Velop Mesh system question

BTE

Novice Member
Is there a way to "force" a device (iphone 8 latest ios) to connect via 2.4 ghz rather than 5ghz?
I am trying to set up a wifi smart socket that requires the phone to be on the 2.4 network and it is on the 5ghz network. I understand that because it's a mesh system the network are merged but the system tells me the iphone is on the 5ghz connection. The wi fi socket, again does not work unless the phone wifi is 2.4ghz. The velop is a 3 node system.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Sometimes there is a configuration option that isolates the 2.4GHz abs 5GHz wifi networks from each other, so you could look and see if that is part of your system and disable the isolation. If that works then great, if not your next step is to see if your wifi system allows multiple SSIDs to be created, and maybe create a 2.4GHz-only SSID for your smart plugs or other IoT devices.

I have a 2.4GHz-only SSID in my own home for this reason. Control is. it a problem as the devices operate via the cloud, so do not require my control devices to be on the same internal network once configured.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
It is the client devices not "the system" that decide which AP (node, router, AP whatever) and which waveband to use and if/when to "roam" between them.

In "enterprise" level equipment, we can sometimes impose controls to restrict curtains clients to particular AP's or wavebands (basically the kit just "ignores" any connection attempts to the "wrong" thing and hopes the client will go try the "right" one) but this sort of control is rarer in SOHO gear. (Enterprise sysadmins prefer no to do this though as it's a real ball ache to maintain.)

An alternate approach might be to look on the phone and see if it has any controls to mandate (or "prefer") the use of a given waveband. Windows Wi-Fi NIC drivers often have such settings, but it's conceivable a phone has less granularity of control. However, note if you nobble the handset and make it "2.4GHz only" it's likely to thence the 2.4GHz only everywhere, not just your Wi-Fi, which may or may not be a big deal for you.

Or you can do what Neil suggests and give each waveband a different SSID (and different in each AP if you really want to go mad and the kit will let you.) But note that client devices will never automatically "roam" between dissimilar SSID's (wherever they may be homed in different AP's or different wavebands in the same AP) and you'll have to flip them yourself.
 

BTE

Novice Member
It is the client devices not "the system" that decide which AP (node, router, AP whatever) and which waveband to use and if/when to "roam" between them.

In "enterprise" level equipment, we can sometimes impose controls to restrict curtains clients to particular AP's or wavebands (basically the kit just "ignores" any connection attempts to the "wrong" thing and hopes the client will go try the "right" one) but this sort of control is rarer in SOHO gear. (Enterprise sysadmins prefer no to do this though as it's a real ball ache to maintain.)

An alternate approach might be to look on the phone and see if it has any controls to mandate (or "prefer") the use of a given waveband. Windows Wi-Fi NIC drivers often have such settings, but it's conceivable a phone has less granularity of control. However, note if you nobble the handset and make it "2.4GHz only" it's likely to thence the 2.4GHz only everywhere, not just your Wi-Fi, which may or may not be a big deal for you.

Or you can do what Neil suggests and give each waveband a different SSID (and different in each AP if you really want to go mad and the kit will let you.) But note that client devices will never automatically "roam" between dissimilar SSID's (wherever they may be homed in different AP's or different wavebands in the same AP) and you'll have to flip them yourself.
Thx. Knowing that the device will probably operate after being set up via the cloud and will not probably require being on the same network as the remote(phone) gives me an option I had disregarded. The modem from internet provider has a network I am not utilizing sine I have the mesh system. I am going to try to tap into that, rename the WiFi--maybe split the 2.4 and 5 systems--and I can switch the phone back and forth to this 2.4 system to configure the switches. Hopefully this will not disturb the mesh system
Thanks again for the info and help
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Thx. Knowing that the device will probably operate after being set up via the cloud and will not probably require being on the same network as the remote(phone) gives me an option I had disregarded. The modem from internet provider has a network I am not utilizing sine I have the mesh system. I am going to try to tap into that, rename the WiFi--maybe split the 2.4 and 5 systems--and I can switch the phone back and forth to this 2.4 system to configure the switches. Hopefully this will not disturb the mesh system
Thanks again for the info and help

That should work - as long as the thing you are calling a "modem" is functioning as a SOHO "router." If it is a router that you have running in "modem mode," then "modem mode" almost always (as far as I have observed) disables everything except the modem and one of the ethernet ports. If so, then you won't be able to coax the built in AP back into life and even if you could, it would be "outside" whatever you have downstream that is routing for you so wouldn't work as you expect - it'll be on a separate network and the IP addressing and routing probably won't work and most importantly, it won't be behind a firewall and will be directly exposed to the public Internet.

I commend you to take a look at the block diagram of a SOHO router attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum. Hopefully that will help illustrate what's happening inside a SOHO router and where the traffic flows go. In "normal" operating mode, everything works as in the diagram. In "modem mode" (for those routers that offer it) everything except the modem and one of the ethernet ports gets disabled (lets use LAN port 1 for the purposes of discussion) and traffic only passes through WAN---MODEM---LAN1 and avoids everything else. In (normal) "router" mode most SOHO routers will let you disable the built in AP, and for those that don't we can effectively disable it by changing the SSID/passphrase to something different from the rest of our AP's.

Some so-called "mesh" systems are designed to replace the router/NAT/firewall functionality of the ISP provided router, usually because such mesh systems want to offer some additional functionality such as parental controls and prioritisation which is vested in "routing" functionality. The telltale is that one of the "mesh" nodes some kind of "king"of "master" node status and they'll have you hook it up so that it's the first thing any traffic hits. But this is not at all necessary for implementing a managed fleet of Wi-Fi AP's. Consequently a lot of "mesh" systems offer an "AP mode" (some call it "bridge mode" I believe) which defeats it's in built router/NAT/firewall and "just" has the mesh system doing Wi-Fi. Thence the ISP "router" can continue to function with all it's features turned on - router/NAT/firewall/switch/AP.

It would be my preferred way to deploy a SOHO network - let the ISP supplied router function as the "edge" point or your network running as router/NAT/firewall/switch with or without AP turned on as you see fit, then configure any downstream Wi-Fi solution (be it "mesh" or otherwise) as "just" a fleet of AP's and not have them doing any routing/NAT/firewall. An incidental benefit of such a configuration is that if ever you change ISP and they send yo a new router, your WI-Fi infrastructure will be unaffected by a router change.

So, doing what you are planning should be achievable with the kit you have in hand assuming your "mesh" system can, or is, running in "AP mode" and your router is running as a router, but even if not, you can achieve it with a bit of reconfiguration depending on how you presently have it functioning.
 

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