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UniFi - DFS Channels Overview
UniFi - DFS Channels Overview
Alex Lowe avatar
Written by Alex Lowe
Updated over a week ago

Within the 5GHz spectrum, certain countries such as the UK and US implement Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and this allows the same channels to be used for multiple purposes, as well as WiFi. Different countries implement DFS differently, for example in the US it is the FCC and in the UK, Ofcom. Consult your local government documentation for more information.

What is DFS?

Generally, the first section of the 5GHz spectrum is reserved for WiFi and any wireless use cases, from 5180 up to 5240. Anything on from that, up to 5840 is reserved for DFS use. This means you can use it for WiFi, but bear in mind that it may reduce the uptime of your WiFi network, as things like weather radar can take priority and force your access points to choose a new channel.

Using DFS channels can typically unlock more performance, as some consumer grade wireless access points and routers don't use them which results in less interference. However, UniFi and airMAX do.

Things to look out for

It is important to bear in mind that local government regulations require APs to listen for DFS radar, if they incounter it they must stop broadcasting immediately. Failure to comply with DFS radar can be a criminal offence in some countries. Again, consult your local government documentation for more information.

Some DFS channels have different wait times. For example, in the 5600 range, the wait time can be as much as 10 minutes, in the UK.

Some client devices cannot see some DFS channels. This is most common with some Windows and Android devices. In our testing, Apple devices don't tend to have this issue.


Ubiquiti says that all supported 5GHz UniFi access points support DFS. In the airMAX and LTU space, this is also the case for DFS.


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