Windows 10 and Fast Roaming Standards

Posted by robd on April 09, 2021
Windows 10, Wireless / No Comments

Did you know that Windows 10 supports fast roaming standards such as 802.11r/k/v?

Well it does but there’s a few caveats.

If you’re unsure what these standards are and how they operate then keep reading:

Remember, the CLIENT decides when to roam, not the Access Point!!!!

802.11k (Neighbor Reports)

Access points that have it will send out special reports of their Neighbours to the windows 10 device.  Neighbour Reports contain information about neighbouring access points so would allow a Windows 10 device to know if it can roam if it needs too. Windows 10 takes advantage of this capability by shortening the list of channels that the device needs to scan before finding a neighbouring AP to roam to.

802.11v (BSS Transition Management Frames)

Access points that support 802.11v can suggest that Windows 10 devices to roam to another AP that it believes will provide a better wireless experience.  Windows 10 devices can now accept and respond to these Basic Service Set (BSS) Transition Management frames, leading to improved wireless quality i.e. potentially better SNR or RSSI.

802.11r (Fast BSS Transition)

Fast BSS Transition reduces the time needed for a Windows 10 device to move/roam to another AP that supports 802.11r. This time reduction results from fewer frames being exchanged with the AP prior to data transfer. By moving quickly to a new AP the tranistion time will be less interupotive to the client, for example a slow move would disrupt a video call. You must be using Radius authentication (802.1X), Pre-Shared Key (PSK) and Open Networks are currently not supported.


Unfortunately there only these intel chipsets are supported with Windows 10:



What about other clients such as MACs and RF scanners???


Yes but it depends, have a look at this:


RF Scanners

Yes but it depends, for example 802.11r is support on mc9200 if the radio is updated to 2.03 so please ensure these devices are updated to the latest version.



If you’d like to know more on client roaming and supporting it then this video is interesting:



Any questions please let me know.

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