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Band Steering Settings

Can anyone explain the difference between "Push to 5G" and "Balance"?

I assume it means the following, but want to make sure...

 

Push to 5G:  Makes everything that is capable of being on 5G go to that band.

Balanced:  Puts an equal number of devices on both the 2.4 and 5G bands.

 

Is this correct?  Also, if push to 5G is on, if I get too far away from the AP will it switch me to the 2.4 band for better range?


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Re: Band Steering Settings

Hi guys,

 

Great questions.

 

Background: When the clients make the decision of 5G or 2.4G, they can often overload 2.4GHz because of what essentially is improper decision-making on the client side.

 

Both 'Balanced' and 'Steer to 5G' will push clients to the 5GHz band.  And both will evaluate channel utilization in the decision.  The differences are as follows:

 

'Balanced': Will try to balance clients between 5GHz and 2.4GHz to achieve an equal amount of channel utilization (and thereby maximize overall performance).

'Steer to 5G': Does the same, but leans to be 5G heavy.  This could be used, for example, when it is known that 2.4GHz in the installation environment is sporadic or heavily interfered.

 

I hope this helps.  

 

Thanks,

Brandon

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Balance = balance # of clients between # of APs, if possible

Band Steering = "hint" to the client to use one band over the other



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Re: Band Steering Settings

[ Edited ]

Why would I be able to only choose one or the other?  Or did you think those were two seperate options?

What I am talking about is the setting for Band Steering, it gives me three options:  1. Steer to 5G  2. Balanced 3. Off.  I can only select one at a time

2015-12-15_12-45-07.jpg

 

Why would this selection have anything to do with balancing between AP's, considering it's an option for each individual AP and not a setting in the controller.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

That's an interesting question.

 

@UBNT-Brandon ?



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Re: Band Steering Settings

Hi guys,

 

Great questions.

 

Background: When the clients make the decision of 5G or 2.4G, they can often overload 2.4GHz because of what essentially is improper decision-making on the client side.

 

Both 'Balanced' and 'Steer to 5G' will push clients to the 5GHz band.  And both will evaluate channel utilization in the decision.  The differences are as follows:

 

'Balanced': Will try to balance clients between 5GHz and 2.4GHz to achieve an equal amount of channel utilization (and thereby maximize overall performance).

'Steer to 5G': Does the same, but leans to be 5G heavy.  This could be used, for example, when it is known that 2.4GHz in the installation environment is sporadic or heavily interfered.

 

I hope this helps.  

 

Thanks,

Brandon

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Thanks so much!

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Re: Band Steering Settings

[ Edited ]

I found on controller version 4.8.5 (with assoc firmwares) with UAP-AC-Lite, and Chromecast(v1-2.4 Ghz only) and band steering enabled (either mode), the UAP will kick the Chromecast each minute, it will move to another UAP-AC-Lite, after one minute, that will kick it off and so on, back and forth it will go.

 

The log is just full of Chromecasts jumping around, one minute apart.

 

So band steering is disabled on this install for now. I can have a separate SSID that is 2.4 Ghz only and use that too.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

I'm seeing the same thing as @JimBob with an HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus printer with v4.8.5 when either of the band steering options are enabled.  The device connects & immediately disconnects over and over.


WAP AC Pro logs are a repetitive (times/host names removed for readability):

daemon.info hostapd: ath0: STA 00:d0:2d:26:ad:c0 RADIUS: starting accounting session XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX
daemon.info hostapd: ath0: STA 00:d0:2d:26:ad:c0 WPA: pairwise key handshake completed (RSN)
daemon.info hostapd: ath0: STA ec:9a:74:9e:93:17 IEEE 802.11: sta_stats
daemon.info hostapd: ath0: STA ec:9a:74:9e:93:17 IEEE 802.11: disassociated
daemon.info hostapd: ath0: STA ec:9a:74:9e:93:17 IEEE 802.11: associated

So, unfortunately, I need to turn it off for now as well.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

@UBNT-Brandon Are you able to tell us how UniFi implements band steering? Does it withold probe responses or association responses?

