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I have a dual-band 802.11n router operating in both frequency bands with the same SSID. My Windows 7 laptop has a dual-band wireless adapter. Is there a way to find out which frequency band is the one currently used by the client? Also, is there a way to set the preffered band?


EDIT1: The router is Linksys E4200 (V2) and I essentially want to keep the 2.4GHz band in the mixed-mode so that the legacy 802.11g devices can connect while allocating the 5.0GHz band for 802.11n devices. The laptop's adapter (Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 ANG) can operate in both 802.11n modes.

EDIT2: Related topic

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You set this on the reciever on the rounter. You should not and do not adjust the client ( you have no need to ). Depending on what you actually you can either have a router that has both a 2.4/5ghz wireless reciever and a 2.4 wireless G reciever. I suspect its a single reciever that transmmits at both 2.4/5.4 you wouldn't connect to both at the sametime obviosuly. – Ramhound Mar 21 '12 at 17:53
@Ramhound See the EDIT note, it may halp to clarify my situation. Thanks. – Petr Mar 21 '12 at 18:00
I have the same router, what you are tring to achieve seems sort of pointless. You have 2 radios, you can even set what mode you want for each radio, so just so it for N 2.4ghz and N 5.0ghz – Ramhound Mar 22 '12 at 11:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted

With most adapters you cannot do what you are asking. But it's pretty pointless trying anyway - by design the E4200 will try to use 5.0GHz for a connection if available. If you really want to be prescriptive you could use different SSIDs for 2.4 & 5.0GHz - surely easier than manually setting the frequency on a bunch of laptops even if it's possible.

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So the adapter should automatically use the 5.0GHz band when available. Can I at least verify that? In the connection's status window I see it is a 802.11n connection currently running at 200Mbps, but there is no mention of frequency. – Petr Mar 21 '12 at 20:17
There should be a properties/details tab for your adapter if you right click the icon in the system tray that should give you more info – BJ292 Mar 21 '12 at 20:43
I know, but there is no mention of frequency mode anywhere. It surely must be somewhere, maybe there is a command line tool for it... – Petr Mar 21 '12 at 22:21
@Petr - Why do you want to verify it exactly? Again the router supports setting which N mode you want to use for each radio. – Ramhound Mar 22 '12 at 11:38

Unfortunately, the GUI does not show the wireless band or channel, but the NETSH command will, as was mentioned above.

But it can be trimmed to just what is necessary:

netsh wlan show interfaces

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
C:\Users\>netsh wlan show interfaces
There is 1 interface on the system:
    Name                   : Wireless Network Connection
    Description            : Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6200 AGN
    GUID                   : 
    Physical address       : 
    State                  : connected
    SSID                   : 
    BSSID                  : 
    Network type           : Infrastructure
    Radio type             : 802.11g
    Authentication         : 
    Cipher                 : 
    Connection mode        : 
    Channel                : 11
    Receive rate (Mbps)    : 54
    Transmit rate (Mbps)   : 54
    Signal                 : 99%
    Profile                : 
    Hosted network status  : Not started

As can be seen here 802.11n uses the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 2.4GHz frequency band has 3 non-overlapping channels (1,6,11) out of 11 legal channels (1-11). The 5GHz frequency band in the U.S. has 23 non-overlapping channels.

Referring to the command example above, using the NETSH command above, if the channel is 1-11 then the wireless frequency being used is the 2.4GHz band. If the channel is not 1-11, such as 44, then the wireless frequency being used is the 5GHz band.

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The adapter should automatically select the best connection. One can check the active band by its Channel ID or radio's MAC address given by the follofing cmd commands.

show all
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You can set the preferred band on the interface in the Windows device manager. Select properties of the "Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN driver " in the device manager. Select "advanced", select property "Preferred Band" and select a corresponding "Value" e.g. "Prefer 5.2GHz band.

Currently using the latest Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN driver dating from 30-September-2012

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