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What is band steering and how does it work?

Band steering balances the load in the Wi-Fi network, which ensures fast and stable connections for all of the wireless devices in the home network.

Automatic steering to the optimal frequency band

Current wireless routers or wireless repeaters, such as the FRITZ!Box 7590 or FRITZ!Repeater 2400, make the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands available at the same time. Wireless devices that support connections to both frequency bands decide themselves which frequency to use for a connection. Wireless devices do not always make the best choice, though. With band steering, routers and repeaters can determine which frequency band is more suitable for individual wireless devices and automatically steer them to the more suitable one.

Characteristics of the frequency bands

The 2.4 GHz frequency band has a greater range because low frequencies can penetrate obstacles such as walls, metallic objects, or objects containing water more easily. The 5 GHz frequency band, on the other hand, offers more speed near a wireless router since a wider frequency spectrum can be used there, allowing more data to be transmitted in the same amount of time.

Steering of the wireless devices

The FRITZ!Box uses band steering to improve the range of wireless devices when they are connected to the 5 GHz frequency band: If a device is on the edge of the range, the FRITZ!Box initiates the change to the 2.4 GHz frequency band that has a greater range.

The FRITZ!Box uses band steering to avoid congestion in the 2.4 GHz frequency band by steering wireless devices to the 5 GHz frequency band if necessary. If wireless devices support the 802.11k and 802.11v wireless standards, this happens seamlessly. Older wireless devices that do not support these standards must first be deregistered and then re-registered.

The FRITZ!Box learns the properties of older wireless devices when they register for the first time. If it turns out that the wireless device supports both frequency bands, starting with the next time it registers, it will be steered to the frequency band that is more suitable for the given situation. If the FRITZ!Box is restarted, it must relearn the properties.

Requirements for band steering

The FRITZ!Box supports band steering starting with FRITZ!OS 6.80; FRITZ!Powerline adapters with Wi-Fi functionality and FRITZ!Repeaters both support it starting with FRITZ!OS 6.90. Starting with FRITZ!OS 7.10, band steering functions together with AP steering as Mesh Wi-Fi steering. Mesh Wi-Fi Steering is already enabled in the factory settings. Band steering also effects wireless devices using Wi-Fi guest access so that your guests also always have stable and fast Wi-Fi connections.

For band steering, both frequency bands must have identical Wi-Fi network names (SSIDs). If the Wi-Fi network names are different, give both of the frequency bands the same Wi-Fi network name and then enable the option "To improve data transmission, wireless devices can be switched automatically [...] in the Mesh" in the user interface of the FRITZ!Box under "Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Channel" ("Wireless > Radio Channel") in the section "Wi-Fi Channel Settings > Additional Settings" ("Radio Channel Settings > Additional Settings").