Comments on TP-Link band-steers 2,4 to 5 GHz Wi-Fi even when the radio is off

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Some context lost in this post is that EAPs are normally deployed in large fleets of hundreds and thousands. Turning off a radio across such a fleet would save significantly more energy than just one home AP. It's important that features like band steering won't break the network when one of the radios is turned off.

Tom Hemming

We ran into this issue at a site a few weeks ago. The 5Ghz radios weren't configured but band steering had been turned on. The access points diligently kicked everyone off the 2.4Ghz. TPLink should include a "force" option (off by default) and otherwise don't band steer unless the 5GHz is set up and in a good state.

Michael Babcock

I don't see a manufacturer error here, I see a user who chose a silly combination of settings. Ymmv


I just don't see that the power savings realized would be remotely worth the headaches it may cause. There are far more things you could save power on in a large building or complex than disabling 5ghz overnight on APs. What do you save, maybe like 100mw per AP?


You'd also save some on air conditioning. Reducing the device temperature could possibly extend its life too. It's a pointless excercise for one AP, but it could be meaningful if TP Link made it the default. Doesn't the EU mandate power-saving product designs with power-efficient stand-by and such by default?


Thanks for explaining how band steering works! I couldn't wrap my head around how the AP could know that a client also supported 5 Ghz. But, of course! It doesn't and blindly kicks every device off the 2.4GHz band hoping the clients will connect to the 5Ghz band instead. It's a stupid design, but I guess it should work fine most of the time. Unless there's a configuration or availability issue, of course.


Just email tplink support. Their business support has been great for me and I was having an issue with ACLs and within 24hrs they sent me a firmware to test which fixed the issue.

James T.

I was today years old when I learned that band steering juat means the access point kicks users off the least preferred network ten times to encourage clients to look elsewhere for connectivity.

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