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Some third-party devices may not see 5GHz AirPort base station Wi-Fi networks

Symptoms

Some third-party Wi-Fi devices may not see 5GHz Wi-Fi networks provided by AirPort base stations.

Resolution

In most countries, the majority of 5GHz Wi-Fi channels, by government regulation, may only be used by devices that support a feature called Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), which allows Wi-Fi equipment to avoid interfering with radar installations. In order to have access to those channels, many regional editions of AirPort base stations support DFS. When configured to pick channels automatically, your AirPort base station may pick a channel that requires DFS support. Some third-party Wi-Fi devices don't support DFS and are thus forbidden from using those channels. If your AirPort base station picks a channel that your third-party Wi-Fi device can't use, your third-party Wi-Fi device won't be able to see or connect to your AirPort base station.

To enable your third-party Wi-Fi device to see your AirPort base station's 5GHz Wi-Fi network, set your base station's 5GHz channel to a channel that your third-party Wi-Fi device supports:

  1. Open AirPort Utility, located in Applications > Utilities
  2. Select the base station you want to set up, and then click Edit.
  3. Click Wireless, and then click Wireless Options.
  4. Note the 5GHz channel that your AirPort base station is using and choose a different channel from the Channel pop-up menu for the 5 GHz channel. The channels shown in the pop-up menu are non-DFS channels and are more likely to be supported by the widest variety of third-party Wi-Fi devices.

Important: When you set your AirPort base station 5GHz channel manually, you may encounter interference. If this happens, you will need to try different channels until you find a clear one.

If you change the channel of an AirPort base station, you don’t need to change the channel on computers connected to the wireless network.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: May 11, 2013
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  • Last Modified: May 11, 2013
  • Article: TS4572
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