Question about bandsteering

Hi all,

I've been looking into bandsteering and see that the most polular options are usteer or DAWN, most topics on this aren't really recent so I am wondering which of the two is the best option.

Also wondering if I should leave 2.4 and 5G separated by ssid or not ?

My router a linksys ea8300 on factory firmware it has only one bandsteering option, which is combine 1 SSID for all 3 band , 2.4, 5g low and 5g high channels.
on OWRT there isn't a option for bandsteering OOTB so I have basically 3 SSID's, one for 2.4 , one for 5g low and one for 5g high.

How do you guys have this configured in your setup, do you keep the 3 SSID's separately or do you join the two 5g bands or join all three?

It depends on how your devices behave. If your devices roam by themselves there’s no need for extra stuff like dawn or usteer. My devices strongly prefer 5 GHz, so I’m using the same SSID for all bands. I’d start there and observe if any of your devices stick to 2.4. Maybe then consider lowering 2.4 tx power. And only then using k/v and dawn/usteer.

I believe roaming is something different than bandsteering, eventually all devices will "roam" when out of range, but that's not what I mean..

I do have fast roaming configured and it's working well, but I still have 3 SSID's, and I'm not sure what will happen if I just rename all 3 to the same name, it would be up to the devices to make a choice I think but I'm not sure.

Nothing "bad" will happen, per se. It's a perfectly valid deployment choice to name all three the same. Basically, without any augmented bandsteering mechanism (read: usteer or dawn), it will be completely up to the client as to which of the WAP's radios it will associate. Decisions to move between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz are up to the client's algorithm in this case, and those algorithms vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

However, if/when you find that algorithm is not working to your liking, you can add something like dawn or usteer into the equation to help aid in steering your client(s) toward particular bands. However, this is not a fool-proof set it and forget it situation, typically. You will still need to tweak certain configuration parameters for dawn or usteer to really dial-in the behavior that works for you, as a person, and your devices (and their associated algorithms that you cannot directly affect).

Further, some client devices are less friendly to soft/hard kicking that is used to help bandsteer. It's a very personal, trial-and-error setup of bandsteering initially.

This (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz separated by SSID) is the approach I use. I've never found it inconvenient to manually connect to the band of choice.

IOT devices generally set up one time and stay on whatever they are set up on (2.4 GHz for 2.4GHz only devices or those few actually needing 2.4 GHz range, 5GHz for the rest). Devices used in range of 5 GHz (with an AP on each floor, that is pretty much everything at pretty much every time) are set up on 5 GHz only and stay there 99.9% of the time.

For the <1% of the time something roams and only the range of 2.4 GHz will do, it takes but a few seconds to select the 2.4 GHz SSID, enter its password, uncheck the "connect automatically to this SSID" box and carry on.

I don't think I would want to drop 2.4 GHz power to make it less or no more attractive to clients than 5 GHz. On the very rare occasions I need it, only its range will do and dropping transmit power doesn't help with that. Aside, 2.4 GHz transmit power needs to be dropped quite a bit (~6 dBm) below 5 GHz transmit power to match it up to 5GHz.