How to setup a 3rd gen. Airport Extreme to use 5 GHz only?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by deedoh, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. deedoh, Nov 12, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012

    deedoh macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    How to setup a 3rd gen. Airport Extreme to use 5 GHz only?


    Airport Extreme A1301 v7.6.1
    [March 2009 3rd Generation Simultaneous Dual-Band 5 / 2.4 GHz ]

    Airport Utility 5.6.1

    Snow Leopard 10.6.8

    I have all 5 GHz equipment & want to configure the Extreme to use only 5 GHz band --

    As you can see in the attached screencap, I do NOT have an option to use 802.11n 5 GHz ONLY !

    I'm just a beginner, but when I run NetSpot, it shows both 2.43 & 5 GHz being transmitted --
    even after I've checked the 5 GHz box under "Wireless Network Options".

    I would greatly appreciate some help to understand this - in other posts,
    I've seen people's screencaps of the "Radio Mode" button that clearly showed a 5 GHz ONLY choice --

    of course, I get all these Options by pressing the Option key before L-clicking the choicebox.

    Thank you --

    Attached Files:

  2. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    See if you can give the 5Ghz WiFi a different name to the 2.4Ghz WiFi. You should be able to through Wireless>Wireless Options.
    Then ONLY set the 5Ghz name as the preferred network in all your devices' WiFi settings.
  3. deedoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    @drsox - I did that, but still getting the report from NetSpot that 2.4 GHz is transmitting - plus,
    (as so many discover about the greater strength of 2.4 vs. 5 in going thru obstructions) it's stronger !!

    but that's not the issue here - the issue is to understand the "logic",
    or perhaps the lack of it, as to how to set a 5 GHz-ONLY connection.

    My version of Airport Utility is the most recent one that will install.

    Does "Simultaneous Dual-Band" REALLY mean that you don't have a choice? --

    It's really 2 bands all the time? :mad:

    There's GOT to be a success path for this issue -
    I'm receiving another AE (2nd gen) from a friend in a couple days,
    and I want creative freedom to set both of them up MY way, eh?

    Thanks very much for your help here - in searching this forum for other AE-related posts,
    I see you've helped many folks - hopefully we can get this fully sorted, too ;)
  4. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I have the latest version of Airport Express and Airport Extreme as well as 10.8.2 and Airport Utility 6.1 - so probably as up-to-date as is possible. AFAIK, there is no option just to transmit on 5Ghz. There is an option only to transmit 802.11n, but then 802.11n is transmitted on 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. My setup is "mostly" 5Ghz 802.11n but even then I also have a 2.4Ghz network being broadcast.
    What specifically is your problem with having both frequency bands active ?

    Maybe someone else has better info, but I don't think I can help further.
  5. deedoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    @drsox - well, some of us are too smart for our own good,
    and think we're entitled to "have it our way" ;) -- that'd be me --

    .... mostly, curiosity & the desire to understand & control the digital variables!

    There's a post here by psxguru
    that indicates a setup for a distinct transmission of ONLY 5 GHz --
    maybe I'll PM them to ask for a step-by-step ?

    I also just now deleted the 5.6.1 Utility & installed the 5.4.1,
    but the options read the exact same --

    I'm gonna have to go back thru my history from a day or so ago,
    and find the post where the person's screencap showed a distinct 5 GHz only --

    I could tell that the screencap was for the entire line,
    in other words nothing hidden that would also say 2.4 GHz.

    so in any case -- if I can hitchhike on my own post here --
    is NetSpot the best utility to understand how our Airport routers are functioning?

    I installed the old iStumbler and it only worked 1 time! (mid-2007 white macbook)

    then visiting the site, read through several wireless-type utilities,
    and decided that NetSpot would be my best bet,
    and so far, seems like it is --

    at the moment I don't need the more 'hacking-oriented' type utilities
    (I don't understand enough to be able to use them) -
    I just want to be able to monitor & adjust my performance.

    Thx again --
  6. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
  7. deedoh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    well, i made some fun discoveries this afternoon,
    just gonna post quick about them because i need to study more
    to actually understand them, but here they are :

    1st, the screenie evidence:


    This shows several things -- 1st, press the Option key,
    then Lclick the Airport icon in the Title Bar to get the extended menu.

    Now notice that the network I'd simply labeled as "5GHz" in top left corner,
    is communicating on the 2.4 GHz radio/band on Channel 6;

    while the labeled "5GHz 5GHz" on the right
    is communicating on the 5 GHz radio/band on Channel 157.

    Next, and VERY IMPORTANT ! :
    notice how each radio/band has its own BSSID !!!

    Obviously I've covered over the bulk of my numbers -
    but the point is that they are the exact same numbers except for the very last digit - b7 / b8 !!

    This should mean that once you've discovered the unique BSSID
    associated w/ either the 2.4 radio/band or the 5 GHz radio/band,
    then hopefully we can use that to directly specify the radio/band
    that we want our network or devices to use.

    Understand that the BSSID = the MAC address of the radio/band
    -- a reminder that i'm using a 3rd generation A1301 simultaneous dual-band (dual-radio) Airport Extreme.

    2 resources that are helping me begin to understand this are:

    Feb 9, 2012 / Glenn Fleishman / "AirPort Utility 6.0 Walkthrough"

    Aug 28, 2009 / Glenn Fleishman / "AirPort menu improvements in Snow Leopard"
    I haven't seen this explicitly spelled out either in Glenn's "Take Control Of" books,
    or in the Airport Setup Guide/Help, or in the Airport Utility Guide/Help.

    And as a top teacher and guide-maker myself, this annoys the sh** out of me,
    as I would've been much happier learning all this in say, an hour,
    instead of investing a loooooong day of my precious lifetime
    to track down alot of what could have been easily & simply documented.

    And if anyone reading this knows where this IS documented,
    please do share it here with us!!

    So I hope to give back a little here and help some others who might be confused by the same/similar things --
    I will post back more in another day or two, as I research & test it more.


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