Favoring 5GHz instead of 2.4GHz?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cubytus, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #1
    Hi there,

    I'd like to know if there would be a way for a MBP to select the 5GHz band instead of the 2.4 one on a given access point transmitting on two bands

    Currently the MBP hooks to whatever signal is stronger with a given SSID, but in the coffee shop, even though the 2.4GHz signal is usually stronger, this band is also very slow. There are a lot of access points around, and probably microwave ovens as well, all thrashing bandwidth.
     
  2. Lunfai macrumors 65816

    Lunfai

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    Sheffield
    #2
    My router emits different access points. A 2.4Ghz and a 5Ghz. I just connect to the 5Ghz point and forgot about connecting to the other one. Just delete the other access point if you don't use it, or I think you can rearrange the list so that it connects to 5GHz.
     
  3. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #3
    If you don't have admin rights I'm not sure how to accomplish that. I too have my router set to do 2 ssids. I only ever go down to the 2.5 to talk to my Chromecast that is not dual band.
     
  4. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
  5. 5to1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #5
    On the access point in question.

    I recently got a new access point with my broadband change (switched to BT). By default its setup to mirror the 5GHz to the 2.4GHz and as you said the MBP would then use whichever it saw as stronger.

    To get around this (as mine is a late 2013 model, so has an AC card) I changed the settings to give the 5GHz a separate SSID. Then moved that SSID to the top of my list of networks to make sure it got chosen when available.
     
  6. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #6
    Of course this coffee shops is part of a franchise where access points are just a part of the contract. They're badly configured from the start (redirects to Google page after clicking the "Accept" button, instead of the page one is coming from). That was my reason for asking if a priority could be given to the 5GHz band in the Mac for the same SSID, regardless of power (or better yet, have an interface to "lock" the card on 5GHz).
     
  7. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    The order in which the MBP looks for networks to join is set in the Network Pref pane.

    Select wifi on LHS
    Click 'advanced' bottom right
    Drag the networks up and down to the order you want. As long as your 5GHz is above the 2.4GHz, it will join it first.
    Click OK
    Click apply
     
  8. 5to1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #8
    I don't think that will work for the OP, as the 2.4 & 5 GHz networks both carry the same SSID in this case.
     
  9. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    My 5 and 2.4 are both transmitted from my Airport Extreme and show as two different networks in the list in the pref pane, so that I can set it so that the 5Ghz is preferred. They were created by Airport Utility.

    Airport Utility will automatically add "5Ghz" to the name of the 2.4 network but you can change that.

    Why would you want to have the same name (assuming Airport Utility would let you)?
     
  10. 5to1, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    5to1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #10
    It's the router that assigns the SSID, while some will default to creating separate SSID for each band, others will not. The BT home hub I got with my new BT broadband for example defaults to mirroring the 5GHz and 2.4GHz (same SSID & credentials). I've changed that so the 5GHz has an "a" appended allowing me to prioritise which my rMBP logs onto.

    On public wifi networks or those for large companies it can make sense to keep everything mirrored. You just want people to connect once and seamlessly switch to whichever band is within range, rather then have them connect to each SSID first time.
     
  11. theromz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #11
    Why would u need to do that, my Phone is on 5ghz and my chromecast works since it is on the same network. Never had any issues before.

    Also wondering if there is anyway to default to 5GHz since I live in London and there is 20 networks at any time lol.
     
  12. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #12
    You want the same SSID for both your networks to have seemless roaming between multiple access points in a large space.

    I have a rather large apartment and I have two dual band Wi-fi routers broadcasting the same SSID and the same credentials. It allows my devices to connect to whichever signal is strongest, on the fly.
     
  13. theromz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #13
    Indeed, I might need to do the same, our house is 3 floors and the top floor doesn't get great 5GHz connection.
     
  14. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #14
    The space isn't large by any means (they had 802.11g before and no strength issue). I bet it has more to do with retro-compatibility with devices that can't support 5GHz than pure broadcasting reasons. And as part of a standardized deployment, all access points in this franchise are identically named, but they obviously didn't take into account the overcrowding on the 2.4GHz band in a urban setting.

    Hence my question about disabling the 2.4GHz altogether in the Mac, since most public APs I connect to have 5GHz capability, the only known exception being at home.
     

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