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Contributor

XB6 SSID

I am getting the Arris TG3482G XB6 comcast gateway because my perfectly great Cisco DPC3941T is messing up with the voice I think (callers can't hear me, I can't hear them sometimes). Anyway, I read that it is not recommended to make separate 2.4 and 5ghz SSID's for these gateways because they have "band steering" and "advanced channel selection." Should I just follow this and do one SSID or make two seperate? I have both 5 and 2.4 devices. Is there a way to "force" 5ghz for certain devices?

https://xfinitytechtalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Advanced-Gateway-Installaion-Process-Job-Aid_...

 

Thank you.

 

*are there any other advantages to this gateway if I am topping out at the 250mbps blast rate? The Cisco was capable of 700mbps.

**Is it true they are only shipping it in certain regions and in some you have to go to the store and pick it up?

Silver Problem Solver

Re: XB6 SSID

Band steering only applies to xFi Pods installations.  

 

I have an Arris XB6 and I love it.  My plan is 400 down and speedtest.net shows 490 down.

 

It is not necessary to combine wifi bands under one SSID.  I don't do that with mine.

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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Where do you set up single/dual SSIDs? Is there an arris gui when you first open the browser?

 

I love how opinions are so different. Some people like [this](https://youtu.be/duGI_4Df2tw) guy hates it and wants his xb3 back and some like it. Some say you have to get the technicolor the arris is awful and some say the opposite. Ugh.

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

The SSID is the same by default. It's easy to change the name of one of the channels. You would just

log into your device and change the name of one of the networks

 

The Arris version is not available from Comcast right now. The Technicolor version is superior anyhow -- it has a Broadcom chipset. 




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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Is that the same area I would select whether to have single or dual SSIDs? I'm really tempted to just stay with my xb3, especially since I'm not even getting gigabit now.

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID


@and_youf wrote:

Is that the same area I would select whether to have single or dual SSIDs? I'm really tempted to just stay with my xb3, especially since I'm not even getting gigabit now.


Yes, in fact, your current gateway should have the same GUI interface as the XB6. If you have access to Xfinity xFi, you can also manage your network from there. 

 

And just to add my 2¢ - 

 

  1. If you don't have gigabit or Extreme Pro 400,  and dont plan to upgrade soon, you won't get any performance increase with the XB6. However, if you play a lot of games, the XB6 will be an improvement due to the Intel Puma 6 chipsets on the XB3 gateways.... assuming you're able to get one.  
  2. The 2.4 GHz band gives you broader coverage and compatibility,  but subject to more interference, the 5GHz band gives you faster speed but doesn't penetrate walls or obstacles as well. Unless you have a particular reason for separating the SSIDs, there's no real reason to do so. Keeping them the same will make sure you have the best coverage available for your device, especially mobile ones like smarphones, where you may wander into a dead spot for the 5GHz band but not for the 2.4 GHz band, especially if you're not going faster than Blast Pro 250. 
  3. Posts can be escalated to Comcast employees, but those take time as this isn't a real time support forum. If you really MUST have a swap right away, call or use chat support, or visit an Xfinity Store. 

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Unless so specifically stated, my opinions written herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast, its official employees or affiliates.


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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

I'm just worried about compulsively checking to make sure my laptop is hooked to the 5ghz band. I've heard the band steering is not always perfect.

 

Were the Puma 6's on all 3 models of the XB3's? I know my Cisco was recalled. The arris xb6 has a puma 7 which I hear has similar problems and the Technicolor Broadcom is better.

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

Not sure about the Technicolor XB3 8717 and the Technicolor 3941 but the Cisco and Arris have Puma 6 bit I haven’t noticed any of the reported issues in a 1682.

Yes. The Arris XB6 has Puma 7 while the Technicolor XB6 has the better Broadcom chipset.
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Expert

Re: XB6 SSID


@jweaver0312 wrote:
Not sure about the Technicolor XB3 8717 and the Technicolor 3941 but the Cisco and Arris have Puma 6 bit I haven’t noticed any of the reported issues in a 1682.

Yes. The Arris XB6 has Puma 7 while the Technicolor XB6 has the better Broadcom chipset.

The Cisco DPC3941 has the Puma 6, but the Technicolor TC8717 has a Broadcom chipset. 


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Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

What about the Technicolor version of DPC3941T? Did they keep that one using Puma 6 or did they change those ones over to Broadcom?

 


@darkangelic wrote:

@jweaver0312 wrote:
Not sure about the Technicolor XB3 8717 and the Technicolor 3941 but the Cisco and Arris have Puma 6 bit I haven’t noticed any of the reported issues in a 1682.

Yes. The Arris XB6 has Puma 7 while the Technicolor XB6 has the better Broadcom chipset.

The Cisco DPC3941 has the Puma 6, but the Technicolor TC8717 has a Broadcom chipset. 


 

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Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

There's only two variants from what I can see - the 3941B (Business) and the 3941T (Residential). Both have the Puma 6 chipset. 


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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Should I do a factory reset when I receive my gateway in case it was used before?

