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802.11 Wireless - Dynamic Rate Switching

What is Dynamic Rate Switching?

Dynamic Rate Switching refers to the tendency of wireless stations to negotiate at different data rates depending on the quality of the received signal from the AP. While essentially important, an unfortunate side effect to Dynamic Rate Switching occurs when clients choose to remain connected to the AP at lower Data Rates rather than roam to an AP with better signal quality.

As the client moves farther away from the center of the wireless cell, the received signal quality worsens, compelling the client station to negotiate at slower data rates to reduce the chance of errors in received errors. Although Dynamic Rate Switching is described from the perspective of the client station, AP radios also shift their data rates depending on the signal received from the active clients.