How do I tell which wifi band I am using? Running Leopard on a Mac Book Pro.

I can do a ifconfig en1, but I would like to know more details about my wireless connection, such as which radio frequency I am using, and can I change it, and if so, how?

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

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2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    In the US, the 2.4GHz band uses channels 1 to 11, while 5GHz uses channels 36 and higher. If in AirPort Utility you are using the default "Automatic" settings for "Radio Mode" and "Radio Channel Selection," quickly see which channel AirPort Utility has you using by pressing the "Option" (alt) key simultaneous with clicking on the AirPort beam icon in the top menu bar.

    Those two settings for the Extreme can be changed at AirPort Utility> Manual Setup> AirPort> Wireless. You force separate your main network's bands in "Wireless Network Options..." by checking the box "5 GHz Network Name" - then Done. Next press your "Option" key while opening "Radio Mode" and select one of the four "802.11n only (5 GHz)" settings - then Update. Some moments later you should see in your AirPort icon that you have your originally named network (only now it's using channels 1-11) as well as a separate "(5 GHz)" network only using channel 36 or higher. Now easily switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz by using your AirPort icon.

    (If you also setup a "Guest Network" you'd have a third wireless network.)

  • Hold the "alt/option" key while clicking on the wireless menu, you will get additional information.