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If I would have a setup where I have one or more devices on the 2.4GHz network and one or more devices on the 5GHz network, can they talk to each other if I'm using a ASUS RT-AC66U router?

For example if I have a Chromecast or Sonos system on the 2.4GHz network and connect my phones and laptops to the 5GHz network, will that work?

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    Yes, it works... – user772515 Mar 5 '18 at 14:17
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Wireless interface really looks like wired interface once connected. I mean when you're done with authentication, your wireless connection will emulates a wired connection, and you should "see" the network as you were connected with a wire on the router.

In most wireless access points or routers the default configuration is to make it work for most users, so to let communicates clients with clients.

So your ASUS RT-AC66U should let client communicate with each other.

On this router, there is an option to prevent client to client communication connected on the same wireless interface, named Set AP isolated in the Wireless>Professional tab (reference).

  • As a user of this specific model router for several years, I can confirm that what you've said is correct. – Taegost Mar 5 '18 at 18:25
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    AP isolation is set per radio for a reason: It’s a per-network setting. It does not affect cross-radio communication at all. – Daniel B Mar 5 '18 at 19:24
  • @DanielB, fixed – pim May 9 '18 at 12:29
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Yes... The key to remember here, at least in this instance, is that the WiFi connection is just layers 1 & 2 connection to the network regardless of the band involved, meaning in layman's terms it is taking the place of a wired Ethernet connection. To the rest of the devices in the network, it is just another node. The fact it is wired or wireless is not relevant. The actual IP connection at layer 3 and all higher layers are identical to a wired client.

Unless some other factor is involved (like AP Isolation), all nodes, both wired and wireless, are on the same network, meaning the rules of them communicating with each other are the same regardless of the underlying connection.

  • Wifi is NOT layer 2; it's layer 1 only. Ethernet is layer 2, which is why Wifi and wired are typically on the same network - they share a broadcast domain. – Duncan X Simpson Mar 5 '18 at 20:07
  • According to Aruba, it's both... community.arubanetworks.com/t5/Technology-Blog/… – acejavelin Mar 5 '18 at 21:40
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    1. That's not Aruba, that's a "guest blogger", but 2. I will concede that it seems that wifi does go upto the bottom half of L2. Either way, L2 traffic goes across APs. It doesn't have to be at L3. – Duncan X Simpson Mar 5 '18 at 21:57
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Yes that will work, since they're both connecting to the same IP subnet. (I assume) The wifi bands are comparable to having two different types of cables, for instance one being a cat.5e and another being cat.6 - both devices will connect to the same ip subnet but with different connection speeds.

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Yes, that will work, but ..

The Chromecast will work better on the less congested 5 GHz band. In order to make it use that band you must set it up (in peer-to-peer mode, not via the router) with a device (phone, tablet) that uses the same 5 GHz band at that time. Later you can mix WiFi bands, just not during the setup.

Also, in order for phones, tablets, Chromecast, ... to be able to see each other they must use (one of the) the private WiFi network(s) of your router, not a public guest (AP isolated) network.

Been there, done that, made all of the same mistakes.

  • Good complementing info :) – KungWaz Mar 6 '18 at 7:25
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Both 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz networks are nothing more than radio frequency that is broadcast on which have their own pros and cons.

But ignoring everything else and only replying to your question, it doesn't matter if you are connected to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz since you are connecting to the same access point you will be able to communicate with other hosts which are connected with different broadcast frequency.

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