What Happens If Two Wifi Networks Have The Same Name

WiFi has been in use for a long time and we highly rely on these networks to access the web. Moreover, when choosing these networks, we try to find the one that offers the best connection. However, what if the network suddenly disconnects and you want to connect back but you see two networks with the same name?

What happens if two WiFi networks have the same name?

Well, for a fact, nothing much happens, except that you might meet a bit of irritation and frustration, especially when both the networks have different passwords and you’re trying to connect to one network using the password of another network, probably wondering why the network is asking for a password again in the first place.

However, as we talk about what happens if two Wifi Networks have the same name, the question is, is that even possible?

Well, let’s see!

Is It Possible for Two Wifi Networks to Have the Same Name?

Historically, everyone was encouraged to use different names for their Wi-Fi network and set a different password for each band. The users who wanted to connect to WiFi then had to choose a band while trying to guess the one with the best speed, connectivity, and performance.

However, with technological advancements, things have entirely changed. It’s now possible to use the same name and password given that the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands let the Gateway sort out which one will provide a better connection at any given time.

Of course, you will still have both bands available along with all the associated functionalities, channels, and ranges. However, it will be on the devices to choose the band. So, given that the devices will use band steering, they’ll connect to the most optimal band when they find two WiFi networks with the same name.

So, in a way, it plays to your benefit if two Wifi Networks have the same name. However, there’s more to it and to understand things well, it’s essential that you have the knowledge and understanding of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. So, let’s get to that.

What are 2.4GHz and 5GHz Bands?

These bands are basically the frequency offered by the WiFi routers. Hereinbelow are the details you need to know and understand.

  • 2.4 GHz: The 2.4 GHz frequency of the Wi-Fi router offers the Wi-Fi user a wide coverage area and is better at penetrating solid objects with a maximum speed of 150 Mbps. However, it has a lower data range and is highly prone to interference and disturbance.
  • 5 GHz: The 5 GHz frequency facilitates the customer with a higher data range with negligible interference and offers a great deal when it comes to the internet speeds for Wi-Fi at home. However, it has a narrow coverage area and is not a successful band when it comes to penetrating solid objects.

Now that you have understood these bands, it will be easier for you to understand in more depth what happens if two WiFi networks have the same name.

More About the Effects of Two Wifi Networks Having the Same Name

Generally, the devices use band steering to connect to the better band and network when they find two WiFi networks having the same name. However, band steering doesn’t always work.

If the Wi-Fi network names and/or passwords are different for each of the bandwidths, you will not be able to take advantage of band steering and will need to manually manage which Wi-Fi network band each device connects to. This may lead to slow and intermittent connectivity issues.

For example, if a mobile device is connected to the 5 GHz band and loses connection due to distance, you may need to manually reconnect to the 2.4 GHz band. With the same name and password, that process will occur automatically. 

So, basically, the Wifi networks having the same names don’t come as much of a problem, except that it can be annoying in case the passwords are different, because then the devices will not reconnect automatically in case of a connection issue, and you’ll have to resort to manual methods.

But the question remains, as to, how two Wi-Fi networks of the same name differentiate each other.

An Example Of A Situation That Should Help You Understand Better:

I had a Wi-Fi router that was not capable of providing strong signals from the ground floor to the first floor. So, what I did was I got another router and set it up to the same SSID and the same password that was assigned to the first one and I put this new router in the first-floor hall.

Now, every time I went from the ground floor to the top floor, I need not manually connect to this router. The devices that I am using, say mobile, tablets, and laptops, automatically got connected to the new router and with full signal strength. 

So, basically, 2 Wi-Fi routers that are sharing the same SSID and same password, it is hard to differentiate. And you would get connected to any of such Wi-Fi automatically without manual input as the devices you are holding already know the password to match SSID. 

On a more technical level, they may be broadcasting their signals on a different channel, at different frequencies. Like most things in the world, every good thing has both good and bad factors, below has been discussed the disadvantage of using the same name for both networks.

Disadvantages Of Using The Same Name For Two Networks:

Basically, the disadvantage is that you will have two Apps broadcasting the same SSID. If a client device is between the two APs (referring to the office environment). It may have connection issues such as bouncing between two AP or not knowing which one to connect to and or not connecting to at all. 

David Peter
Hi, this is David Peter from California, USA. By profession, I am working as an Telecommunication engineer with a reputable Telecommunications Company here in California. I am a tech savvy person, and that is why I love my job. This blog is my part time hobby, and I love to write reviews about different products based on my own knowledge and experience. When you go through my reviews, you will feel that they are unbiased reviews as they come direct from my heart for tech lovers. The purpose is to help and guide people who are looking to buy or upgrade their electronic gadgets like modems and routers etc. Enjoy and give your feedback in comments!
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