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

Whether you’re welcoming a new robot vacuum into your house, organising smart lighting, or including one of many newest smart speakers, there’s an opportunity you might run into bother getting your smart home devices connected to your Wi-Fi community. There are just a few potential causes, however the most typical 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 title 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—based mostly on the gadget and sign power, which is named band steering. The 2.4-GHz band has higher vary and penetration by obstacles like partitions, however the 5-GHz band is quicker.

The drawback? If you utilize your cellphone to arrange the sensible dwelling gadget by way of its respective app, you may discover that the gadget desires to be part of the 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi band, however your cellphone 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 part of your community. Thankfully, there are three major methods to clear up this challenge.

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Split the Bands

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi System

Photograph: Eero

Many routers and mesh systems enable you to arrange separate SSIDs for 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz networks by way of an app or internet interface—you may want to seek the advice of the settings menu to work out how. 

By splitting the bands, your 2.4-GHz community and your 5-GHz community can have distinct names and passwords. This makes your house community barely extra advanced, but it surely does enable you to determine which band to be part of. For units that function on 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz, like your cellphone and laptop computer, you may need to be part of each and let your gadget select (it ought to default to the quickest out there robust sign). It’s a good suggestion to append the title of the 5-GHz band, so which is which. (For instance, title them “mynetwork” and “mynetwork_5GHz.”) 

Smart dwelling units which have this connectivity drawback throughout setup can join simply positive after you full the break up, so you’ll be able to swap again to a single SSID after your new gadget is efficiently linked (simply be sure that the 2.4-GHz band community has the title and password you propose to use as your major community).

Go the Distance

An easier methodology is to transfer far sufficient away out of your router (be sure that to unplug the closest mesh node); this may drive your cellphone 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 may imply carrying your robotic vacuum out into the yard, which isn’t superb.

Create a Guest Network

You might want not to have two separate networks or discover that your mesh router doesn’t assist band splitting. For instance, Google’s Nest WiFi doesn’t enable you to break up bands. You can usually get round this challenge 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 house 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 discuss instantly to one another, which could be useful for sharing recordsdata or printing. Visitors on visitor networks can’t infect any of your devices with malware (not that they might do that intentionally, however they might be unwittingly contaminated).

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