Alydi Tech

2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Do I look like an engineer?

2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Do I look like an engineer?

So, I've got this mailFi thing and it's not connecting. Now What?


Back Story - skippable

A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away, all wifi routers sent and received 2.4 Ghz signals. Life was simple. Unfortunately, most of the other communication devices in our homes also communicate on the same frequency making it congested. Why did everyone pile on 2.4Ghz, frankly, because it's robust. It can go through a brick wall and has an unobstructed range of 300 feet.

The new 5Ghz frequency doesn't travel as far, but it's fast (like an electric car).

Modern routers can broadcast in both frequency ranges, or one, or the other.


To configure the mailFi device, we need to connect our cell phone or tab to the 2.4Ghz signal, but how?

An app will tell us. I don't want to recommend any single app, but a quick search for "Wifi Analysis" in the Google Play Store or iTunes will reveal a bunch of them.

Pick one that will show you the 2.4 and 5Ghz frequencies. Here is an example.

mailfi analyzer


You may be surprised to find that you don't have a 2.4Ghz frequency or that both frequencies share the same name, making it difficult to tell which one you're connected to.

If you can't find the 2.4Ghz, it's probably disabled in your router and you'll have to log in as an admin and enable it.

If both networks share the same SSID and you're having a hard time determining which one you're using, you can change the name of one of them to reveal the other.

For instance, if both my networks are called mailFi-WiFi, simply call one mailFi-WiFi24 and leave the 5Ghz network as mailFi-WiFi. 

Many users have routers that are supposed to switch automatically between the two networks. This is called "wifi steering" and it's designed to push any device that can communicate on 5Ghz to the 5Ghz network to free up the saturated 2.4Ghz network.  There is no standard protocol for Wifi steering, It's designed and implemented by the individual router manufacture making it incredibly difficult to troubleshoot.

Best Practice... Don't cross the streams; verify both networks are broadcasting on their own name.

Need assistance, I'll see you in the chat.  


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