Most wireless vendors recommend that unless there is a need to support them, 802.11b should be disabled on the network.

How should I go about disabling 802.11b on my network?

  • 1
    OP seeks to block 802.11b on the 2.4GHz spectrum where 802.11g/n also exists. 802.11b supports data rates up to 11Mbps while 802.11g goes to 54Mbps and 802.11n much higher depending on number of spatial streams and channel-width. Commented May 29, 2013 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


I have come across three different ways you may be able to go about disabling 802.11b, depending on your situation and wireless vendor. I will start with what should generally be the most preferential choice, but any of them will work.

  1. Your wireless vendor may provide a setting to "disable 802.11b clients" or similar. Generally this will implement the next method automatically for you and may tweak some other settings as well.
  2. Remove the following data rates (these are the 802.11b data rates); this is generally a WLAN or ESS based setting:
    • 1 Mbps
    • 2 Mbps
    • 5.5 Mbps
    • 11 Mbps
  3. Adjust your base or required (terminology varies by vendor) data rates to remove the above data rates and select one or more of the following (or any other 802.11g data rate):
    • 6 Mbps
    • 9 Mbps
    • 12 Mbps
    • 18 Mbps

The third method allows you to keep the 1/2/5.5/11 Mbps data rates enabled in case you have non-802.11b devices that require them. This may not be common, but I know that most Nintendo Wii gaming consoles require 1 and/or 2 Mbps to be supported to connect (although after they connect, they will operate at 802.11g speeds). I have heard third hand that there is also a smartphone that has the same problem, but I do not know make/model or experienced it myself.

  • 1
    Something to keep in mind, some manufacturer NICs have basic or mandatory rates that are too low to connect if the AP rates have been removed. I experienced this on 802.11n on the 5GHz spectrum when trying to eliminate clients that couldn't do higher speeds so as to push them over to 2.4GHz. I found certain NICs would simply not connect although they could do the higher n rates at 5GHz, but they insisted that lower basic rates be provided before they would step up. Commented May 29, 2013 at 4:09
  • @generalnetworkerror, I would love to hear more details. The only situation I have been in where the description matches this is a site where the admin thought the MCS indexes worked like 802.11a/b/g rates (i.e. start from low go to high) and had tuned out the single stream MCS indexes, causing issues with single stream devices. MCS indexes reflect modulation, coding rate and spatial streams, with MCS0-7 indicating single stream, then MCS8-15 indicating two spatial stream (following the same increase pattern of MCS0-7 for modulation/coding), etc.
    – YLearn
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 15:47

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