 

When you say go into the admin tool will that let me split up bands if it defaults with just one ssid?

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

If it is a single SSID how do I split up the bands into seperate ones?

 

Should I do a factory reset on the XB6 in case it was used and how would I do that?

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

How were you able to seperate out the bands from one ssid to two?

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

I don’t think factory reset will be necessary. Here’s what you do. Go through the self activation process with the new gateway. Either during that process or after that process you will be forced to setup the Wi-Fi since they don’t want you using the default SSID and password. When you do it there should be a box or something similar to select to use different names and passwords for both bands.
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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Basically a box you check to seperate out the bands and pick two names instead of one? Do they have to say 2.4 and 5 next to them?

 

Is this done either in the admin tool, through the xfi site, or through the mobile app?

 

On the pdf I just sent in the other post it looks like the interface they show is the mobile.

 

What do you personally recommend on the single v dual SSID front? Is my laptop which is almost always 20 feet from the gateway going to weirdly always jump from band to band?

 

https://www.maketecheasier.com/24ghz-5ghz-band-steering/

https://www.networkcomputing.com/wireless-infrastructure/4-wifi-band-steering-myths/1861851560

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Can I use the same password for both bands?

 

Is there a way to choose 5ghz preferred for my device? Are there tunable options like dBm threshold?

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

I believe it is a check box. They might have changed it. This is actually done during initial setup because they don’t want you using the default. I have them as two separate SSID with the same password. You don’t need to prefer the 5GHz if you separate the SSID. If you keep it the same, you would have to set it to prefer 5GHz on the client side if the wireless card lets you.
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Silver Problem Solver

Re: XB6 SSID


@and_youf wrote:

Can I use the same password for both bands?

 

Is there a way to choose 5ghz preferred for my device? Are there tunable options like dBm threshold?


I use the same password for both.  You enter the SSID into the device, which means you have control over which band to use.  Here is how you manage SSID's and passowords:

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/securing-wireless-gateway-network

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Diamond Problem Solver

Re: XB6 SSID


@and_youf wrote:

 

Is there a way to choose 5ghz preferred for my device?

 

Forget the 2.4 band broadcast name (SSID) in that device's WiFi client's settings dialog and make sure that the 5.0 band broadcast name is at the top of the list.

 

Are there tunable options like dBm threshold?

 

No. The signal strength is what it is at the receiving end.


 

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

I meant if I do the one ssid thing is there a way to prefer the 5ghz band on a device.

 

Darn on the non-adjustable dBm. 

 

"If there are tunable options for band steering available, then the safest option is to select prefer 5 GHz with a relatively low threshold, such as -80 dBm. This will make client devices connect normally on the 5 GHz band, but will allow them to connect on 2.4 GHz in areas where 5 GHz coverage is weak but 2.4 GHz coverage is still available. "

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Thank you!

 

Comcast seems to want to push the customer to one ssid REALLY bad but I'm so leary about the band steering and worrying I'll be constantly checking to see if my laptop is hooked to 2.4 or 5. Do I really lose that many features (advanced channel switching?? isn't that the same as auto?) by splitting the bands? 

 

https://xfinitytechtalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Advanced-Gateway-Installaion-Process-Job-Aid_...

https://www.maketecheasier.com/24ghz-5ghz-band-steering/

 

Two more things:

  • Should I do a factory reset after it boots before setting up in case it is a used gateway? I did that with my XB3 once but I think I lost the default ssid/passwords which is fine. If so how do we do that for the XB6's.
  • Would you do the setup with the xfi app on your phone or the old school way with the admin tool or the xfinity.com/activate site (or xfi web portal)?

 

 

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Thanks. I know that with the two ssid's I can make my laptop connect automatically to the 5 band.

 

Comcast seems to want to push the customer to one ssid REALLY bad but I'm so leary about the band steering and worrying I'll be constantly checking to see if my laptop or TV is hooked to 2.4 or 5. Do I really lose that many features (advanced channel switching?? isn't that the same as auto?) by splitting the bands? 

 

https://xfinitytechtalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Advanced-Gateway-Installaion-Process-Job-Aid_...

https://www.maketecheasier.com/24ghz-5ghz-band-steering/

 

Two more things:

  • Should I do a factory reset after it boots before setting up in case it is a used gateway? I did that with my XB3 once but I think I lost the default ssid/passwords which is fine. If so how do we do that for the XB6's.
  • Would you do the setup with the xfi app on your phone or the old school way with the admin tool or the xfinity.com/activate site (or xfi web portal)?

 

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

1. It depends on the wireless client if you can choose a preferred frequency band between 2.4 and 5 GHz.

2. You can if you want but you don’t have to. If you do I would let it update itself before you do it.

3. You can do it through the setup splash screen or by using the xFi app, whichever you want. Just wait about 3-5 minutes after the gateway fully comes online before doing it.
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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Do you know the procedure for a factory reset on the xb6? Will I get the default ssid/pword? I seem to remember doing it for my xb3 and I was unable to use the same (factory) ssid or pword.

