identify and password you propose to use as your major community).

Go the Distance

A less complicated methodology is to transfer far sufficient away out of your router (be sure to unplug the closest mesh node); this would possibly drive your telephone to join to the 2.4-GHz band. Since this band has a greater vary, your smartphone will finally swap from 5 GHz with sufficient distance. This would possibly imply carrying your robotic vacuum out into the yard, which isn’t superb.

Create a Guest Network

You could desire not to have two separate networks or discover that your mesh router doesn’t help band splitting. For instance, Google’s Nest WiFi doesn’t permit you to break up bands. You can usually get round this subject by making a visitor community, which solely operates on the 2.4-GHz band. (By default, most visitor networks run on this band.)

Guest networks are designed to allow guests to your own home to join to your Wi-Fi community with out giving them entry to the identical community as all of your units. Both networks have entry to the web, however solely units on the identical community can speak instantly to one another, which may be useful for sharing information or printing. Visitors on visitor networks can’t infect any of your units with malware (not that they’d do that intentionally, however they could be unwittingly contaminated).

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