 

Clients often join the 2.4 radio because, without proper tx power adjustment, they see better RSSI on 2.4, even if SNR is worse. Client devices are mostly stupid, for lack of a better word. The EIRP in 5 GHz band needs to be 6 dB higher to have roughly the same cell size as on 2.4 GHz. If you want to manually steer clients to 5 GHz, you need to make sure they see better RSSI in that band in as many locations as possible.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

@mbsteez  At a high level, yes.  It varies and is nuanced, so be forewarned this is a 10,000-foot view of bandsteering.

 

  • Pre- and post-association.  Pre- is the main mechanism.
  • The AP 'learns' (or should learn, if all is going right) what devices do not respond well to band-steering, and ceases (or should cease) attempts to band-steer them.
  • 802.11v is used to steer clients to 5G in circumstances where DFS prevents pre- (and/or post-) association, for example because of DFS scans (on legacy models, currently)

I hope that helps. 

 

Cheers,

Brandon

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Re: Band Steering Settings

I also have noticed that one of my devices will not connect when Band Steering is on.  I have a Honeywell (Ademco) WiFi thermostat that can't connect with Steering enabled.  It just keeps saying invalid password.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Thanks for reporting @SkynetMCP.  We have a hotfix bandsteering release that will likely address this.  

 

Would you be interested in giving it a try?

 

Thanks,

Brandon

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Does band steering cause the client to remain on the same access point, or might it go search for the 5 GHz version of the same SSID, and could therefore end up on a different AP?

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Sure!

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Great.  Actually, we will have 4.8.9RC3 out soon, so please give that a shot.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

@UBNT-Brandon

 

I have a similar issue with my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. It only has 2.4 GHz. If I turn on bandsteering then all other clients connect just fine, but my Yoga will not. I updated my APs to 3.4.10.3347 and that did not help. I have an AC-Lite and an AC-LR and the behavior is the same on both. I'd be happy to try out the hotfix.

 

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Re: Band Steering Settings

The AC-Pro firmware v3.4.11.3386 that I loaded solved the issue for my printer mentioned above where it would get caught in a connect/disconnect loop when bandsteering was on.  Firmware source: https://dl.ubnt.com/unifi/firmware/U7PG2/3.4.11.3386/firmware.bin [I had to remove the 's' in https to get it to load manually, as well as turn off auto update of AC firmware in the Unifi Controller.]

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Re: Band Steering Settings


mikehineline wrote:

The AC-Pro firmware v3.4.11.3386 that I loaded solved the issue for my printer mentioned above where it would get caught in a connect/disconnect loop when bandsteering was on.  Firmware source: https://dl.ubnt.com/unifi/firmware/U7PG2/3.4.11.3386/firmware.bin [I had to remove the 's' in https to get it to load manually, as well as turn off auto update of AC firmware in the Unifi Controller.]


Thanks. That did the trick for me. Using the firmware from the link my Lenovo is able to stay connected on 2.4 GHz even with bandsteering turned on.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

I gues you can't have everything. My Lumia 950XL now seems to be connecting only on 2.4GHz. When I first got the phone I had this issue, but then after a UniFi update the problem went away. Now that I put this beta firmware on my access points the phone mosty connects on 2.4 GHz instead of 5. I say "mostly" because one time for about 30 secodns it was on 5GHz. I have tried disconneting and reconnecting and that did not help.

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Re: Band Steering Settings

Thanks for reporting and collaborating here (and sorry for the delay on my end).

 

CC: @UBNT-jkatabat for the Lumia 950XL.

 

@gerrymad2 More of an FYI: To prevent incompatibility, the firmware will 'flag' client devices which seem to not like to be bandsteered (some devices may have FW internal which don't respond well to it).  These 'flagged' devices will then be on 'do-not-bandsteer' list.

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