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

There is a reset button on the back of the XB6 hold it for about 60 seconds. It will reset to the default SSID and password. You can not continue to use the default SSID and password after that point. You will have to change it when it comes back online.
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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Got the Technicolor XB6 today and set it up with two SSID's. Working fine. Still wondering whether I should have done just one.

 

This bothers me from that tech talk .pdf:

"NOTE: XFINITY xFi gateways perform best when configured with a single SSID due the enhanced band steering and channel selection algorithms included in the firmware" (how this is different from auto channel selection I don't know)

"single SSID, resulting in a more consistent and reliable experience for customers. Splitting the SSIDs can impact the quality of the in-home experience. "

"If the user requests Dual Wi-Fi networks for valid reasons, please explain the potential limitations and follow instructions in next section for separate SSIDs. WiFi customization (Dual Wi-Fi Networks) – not preferred"

 

...but you said it was just for mesh. What do/would you personally do for residential? Do you think that this is just pushing mesh and I'm really not losing out on additional features?

 

I think they were trying to deliver too much information without the best explanation in this deliverable.

 

Thank you for all your help with this I really appreciate your patience and knowledge.

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

"Unless you have a particular reason for separating the SSIDs, there's no real reason to do so. Keeping them the same will make sure you have the best coverage available for your device, especially mobile ones like smarphones, where you may wander into a dead spot for the 5GHz band but not for the 2.4 GHz band, especially if you're not going faster than Blast Pro 250. "

 

I think it's mainly because I would end up obsessively checking if my device is hooked to 2.4 or 5 like it should be.

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

"It is not necessary to combine wifi bands under one SSID.  I don't do that with mine."

 

I thought you said that the Orbi required a single? Do you think I am missing any additional features by disabling the band steering like that tech talk article says in my original post? Like the advanced channel switching (which I don't get how it is different from auto channel switching).

 

From the .pfd "NOTE: XFINITY xFi gateways perform best when configured with a single SSID due the enhanced band steering and channel selection algorithms included in the firmware"

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

I don’t really think you are losing out on anything. Auto channel selection applies per 2.4GHz and 5 GHz to pick the best channel it can pick based on what everyone else is using to try to get you better wireless range and throughput. I personally on my XB3 use two different SSID. As was stated that some features are only usable really with the pods. Even though they do say it is advanced firmware, it isn’t perfect. While I had it with one SSID, I have noticed issues where devices weren’t on the proper band so then I separated it immediately from that point forward. The channel switching is just between 2.4 and 5 GHz to switch based on where you are.
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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Okay, thank you for the reassurance and for sharing your experience.

 

I had thought the channel switching was within the band. It's weird I seem to remember being on channel 40 something with the xb3 and on xb6 am on channel 149.

 

You'd think they'd make sort of a reverse band steering where if I have the credentials for both of my SSID's in my phone and prefer 5ghz if I go out of range it will go to the 2.4 automatically. Maybe I can choose "connect automatically" for both networks but since there isn't a preference option don't know what it would do. I know on some computers you can do the prefer+connect automatically. For Windows I can only do connect automatically to a single SSID/no prefer. I meant to mess with the settings in the admin tool (see if I can block certain devices from, say, 2.4) when I was playing with having one SSID but was sort of hurried.

 

There is a setting for each SSID that is a MAC filtering mode (allow all, allow, deny) "You can control the Wi-Fi access to the USG using the below Mac-Filter settings" and then there is a wifi control list. I don't know what a USG is and really don't understand any of that. Acutally I think that is for each SSID so if I were to do one SSID then I wouldn't have the option to allow or deny on a certain band. If I could just deny 2.4 on my laptop (via gateway or laptop) then I'd do the band steering. But whatever.

Expert

Re: XB6 SSID

You could put the credentials in for both SSID but it depends on the device on which it’s going to prefer and I believe the normal preference now for most devices is 5 GHz anyhow, not entirely sure. You can’t prefer a certain SSID over another in Windows I believe. I know in macOS, there’s a list that you can control the order of for preference. However in Windows with certain wireless cards you can set a preferred band of either 2.4 or 5 GHz but I believe most of it is defaulted at 5 GHz anymore. I’m not sure about the MAC Filter Control. I’ve never used it.
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Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID

Yes Chromebook (not mine) is the same where you can prefer and connect automatically.

Contributor

Re: XB6 SSID


@darkangelic wrote: However, if you play a lot of games, the XB6 will be an improvement due to the Intel Puma 6 chipsets on the XB3 gateways.... assuming you're able to get one. 

 

Unless you have a particular reason for separating the SSIDs, there's no real reason to do so.

I know this was awhile ago but why do you say that not having the Puma 6 would help with gaming if speed would stay the same?

 

I just don't trust the devices to pick the right bands.

Diamond Problem Solver

Re: XB6 SSID


@and_youf wrote:
I know this was awhile ago but why do you say that not having the Puma 6 would help with gaming if speed would stay the same? 

Excessive latency and jitter has been a well-known problem with devices that use the Puma 6 chipset. Speed is not related. This is an especially more noticeable problem with online gaming.