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My friend's home wifi network was set up by the service provider, and I noticed that the (single) router is broadcasting 3 SSIDs. One of them is 5 Ghz, but the other two is 2.4 Ghz and on the same channel.

I was wondering whether that makes sense. Wouldn't the two 2.4 Ghz networks interfere with each other?

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It's probably routing a guest and private network - this is fairly common.

There is an impact, but this can be managed, and it's better for the router to use the same frequencies rather then overlapping ones. (WIFI devices can manage co-ordinate sending across multiple AP's)

CISCO has a nice paper on it - https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/WiFi_Basics_and_Best_Practices/Multi-SSID_Deployment_Considerations

  • I confirmed it's unlikely that it's guest/private in this case, but nevertheless useful answer, and source. – Gabor Juhasz Oct 29 '17 at 11:47
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Having it transmit and receive on several different channels would either result in abysmal performance (as the transmitter and receiver are switching frequencies) or much higher expense, as multiple transmitter and receivers pairs would be needed.

Having multiple SSIDs on the same channel would at least result in the same total bandwidth as a single SSID but able to split and separate networks without any extra material costs.

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