WiFi Analyzer 2.4GHz channelI received a plethora of 2.4GHz-only devices this week, and my network is a dual 2.4/5GHz with one SSID name and I’m pretty happy with it, except for today. I kept banging my head into the question how do I connect a 2.4GHz-only device when I’m on a dual-band router.

The issue here is these badly written apps are using the WiFi mac address you’re connected to to connect. This means if you’re connected to the 5GHz channel, you’re sending a MAC that’s not the 2.4GHz MAC. The answer should be that there’s some way in Android to switch between 2.4 and 5GHz networks. There used to be evidently, not any more.

We’re going to be using WiFi Analyzer by Farproc (free) and the WiFi Connector Library (also free) to force your phone to connect to the 2.4GHz network.

For the purposes here I had to forget the network in settings/WiFi/forget network. As long as Android knew the network name it kept connecting to the 5GHz version.

Open up WiFi Analyzer, swipe right a couple of times and you should get to a WiFi connection page. Locate your dual router and you’ll see something that’s on Channel 1-13 (one of those,) and something on higher channels. If only one SSID and channel show up, wait a few seconds and you’ll probably see your 5 and 2.4 fill out a section.

Tap the lower channel, (you may have to long press,) choose connect, and viola, you’re connected to your 2.4GHz channel as opposed to the 5GHz. Now go back to your badly designed app that is only sending the MAC address and not the SSID and set it up in whatever fashion you need to.

While 2.4GHz is most likely better for distance (5GHz is speed,) the designers of these apps should be able to pull all MACs assigned to that SSID just by a quick sniff as opposed to making tons of hoops for most dual-band households to have to go through.

WiFi Analyzer 2.4GHZ and 5GHz showingWiFi Analyzer

Alternately you could just set up a 2.4GHz device network on your router and handle it that way since every time you want to connect a new badly designed app/device combo you’re going to have to forget the network and reconnect.

In talking with PR firms and support staff I’ve found that in a lot of these they already contain the dual WiFi band chips, they just aren’t using them, like most WiFi cameras, and I’ve got no idea why.