Prefer 802.11a over 802.11g

Unanswered Question
May 19th, 2009


Is there a way in an autonomous AP to set 802.11a/5ghz as the prefered connection frequency if the client is 802.11a capable? We have a number of notebooks that have draft N cards and we have AP's with A and G radios and I wanted to force the A capable clients to connect via A instead of G.



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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
jeff.kish Tue, 05/19/2009 - 18:45

Hi Dan!

There's no way to do this since clients associate to an AP on a particular frequency. The AP has no way of knowing that a client has an 802.11a radio as well.

However, this option should exist on your clients. Sometimes you just need to make the same network twice, one for each radio, and prioritize the 5GHz network over the 2.4GHz. Either way, what you're trying to do is possible, but it needs to be done on the client and not the AP.


danletkeman Tue, 05/19/2009 - 19:14


Do you know if this is possible with the windows wireless zero configuration?

jeff.kish Wed, 05/20/2009 - 05:17

Actually, I'm fairly certain that you cannot :/ I know you can do this with Atheros' client utility, and Cisco's if you happen to have Cisco cards. Not sure about Broadcom or Dell. You'll need to install one of these supplicants if you want to do this.

Sorry, but it doesn't look like it's going to be easy for you.


Robert.N.Barrett_2 Mon, 06/08/2009 - 03:29


With wireless zero config (assuming XP, I can't speak for Vista), your only option is to examine the driver/properties and see if they support what you want. For example, I have an Intel 4965, and I can disable b/g support. However, I have seen some cards where the driver allows you to set which radio is preferred.

Vinay Saini Sun, 06/07/2009 - 05:27


Some clients like Intel , have option to where you can configure them to prefer the 802.11a over the G radio.Go to driver properties of wi-fi chipset you will find the option there.

Also,There is new feature coming very soon from Cisco where you can enable the same for the AP now .Just wait for few months.



dancampb Wed, 05/20/2009 - 09:10

I realize your question is on autonomous AP's but the 1140's and 1250's AP's will have the ability to push a/b/g clients to use the 'a' band in the future releases for the controller.

oongborirukkul Wed, 06/10/2009 - 00:44

What about Autonomous AP can do this feature?

or this feature only supports on the controller?

Daniel Anderson Wed, 09/30/2009 - 07:24

Apologies for bumping this thread.

Above there is mention of being able to prioritise a given Radio within an SSID on the WLC. Is anyone able to advise on the software release required on a WLC in order to allow this functionality?


brian.kachel@qu... Mon, 10/05/2009 - 09:30

The feature is called band-select, and can be enabled in 6.0.182 via the CLI only.

To enable BandSelect:

(Cisco Controller) >config band-select probe-response enable

ericgarnel Mon, 10/05/2009 - 11:34


it says the following:Band Select and Load Balancing CLI Commands

The config band-select and config wlan band-select CLI commands appear in controller software release, but they are not supported and should not be used. Also, you can ignore the Band Select Stats information in the output of the show ap stats {802.11a | 802.11b} Cisco_AP command.

Do you have some other info on this command?

scott.stapleton Thu, 10/15/2009 - 22:58

Unrelated to the band-select CLI command, I am using a GPO with 2 x SSIDs - SSID2.4 & SSID5. The SSID5 has higher priority and from my limited testing, N clients seem to connect to to the SSID5 and obviously G clients only see SSID2.4 and connect to that. It seems to be working so far.

Obviously you need to be running the WZC supplicant for this to work.

Modifying the driver band-select option isn't a great option as not all clients support it and it is not scalable in any enterprise deployment. Scripting those drivers modifications would probably be a nightmare. I guess it may work in a small environment.

We'll see how well the band-select CLI option works.


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