I'm looking to run a dual band AC Wi-Fi adapter connected to my Raspberry Pi 3. The adapter is recognized by the RPi, but I can only connect to the 2.4GHz Band. When I try to connect to the 5GHz one, nothing happens.

I tried the adapter on my Mac and it worked with no problem on both bands, so I know the problem is something with the Pi. Has anyone had any luck getting a 5GHz Wi-Fi adapter to work?

  • Welcome to the Raspberry Pi flavoured corner of the Stack Exchange Network. Please, can you let us know the details on your dual-band adapter?
    – SlySven
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 21:15
  • Can you see the 5ghz SSID in the list?
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


Are you sure you are using the USB adapter and do you have appropriate drivers for it - have you taken steps to disable the RPi3's own 2.4GHz built-in transceiver?

Don't forget that when a device has more than one network interface then the IP address applies to the interface and NOT the device. For a dual band device I would guess that each band could be a separate interface (though I bet that there are drivers that can "bond" - as I think the term is - such things together so that traffic is split between them but joined together again at the other side at, say, your dual-band router).

Can you show us the output from, say, sudo ifconfig -a?

  • Dual band on AC does not mean 2 interfaces.. it just means it uses 2.4 and 5 at the same time to increase transfer rates. Basically spamming all the channels it can get it hands on.. works pretty good too. It is a approved specification of the 802.ac protocol and only works with ac to ac devices. If the router is just n or g then "dual band" ac wont work.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 12:40
  • AFAIK 802.11ac only relates to the 5.8GHz band. Referring to Wikipedia's article on 802.11 802.11a relates to the 5.8GHz band and 802.11n is a way of using multiple 802.11a or g (2.4GHz) bands at the same time to increase the maximum 54Mps data bandwidth the latter has (compared to the 802.11b maximum of 11MBps but also on 2.4GHz) as I understand it. I may be wrong but it is not obvious (to me) that both bands are automatically used together - my cable-modem/router will do both...
    – SlySven
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:20
  • ... - but not at the same time so it is not impossible that the two networks may not be bonded into one interface at either the router/access-point or the USB transceiver!
    – SlySven
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:21
  • Something like that.. I know its fast and it blasts my brain with WIFI!
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:25
  • 1
    Don't forget - Domestic Microwaves also use a frequency in the range of 2.4GHz - now that would blast your brain should it get exposed to the output of one of those. @..)-b
    – SlySven
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:29

Is this due to the region mismatch as outlined in the following post on Raspberry Pi forums:


Install the following package

apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree crda

Then change your region (to your region) e.g.

iw reg set US

Then reboot

shutdown -r now

You should then be able to scan for 5Ghz channels

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