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Force adapter to connect to a specific WiFi band based on IP address?

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jksmurf

Senior Member
Hi,

RT-AC86C 384.12_alpha1-g40c9e42009

Apologies if this has been covered, I looked but could not find a specific response.

I am using Smart Connect on this router but there is one device (and one only) that I wish to force onto the 5GHz band. I am aware I can define two separate SSIDs and connect FROM the device to the 5GHz one and I believe that I could tweak Smart Connect Rules (although it might sometimes connect and sometimes not?) but I really just want to force one WiFi adpater onto a specific band based on a simpler method.

I guess I could also use the Wireless MAC Filter for that one device's MAC with an accept / reject rule? I tried it but it did not work. For this method, if I put in a filter for "Reject"ing that MAC on the 2.4GHz band, will it then still connect on 5GHz, or will the MAC address filter apply to ANY subsequent Wifi connections and refuse all connections? Or do I ALSO need to Accept the 5GHz Wifi (with 2.4GHz rejected)?

Lastly, as I have the device (and 20-odd others from all the kids gizmos) reserved via DHCP to an IP Address anwyay, I was wondering of it is possible to connect to a defined band by IP Address only?

TIA,

k.
 
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You can't control device connection by IP address. IP addresses are assigned by the router after the device has already connected. The only way to restrict wireless clients on the router side is by MAC filtering. Otherwise it would have to be differentiated on the client side, e.g. using different SSIDs, bands, authentication methods, multicast rates, etc.
 
Cheers Colin;

So it should be possible to reject a MAC address on one band and can I assume the same MAC address will be accepted on the other by default? i.e. no need to accept explicitly? Ta k
 
So it should be possible to reject a MAC address on one band and can I assume the same MAC address will be accepted on the other by default? i.e. no need to accept explicitly? Ta k
In theory that's how it should work. However, I think I remember some posts from people saying it wasn't working properly (at all?) in recent firmwares. I don't know whether that was an actual problem, or was firmware/hardware specific. I suppose it could be related to smart connect, maybe.

Probably worth searching the forum for the details.
 
Devices determine where they want to connect, based on algorithms baked into their drivers. You can try to influence where you want it to connect, but the decision is always up to the device.

Using banning techniques on the AP side can result in flaky or no connections.
 
Hi,

RT-AC86C 384.12_alpha1-g40c9e42009

Apologies if this has been covered, I looked but could not find a specific response.

I am using Smart Connect on this router but there is one device (and one only) that I wish to force onto the 5GHz band. I am aware I can define two separate SSIDs and connect FROM the device to the 5GHz one and I believe that I could tweak Smart Connect Rules (although it might sometimes connect and sometimes not?) but I really just want to force one WiFi adpater onto a specific band based on a simpler method.

I guess I could also use the Wireless MAC Filter for that one device's MAC with an accept / reject rule? I tried it but it did not work. For this method, if I put in a filter for "Reject"ing that MAC on the 2.4GHz band, will it then still connect on 5GHz, or will the MAC address filter apply to ANY subsequent Wifi connections and refuse all connections? Or do I ALSO need to Accept the 5GHz Wifi (with 2.4GHz rejected)?

Lastly, as I have the device (and 20-odd others from all the kids gizmos) reserved via DHCP to an IP Address anwyay, I was wondering of it is possible to connect to a defined band by IP Address only?

TIA,

k.
jksmurf,

There is a simple solution to accomplish what you want to do and it does not involve using the Wireless MAC Filter capability.

I will use the SSID of "foobar" as my example. Set your main SSID to be "foobar". Enable Smart Connect Rules so that both the 2.4 and 5GHz radios both operate under that name. Now add a guest network named "foobar5" under the 5 GHz section of the Guest Network page. Make sure to enable "Access Intranet" for "foobar5". You can use the same network key as you did for "foobar". This will make your life simpler.

Now connect to "foobar5" if you want to force the client onto the 5 GHz radio. Or connect to "foobar" if you want to let the client and router chose the best frequency.

Additionally you could create a "foobar2" for the 2.4 GHz radio.

I have used this scheme for years and it works great. It was particularly valuable before the advent of Smart Connect Rules (when I was using an AC68) because back then you were more likely to get "stuck" on one frequency even if it was not the most appropriate.
 
Apologies if this has been covered, I looked but could not find a specific response.

