Roku box: difference between wireless-N and "dual band" wireless-N?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by whistleclient, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. whistleclient

    whistleclient Platinum Member

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    I know in terms of routers, having a dual band, dual radio router means you can have devices connect at both G and N without dropping the whole network down to G. But what does it mean for wireless playback devices?

    The top Roku box is listed as "dual band". I assumed this meant it could connect at either N or G, and that the lower models would be G only. That's not the case. They're both listed as G/N compatible. So what does this mean for the top model? It can connect to two different networks at the same time? I don't see the benefit of this. One as a fallback? Or is it pulling data from both connections to make netflix streaming load faster (not sure how this is possible with a finite download speed).

    Or is it just marketing gobblety gook to make it sound like you're getting a better connection when it's probably the same chip in both?

    Specs for the Roku XD :
    802.11n Wi-Fi (b/g/n compatible)

    Specs for the Roku XD|S :
    802.11n Wi-Fi (b/g/n compatible)
    Dual-band 802.11n (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)

    product specs at Roku

    I don't have a box yet, otherwise I'd check the networking options in the software. Can anyone shed light on this?
     
    #1 whistleclient, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
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  3. Ross Ridge

    Ross Ridge Senior member

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    It means that dual band model can either use Wireless B, G or N to connect wirelessly to your network using the 2.4 GHz band or Wireless N (and maybe A) to connect using the 5 GHz band. The single band model can only use B, G or N to connect using the 2.4 GHz band.

    In other words Wireless N can be used over either of the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, but not all Wireless N devices give you that option. Many Wireless N devices can only use the 2.4 GHz band. Wireless N can work at full speed over both bands, but as many kinds of devices use the 2.4 GHz band the 5 GHz often has much less interference.

    Note, your assumption about routers isn't quite correct. A Wireless N router will be of three different varieties: single band routers that only support the 2.4GHz band, dual band routers that support either 2.4 GHz or the 5 GHz bands, but not both at the same time, and simulataneous dual band routers that support both bands at the same time. If you mix G and N devices using the 2.4GHz band together you won't drop the whole network down to G speeds regardless of which of these kinds of routers you're using.
     
  4. whistleclient

    whistleclient Platinum Member

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    Thanks so much for the info. I mistakenly assumed that everything that connected at 2.4 GHz was considered Wireless G and everything at 5 GHz was N. Thank you for clarifying it for me.
     
  5. boomhower

    boomhower Diamond Member

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    Does the Roku do 5Ghz?
     
  6. whistleclient

    whistleclient Platinum Member

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    The top model does - the Roku XDS.
     
  7. RadiclDreamer

    RadiclDreamer Diamond Member

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    Just recently started doing it