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Whats the Difference Between 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi (and THAT OUGHT TO I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF)?

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If youre considering replacing your old routermaybe even upgrading from your own ISPs combined modem/router unityou might run into terms like dual band, which identifies a router that uses both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. Interested in what these numbers mean? Well, wonder forget about.

Whats the true Difference Between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz?

These numbers make reference to two different bands your Wi-Fi may use because of its signal. The largest difference between your two is speed.Under ideal conditions, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi will support around 450 Mbps or 600 Mbps, with respect to the class of the router. 5 GHz Wi-Fi will support around 1300 Mbps.

Note: Additionally, there are Wi-Fi 6E routers on the market that may broadcast on 6 GHz, and future Wi-Fi 7 routers will support it aswell. The 6 GHz band includes a maximum theoretical speed around 9.6 gigabits (Gbps), but real life speeds will most definitely be significantly less than that. The major benefit of the 6 GHz band for everyday activity is decreased network congestion, that ought to enhance your connection significantly if youre within an area with plenty of Wi-Fi networks.

Needless to say, there are several caveats here. First, the utmost speed you may see can be influenced by what wireless standard a router supports 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, or 802.11ax. It is possible to find out about how those standards affect things inside our guides on whether you will need 802.11ax and whether you need to upgrade your wireless router.

RELATED: WHY YOU NEED TO Upgrade Your Router (EVEN THOUGH YOU Have Older Gadgets)

The next big caveat is that important phrase we mentioned: ideal conditions.

The two 2.4 GHz band is really a pretty crowded place, because its utilized by a lot more than just Wi-Fi. Oldcordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors, along with other devicestend to utilize the two 2.4 GHz band. Thelonger waves utilized by the two 2.4 GHz band are better suitable for longer ranges and transmission through walls and solid objects. So its arguably better if you want better range on your own devices or you’ve got a large amount of walls or other objects in the areas where you will need coverage. However, because so many devices utilize the 2.4 GHz band, the resulting congestion could cause dropped connections and slower-than-expected speeds.

RELATED: WHAT EXACTLY ARE Mesh Wi-Fi Systems, and JUST HOW DO They Work?

The 5 GHz band is a lot less congested, therefore you will likely have more stable connections. Youll also see higher speeds. However, the shorter waves utilized by the 5 GHz band helps it be less in a position to penetrate walls and solid objects. Its also got a shorter effective range compared to the 2.4 GHz band. Needless to say, you may even have the ability to mitigate that shorter range by using range extenders or mesh Wi-Fi systems,but that may mean a more impressive investment.

What AreDual- and Tri-Band Routers?

RELATED: WHAT EXACTLY ARE Dual-Band and Tri-Band Routers?

Fortunately that a lot of modern routers become dual- or tri-band routers. A dual-band router is one which broadcasts both a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal from exactly the same unit, essentially offering you two Wi-Fi networks and the very best of both worlds. Dual-band routers can be found in two flavors:

  • Selectable dual-band. A selectable dual-band router supplies a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, nevertheless, you can only just use individually. You actually need to work with a switch to inform it the band you would like to use.
  • Simultaneous dual-band. A simultaneous dual-brand router broadcasts separate 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks simultaneously, providing you two Wi-Fi networks that you could choose from once you create a tool. Some router brands also enable you to assign exactly the same SSID to both bands in order that devices only visit a single network despite the fact that both remain operational. These are usually a little more expensive than selectable dual-band routers, however, not by much. The benefits of having both bands operating simultaneously usually outweigh the price difference.

A tri-band router broadcasts three networks simultaneously two 5 GHz signals and something 2.4 GHz signal. The reason behind this is to greatly help alleviate network congestion. In case you have multiple devices that basically work with a 5 GHz connection heavily like streaming high-resolution as well as 4K video you may reap the benefits of spending a little more on a tri-band router.

MUST I Select 2.four or five 5 GHz for My Devices?

RELATED: Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet: JUST HOW MUCH Better Is really a Wired Connection?

First things first. When you have a tool that supports a wired Ethernet connection and its own never to awkward obtaining a cable to these devices, we recommend utilizing a wired connection over a radio one. Wired connections provide a lower latency, no dropped connections because of interference, and so are just plain faster than wireless connections.

Person plugging an Ethernet cable into a router.
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Having said that, were here to speak about wireless. In the event that you currently use 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and so are wondering whether you should upgrade to 5 GHz, its really about what you ought to do with it. If youre experiencing dropped connections or if you want more speed for watching videos or doing offers, you then probably have to proceed to 5 GHz. Theres only so much speed you may get out of a 2.4 GHz network, even under ideal conditions. In the event that you reside in acrowded apartment complex with a large number of wireless routers, baby monitors, along with other 2.4Ghz band devices, you then should consider switching to the 5 GHz band (as well as the 6GHz band) in the event that you already havent.

If youre already utilizing a dual- or tri-band router and also have both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands available, youll need to make some decisions which someone to connect your devices to. Its tempting to just go right ahead and use 5 GHz Wi-Fi for just about any device that supports it and use 2.4 GHz for the others and you will certainly do this, and its an excellent choice generally in most situations but its not necessarily the very best strategy.

Instead, consider the method that you use each device. In case a device only supports 2.4 GHz, in that case your decision has already been designed for that device. In case a device supports both, consider whether you should use 5 GHz. Does that device need the bigger speed or are you currently mostly checking email and browsing the net? May be the device experiencing dropped connections on the two 2.4 GHz network and do you want it to become more reliable? Are you currently okay with these devices getting the shorter effective range that occurs with utilizing the 5 GHz band?

Modern applications are pretty data hungry between your abundance of 4K content available, high-resolution images on multilple web sites, video and voice calling over Wi-Fi, and countless other applications, youre likely to be utilizing a ton of data. It is best to utilize the band that provides you the very best connection.

RELATED: 5 GHz Wi-Fi Isn’t Always MUCH BETTER THAN 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi

Generally, thatll oftimes be the 5 GHz band, though the two 2.4 GHz band may be advantageous in a few situations. If youre within an area with a huge amount of Wi-Fi networks, the 6 GHz band would also be considered a great choice if your hardware supports Wi-Fi 6E.

RELATED: Change Your Wi-Fi Router Channel to Optimize Your Wireless Signal

Hopefully, thus giving you the info you will need to produce a decision about whether you will need 5 GHz Wi-Fi that you experienced and how far better use it should you choose. Also remember that regardless of what you select, it’s also advisable to take time to optimize your wireless signals by selecting a proper channel on your own router. You could be surprised at the difference this type of small change could make.

THE VERY BEST Wi-Fi Routers of 2022

Best Wi-Fi Router Overall

Asus AX6000 (RT-AX88U)

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ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 (XT8) (2 Pack)

TP-Link Deco X20

NETGEAR NighthawkCAX80

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