What is the Band Steering on a wi-fi networkLuis
What Is the Band Steering
Your home internet speed is slow? Then it could be due to congestion.
Modern home routers have many different ways to deal with congestion, one of which is called “band steering”.
Band steering is a useful feature on some dual-band and tri-band routers that “steers” 5GHz-enabled devices from the more crowded 2.4GHz band to the 5GHz band. Since the 5GHz band generally allows for faster speeds, that’s good for related devices, while also allowing the 2.4GHz band to make room for devices that aren’t compatible with 5GHz band.
Band steering was usually a feature on enterprise WI-FI networks before, although now some very high-end consumer routers have it as well. Need to know more about Band Steering? Then read on!
What is the Band Steering and how does it work?
As mentioned above, band steering is a feature of some routers that gently nudges 5GHz-enabled devices into the 5GHz band of dual-band routers.
This can include the following equipment:
- Desktop PC
- smart phone
- Tablet PCs
At the same time, devices that may only use the 2.4GHz band are usually older products or products that don’t require a particularly fast connection, such as printers, etc.
2.4GHz, 5GHz and Dual Band
The reason it’s important to avoid congestion is that it does slow down your network. Congestion is most common in the 2.4GHz band. This is because a lot of devices support 2.4GHz by default, which can cause band congestion, especially if you live in an area with a lot of routers (such as an apartment building) or a lot of devices connected to your network.
Besides, there are far fewer channels on the 2.4GHz band (only 3 channels available), which makes it more likely to experience interference from other routers or devices using the same/overlapping channels.
On the other hand, the 5GHz band is much less congested. That’s partly because not that many devices are 5GHz capable, and not all routers come with the 5GHz band, and also because the 5GHz band doesn’t have that long range, making it less useful in some situations.
However, it’s generally faster, so if you have a device that works on this band and you’re within range, you should be able to experience higher network performance when using it.
Dual-band routers and devices allow you to use both bands at the same time. This helps with congestion because you can add devices that need a 2.4GHz signal to that band, and devices that can use the extra speed boost to the 5GHz band.
How Band Steering Can Help With Congestion?
However, just because a device supports 5GHz, doesn’t mean it will automatically connect to the 5GHz band. This is where Band Steering helps. It pushes 5GHz-capable devices to the 5GHz network to ensure that the 2.4GHz band remains as congested as possible. You may be wondering how a router or access point knows if a device supports 5GHz. With this technology, the SSID of the 2.4G band and the SSID of 5.8G can be combined into one; for example, this SSID would appear on our smartphone link page: XXX 2.4G/5G.
When a device is connected to the 5GHz band, the router knows it supports 5GHz. So if you try to connect to the 2.4GHz band the next time you connect, the router will direct it to 5GHz.
Of course, sometimes a 5GHz-capable device might connect to the 2.4GHz band for some reason. For example, if the 5GHz band signal is too weak. It would be very frustrating if the router kept dropping devices to the 5GHz network. Luckily, the Band Steering can handle that. For example, on a Huawei home access network, if a device drops 8 times in 10 seconds in the 5Ghz band, the device will be allowed to connect to the 2.4GHz band.
At present, band steering technology is mostly used in routers, and WI-FI of optical line terminals is rarely used. I believe that in the near future, with the advent of the combination of ONT and home routers, like Huawei K662c, this kind of two-in-one device will be large-scale commercial, and such technology should be widely used in ONTs.