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I have a Windows 7 laptop which does not show 5 GHz wireless lans in the wireless network settings.

How can I find out if the 5 GHz range is just not configured (i.e. switched on) or if this is not supported by the hardware?

The laptop has a Broadcom chipset. Hardware ID is PCI/VEN_14e4/DEV_3457. The Windows device manager lists the device as "Broadcom 802.11n-Netzwerkadapter" (this is a German Windows, translation would be "Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter").

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In the Device Manager, what's the name of the device? It would be under Network Adapters. – Chris Thompson Jun 5 '11 at 19:46
@Chris Thompson: updated the question with device manager information. – Bernd Jun 5 '11 at 20:06
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The 802.11n protocol does provide support for 5ghz networks, but it's not required that an N adapter support 5ghz. I believe MOST N adapters do NOT support 5ghz. If your adapter claims to support a/b/g/n, then it does support 5ghz (that's what "A" uses).

If your adapter isn't picking up 5ghz access points, then it doesn't support that band.

The most likely answer to your question is that your adapter is a 2.4ghz only adapter.

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Here's how: Paste the hardware ID into a search engine such as Google and look at the results. Sore results show that the Hardware ID is for BCM94318MPG chipset which is IEEE 802.11g chipet. Because of that, I'd say that it doesn't support 5 GHz range. You're looking for devices which support IEEE 802.11a. Some IEEE 802.11n devices will support 5 GHz radio, but such devices will also support IEEE 802.11a standard.

I could be wrong though, but I don't see another remote way of finding required information in this case.

There are sites with PCI vendor and device databases, but Google will usually list them if they have any info and this is not the case.

You could try with some hardware ID utilities like SiSoft Sandra and similar and hope they provide a result on with GNU/Linux live CDs and lspci command which may give some more interesting information like chipset for example.

I myself have Intel 4965AGN and it has no special indication of 5 GHz network capability. The networks just show up when they are in range. You could also go to device manager and look at deice properties and hope that 5 GHz is mentioned somewhere, but it looks like you already did that.

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Thanks for your answer, unfortunally I did not succeed googling for the hardware ID. I updated the question accordingly. – Bernd Jun 5 '11 at 19:38
@Bernd I can then only wish you good luck! – AndrejaKo Jun 5 '11 at 19:49

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