W121 Not Able to Discern when a 2.4 GHz Device Wants to Use the Network; Need to Separate the 2.4 and the 5.0 GHz Networks

  • 24 October 2023
  • 5 replies


An answer was recently given to a community member about this topic and the reply was, “You cannot separate the 2.4 and 5 ghz networks. The mAX routers use an advanced technology and they would automatically choose the best Wi Fi radio for each client that connects to the network. If your client is still unable to connect to the 2.4 ghz, we recommend you to get in touch with the camera manufacture.”

I have the same issue with devices that will only operate on a 2.4 GHz network.  Sending the questioner to the camera manufacturer is testimony to the fact that the mAX routers are not so advanced in technology. Before buying, I verified that the W121 had both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz capability, but had I known about this limitation of the ARRIS “advanced technology” not being able to discern when a 2.4 device is trying to connect, I would have gone elsewhere.  Does anyone know if this issue will be resolved anytime soon or if there is a software patch work-around in existence?


Best answer by plemans 24 October 2023, 14:46

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Its not a limitation of arris. Its a limitation for most mesh systems. And the issue is poor coding on the camera/IoT makers part. There isn’t any reason (other than laziness) that it shouldn’t be built into the coding of the app. You’ll notice the more expensive versions have zero issue with this. If you search any of the router makers with mesh systems, you’ll see this topic come up all the time. 


A cheat/workaround. 

Shut off your router and turn a phone’s hotspot on with the exact same ssid/password as your router. Run the camera through setup using the hotspot. Once its connected you can shut off the hotspot and turn the router back on. The camera will auto-connect to the router. 


Nice workaround. Thanks! I’ll give it a try. 

With respect to your limitation comment:  in trying to better understand the Wi-Fi mesh issue, I’ve came across the fact that several other mesh system manufacturers let you specifically configure their products to have dedicated 2.4 and 5.0 GHz networks, which can then be easily discovered by household smart devices. So, if such a smart device can only work on a 2.4 network, then it can select that particular network (which is being provided by the mesh router along with the 5.0 option). Again, if I knew what I know now, I would have bought a more technically advanced router.

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Again, there’s a few systems that can separate or have an IoT-ssid network. But most don’t. 

I know it wasn’t until just this last year (after 8 years) that my orbi’s gained that capability to have an IoT ssid network. 

It truly is an issue of whoever makes the app being lazy on their coding. I’m on several forums and this is a common issue with mesh systems and it always comes back to the app makers being lazy. Mesh systems have been around for a decade now so it isn’t new technology anymore. 

I’d send feedback to the app/device maker. Maybe you’ll be the straw that induces change for their app


Mesh systems might not be a new technology, but some implementations are definitely smarter than others. Perhaps you can elaborate on "app makers being lazy," since there are so many smart devices from a variety of manufacturers that now specify in the product description that a 2.4 GHz network is required. I must be missing something, since it seems to me an equally likely conclusion is that mesh-system makers are being lazy.

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I’m not an app developer but I’ve talked to a few who are and it isn’t challenging to adding the capability for a device to be on 5ghz and setup a 2.4ghz device on a mesh network. But it does take a little extra coding. My understanding is that it isn’t a hard process but just takes extra time. Which is why I say its lazy coding.