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ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
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1,030
I have two Linksys routers broadcasting a total of 4 SSIDs; 2 of which are 2.4GHz and the other 2 are 5GHz. My MacBook is located on the third floor of our house, about 10 feet away from the router on this level. It connects to the correct router, however it chooses the 2.4 GHz signal over the 5.0 GHz signal.

Does anyone know of a way I cam force my MBP to connect to the 5GHz signal without giving the 5GHz signal its own SSID? Every other router in my neighborhood uses 2.4 GHz so there is quite a bit of interference. When I use the 5GHz signal, I get exactly the speed I pay for from my ISP, as opposed to about half of the speed when I'm connected to 2.4.

Any insight is greatly appreciated!!
 
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ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
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Well you don't have to broadcast them. Just turn the broadcast off and manually enter the SSID into OS X.

I didn't think of that! But I'd still like to have all signals broadcast under one SSID and allow my devices to pick the strongest/best one.
 

SlCKB0Y

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2012
3,401
540
Sydney, Australia
Based on some Googling i've done, it doesn't seem possible to prioritise 5GHz over 2.4GHz when the SSID is the same:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5433773
http://superuser.com/questions/3623...t-ssids-for-2-4ghz-and-5ghz-wireless-networks

Based on those links, when your Mac is choosing 2.4GHz, it already is choosing the best signal (from a signal to noise ratio perspective). 2.4GHz will generally have a higher signal strength, unless you are close to the AP and have line of sight as the 5GHz signal drops off much quicker when moving through obstacles like walls and floors.

Sorry!
 

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,357
1,030
Based on some Googling i've done, it doesn't seem possible to prioritise 5GHz over 2.4GHz when the SSID is the same:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5433773
http://superuser.com/questions/3623...t-ssids-for-2-4ghz-and-5ghz-wireless-networks

Based on those links, when your Mac is choosing 2.4GHz, it already is choosing the best signal (from a signal to noise ratio perspective). 2.4GHz will generally have a higher signal strength, unless you are close to the AP and have line of sight as the 5GHz signal drops off much quicker when moving through obstacles like walls and floors.

Sorry!

That's what I came up with too. I was hoping someone here might know of some way to go past that but it seems like that won't be the case. Thanks for your help!
 

davidlv

macrumors 68000
Apr 5, 2009
1,550
187
Kyoto, Japan
I don't understand your problem, but then again I am not a network geek by any means! On my MBP 2011, using an Apple Express in bridge mode to connect wirelessly to the router my fibre optics ISP installed, I see 1 5GHz connection point and 1 2.4GHz when I access the Menu Bar icon. I remember setting those up with different names when I first installed the Express. Choosing one will stick over even a cold boot.
Does that mean those 2 wireless networks have 2 different SSIDs (what exactly is an SSID anyway?)? :confused:
When I am at the desk about 3 feet from the Express, an Option click on the menu bar icon shows between 162-300 (unit?) and about 140-152 when I am downstairs, either of which are fast enough for mail and casual web usage.
 

AppleMacFinder

macrumors 6502a
Dec 7, 2009
796
150
I don't understand your problem, but then again I am not a network geek by any means! On my MBP 2011, using an Apple Express in bridge mode to connect wirelessly to the router my fibre optics ISP installed, I see 1 5GHz connection point and 1 2.4GHz when I access the Menu Bar icon. I remember setting those up with different names when I first installed the Express. Choosing one will stick over even a cold boot.
Does that mean those 2 wireless networks have 2 different SSIDs (what exactly is an SSID anyway?)? :confused:
When I am at the desk about 3 feet from the Express, an Option click on the menu bar icon shows between 162-300 (unit?) and about 140-152 when I am downstairs, either of which are fast enough for mail and casual web usage.

SSID is just another title for "network name" :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSID#Service_set_identification_.28SSID.29

Thank you for the tip with "Option + click" on wireless signal icon
 

marvin4653

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2012
109
5
Does your router allow you to configure wireless MAC address filtering independently for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks? If so, configure filtering on the 2.4GHz network to block your laptop's Airport MAC address.
 
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theromz

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2013
116
0
2.4GHz will generally have a higher signal strength, unless you are close to the AP and have line of sight as the 5GHz signal drops off much quicker when moving through obstacles like walls and floors.!

I have seen this too, my 2.4ghz network will have full bars all over my house where as the 5ghz can drop to 3-4 but the speed is just much faster with 5ghz, and a lot more stable I find. Given the amount of 2.4ghz connections in most dense areas (London) where I can see 20+ networks it makes sense to always want too be on 5ghz.
 

