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What causes wireless adapter to prefer n over ac?

icelava

New Member
My home route is a D-Link DIR-890L. Since the beginning on acquiring the SP4, I noticed wireless speed to be rather slow, and later discovered that the onboard Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller connects to the router using 802.11n. I could only acquire 802.11ac connection if I forced the wireless adapter to only communicate on 5Ghz band. Since that worked I quickly forgot about it.

When outdoors I typically carry a 3G Wifi modem to provide Internet connection to my mobile devices that don't have their own SIM card. Today I so happened to carry the SP4 out into the wild, and was troubled to find it not being able to connect to my 3G modem. Some hours later, I remembered the band setting, and revert back to Auto so that it could communicate on the 2.4Ghz band.

Of course, that means on reaching home, it talks to my router on 2.4Ghz (802.11n) again.

Yes, I can reconfigure settings according to the scenario, but I'd really love the wireless adapter to realise on its own there's a better protocol/bandwidth option available. What can I do to investigate further why the SP4's adapter prefers 802.11n?
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I've not experienced this with the SP4 (We have 110 of the deployed) - it connects to AC without issue, but there are things that make it use 2.4HGz over 5GHz - distance or interference from solid objects.

Are you using the latest Firmware on both the router and the device?
 
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icelava

New Member
I cannot use the router's standard firmware; my ISP implements IP TV via a separate VLAN so a custom firmware (provided by D-Link themselves) is required to make the router aware of VLAN segregation. I do not suspect the custom firmware would change wireless functionality/behaviour since it was specifically for VLAN support.

Windows 10 and SP4 update the drivers/firmware whenever available without any action on my part.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I cannot use the router's standard firmware; my ISP implements IP TV via a separate VLAN so a custom firmware (provided by D-Link themselves) is required to make the router aware of VLAN segregation. I do not suspect the custom firmware would change wireless functionality/behaviour since it was specifically for VLAN support.

Windows 10 and SP4 update the drivers/firmware whenever available without any action on my part.
I given you what has worked previously, with your constraints I'm not sure what to recommend short of getting an external USB AC Adapter -

https://www.amazon.com/D-Link-Wireless-Network-Adapter-DWA-182/dp/B0099XFRIY/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1521314752&sr=8-13&keywords=d-link+802.11ac+wireless+adapter
 
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icelava

New Member
I don't need an extra wireless network adapter; the internal adapter can connect over ac, but only when I force it to use 5Ghz only. If set to Auto, it prefers to communicate over 2.4Ghz (n). I wish there was some sort of wireless network negotiation log to inform what transpired between adapter and router.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I don't need an extra wireless network adapter; the internal adapter can connect over ac, but only when I force it to use 5Ghz only. If set to Auto, it prefers to communicate over 2.4Ghz (n). I wish there was some sort of wireless network negotiation log to inform what transpired between adapter and router.
AUTO will always select the most stable frequency so the machine is telling you that 2.4GHz is providing the best QoS, how many devices are you connecting at 5GHz? Are you in a dense housing situation with many access points? You can change you 5GHz band and see if it becomes more stable.
 
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icelava

New Member
The sucky thing about the router interface is it list wifi protocol to distinguish between ac (5Ghz) and n (2.4Ghz) clients. Heck, it doesn't even differentiate between wired and wireless clients in the network. Its wireless setting also does not include any granular control over 2.4/5Ghz operation.

Yes I do live in a dense housing area, there are many neighbours' wireless networks sensed by my SP4. None as strong as my own's signals, naturally. I'll probably test a trial with inSSIDer to see what clues I can obtain about my wireless network over the two frequency bands.
 
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icelava

New Member
I'll probably test a trial with inSSIDer to see what clues I can obtain about my wireless network over the two frequency bands.
If I am to make a guess, the adapter likely prefers to 2.4Ghz network because the signal strength's better. Some times even by a quarter. (the icelava networks)
local wifi.jpg
 
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