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BT Whole Home Wi-fi Discs & 2.4Ghz?

WarHog

Member
Does anyone know if the Wifi on these can be split into the two separate 5Ghz & 2.4Ghz channels, like you can on the BT Hub?

I have a Reolink Argus 2 CCTV camera that can only connect to 2.4Ghz, which works fine with my BT Hub as I've separated the two channels and connected it directly to the 2.4Ghz. I want to buy another camera but my Wifi signal might be a bit weak where I want to position it. Wondering if I bought the BT Whole Home discs I could connect my CCTV camera to it ok?




 

cjed

Well-known Member
No, you can't set up the BT Whole Home to have separate SSIDs for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Sadly, although users have been asking BT for this feature pretty much since the product was launched, they have no plans (AFAIK) to implement it. Other than that, I'm very pleased with them.

Having said that, I have a number of 2.4GHz only WiFi devices and have no problem connecting them. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work with your cameras.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
To amplify what Cjed is saying: It doesn't matter if your client devices can only "hear" one particular waveband - if your cameras are only 2.4GHz capable, then by definition they will/can only bind to (called "Associate" in Wi-Fi speak) 2.4GHz SSID's - they will simply be unaware that the 5GHz SSID (same or different name) even exist.

In Wi-Fi, "dual band" (2.4GHz and 5GHz) AP's/router/discs/whatever is like having two Wi-Fi AP's in the same box - one AP serves 2.4GHz, one AP serves 5GHz. If a client device (2.4GHz "only" was the very common a few years ago) can only "hear" the 2.4Ghz waveband, then by definition they will only Associate with SSID's advertised in that waveband, whether the SSID names are the same as those in the 5GHz waveband or different. A 2.4GHz only client is completely unaware of anything happening in the 5GHz waveband - it doesn't even know it exists.

Imagine it in terms of sound: Thanks to decade of heavy metal abuse, I cannot hear anything above 10KHz. If someone wanted to try talking to me at 15KHz, I simply cannot hear them. I can "Only hear the bass, hear the bass, no treble." Whereas, if they yell down in the bass registers at 100Hz, I can hear them just fine. Thusly, it make no difference to me whether my 15KHz interlocutor is using the same name as my 100Hz interlocutor as I simply cannot hear him.
 

WarHog

Member
That explains it well, thanks for that. The camera is expected to be delivered soon so I will see if it can connect to my existing Wi-fi, if it can't then I'll consider buying these BT discs.
Cheers.
 

WarHog

Member
So do these discs increase your original Wi-fi strength, or do they just carry your existing Wi-fi strength to areas of your house that are struggling to connect?

I'm with BT internet and I'm currently getting 26Mbps. Would these discs increase this everywhere, or just ensure that my 26Mbps is covering a larger area?
 

neilball

Well-known Member
To amplify what Cjed is saying: It doesn't matter if your client devices can only "hear" one particular waveband - if your cameras are only 2.4GHz capable, then by definition they will/can only bind to (called "Associate" in Wi-Fi speak) 2.4GHz SSID's - they will simply be unaware that the 5GHz SSID (same or different name) even exist.

In Wi-Fi, "dual band" (2.4GHz and 5GHz) AP's/router/discs/whatever is like having two Wi-Fi AP's in the same box - one AP serves 2.4GHz, one AP serves 5GHz. If a client device (2.4GHz "only" was the very common a few years ago) can only "hear" the 2.4Ghz waveband, then by definition they will only Associate with SSID's advertised in that waveband, whether the SSID names are the same as those in the 5GHz waveband or different. A 2.4GHz only client is completely unaware of anything happening in the 5GHz waveband - it doesn't even know it exists.

Imagine it in terms of sound: Thanks to decade of heavy metal abuse, I cannot hear anything above 10KHz. If someone wanted to try talking to me at 15KHz, I simply cannot hear them. I can "Only hear the bass, hear the bass, no treble." Whereas, if they yell down in the bass registers at 100Hz, I can hear them just fine. Thusly, it make no difference to me whether my 15KHz interlocutor is using the same name as my 100Hz interlocutor as I simply cannot hear him.
Although it should not matter, there are some devices that use apps to configure them (smart power sockets and similar devices) that simply will not configure correctly on networks where the 2.4 & 5Ghz bands share the same SSID, so require you to either disable the 5GHz band or split the SSID names while you complete the configuration and setup. Once that bit is done they work fine when the 5GHz band is re-enabled (or both bands go back to the same SSID name). I’ve had to go through this numerous times with many brands of smart devices and my Ubiquiti Unifi setup. Thankfully Unifi allows full control over the setup so providing you have access to and know how the change the configuration settings it’s not a problem.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
So do these discs increase your original Wi-fi strength, or do they just carry your existing Wi-fi strength to areas of your house that are struggling to connect?

I'm with BT internet and I'm currently getting 26Mbps. Would these discs increase this everywhere, or just ensure that my 26Mbps is covering a larger area?
It's basically the latter, they won't improve your basic internet throughput, just make it available over a larger area. There's more to it than that of course, one feature I particularly like is the way they hand client devices off to the WiFi Access Point (Disc) which can provide it with the strongest signal.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
So do these discs increase your original Wi-fi strength, or do they just carry your existing Wi-fi strength to areas of your house that are struggling to connect?
Neither: Nothing can "boost" a (any) radio signal - it's physically impossible.

What we do by deploying multiple AP (or "discs" as BT seem to want to call them) is create a "cellular" coverage pattern of multiple hot-spots. On big sites we put up hundreds. By deploying AP's closer to the clients, any given client may thence be able to send/receive "clearer" ("clarity" is often more important that "volume," though one is a factor of the other,) which means greater amounts of data can be carried per packet and error rates and subsequent retransmissions reduce. It can also reduce the "contention ratio" of clients per hotspot (in each hotspot, "only one thing at a time can transmit.") And that's assuming clients choose to talk (called "Associate") with the closest AP - in the real world they don't.

The "trick" is how to establish the "backhaul" links between the AP's and the rest of the (wired) network, "Proper" cabled ethernet is by far the best way - fastest and most reliable - but if that's not possible some AP's (such as so called "mesh" and "repeaters") can do backhaul over Wi-Fi. The trouble is that the the backhaul transmissions compete for air-time with client transmission which can hammer the throughout (speed.) Tri-band systems mitigate that somewhat by using multiple radios tuned to different radio channels to mitigate this, but it'll only get you so far. And of course, the "mesh" AP's need to be "in range" for a good (enough) signal to/from each other for the backhauls to work well.
 
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WarHog

Member
Well thankfully the Reolink cctv camera manages to connect to my broadband, despite it being outside on the front wall of my house, and my BT Hub being at the back of the house. But these BT discs do look useful, shame there are lots of reviews saying they suffer from connectivity issues and often need resetting every few days.
 
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