how to automatically switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

  • 3
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
I've got a single 230AP and noticed that devices are connecting automatically at 2.4GHz when they are far away (which is fine), but when they are much closer to the AP they do not automatically switch to 5GHz to get much greater speeds. i still want to retain the far reach of the 2.4GHz frequency, but want devices to automatically switch up to 5GHz when they can. Any way to do this?
Photo of Chris

Chris

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Gary Babin

Gary Babin

  • 21 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
There is a feature called "band steering" that we use to force Chromebooks on to the 5 ghz frequency. We did this because the Chromebooks were erratically flipping between bands creating what appeared to be new connections to our APs (and thereby requiring a new authentication).

I'll bet this same technique could be adapted to solve your issue. You could steer/urge devices onto 5 ghz but when the range is too great they'll still use 2.4 ghz.
Photo of John Fabry

John Fabry

  • 28 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Short answer is no. Like Gary states you can influence the client to the 5Ghz band but truly not force them.
Photo of Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe, Official Rep

  • 2491 Posts
  • 451 Reply Likes
Hi Chris,

May I suggest that you take a read of: http://wifinigel.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/what-are-sticky-clients.html

There is actually a standards based way of an AP directing a roam via Voice-Enterprise (802.11k/r/v).

Voice-Enterprise is not currently supported on the AP230 until HiveOS 6.6rX, 6.5r3a does not offer these features.

One of the mechanisms provided in 802.11v is BSS Transition Management. This allows an AP to request that a client transitions/roams to a specific BSS, or to one of a set of preferred BSSes.

This mechanism can explicitly provide clients with improved information to direct or influence a better roaming decision from the arguably better perspective of the APs.

Support in clients for 802.11v is still not widespread and support is not as widespread as 802.11k.

I am just now trying to pin down the detail of HiveOS's 802.11v support to establish how BSS Transition Management is implemented.

There are compatibility implications enabling Voice-Enterprise features, especially 802.11k, with broken clients so usually these are offered on a dedicated SSID for known-good clients.

For recent Apple iOS devices, it is supported: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202628

Regards,

Nick
(Edited)
Photo of Mike Z

Mike Z

  • 8 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
This is a good article, really sums up all of the options.  I'm not sure if Aerohives have the capability to do the following, but to summarize, the "easiest" way to push the 5Ghz band is to remove the lower bandwidth options (1Mbps, 2.5 Mbps, 5Mbps, etc.) and use band steering.  While that won't guarantee 5Ghz everywhere, it will help a lot.  Will also help keep speeds high and help with roaming from one AP to another.  Just keep in mind that if you disable the lower speeds, you might need a more dense deployment of APs, since you've essentially made the wifi radius smaller.

Let's hope the standards become more widespread and can also be used in addition to the above.
Photo of Chris

Chris

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
cheers guys there is some very useful info there. I'm just going to play around with he band steering and changing the lower values of the 5GHz frequency.