BT Smart Hub initial set up - to split or not?

simonx98

Novice Member
Hi ... I have just moved house and have been looking forward to BT Infinity with a Smart Hub as the broadband speed & stability at the old house were poor and I work from home a lot (for a bank). Having read advice here, I split the 2.4 & 5GHz bands, but wondering if this is the best way to start off.

This is my first day of work, no issue with speed but my connecton has already dropped a couple of times this morning, my iMac is connected via the 5GHz band, as indeed is my TV and Android phone (Galaxy A% running Android 6.0.1 (and wife's iPhone5).

Was it wise to to separate the bands or best to start off with them merged as that will reduce the chance of connection dropping, maybe if 5Ghz band drops you fall back automatically to the 2.4GHz band??

Any advice appreciated!
 

bob mushroom

Active Member
I started unsplit but soon had to split to allow for connection issues. Now I have binned it and got a netgear nighthawk and have had no issues. So I would suggest keeping couples until you need to separate.
 

simonx98

Novice Member
I have switched to the 2.4GHz band but my session dropped a few more times including just now when I got a message from the Smart Hub Manager telling me to call BT to report loss of broadband. The guy I spoke to said the problem is because I have only just switched to BT Infinity, give it a week and it will be fine .... anyone know if there is any truth in that because it sounds suspicioulsy like I am being fobbed off?
 

wormvortex

Member
Can take 10days after activation for it to settle due to DLM. I split the 2.4GHZ and 5GHz bands simply as the 5GHZ band allows faster speeds and I upload/download a lot of large files from my home server to my mac. I keep TV's etc.. all on the 2.4GHZ band as the bandwidth increase is pointless as FTTC maxes out at 80Mbps and the 2.4GHZ band can more than handle that.
 

simonx98

Novice Member
Thanks wormvortex, I'll give it time then.
Still unsure if there is any point in me splitting the bands?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I disagree with the suggestion in the Expert Review article that it is a "problem" that AP's/Routers offer the same SSID in both wavebands. There is no right or wrong way to do this, it's a choice with each option having virtues and vices.

A "dual band" AP/Router is like having two Wi-Fi AP/Routers in the same box, one AP/Router serving each radio waveband (known as the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wavebands.)

Not all Wi-Fi protocols are available in each waveband. Mandated by standards, B/G are 2.4GHz only, A/AC are 5GHz only, N is available in both wavebands, though it's not mandatory to support both - some older "dual band" routers only availed N in "one or the other" but not both.

The is more "frequency spectrum" available in the 5GHz waveband which (put grossly over-simply) means you have better chance of faster rates with 5GHz waveband/protocols: With the right client/router mix: And good radio signalling conditions: And a whole load of other caveats: Including line of sight.

It is the client devices that decide if/when to "roam" between AP's with the same SSID not "the system." It is Big Wi-Fi Myth Number 2 that clients are always "hunting for the best signal" - in fact this is not the case. Some will hang on to a "working" link until it's pretty grotty before considering hunting for something better.

So, if you make the SSID's (and passphrase etc.) the same, then your clients may automatically swap between the two depending on how their designers choose to make them. With dissimilar SSID's the client will never swap until it completely looses connection and "starts from scratch" as if you'd just turned it on.

However, with dissimilar SSID's, you can "choose your band" from the client as by definition you are presented with a choice of AP's, but you'll never roam.

With same SSID, you won't be given a choice of AP - the equipment (or OS) designer effectively "designs in" the decision for you. But you might get roaming between bands automatically.

So, which way to go is a value judgement you need to make for yourself.

In a big deployment (with hundreds of AP's) I avail same in both and let the clients decide. Most people wouldn't want the bother of making the choice for themselves. But in a SOHO you may prefer to distribute clients between the two - say fast closer clients in 5GHz, slower distant clients in 2.4GHz.

Some clients (typically laptops) have some controls in the NIC drivers that offer a degree of control. For example, some will let you "favour" a particular band and/or protocol. Some offer "harder" options that absolutely disable particular protocols. For example if I make my laptop "AC" only, it forces use of 5GHz even if 2.4GHz SSID is available (and "stronger") with the same SSID. Though some NIC's offer no control at all.

Of course many devices (phones for example) don't offer any controls.

It's also worth noting that not all clients support both wavebands - there's a lot of 2.4GHz only kit out there.
 
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vader100

Well-known Member
I split mine and it introduced all sorts of problems, mainly the Hub constantly restarting itself. As soon as I got all the 5Ghz connected devices disconnected it was solid. I reset it back to unsplit and it has been fine since. From a little bit of googling it appears the Smart hub has an issue when split.
 

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