Slightly OT - Home (Network) Repair - Dual Band Cable Modems/Router

Since there are few a.h.r folks that appear to be knowledgeable in the networking space, I'll run this question by the group...
First, the background:
I was having problems with the WiFi on my TWC modem. The 2 Android smartphones and 2 iPad2's that SWMBO and I use rarely had any problems. However, when the girls would come home from college and add their iPhones and MacBook Pro laptops, the performance would be so bad as to be unusable at times. If fact, we would often have to actually cycle the power on the modem in order to connect devices to WiFi.
Just FYI, even when the girls are home, there is no gaming. It's mainly texts and some youtube on their phones, web surfing and youtube on their laptops. It should also be noted that the inability to connect without resetting the modem isn't based on high usage at the time of the incident. Sometimes even the first device that tries to connect will fail to do so.
I called TWC tech support and they suggested that I upgrade (no charge) to a dual band cable modems/router and use the tablets and smartphones on the 5G band and put the laptops on the 2.4G band.
Well, after 2 TWC screw-ups in trying to get me a dual band modem (once in a TWC store and once via mail) they decided to send a technician who would ensure that I got a dual band modem and set it all up for me. I was glad to hear that because it would give the opportunity to discuss the issue with the tech face to face.
The technician installed the modem today and we discussed the original problems with trying to use multiple device as well as what tech support had told me about smartphones and tablets on 5G, laptops on 2.4.
While he agreed that my first modem was probably faulty. He did not agree about splitting the devices between the 2.4G and 5G bands. He said that if the device can see the 5G network, then use it, regardless of the platform. There is much less interference on the 5G band, so there shouldn't be any connectivity or performance issues.
After the dual band modem was installed, we got the 2 Android phone and iPads connected to the 5G side, but I won't be able to test anything with the iPhones or laptops until my daughters come home next month.
My main question is regarding the splitting of the devices between 2.4G and 5G. Who is right(er): tech support (laptops on 2.4) or the on-site technician (everything that can see 5G should be on 5G)?
Thanks!
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

First of all, there is no such thing as dual band modem. You have a cable modem with added WiFi router. That router can be single band(2.4GHz) or dual band(2.4GHz, 5GHz) Most people use the built in router in bridge mode and add free standing better router. Seeing the number of devices you have, did you set up the router for best result? 5G band is less crowdy(so less interference) but shorter range vs. 24GHz band is opposite. If you live in urban area 2.4GHZ may be quite crowded. You need to find and select best channel, best security for improved service. There is a freeware WiFi surveying program called Acrylic. Download it and run it to see your WiFi environment. From there you can select best channel for you and if you can WPA2/AES is choice security set up. Most iPad, iPhones are dual band capable. Also if you can locate the router, central and high point in your house. I live in a 2 story house. My router is located in upstairs loft. I don't use ISP supplied router. My router is Linksys EA8500(dual band MU-MIMO capable) It covers every thing from basement to upstairs. If you have specific question, I'll try to answer that via email or here.
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On Friday, January 8, 2016 at 1:55:44 PM UTC-5, Tony Hwang wrote:

Thank you for that, you will note that I used the term Dual Band Cable Modem/Router, simply as a means to indicate that it was indeed a single unit. I guess I should reversed the words to be clearer.
Dual Band Router/Cable Modem

I did not set up the router, the TWC technician did after I explained my previous problems and current situation.

Yes, the technician showed me a scan of my "area" and I could see the overlap of the neighbor's 2.4G networks. On the 5G side, one neighbor's router came and went, which "proves" the range theory.

I will look into the Acrylic utility. Thanks!

My modem/router is currently in the basement right where the cable and phone wires enter the house. I have considered moving it but that will require some more cable pulls - which I am not against doing, just haven't done yet. Winter is here, so that's a good inside project. ;-)

I am planning to purchase my own router, but I want to learn more about the dual-band environment and how it will work with my devices before I purchase anything. The TWC unit gives me a chance to play before I purchase anything.

Thanks. After I try the Acrylic utility, I'm sure I will have questions. There is also the fact that the laptops will not be around until a month from now, so I can't test the network with them on it for a while.
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On 01/08/2016 12:55 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:
[snip]

The new DOCSIS3 modems support multiple channels (minimum 4), but that still isn't dual band. It would be more like the 80Ghz channels (4 adjacent channels, in same band) available with 5GHz WiFi.

It's better to have completely separate modem and router/WiFi. If not possible, use bridge mode (as above).
Also, I just heard about a security problem people were having with combination modem/routers.
[snip]
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
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