Disable 5 GHz radio on Intel NUC running Ubuntu

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Not a Problem
Most of my signs are Intel NUCs running Ubuntu that were purchased from Rise within the last 2 years. A few of them have trouble staying connected to Wi-Fi, and it was suggested that I try to disable the 5 GHz radio so that the computer only tried to use the 2.4 GHz band. 
The Ubuntu GUI does not seem to offer this option. Has anyone else has tried to do this or something similar? 
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Jonathan Wilson

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Posted 3 years ago

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Nathan Cummins

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I have some NUCs running Ubuntu as well and ran into similar problems.

I don't recommend disabling the 5GHz band. Though disabling the 5GHz band worked fine temporarily, I found it actually was more frustrating as disabling the band forces it to use either Wireless N or G (I don't remember which), and it made the connectivity horribly slow down so much that videos would not load at all. I remember thinking that theoretically it should work fine given the slower speeds of the wireless standard, but I found in actuality it was actually significantly less than optimal.

The issue stems from that the default kernel for Ubuntu 14.04 doesn't have compatibility with the Intel 7260 wireless card, so what solved the problem for me was updating the firmware to 4.1.0-040100rc1-generic which has a newer version of the iwlwifi driver. It's been running for around 9 months now and I've had absolutely no problems since then.

Check out this article on Ask Ubuntu for instructions on how to upgrade the kernel.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: Linked to the right place this time :)
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Hi Jonathan,
I have disabled 5 GHz radio on my Ubuntu NUC. But in terms of staying connected to Wi-Fi, I had this problem but due to the poor wifi signal to the NUC so I have a Wireless USB Network Nano card ep-n8508 to help boost wifi to it. I have only used it on Windows NUCs but it supports Linux.
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Jonathan Wilson

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Thanks Nathan and HSuarez! I will look into both of those options, although my first choice is to get our network folks to install another AP so it gets a strong signal.