I am using Smart Connect on this router but there is one device (and one only) that I wish to force onto the 5GHz band. I am aware I can define two separate SSIDs and connect FROM the device to the 5GHz one and I believe that I could tweak Smart Connect Rules (although it might sometimes connect and sometimes not?) but I really just want to force one WiFi adpater onto a specific band based on a simpler method.

WiFi is layer 2, IP is layer 3

I'd just let it float, and don't worry about QoS - you'll just add complications...
 
.... Now add a guest network named "foobar5" under the 5 GHz section of the Guest Network page. Make sure to enable "Access Intranet" for "foobar5"... Now connect to "foobar5" if you want to force the client onto the 5 GHz radio. Or connect to "foobar" if you want to let the client and router chose the best frequency....

Thank you for that suggestion, certainly an option to consider. It does mean the loss of guest access on one channel (as I do not wish them to “Access Intranet") but I could set that guest access on my AC68U (with both channels) and foobar5 on my main router AC86U.... food for thought. Glad others have (had) a similar dilemma :).

k.
 
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I will use the SSID of "foobar" as my example. Set your main SSID to be "foobar". Enable Smart Connect Rules so that both the 2.4 and 5GHz radios both operate under that name. Now add a guest network named "foobar5" under the 5 GHz section of the Guest Network page. Make sure to enable "Access Intranet" for "foobar5". You can use the same network key as you did for "foobar". This will make your life simpler.

Now connect to "foobar5" if you want to force the client onto the 5 GHz radio. Or connect to "foobar" if you want to let the client and router chose the best frequency.

Additionally you could create a "foobar2" for the 2.4 GHz radio.

that's actually kind of silly when understanding how things work these days.

Adding more SSID's is adding more overhead, which reduces throughput for all devices on the WLAN.
 
that's actually kind of silly when understanding how things work these days.

Adding more SSID's is adding more overhead, which reduces throughput for all devices on the WLAN.
Please explain.
 
Thanks, that's an interesting article. By "Number of APs on Channel" (first column in table) are they referring to the number of clients connected to a single SSID or something else?

Quote:
The tool also takes into consideration the number of co-channel APs within the physical area. All access points, either from your WLAN or a neighboring WLAN, contribute to the overhead on the channel. Remember, Wi-Fi operates in unlicensed spectrum and everyone shares the airtime!
 
Thanks, that's an interesting article. By "Number of APs on Channel" (first column in table) are they referring to the number of clients connected to a single SSID or something else?

I read that as the number of all AP's on the same channel, not clients. ;)

The consumer standard for client devices on a single Radio is 32 for most current routers. ;)
 
I read that as the number of all AP's on the same channel, not clients. ;)

The consumer standard for client devices on a single Radio is 32 for most current routers. ;)
OK, now that I understand the graph it does not look like my setup will have a huge impact on performance. I am in a suburban residential environment and there are no other APs stepping on my 5 GHz channel (according to the "Wifi Analyzer" app). Given this, I should have a performance hit of 6.45% (two SSIDs on 5 GHz) which is below my measurement noise level (unless I take a lot of samples).

I think I need to do some benchmarking and get some real data. It will be interesting.
 
OK, now that I understand the graph it does not look like my setup will have a huge impact on performance. I am in a suburban residential environment and there are no other APs stepping on my 5 GHz channel (according to the "Wifi Analyzer" app). Given this, I should have a performance hit of 6.45% (two SSIDs on 5 GHz) which is below my measurement noise level (unless I take a lot of samples).

I think I need to do some benchmarking and get some real data. It will be interesting.

Here's the original file I had downloaded on March 25, 2014. Unfortunately, that file is not available from that site anymore.

Download it and change the .txt extension to .zip :)
 

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Here's the original file I had downloaded on March 25, 2014. Unfortunately, that file is not available from that site anymore.

Download it and change the .txt extension to .zip :)
Thanks, its good to see the entire spreadsheet, not just the part shown on the webpage.
 
Here's the original file I had downloaded on March 25, 2014. Unfortunately, that file is not available from that site anymore.

Download it and change the .txt extension to .zip :)
I ran the experiment and the the results are a bit odd.

