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I have a DualBand WiFi router, and a DualBand WiFi repeater. Both use the same SSID, both have 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands enabled. But my Android devices mostly connect the 2.4GHz band – even if I stand next to the router or repeater, and thus the 5GHz signal is quite strong.

I want them to prefer the 5GHz band if available (and strong enough), but use the 2.4GHz otherwise.

  • using different SSIDs for each band is not an option
  • fixing the device to 5GHz is out of question, as then they'd never use 2.4GHz even it its the only one available. Furthermore, not all devices have that option (usually found in Settings › WiFi › (tap the 3-dot overflow menu) › Advanced if available).

Router as well as repeater have "band steering" enabled, so it doesn't look like there's something to force it from that end¹.

So is there anything that could be done on the Android devices? Most of them are rooted (and the one that's not is using 5GHz most of the time), Xposed is available as well if it helps. Modifying wpa_supplicant is acceptable though not the preferred way, as is using a 3rd party app².

So any suggestions?


¹ in case it's relevant: Fritz!Box 7390 and a Fritz repeater 1160
² which then preferably comes via F-Droid. Apps with Google dependencies (Firebase, Analytics, License check etc.) are not acceptable.

  • PS: if you wonder what band-steering is and how it is supposed to work, this is an interesting article on this topic. – Izzy Jun 15 '18 at 20:40
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You can take advantage of the experimental "prefer 5 GHz" feature from WiFi band – or Smart WiFi Selector, which offers that as well:

WiFi Band SmartWifiSelector
WiFi Band / Smart WiFi Selector (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

Unfortunately, WiFi Band comes with AdMob and Firebase, thus not fully meeting the requirements.


Disclaimer ahead!

I haven't really tested all these applications, so I'm not sure if they fall into the acceptable criteria (firebase, google dependencies etc) besides my device comes with this feature already:

Acknowledgements: How to change from 5GHZ to 2.5GHZ frequency on Android N


In terms of potential 3rd party apps, the closest I have come across is WIFi 5, which is dated , but offers such functionality. It specifies the signal level to switch to a 5Ghz access point and displays a notification showing the available bands.

WiFi 5

WiFi 5 was last update 2012, unlisted from Playstore in 12/2017, and thus is only available via ApkPure currently. Not sure whether to trust that site.

  • PS: "Wifi 5" was unpublished from Playstore in 12/2017, so it's probably no longer maintained. Last version is v1.45 from 2012 (and yes, that's the very same APKPure dates 2015), so I'm not sure how well it works on recent Android versions; APIs might have changed since Gingerbread. // PS: Tried it, doesn't do a thing on Android 6. – Izzy Jun 16 '18 at 21:32
  • 1
    Smart WiFi Selector promises that. Just tried it, boosting the 5GHz preference to its strongest value. No dice, device still sits on the 2.4GHz. But I had to re-enter the wifi password twice now. Nasty. // PS: Emtpy promise. Didn't do a thing on the test device, it still connects the 2.4GHz only. Not sure whether the app simply doesn't work, or my test device doesn't like it – as it's already the second one without any effect. – Izzy Jun 16 '18 at 22:18
  • Forget my test device. Who'd thought my Wileyfox Swift (2016) was 2.4GHz only, while my LG P880 (2013) connects 5Ghz as well (and without being fooled to it)? Now I need to figure which of the other devices have the same reason… And no, please keep the answer (I've already upvoted it). You got it started, I just jumped at your triggers :) Though you might wish to remove the MIUI part: that's not fitting "prefer 5GHz over 2.4", but "force it to 5GHz only", and thus not meeting the Q's requirements (contradicitng bullet-point #2), which makes it misleading. – Izzy Jun 17 '18 at 17:38

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