With the introduction of FRITZ!OS 7.10, AP steering has been added alongside band steering as a new WiFi feature. Together they form the basis of Mesh WiFi steering. In the following article we'll explain how you can benefit from Mesh steering.
What is Mesh WiFi steering?
When several FRITZ! products are being used in the home network at the same time, Mesh WiFi steering automatically steers smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices to the wireless access point with the best wireless reception and also to the most suitable frequency band. This way, Mesh WiFi steering not only optimizes the wireless connection of individual devices, it also optimizes the load of all wireless access points.
The devices set up as Mesh Repeaters (e.g. another FRITZ!Box or FRITZ!Repeater) are also technically referred to as "access points" – or "AP" for short. Active AP steering ensures that the controlled wireless device is always connected in the best possible way, while optimizing the performance of the entire home network. This happens automatically, you don't need to change or set up any user settings. The function is preset, but can also be activated later in the FRITZ!Box user interface.
Progress through band steering
Band steering technology takes the idea of dual wireless (2.4 and 5 GHz bands) a step further. Many modern devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks already support the alternative use of two wireless bands. Band steering designates the process in which the FRITZ!Box takes over band management automatically, deciding itself which dual-band device uses which band. This way, devices are integrated far more efficiently in the wireless network, which is reflected in a noticeable improvement in the data transmission rate.
The Mesh Master sets the tone
In the Mesh, the FRITZ!Box in its function as Mesh Master has connection information from all terminal devices with WiFi capability, such as smartphones or laptops. As soon as the Mesh Master determines that a wireless device no longer has a good connection to the home or guest network, it prompts the device to change to the other wireless network.
In contrast to wireless roaming, with Mesh WiFi steering, the Mesh Master decides when it makes sense to change the wireless network, and not the wireless device itself. The decisive advantage of this is that the Mesh Master can better judge which wireless access point or which frequency band is ideal at a given moment because it has information about all of the wireless devices and their connections, including the load of the Mesh Repeaters. Individual wireless devices cannot determine this information.
What is required?
- The wireless device must be capable of dual band (2.4- and 5-GHz-bands must be supported, please refer to the wireless device's documentation).
- The 802.11k and 802.11v wireless LAN standards must be fully supported by the wireless device.
- All FRITZ! products involved must be integrated into the Mesh (look out for the Mesh symbol).
- The FRITZ!Box must support Wireless AC or Wi-Fi 6.
- The wireless network name (SSID) of both frequency bands of the Mesh Master must be identical (this is the case for the FRITZ!Box's factory settings).
- Requires FRITZ!OS 7.10 or later.