Test conditions
  • Router: ASUS RT-AC86U
  • Firmware: Merlin 384.11_2
  • ISP: Comcast 300Mb down
  • Test device: MacBook Pro 2015
  • All testing done on 5GHz radio, channel 44.
  • Test data gathered using Speedtest app to measure download.
  • All other network activities minimized during testing.
  • For each configuration 10-20 samples were taken.
    • The fastest five data points were averaged to get the result. The reason for using this approach is that it threw out data impacted by any other activity on the network.
  • At the time of the testing there was only one other 5 GHz AP visible to the Android app Wifi Analyzer.
  • Finally, I obviously did not move the locations of the router or the laptop while gathering the data.
Test configs and results
  • Test 1
    • Active SSIDs: Main
    • Download speed: 294 Mbps
  • Test 2
    • Active SSIDs: Main + Guest 1
    • Download speed: 274 Mbps (7% slowdown over Test 1)
  • Test 3
    • Active SSIDs: Main + Guest 1 + Guest 2
      Download speed: 294 Mbps (0% slowdown over Test 1)
  • Test 4
    • Active SSIDs: Main + Guest 1 + Guest 2 + Guest 3
      Download speed: 291 Mbps (1% slowdown over Test 1)
Conclusions
  • All the tests resulted in the same download speeds except for Test 2 where the speed was about 7% slower.
  • Comparing my results to the Revolution WiFi data table
    • Test 2's slowdown of 7% is consistent with the data from Revolution WiFi.
      • By consistent I am referring to the data in the 1st row of the table from Revolution WiFi.
      • I am using the 1st row because there are no other APs with in range on the same channel.
    • Test 3 and 4 disagree with the data from Revolution WiFi.
  • So I am not sure what to make of all of this except that I can conclude that I not been giving up much performance by using one or two guest SSIDs on each radio.
  • Perhaps someone who knows more about the inner workings of the firmware could comment on what is going on.
 
Last edited:
I ran the experiment and the the results are a bit odd.

Test conditions
  • Router: ASUS RT-AC86U
  • Firmware: Merlin 384.11_2
  • ISP: Comcast 300Mb down
  • Test device: MacBook Pro 2015
  • All testing done on 5GHz radio, channel 44.
  • Test data gathered using Speedtest app to measure download.
  • All other network activities minimized during testing.
  • For each configuration 10-20 samples were taken.
    • The fastest five data points were averaged to get the result. The reason for using this approach is that it threw out data impacted by any other activity on the network.
  • At the time of the testing there was only one other 5 GHz AP visible to the Android app Wifi Analyzer.
  • Finally, I obviously did not move the locations of the router or the laptop while gathering the data.
Test configs and results
  • Test 1
    • Active SSIDs: Main
    • Download speed: 294 Mbps
  • Test 2
    • Active SSIDs: Main + Guest 1
    • Download speed: 274 Mbps (7% slowdown over Test 1)
  • Test 3
    • Active SSIDs: Main + Guest 1 + Guest 2
      Download speed: 294 Mbps (0% slowdown over Test 1)
  • Test 4
    • Active SSIDs: Main + Guest 1 + Guest 2 + Guest 3
      Download speed: 291 Mbps (1% slowdown over Test 1)
Conclusions
  • All the tests resulted in the same download speeds except for Test 2 where the speed was about 7% slower.
  • Comparing my results to the Revolution WiFi data table
    • Test 2's slowdown of 7% is consistent with the data from Revolution WiFi.
      • By consistent I am referring to the data in the 1st row of the table from Revolution WiFi.
      • I am using the 1st row because there are no other APs with in range on the same channel.
    • Test 3 and 4 disagree with the data from Revolution WiFi.
  • So I am not sure what to make of all of this except that I can conclude that I not been giving up much performance by using one or two guest SSIDs on each radio.
  • Perhaps someone who knows more about the inner workings of the firmware could comment on what is going on.

Using speedtest, even as you have (averaging) is not nearly consistent enough I would think. A better test would be to see a constant download from a wired desktop computer to a wireless one like your MBP, preferably using synthetic 'data' that doesn't rely on an HDD or other, possibly variable, data surface.

The results are still interesting, but as you hint at, not really worth using as 'proof' of the spreadsheets concepts. ;)
 
Using speedtest, even as you have (averaging) is not nearly consistent enough I would think. A better test would be to see a constant download from a wired desktop computer to a wireless one like your MBP, preferably using synthetic 'data' that doesn't rely on an HDD or other, possibly variable, data surface.

The results are still interesting, but as you hint at, not really worth using as 'proof' of the spreadsheets concepts. ;)
That's a good idea. I should not rely on the external connection due to both the noise that it induces and also the clamping effect that it has.

I will think about how to setup a new experiment to that only stresses the wireless connection.
 

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