I just got a new Macbook Air and a new Airport Extreme, both of which support 802.11ac.

Is there an easy way to tell if my Macbook Air is connecting to the Airport Extreme via 802.11ac? Relatedly, can I tell if I'm connecting at 5GHz band or 2.4GHz band?

I've already done a speedtest, and the results are inconclusive.

2 Answers 2


When you're connected to the Wi-Fi network, hold down option and click the Wi-Fi icon in the OS X menubar. You'll see additional details about your connection, including one item labelled PHY Mode:. That will show you whether you're connected via 802.11ac, n, g, etc.

Wi-Fi menu with extended options

There's also a Channel: entry that tells you the radio frequency and channel.

  • Wow, I really liked this!
    – Chiron
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 12:26
  • Is there a way to check this from the terminal?
    – ttt
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 21:37

Hold Option key (alt) and press on your WiFi icon.

That will instantly tell you if you connected with 2.4 or 5 Gig in the expanded menu.

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