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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?

Thanks.

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

3
  • 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, 2012 at 17:53
  • @Ramhound See the EDIT note, it may halp to clarify my situation. Thanks.
    – Petr
    Mar 21, 2012 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, 2012 at 11:37

4 Answers 4

1

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.

4
  • 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, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 11:38
27

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 or here, 802.11n uses the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. In the U.S., the 2.4GHz frequency band has 3 non-overlapping 20MHz channels (1,6,11) out of 11 legal channels (1-11). In other world regions, legal channels run up to 13 or 14.

The 5GHz frequency band in the U.S. has 23 non-overlapping 20MHz channels numbered from 36 upward. Regulations in other world regions differ wildly, but channel numbers below 34 aren't legal anywhere.

Referring to the command example above, using the NETSH command above, if the channel is 1-14 then the wireless frequency being used is the 2.4GHz band. If the channel is 34 or higher then the wireless frequency being used is the 5GHz band.

4

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.

netsh
wlan
show all
2

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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