WI-FI: 2.4 Ghz VS. 5.0 Ghz?
Have you ever tried to connect your device to a Wi-Fi connection and found what looks like two different signals for the same connection? Or a certain named signal from one device and a similar, but different signal from another device?
What you are seeing is the result of a “dual band” router. Dual band routers are capable of broadcasting in both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz frequencies at the same time, in the same house. Each frequency has different strengths (and weaknesses) so broadcasting both frequencies allows you to split up connected devices based on their needs to improve performance and minimize interference and competition among your wireless devices. With dual band routers, both frequencies are broadcast by default.
Which do you use?
It depends on your devices, their locations, and what you use them for.
- A 2.4 Ghz signal offers better distance and better wall/floor penetration but it cannot handle as many devices at once (3 or 4) and is not as fast so high bandwidth services like streaming (Netflix) and gaming may not perform properly on a 2.4 Ghz signal. It is best for older devices, those that do not need the fastest speed, and those that might be further away at the edge of the router’s range.
- The 5.0 Ghz signal can handle more connected devices (10 or more) and it is faster, but it does not have the range or the floor/wall penetration of 2.4 Ghz. It is best for newer devices, those that need the fastest speed, and those well within the router’s range.
Try to split up your devices and use both signals if possible — as long as you put them on the connections they need for the distance and speed application. If you have devices you do not plan to move like Smart TVs and game consoles that also need the best speed and the best reliability, you should “hardwire” those — that is, run an ethernet cord from the router to the device. You will get better and more reliable speed and you’ll have fewer devices competing for your wireless signal. Contact TCC for a special-length ethernet cord or to have ethernet outlets installed so you don’t have the ethernet wire showing.
Other notes and tips about 2.4 Ghz vs 5 Ghz Wi-Fi:
- Your router sees both frequencies as part of the same network, so you can still share files and printers, even if they are connected to different frequencies.
- Not all wireless devices see both frequencies, so depending on the device, you may see one frequency or the other — or both frequencies.
- If you connect to one frequency but decide to use the other frequency instead, make sure when you disconnect the first frequency, you choose to “forget this network” or your device will jump back and forth whenever one signal is stronger than the other.
We hope this helps. If you have any questions, please contact Ben Gumz at firstname.lastname@example.org.