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Home Network Connection 5ghz vs 2.4ghz

Views: 632 Replies: 6
My wife and I both have an Apple watch. I have an AirPort Extreme AC network with two SSID's. One for 2.4 (SSID) and the other for 5 (SSID-5). I like to force all of my capable devices to the SSID-5 network in order to avoid the flooded 2.4 spectrum. Seeing as our iPhones have "Forgot" the "SSID" network, will the apple watches still connect to those so they can communicate via wifi with the phones and use for whatever else they do?
billbrandes
Asked: 23:42 29/03/2016
dsr771 23:42 29/03/2016
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... in error
billbrandes 23:42 29/03/2016
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I understand it will only connect to the 2.4 network. My question was that I have forced my iPhone 6 and 6 plus to connect to the 5ghz SSID. I have "forgot" the 2.4 ghz SSID on the phones themselves. Both SSID's are the same network, same ip segment, etc. are these things smart enough to recognize that there is also a 2.4ghz network to connect too? I'd rather not have my 5ghz devices join the 2.4ghz SSID.

I'm intrigued by the fact that in settings the phones know that they can "manage the network" due to it being on AirPort Extreme AC's. I'm just wondering if any of that is carried over to the Apple watch? Or can I manually tell the Apple Watch what network to connect to and not to have it solely piggy back off of the iPhone settings?
rhastman 23:42 29/03/2016
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Seeing as our iPhones have "Forgot" the "SSID" network, will the apple watches still connect to those so they can communicate via wifi with the phones and use for whatever else they do?

A little more explanation is needed. The Watch will connect to your 2.4 GHz wireless network... provided that its paired iPhone has connected to that network in the past. That caveat is significant, since it is not clear whether you configured a separate SSID for your AirPort Exteme's 5 GHz network or if your iPhone ever connected to its 2.4 GHz network in the past. Read About Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Apple Watch - Apple Support for justification.

It's easy enough for you to verify this for yourself: using AirPort Utility, determine your Extreme's wireless clients. If the Watch has joined its wireless network, the Watch's name (whatever you gave it) will appear in its "wireless clients" list. It may also appear as a MAC address (a hardware address such as AB:CD:EF:00:01:02) which you will have to determine corresponds to the Watch.

If it does not appear in the Wireless Clients list, temporarily turn off the iPhone's Bluetooth radio. That will force it to seek a Wi-Fi connection, which is disabled for power conservation reasons whenever the iPhone's Bluetooth connection is available.

Allow a few moments for the Watch to appear in the AirPort Extreme's Wireless Clients list. It certainly should. If it does not, and your iPhone's BT radio remains "off", the red "lost connection" icon will appear on the Watch face.

I'd rather not have my 5ghz devices join the 2.4ghz SSID.

There are technologically sound reasons for leaving the "5GHz network name" choice de-selected in AirPort Utility. Is there a reason for wanting otherwise?

... Or can I manually tell the Apple Watch what network to connect to and not to have it solely piggy back off of the iPhone settings?

No, that is not possible.
qualion 23:42 29/03/2016
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I have the same setup. I definitely connected my iPhone to my 2.4g, though. I've tested that the watch still shows connected and weather app, etc. still works when i switch off bluetooth and connect my iPhone to the 5g network. However, my Apple Watch doesn't show up in the Airport Utility for some reason... at least not with the name I gave it, perhaps its using one of the other IP addresses listed.
billbrandes 23:42 29/03/2016
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Thanks John for the reply. Let me try to be a little more clear as I thought I had explained that there were two SSID's. Downstairs connected to my Verizon FiOS ONT I have an Apple Airport Extreme AC. I have enabled both the 2.4 and 5Ghz SSID and added a -5 on the SSID for 5Ghz. I have a second Airport Extreme AC upstairs that is hardwired to the network and setup in Bridge mode. The downstairs Airport Extreme AC is acting as a gateway and DHCP server. Upstairs is basically setup as a WAP. I have sufficient coverage on both floors with devices switching back and forth as needed.

For all of my 5Ghz capable devices I've had them join the 5Ghz network only. The 2.4Ghz devices are obviously joining the 2.4Ghz SSID. Anything that can be hardwired is as such. I do have a lot of Wireless devices between NEST products, Camera's, printers, computers, iOS, Game consoles, etc. (Think SOHO). I also live in a typical Southern California community where I'm no more than 12 feet away from my closest neighbor. I prefer to have my devices separated in the digital RF spectrum as much as possible.

My iPhone 6 plus, and my wife's iPhone 6 are connected to the -5 SSID. The watches (her's a sport, mine a watch) are paired to each phone respectively. I understand both Watch's are 2.4Ghz capable only; however, I don't want to have to join my 2.4Ghz network on my iPhone's if at all possible. Why? Because it's faster and has less RF interference and just because it has the technology. So why not? Why couldn't that be a configurable item in the Apple Watch app especially since the network is run by their own product? I would understand that it could be more complicated if it was third party WAP and routing.

In the meantime I understand they're connected via BT. Just trying to get the maximum out of the provided technology.
mrrush 23:42 29/03/2016
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did you get a solution on this yet? cos I'm having the same problem, once my phone connects to 5ghz, the watch loses wifi connection. I don't want to use 2.4ghz on my 6S forever

Home Network Connection 5ghz vs 2.4ghz

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