Force WiFi 5GHz

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by netplumbers, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. netplumbers

    netplumbers New Member

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    I have WAPs running 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi around my house. Whenever the Pro 2 is in range of any of the 2.4GHz WAPs, it insists on connecting to the slower 802.11g device instead of the speedy 5GHz 802.11n WAP. All of the other devices around the house (linux, mac, ios, android) happily prefer the 5GHz spectrum as they should. I can only get the Pro 2 to connect to the 5GHz band if I unplug the 2.4GHz AP. As I only have one lightly used 2.4GHz only device left, this isn't a big deal around the house but will cause significant issues when I'm somewhere I can power down the 2.4GHz WAPs. Is anyone else experiencing the same problem?

    This isn't a problem with range, the Pro 2 is setup on my desk for testing and the nearest 5GHz and 2.4GHz WAPs are ~3ft away. Unplugging the 2.4GHz WAP results in the Pro 2 quickly associating as it should a a substantial speed boost. The Pro 2 is fully patched and I'm not running any wifi management software.

    Thanks, Jon
     
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  2. Ruffles

    Ruffles Active Member

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    Set your wifi up to have different SSID's for each band. Then, delete the connection info for the 2.4 network and only put in your credentials for the 5GHz band.
     
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  3. netplumbers

    netplumbers New Member

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    While this might be a workaround within my house, it is not a viable solution when at the office or any of the many other wifi networks I must use regularly. Is there any way to force the connection to prefer 5GHz as every other device I own does?
     
  4. olimjj

    olimjj Active Member

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    While neither an ideal nor elegant solution, albeit a somewhat costly one, you could get a USB wireless card which offers concurrent and selective connections. I believe ASUS makes such a card. There most likely are others. JMTC
     
  5. PandaSPUR

    PandaSPUR New Member

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    To be honest though, I dont think most offices or commercial spaces would have their wifi set up with different bands and speeds like your home does.
    Commercial spaces tend to have either just one AP (like in a small store), or multiple identical overlapping APs supporting a range of speeds on the 2.4Ghz band (big office building).
     
  6. netplumbers

    netplumbers New Member

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    My offices all do and most of my clients do (and those that don't, I help them recognize the value in doing so). I travel quite a bit for work to various colleges and universities and most of them have 2.4 and 5 on the same SSID (they may have several SSIDs for different groups though). I don't want to turn this thread into something about how to design enterprise WiFi. Preferring 2.4GHz is a major deficiency in the WiFi setup, does anyone know how to resolve this at the client level? My web search efforts all talk about using the chipset's config tool instead of the built-in one to resolve this for other chipsets but I don't see such a tool for the marvell chipset on the Pro 2. Does anyone know of a tool that will do this for the Pro 2?

    I look forward to the day when linux works acceptably on the Pro 2...
     
  7. Ceepeebee

    Ceepeebee New Member

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    Hi netplumbers

    Best practice dictates that you do exactly as Panda suggests. Use either one band entirely (which is what most commercial offices use) or use multiple SSIDs to differentiate.

    If you MUST use 5Ghz, you need a commercial grade WAP to allow you to use certificate based security and as such, you can weight said certificate in terms of use (and thus the SSID you connect to)
     
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  8. netplumbers

    netplumbers New Member

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    I suggest we not turn this thread into a debate about WiFi best practices. As this is something I do professionally for large enterprises, my strong opinion and experience is that the best practice is a single SSID for 2.4/5; SSID separation is not typically used for frequency management but for other types of logical segregation. As to the suggestion of using a 'commercial grade WAP', I presume you are suggesting certificate based 802.1x authentication. Unfortunately, this is does not relate to frequency management.

    If anyone has any advice about forcing the pro 2 and it's marvell chipset to 5GHz when available, please speak up. Otherwise I suggest we not continue the argument over WiFi best practices.
     
  9. beman39

    beman39 New Member

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    Then the only thing to do, is go into the marvel astar settings and look around in the settings and see if you can manually set it to connect to 5ghz range, but I suspect that won't be possible...
     
  10. netplumbers

    netplumbers New Member

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    What astar settings are you referring to? I proper config tool for the chipset has a good chance of solving the problem.
    Thanks.
     
  11. beman39

    beman39 New Member

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    well going into "devices" and looking at the card itself, or maybe perhaps in the wifi settings, not sure but YOU would have to look around in there to find it, but I suspect you wont...
     
  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The Marvell WLAN has very few configurable parameters, typically these are found under the Properties of the NIC....Advanced Tab (there is only 3 configurable properties).
     

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