Routers these days come with a lot of special features especially since manufacturers have mastered how to use technology in order to make the lives of users not only better but easier as well. For most tech savvy people, it isn’t hard keeping up with new terms and technical details that get released every day.
But there are certain aspects of routers that not all users are fully aware of. This article discusses the difference between two primary distinctive features of every router; 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 802.11n standard is becoming more and more common these days because it supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz clients. Which also means that it can support older devices which still use the 2.4GHz frequency, and hence automatically allocating bandwidth depending on the type of device you own.
Most WiFi networks run, or used to run, on 2.4GHz which at the time used to be a very effective frequency. But due to the increase in devices, tablets, portables, computers and handhelds, one frequency wasn’t enough to share the burden and would easily become over crowded.
More devices essentially meant the frequency band was over crowded which would cause problems such as interference, congestion, lag, streaming issues and slow web surfing. Which is why 5GHz was introduced as a solution to this problem. The main differences between the two frequencies are range and bandwidth. Usually higher frequency signals have shorter range.
5GHz offers faster data rates but at a shorter range since these waves have trouble passing through walls or reaching further distances. On the other hand, 2.4GHz offers better coverage to cover more distance but has slower speed and less bandwidth.
But nowadays latest devices are capable of supporting both frequencies, using both of them in order for optimal coverage and good speed. Another problem with 2.4GHz is that this frequency is also used by other appliances like microwaves, baby monitors, phones etc. which can cause interference. More interference ultimately reduces the speed of the internet.
5GHz has more channels overall so there’s less crowding and congestion. Plus the multiple channels can be combined to get faster speeds. These channels don’t overlap and make sure that each device connected has the optimum speed. Bandwidth is distributed efficiently over these channels hence the better streaming and faster web surfing.
Each channel has 20MHz of bandwidth which gives you faster speed as compared to the 2.4GHz frequency. As a user, you need to identify your need to know which one would work better for you.
Although most routers these days are dual band, if you want to opt for coverage and range then go for 2.4GHz but if you want speed and are experiencing a lot of interference plus transmission issues then go for 5GHz. 5GHz can be helpful for activities such as streaming, gaming, surfing etc. Due to the lesser interference, signals are boosted towards devices as to make sure there is no gap.