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
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I have seen this too, my 2.4ghz network will have full bars all over my house where as the 5ghz can drop to 3-4 but the speed is just much faster with 5ghz, and a lot more stable I find. Given the amount of 2.4ghz connections in most dense areas (London) where I can see 20+ networks it makes sense to always want too be on 5ghz.

This is exactly the case here. There are 10-15 other wireless networks in my neighborhood and every single one of them is broadcasting the 2.4GHz network. Even though the 2.4GHz signal from my router is stronger, it's not necessarily faster because of all the other interference. On 5GHz, even though it's a "weaker" signal, I get exactly the speed I pay for.
 
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laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
I've had a similar issue with a 4th gen. Time Capsule, and manually setting channels fixed it.

With the default auto settings, (or 2,4GHz set to channel 1,) all connected MacBooks seem to prefer the much slower 2,4GHz network. But if I set both 2,4GHz and 5GHz channels manually, the 5GHz network is always preferred.

I have no idea why this happens, and if this is applicable to your situation, but it might still be worth trying.

Edit: To clarify a bit, I know the 2,4GHz network is preferred over the 5GHz one for its better signal-to-noise ratio. What I have not figured out, is why setting the channels manually changes this behaviour, as the 5GHz SNR is still worse, but it now becomes preferred.
 
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zeeklancer

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2008
133
0
I've had a similar issue with a 4th gen. Time Capsule, and manually setting channels fixed it.

With the default auto settings, (or 2,4GHz set to channel 1,) all connected MacBooks seem to prefer the much slower 2,4GHz network. But if I set both 2,4GHz and 5GHz channels manually, the 5GHz network is always preferred.

I have no idea why this happens, and if this is applicable to your situation, but it might still be worth trying.

Edit: To clarify a bit, I know the 2,4GHz network is preferred over the 5GHz one for its better signal-to-noise ratio. What I have not figured out, is why setting the channels manually changes this behaviour, as the 5GHz SNR is still worse, but it now becomes preferred.

I have not tested this but I bet it is because you selected a non optimal channel. By this I mean that there are channels that are better, much better to run a wifi AP with than others. This is because they can spread out and eat into other channels. The link below goes into detail.

But what I suspect is that you selected something other than 1 6 or 11.

http://www.metageek.net/support/why-channels-1-6-and-11/
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
I have not tested this but I bet it is because you selected a non optimal channel. By this I mean that there are channels that are better, much better to run a wifi AP with than others. This is because they can spread out and eat into other channels. The link below goes into detail.

But what I suspect is that you selected something other than 1 6 or 11.

http://www.metageek.net/support/why-channels-1-6-and-11/

I tested all channels from 1 to 11, and the result was the same: setting any channel (with the exception of channel 1) manually made the rMBP prefer the 5GHz network. I ended up using channel 8, as it seems to provide the best SNR by a small margin.

Channel overlap is a very unlikely cause, as there are literally no other Wi-Fi networks within half a mile, and there aren't any other possible sources of interference within a meaningful distance either.
 

Liberty.

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2008
266
2
I don't know ifs possible to automate the process, but you should be able to use iStubmler to manually connect to a certain network. It should be able to differentiate between 2,4Ghz and 5Ghz.
 

zeeklancer

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2008
133
0
I tested all channels from 1 to 11, and the result was the same: setting any channel (with the exception of channel 1) manually made the rMBP prefer the 5GHz network. I ended up using channel 8, as it seems to provide the best SNR by a small margin.

Channel overlap is a very unlikely cause, as there are literally no other Wi-Fi networks within half a mile, and there aren't any other possible sources of interference within a meaningful distance either.

I just tinkered with my new Airport and I found this.

if I changed a setting on the Airport my mac would get the 2.5 Ghz. But if I waited a about 30 seconds to a minute then turned off the wifi on my mac and turned it back on it picked up the 5ghz right away with no problem.

I think in my case the Airport brings up the 2.5ghz first, and the Macbook finds it and uses it.

I will see what happens when I have a meeting in the office next door tomorrow.
 

Nik

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2007
629
1,062
Germany
You can prioritize which networks are chosen in the network settings. Then go "WiFi" and to "advanced options" where you find a list of all networks ever used. You can order them and therefore prioritize them.
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
You can prioritize which networks are chosen in the network settings. Then go "WiFi" and to "advanced options" where you find a list of all networks ever used. You can order them and therefore prioritize them.

Yes, this works if you set different SSIDs for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. If you want to use the same SSID however...
 
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