If you’re trying to replace your outdated router or even upgrade from your ISP’s integrated modem/router set you may come across phrases like “dual-band,” which refers to a router that uses both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. Are you puzzled about what these figures mean? Well, we can help you. 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks are frequently divided into two categories, but what are the key differences? The difference can be small in certain circumstances or significant in others. Let’s first briefly discuss the Wi-Fi routers that support these bands before delving deeper into how they differ from one another.
What do these numbers refer to?
Let’s first define what 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz Wi-Fi in terms of connectivity means. These numbers represent the two separate bands or frequencies that your Wi-Fi router can choose to connect to its signal. 1 billion hertz is equal to 1 gigahertz, or GHz. It is a common way to measure electromagnetic (EM) frequencies, alternating currents, and computer processing speed. The range of connectivity speeds a router may offer is indicated by the difference between 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
What is a dual-band router?
A dual-band router, to put it simply, is a router that sends out two different signals. The majority of 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers normally contain this technology. If your router is more recent, it probably uses dual-band technology and has two distinct bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
What is 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi?
When trying to transmit across a large region, such as providing Wi-Fi to every room in a building with just one wireless router, 2.4GHz frequencies are more practical. Although 2.4GHz offers slower speeds and is more prone to interference and connection loss, its pros include the following:
- Reaching a larger coverage area
- The capacity to get past physical barriers such as walls
- The frequency can support simultaneous use by several devices
- The maximum connection speed is swift at about 250-300 Mbps
Even though it may not always be as dependable, 2.4GHz is great for occasional, intermittent use in a big office or public space.
What is 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
2.4GHz frequencies are great for long-range, while 5GHz frequencies are the gold standard for dependability. Large media files can be successfully streamed in real-time via a secure internet connection using 5GHz, and large documents and PDF files can be downloaded without overloading or crashing your devices. Even though it does not have the same range as 2.4 GHz but it transfers data at a rate of around 1 gigabit per second (more than six times quicker than 2.4 GHz, the advantages of 5GHz include the following:
- Lower chances of disconnection or interference and higher data rates
- There are fewer 5GHz devices, which increases security and privacy
- More limited but more dense coverage area
- The maximum connection speed is swift, at roughly 1 Gig
If you want a GHz frequency with dependable streaming capabilities for playing video games or streaming movies, or if you work from home. Then 5GHz is the best option for you.
How to know whether 2.4GHz or 5GHz is right for you?
1. Size of your home
The 2.4GHz band is ideal for larger homes because they need a wider coverage area. In addition to offering faster speeds for smaller houses or apartments, 5GHz will also lessen network interference from nearby connections. Having said that, it’s important to consider Wi-Fi network extenders, which allow you to expand your Wi-Fi coverage while utilizing the advantages of the 5GHz band.
2. Interferences and obstacles
Because so many devices use this frequency, the 2.4GHz band is particularly susceptible to interference. Older routers, microwaves, Bluetooth gadgets, baby monitors, remote door openers, and more fall under this category. As long as the device is close to the router/access point, the 5GHz will be a better alternative to help fix issues slowing down your Wi-Fi connection. Additionally, a sizable number of distinct channels are used by 5GHz. Since there is less overlap, interference is reduced resulting in better performance.
3. Types of devices and how they are used
Greater waves used in the 2.4GHz band make it more suited for longer distances or transmission through solid objects like walls. To connect devices for low bandwidth like web browsing, you should ideally use the 2.4GHz frequency. The ideal frequency for high-bandwidth devices or activities, such as gaming and streaming HDTV is 5GHz. Spreading out your devices across the two bands will reduce competition for the same channels. Your Wi-Fi security may also be improved by dividing your personal and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. You may optimize the performance of your network by dividing your devices between 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Hopefully, this information should help you decide if you require 2.4GHz or 5 GHz Wi-Fi in your life and how to use it to its fullest potential. No matter what decision you make, bear in mind that you should also make an effort to optimize your wireless signals by picking the right channel on your router. You might be shocked by how much of an impact even a simple modification can make.