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Client Load Balancing and Band Select - Yea or Nay?


Touchy subject around here, one person thinks we should turn Client Load Balancing and Band Select on (Cisco Best Practice) and one person thinks we should leave it off (get a better 5ghz site survey done).


What do you do on your locations?


Flavio Miranda


 The site survey part should be kept dont matter which configuration you choose.  Those feature, however, must be enabled unless for some specific client characteristics you can not.

 As band select on the client side is always bad, doesn´t hurt try to help on the network side.




-If I helped you somehow, please, rate it as useful.-




VIP Advisor VIP Advisor
VIP Advisor

If BYOD environment, Band Select disabled, Load Balance disable. That way I had the least amount of issues with our clients.

Todays clients tend to connect to the 5 GHz anyway, thanks to (hopefully) enabled 40 MHz (or larger) channels and thus larger bandwidths.

In regards to Scotts post, in my case, there are nearly no other accesspoints, only mine. So I have the 2.4 GHz very much under control. It would probably look different if that wasn't the case.

Scott Fella
Hall of Fame Guru Hall of Fame Guru
Hall of Fame Guru

Here is my experience with band select. Do I use it... heck yeah:) The reason being is our sites moving forward are high density designs and we have sites that are in shared locations. You have to ask yourself, is 2.4ghz usable?  If your channel utilization is low and you have good separation of channels, no need to use band select. 

How are you implementing TX power for 2.4ghz and 5ghz?  If you leave RRM or if your on another vendor wireless, then most likely you will run into areas where 2.4ghz is running the same or higher TX power.  This will make clients prefer the 2.4ghz and if 2.4ghz isn’t very usable in that area or site, well how will the user experience be.  

Some things I have done to have a higher ratio of 5ghz joined than 2.4ghz is:

•Keep 5ghz 3-6dbi higher than 2.4ghz

•Enable band select and play around with the cycle count (4-7)

•On certain devices you can set the NIC to prefer 5ghz

These are things that can help, but in the end, your goal should be good user experience.

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Oh... not a fan of client load balancing!!!

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One thing to note also, we allow employees to use their own devices so basically they can connect to guest and VPN back.  So as far as information we have gathered, 5ghz is preferred even on guest, so band select is enabled on our guest network also.  We do have sites that are small and 2.4ghz works well, but in a downtown building, no way.

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Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 12.57.05 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-01-19 at 12.57.26 PM.png



What are the current active power-levels on your 802.11a/n/ac radios? It does depends on your design, however it is recommend to configure a higher minimal and maximum power within RRM for 802.11a/n/ac compared to 802.11b/g/n. The goal of this is to make the 802.11a/n/ac more attractive for your (dual-band) end-points.


You can start, for example, with 10-14 dBm for 802.11b/g/n and 11-17 dBm for 802.11a/n/ac. Based on the results of the post-deployment site survey you could do further tuning. Don't forget to change the values within RF-profiles in case configured.


Please rate useful posts... :-)

The actual power levels on the 802.11b/g/n radios are generally 4 or 5. The 802.11a/n/ac radios are generally 1 or 2.

Saravanan Lakshmanan
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Generally, We'll have to test it to make sure from end-user experience that we like the behavior or not based on RF environment, band-width requirement, band-select config and client model/type used and its requirement/behavior.

COS(18xx/28xx/38xx) based APs once learned the client is dual-capable, it'll remember until the AP is reset.

Hi Saravanan,

Your remark triggers me. Is this "learning behavior" on the COS access-points related to the band-select feature or something different? What is the goal of doing this and is there any documentation available on this topic?

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