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What is Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS)? Part 2

For an enterprise wireless local area network (WLAN), how are you affected by dynamic frequency selection and 802.11ac? CTS Cabling has information and suggestions about how dynamic frequency selection and 802.11ac can clash, affecting wireless networks.

For the average WLAN, now that 802.11ac products work well on wireless networks and are becoming commonplace, upgrades are necessary. If you have deployed 802.11ac or are thinking about when to upgrade to 802.11ac, CTS Cabling can help.

802.11ac, CTS Cabling reminds you, operates in the 5GHz band which means dynamic frequency selection comes into play when using this technology for your WLAN.

As a refresher, dynamic frequency selection is a safety mechanism that forces radio-frequency equipped devices to give priority to critical systems. Using dynamic frequency selection, devices can operate on the 5GHz frequency bands, used by radar systems, without negatively affecting the radar systems. Devices work to detect the existence of a radar system on channels before connecting, and if they are not able to use that particular channel, they move over to an alternate selection.

Critical radar systems include weather, military, and communications — you can see why it is important for any WLAN to understand how DFS works!

Now that you have a refresher on DFS, learn more about how it works with 802.11ac from CTS Cabling.

802.11ac cannot operate in any other spectrum but the 5GHz band, which can be an impediment in some cases. Because the 5GHz band, and 802.11ac products as a result, are subject to dynamic frequency selection rules, not all of the spectrum is available. Only about one third of the 5GHz channels are clear of critical radar and dynamic frequency selection which does not leave a lot left over for 802.11ac.

What does this mean for you as a WLAN? Purported speeds for your wireless networks may simply be slower than you expect, and you may run into issues finding clear channels due to dynamic frequency selection. Newer technology is combatting some of the speed issues, however, and the standard is expected to be replaced by 802.11ax some time in the next several years.

Until then, if you are struggling with deploying 802.11ac, CTS Cabling can help you navigate issues of dynamic frequency selection, interference, and wireless networks. Contact us and we will help set up your WLAN infrastructure.

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