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To band steer or not to band steer

Building a reputation

To band steer or not to band steer

I just read this most excellent article

 

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

 

And the part about there needing to be more abundant 5ghz APs for it to work right plus the fact that i am in a very non congested area (wide open country no other SSIDs for miles) makes 2.4ghz connections very appealing. And I have often looked at my devices in certain conditions where 2.4 was for sure available and the devices were struggling to get a 5ghz link and thought “huh? That’s not right”.

 

read this article - https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/Radio_Settings/Band_Steering_Overview

 

 The part where it talks about regardless of whether the 5 GHz signal is very weak and perhaps the 2.4 GHz signal is very strong it will still prefer the 5 sounds like a problem I encounter here on a regular basis where there are hills and trees and all kinds of stuff in the way of a lot of 5ghz traffic and I’m yelling at it to just grab the 2.4 and get on with it.

 

My sense is dual band without band steering is probably the right set up for me.

 

Any thoughts or guidance?

Networking geek since high school where I got half of a CCNA. Played Marathon II and Infinity over localtalk.
Made many a network over the years, now admin of a retreat center with some of this fine Meraki hardware.
11 REPLIES 11
Kind of a big deal

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

Your choice seems good to me.

Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

Ok I just switched it to dual band without band steering. Wish me luck!

Networking geek since high school where I got half of a CCNA. Played Marathon II and Infinity over localtalk.
Made many a network over the years, now admin of a retreat center with some of this fine Meraki hardware.
Highlighted
Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

You may wish to have differently named SSIDs so you are sure of connecting to your preferred band

Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

@cta102 that will for sure never happen here. My network needs to be simple for users above all else. As long as they can simply get a connection and surf the web without interruption or instability they are happy and so am I. So even if its 2.4 at 100mbit, we are in great shape. Because I have basically no wireless interference and under 120 users over 18 APs and 160 acres 2.4ghz is a good option for us.  

Networking geek since high school where I got half of a CCNA. Played Marathon II and Infinity over localtalk.
Made many a network over the years, now admin of a retreat center with some of this fine Meraki hardware.
Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

No problem, it's just a thing that some folks do to ensure they know what band they are on.

Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

So if a client is on 2.4ghz is there any mechanism by which at some point if 5ghz seems like a better connection it will switch the client automatically to the 5ghz band? It should, no? 

 

@PhilipDAth ?

 

Just looking at my network after the change a lot of my clients switched over to 2.4 and have great dB. Looks good. 

Networking geek since high school where I got half of a CCNA. Played Marathon II and Infinity over localtalk.
Made many a network over the years, now admin of a retreat center with some of this fine Meraki hardware.
Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

Just had this exact thing happen before my very eyes where 2.4 bounced up to 5ghz.

Networking geek since high school where I got half of a CCNA. Played Marathon II and Infinity over localtalk.
Made many a network over the years, now admin of a retreat center with some of this fine Meraki hardware.
Kind of a big deal

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

>So if a client is on 2.4ghz is there any mechanism by which at some point if 5ghz seems like a better connection it will switch the client automatically to the 5ghz band?

 

This is 100% client dependent.  Some client are better than others.  Some clients are terrible.

Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

Generally the Mac OS X and iOS (vast majority of my users) network stack seems to do this pretty well. Any experience to share about different OS flavors?

Networking geek since high school where I got half of a CCNA. Played Marathon II and Infinity over localtalk.
Made many a network over the years, now admin of a retreat center with some of this fine Meraki hardware.
Kind of a big deal

Re: To band steer or not to band steer


@RumorConsumer wrote:

Ok I just switched it to dual band without band steering. Wish me luck!


I guess no one did it yet... Good luck!

Building a reputation

Re: To band steer or not to band steer

It's a must have feature if you require it and there is no one size fits all solution

If you have 5GHz issues location then you don't need to make things more difficult for yourself.

 

But ensure the 2.4 setup is optimal as it can seem a bit slow these days.

 

 

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