ActionTec WEB6000Q Extender Not Fully Compatible With T3200M

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CoffeeBreak
Neighbour
We recently got our router upgraded by Telus to the ActionTec T3200M, from the older T1200M. Using this new router on our network with the ActionTec WEB6000Q wifi extender, I've found that the extender is not fully compatible with the T3200M in a couple of important ways:

- SSID Incompatibility. The T3200M has been set up to use the "Smart Steering" feature, which combines the 5G and 2.4 bands into a single SSID (call it "networkname" here). But when the WEB6000Q is "synced" to the router, it produces two separate SSIDs, called "networkname-5G" and "networkname-2.4G". The result is three separate SSIDs, which confuses many devices connected to the network. The Sonos music player for example doesn't work properly under this setup. As a result, I eventually decided to just disconnect the WEB600Q; which is unfortunate as we have a fairly large area to cover. By contrast, the WEB6000Q seemed to play nicely with the previous T1200M.
 
- Guest Network. The T3200M supports setting up a separate SSID for a guest network, but the WEB6000Q doesn't support this feature. Too bad, as it's very useful.
 
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to configure and use the WEB6000Q extender in this scenario? Maybe I'm overlooking something. Thanks.
Community Power User
Community Power User

If I recall, the WEB6000Q Access Point, like the VEN501 before, was used to provide the necessary multicast properties lacking in the T1200M. The T3200M includes these properties, removing the need for the AP.
If you need to extend your network, other options, including a quality router or AP of your own choosing, might be a better choice.

NFtoBC
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CoffeeBreak
Neighbour

Thanks for the info, but that isn't quite the issue I'm trying to address. Since we have quite a large area to cover, I'd like to add a wifi extender to our network - there are currently a few spots with weak signal. But I want an extender that's fully compatible with the T3200M router. That is, fully compatible with the Smart Steering feature. Specifically, merging the 5G and 2.4G bands to have only one SSID for the network; we don't want to have anything like a separate "upstairs network" SSID. Having the guest network feature would also be nice, although less essential.

 
According to ActionTec's documentation, the WEB6000B supports band steering (or "Smart Steering" as it's dubbed by ActionTec). But it doesn't do this properly, as described above. I would definitely like to find an extender that works fully compatibly with the T3200M's band steering feature. But as I understand it, there are no broadly accepted standards for band steering, so I'm not sure how I would approach this. If you can suggest a specific product for this, I would be happy to give it a try.
Community Power User
Community Power User

Smart steering doesn't merge the wireless bands. It switches between them depending on the signal quality. If you have devices that are 2.4GHz only, it will cause problems. 5GHz also has a shorter range so if range is important, 2.4GHz would be the better choice.


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rc
Ambassador

You should be  able to shut off smartsteering and set up a second ssid for the 5ghz radio

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Rymcbc
Neighbour
I have to disagree. It specifically says in a pop up msg when you activate smart steering on the 3200 that both 2.4 and 5g ssid's on BOTH the router and extender will merge to one uniformed named ssid and smart steer will move back and forth between bands AND between the router and extender. When setup, the extender does take on the routers ssid name for both bands but unlike the router (which does it perfectly) the extender does not drop the 2.4 & 5g tags at the end of the ssids. The router does do this and only presents one ssid for both bands, according to actiontech the web6000 should also do this. It does not.

Because of this the extender is useless unless you have it's own ssid and pass and manualy switch all the time when needed. Which defeats the whole purpose of smart steering. And also NOT what we were told during Telus training either. We as tech sold it as a great new thing then had to back pedal to the customer to inform of its limitations. Really it's just another wifi router in bridged mode as is with its own ssid and pass.
Rymcbc
Neighbour
Defeats the whole purpose, and is not utilizing the proper functioning of the product. I purchased this product from Telus and would appreciate it working as it was sold to me.
Rymcbc
Neighbour
It doesn't replace the old cisco 5g boxes that we're dedicated to the wifi stb's. That functionality has been built into the T3200 entirely. The web6000 extender is solely for extending wifi or filling in coverage holes in the home.
CoffeeBreak
Neighbour

To confirm what Rymcbc said: I contacted ActionTec's tech support in July 2017 to ask about this. Their reply:

       "No, the WEB6000Q does not support band steering."

a5a83529
Neighbour

Thanks for confirming this incompatibility!  I'm interested in finding a WiFi Extender that is compatible with the ActionTec T3200M, and the SmartSteering feature.

Does anyone happen to know if ActionTec makes such a device ?  

Thanks for any info!

 

KKlemmer
Neighbour

Once you turn smart steering on, it will change the passcode and SSID of the 2.4 GHz access point to match the 5GHz one, however it does not "merge" them into 1, they simply share the same name. Once you turn smart steering on, log into your WEB6000Q and rename the 2.4 and 5GHz access points to the same as the T3200M.