A few tips for using 5GHz WiFi

There have been questions on various forums concerning getting 5GHz WiFi to work on the RPi. I thought I’d share my experiences.

My RPi2 was using an Edimax nano 2.4GHz adapter that was quite slow and there was interference from the ~40 neighboring networks, the 2MB/s (on a 72Mbps link) was plenty enough to stream movies but using my microwave oven would cause stuttering or even disrupt streaming completely. Sometimes the adapter would just lose link and need reset.

I bought a Tenda W522U dual band adapter to use with my 5GHz network.

I plugged it in via a powered USB hub. OSMC found the adapter but site survey only showed 2.4GHz networks, not my 5GHz SSID. :disappointed:

So I installed the “iw” utility (“sudo apt-get install iw”) and set the regulatory domain to Canada “sudo iw reg set CA”. However, still no luck.

With iw I listed the supported frequencies for my regulatory domain:

osmc@osmc:~$ iw reg get
country 00: DFS-UNSET
        (2402 - 2472 @ 40), (6, 20), (N/A)
        (2457 - 2482 @ 40), (6, 20), (N/A), PASSIVE-SCAN
        (2474 - 2494 @ 20), (6, 20), (N/A), NO-OFDM, PASSIVE-SCAN
        (5170 - 5250 @ 160), (6, 20), (N/A), PASSIVE-SCAN
        (5250 - 5330 @ 160), (6, 20), (0 ms), DFS, PASSIVE-SCAN
        (5490 - 5730 @ 160), (6, 20), (0 ms), DFS, PASSIVE-SCAN

Looking at the router setup, it used channel 149, which according to Wikipedia is 5745MHz. Clearly not supported according to the list above, produced by iw.

I changed my router to use channel 44 (5220MHz) and OSMC now shows and connects to my 5GHz network. I typically get 10MB/s download from the NAS, which is probably ten times more than I need for streaming and the link is stable.

Link characteristics/speed can be monitored with the wavemon utility (“sudo apt-get wavemon”).

TL;DR: If you want to use 5GHz make sure to use the right regulatory domain (with iw) and that your network is on a supported channel/frequency.


You need to install crda and wireless-regdb to be able to set the Locale

sudo apt-get install crda
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thanks to both of you ,my edimax ew-7822uac is now working at 5ghz on channel 149.

doing the below helped to
sudo iw reg set country code

I am using the Tenda W522U. I have a 2A adapter and was wondering if that’s sufficient or if a powered USB hub is absolutely necessary. I’ve noticed, for instance, that my Pi 2 hangs when I try to reboot with the Tenda connected. I get some streaming dropouts as well but don’t know if that’s another indicator of insufficient power.

EDIT: Also, thanks for the tips. Was able to set country code successfully.

Is it possible to run multiple Wifi dongles in parallel to improve link ?