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Windows 7: Can my Laptop simultaneously connect to a 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz Wifi network?


27 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Can my Laptop simultaneously connect to a 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz Wifi network?

I want to upgrade my home network to support HD streaming over Wifi. I am considering getting an 802.11ac router and replacing my laptops Wifi network card with one that supports the new Wifi 802.11ac standard.

On my home network I want to connect a TV set top box to the router over Cat6 but my laptop is the only device that will be connecting over Wifi. I have a Dell Inspiron 7520 laptop. It has an Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 Wifi card which supports dual stream but only one band: 2.4Ghz.

It looks like my laptop only has two internal antenna cables and for this reason I am thinking I cannot avail of triple stream Wifi-N 450Mb/s + 450Mb/s on a simultaneous dual band N900 router. I am stuck with a theoretical max of 300Mb/s on 2.4Ghz under Wifi-N and/or 866Mb/s on 5Ghz under Wifi-AC.

Here are my questions:

1. If I get a simultaneous dual band router can my laptop stream an HD movie on the 5Ghz band and at the same time download say a Youtube video on the 2.4Ghz band? I ask that because I'd like to get a such a router and preserve every ounce of bandwidth on its 5Ghz band for streaming movies from the set top box to my laptop... not have to share it for web browsing needs.

2. Would it be a better solution, or even possible, to install a third internal antenna in my laptop and get a triple stream 802.11n class Wifi card (such as the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300) and Wifi-N Class router OR should I buy an 802.11ac router and get the better bandwidth it offers on the 5Ghz band (866Mb/s theoretical) and put up with the reduced theoretical max of 300MB/s on the 2.4Ghz band?

3. I'm thinking I will need at least 300Mb/s to stream rock solid uninterrupted HD over Wifi. Does anyone know if this is true?

Any advice greatly appreciated


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jul 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

You can stream HD movies fine at 150Mbps or even less but it depends on how much of the bandwidth is being used by your neighbors. This can be a big problem in some areas. You won't be able to use both frequency's at once.

Finding the best clean channels to use are what matters most on 2.4 GHz, channel bonding comes in handy sometimes but works best when the channels are mostly clear.

5Ghz is better in this respect because hardly anyone is using it so you tend to get all the bandwidth to yourself but the drawback with 5GHz frequency is that it won't go through walls worth a darn so it's really only useful for open area's outdoors or for large rooms.

I'm running the Asus AC66U router and the Asus PCI-e AC66 NIC which usually runs about 877.5-1.1 Gb. I can stream multiple YouTube video's while watching movies although I could also do this using the 2.4GHz frequency at 300Mbps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
5Ghz is better in this respect because hardly anyone is using it so you tend to get all the bandwidth to yourself but the drawback with 5GHz frequency is that it won't go through walls worth a darn...
On this forum some people who bought the Asus PCE-AC66 wireless adapter card are giving feedback about it. One person (Jailout2000) says you can configure it to receive data on two bands simultaneously. Also, from this forum and review sites it looks like the penetrating power of the 5Ghz band in 802.11ac routers is pretty good now... even if there was one floor and maybe one wall separating you from the router you should still get decent signal it seems. Have you found that to be so?

I only have a b/g class router now so maybe I'll just spring for a cheap single band 300MB/s 802.11n model and return it if it doesn't do what I need.

I'm still tempted to add another antenna to my laptop anyway to avail of better Wifi-ac transmission rates that will no doubt appear in the next year or two.

Cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jul 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SeanieOS View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
5Ghz is better in this respect because hardly anyone is using it so you tend to get all the bandwidth to yourself but the drawback with 5GHz frequency is that it won't go through walls worth a darn...
On this forum some people who bought the Asus PCE-AC66 wireless adapter card are giving feedback about it. One person (Jailout2000) says you can configure it to receive data on two bands simultaneously. Also, from this forum and review sites it looks like the penetrating power of the 5Ghz band in 802.11ac routers is pretty good now... even if there was one floor and maybe one wall separating you from the router you should still get decent signal it seems. Have you found that to be so?

I only have a b/g class router now so maybe I'll just spring for a cheap single band 300MB/s 802.11n model and return it if it doesn't do what I need.

I'm still tempted to add another antenna to my laptop anyway to avail of better Wifi-ac transmission rates that will no doubt appear in the next year or two.

Cheers
When I was testing out the 5GHz band, as soon as I would put a wall between me and the router it would cut over to the 2.4GHz band because the signal was stronger, one wall may work ok but don't believe everything you read because the 5GHz band simply does not go through walls as you might expect.

Also keep in mind that if you want full speed with any wireless router you can't be running in the mixed modes>a b g etc. you need to be using the 802.11n Only settings plus use channel bonding "20Mhz or 80Mhz, 80 is bonded with about 4 channels" and there are also settings for power output on the AC66U.

If you read the reviews about other routers running the 5GHz frequency they are not good at all and most people were very upset about it's lack of ability going through walls. I'm using the 5GHz outdoors about 30+ feet clear shot to my garage from the AC66U which is mounted outside of my house and set up as an A/P, it has 5 bars with 877.5Gb's average.

As far as using both signals at the same time, I'm calling BS on that one, you can easily switch between the two but not both at once, besides that, if you have the 5GHz frequency working correctly then you won't need to use both at once because it has all the bandwidth you need. I was testing the other night and had 12 YouTube vid's going at the same time with no skipping.

I will say that the signal strength of the 2.4GHz band with the Asus AC66U is flat out phenomenal and goes through walls or obstacles much better than my D-Link DIR-655 which is one of the best routers on the market, the AC66U has superior signal strength "power" on 2.4GHz compared to any router on the market.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2013   #5

windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

even tho this thread is now old I think I will post this here as its relevant and better than its own thread.

Today I started using a dual band router and tested it with my phone.

The phone is an android 4.1 samsung phone.

Its a wireless AC router but the phone is wireless N so AC not relevant here, this is more about the bands.

Basically I noticed that android cannot select 5ghz, samsung removed the option but I did find an app that allowed forcing a band to be used (was using 2.4ghz).

When I selected 5ghz with this app the speed went through the roof. Here is some figures, on internet speedtests (my connection is typically uncongested and stable with speeds and these tests are always repeated to gain some consistency and averages)

My 2.4ghz is very congested over 20 networks, and my 5ghz is completely empty.

On previous router with 2.4ghz - 20-30mbit/sec variable.
On this router 2.4ghz. 30-35mbit/sec variable, so slightly better.
On this router 5ghz using the app to force it. 60-65mbit sec WOW. (max my connection is 65).

However I was annoyed that everytime I turned the wifi off and on again I had to use this app to force 5ghz, it wasnt preserved. So I gave the 5ghz its own ssid allowing me to connect to that ssid on the phone and as such no need ot use the app to force 5ghz but then got surprised by the results (at this point I didnt realise I was connected simultaneous to both bands before).

5ghz - 30mbit stable as uncongested.
2.4ghz - down to 17mbit but some tests reached 30, lots of wifi congestion.

The only explanation I got is with the ssid the same on both it uses simultaneous when I select 5ghz in that app. If I selected 5ghz on that app with it on its own ssid it didnt boost the speed, so that app wasnt doing anything to boost it, I think its rather that when a 5ghz band is synced to a 2.4ghz band it allows both to be used in one connection with devices that support it.

So it seems 2.4 and 5 can be used bonded together but they have to share the same ssid?

Also is 2 walls between me and the router.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can my Laptop simultaneously connect to a 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz Wifi network?




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