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How does Band Steering work?

The band steering feature encourages dual-band-capable clients to stay on the 5 GHz band on dual-band APs. This ability frees up resources on the 2.4 GHz band for single-band clients.

Dual-band capable wireless clients may see even greater bandwidth improvements because the band steering feature automatically selects between 80MHz, 40 MHz or 20 MHz channels in 802.11n networks.

Band steering should work with and without local probe response enabled. The Access Point has the logic to “hide” from 5GHz-capable clients that are asking to connect on the 2.4GHz band. However, if local probe responses are disabled, allowing persistent 2.4GHz clients to associate on 2.4GHz bands even after being identified as 5GHz may not work.

Essentially this is where the access point hears a request from a client device to associate on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and steers the client by responding only to the 5GHz association request and not the 2.4 GHz request. It reduces co-channel interference and frees up 2.4GHz, creating a better overall distribution of users for bandwidth availability.

 

Steering Modes:

  • Prefer-5GHz

  • Force-5GHz

  • Band Balance

Prefer-5GHz:

If you configure the AP to use prefer-5GHz band steering mode, the Access Point will not respond to 2.4 GHz probe requests from a client if all the following conditions are met.

  • The client has already probed the Access Point on the 5GHz band and therefore is known to be capable of sending probes on the 5GHz band.

  • The client is not currently associated on the 2.4GHz radio to this Access Point.

  • The client has sent less than 8 probes requests in the last 10 seconds. If the client has sent more than 8 probes in the last 10 seconds, the client will be able to connect using whatever band it prefers.

 

Force-5GHz: 

When the Access Point is configured in force-5GHz band steering mode, the Access Point will not respond to 2.4GHz probe requests from a client if all the following conditions are met:

  • The client has already probed the Access Point on the 5GHz band and therefore is known to be capable of sending probes on the 5GHz band.

  • The client is not currently associated on the 2.4GHz radio of this Access Point.

  • All dual-band clients are pushed to connect to the 5GHz radio.

 

Band-balance: 

In this band steering mode, the AP uses client load and RSSI information balance the clients across the two radios and best utilize the available 2.4GHz bandwidth. This feature takes into account the fact that the 5GHz band has more channels than the 2.4GHz band, and that the 5GHz channels operate in 40MHz while the 2.4GHz band operates in 20MHz.

 

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