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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. For this, it first deregisters all devices from the 2.4 GHz frequency band and briefly blocks this band so that wireless devices capable of 5 GHz connect to the 5 GHz frequency band. If registration of a wireless device in the 5 GHz frequency band fails, it is then permitted to use the 2.4 GHz frequency band shortly afterwards.

The FRITZ!Box learns the device's properties when it registers 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 of the individual wireless devices.

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. Band 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.

The Wi-Fi network name (SSID) of both frequency bands must be identical in order to use the benefits of band steering. If the Wi-Fi network names are different, give both of the FRITZ!Box's frequency bands the same Wi-Fi network name and then enable the option "To improve data transmission [...] can be set to switch between the 2.4 and the 5-GHz frequency band automatically" or "To improve data transmission, wireless devices can be switched automatically [...] in the Mesh" in the FRITZ!Box user interface under "Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Channel" ("Wireless > Radio Channel") in the section "Wi-Fi Channel Settings > Additional Settings" ("Radio Channel Settings > Additional Settings"). In the Mesh with FRITZ!, the FRITZ!Repeater then adopts the settings of the FRITZ!Box.