Band Steering on Additional SSID

  • Hello -

    One area of my house seems to be at the edge of the RSSI limit so my devices have a tendency to bounce between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands in that area which was causing issues with online meetings because they would constantly disconnect and reconnect during the meeting. To mitigate this, I enabled an additional SSID for the 5GHz band on the WiFi 6 Chipset. That way, I could connect those devices to this additional SSID forcing them to stick to the 5GHz band. Unfortunately, instead of just staying connected to the 5GHz band, the devices would randomly drop the connection with the same frequency that they would normally bounce between 2.4GHz and 5GHz. To troubleshoot, I disabled band steering and now the devices stay connected to the additional SSID without dropping.

    My theory is, since these devices sit at the edge of the RSSI limit, the band steering was trying to instruct the devices to change bands even though no other band was available since it was a 5GHz-only additional SSID and the SSID did not have a 2.4GHz band attached to it. Is this working as intended? It seemed to be a bug since I thought the use case for the additional SSID was to lock a device to a particular node and band and band steering wouldn't apply unless there was an alternate band with the same SSID available.

    Devices involved: Surface Pro 7 and iPhone XS

    Appreciate any insights.

  • @Joe-Doherty I have a similar issue and was thinking the problem was with the band steering option just like you. However I was told by @DEREK SAVILLE “it's actually the client devices themselves that decide when to roam, so AmpliFi cannot directly force a device to stay on 5 GHz if the device likes a 2.4 GHz signal better” so that being said I also turned the band steering off and created a 5ghz band and even though it seemed my iPhone would retain the connection as soon as I reached an area were the signal was 50-59% it would just disconnect. What I am thinking and I might be wrong is that since you are already at the edge you might simply just be losing signal because the iPhone does not like the weak signal from the router and since you only have the 5ghz band enabled there is nothing else to connect to. You mention that when you turned band steering off you had no issues... I am wondering if it’s just because you are right there in the edge and as soon you walk away a little more if would you loose service like I do. Anyways just my thoughts... good luck

  • @Carlos-Flores Thanks for sharing. I can see where that might play out when you get to the edge of the 5GHz range. Thing is, I get 3 bars most of the time and it only occasionally drops to two so it seems reasonably strong. I figured it might just be at the edge of where they set the minimum RSSI assuming there's a setting behind the scenes that's similar to their UniFi equipment. And, you're correct that it's mostly the client's decision on roaming but, as the UniFi equipment demonstrates, there are some things that the router can do to encourage a device to roam.

    I've gone ahead and turned off the additional SSID and just connect my devices in that area to the extra WiFi 5 band which has been working well. Hasn't dropped since.

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