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The Difference between 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi

The primary difference in a Nutshell:

5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance.

 – You will need to be in the line of sight of the router

2.4GHz offers coverage for further distances but may perform at slower speeds. 

 – Can be used further away from the router for basic browsing

Let’s look into it with a bit more detail:

2.4GHZ VS 5GHZ – The nitty-gritty:

Range: The higher the frequency of a radio band, the shorter the distance it can cover and in turn, the longer the range, the lower the frequency.

Bandwidth: Transmission(speed) of data is much faster on a higher frequency(5GHZ) than on a lower frequency(2.4GHZ).

 – As in the image attached, you can do online gaming, stream in HD as the speeds are faster but may notice the quality not to be the same farther from the router on a lower frequency.

Compatibility: This depends on the Wi-Fi Standard your device uses (example 802.11.ac, see below image for more detail)

 – Many devices only use the 2.4 GHz frequency, and these devices are all attempting to use the same “radio space” which can cause overcrowding of the channels, in turn, slower speeds and intermittent connectivity issues, here are some examples:

Microwaves, cordless phones, remote-controlled gates/doors, baby monitors etc.

Choosing the best one:

 – If faster speeds are most important to you, 5GHz is usually a better choice than 2.4 GHz.

 – If the wireless range is more important to you, 2.4 GHz is usually a better choice than 5 GHz.

 – All 5GHz compatible devices that are stationary around the routers’(i.e TV, desktop, etc) location can remain on 5GHz and portable devices on 2.4GHz

 – If you have a lot of devices that use 2.4 GHz and you are experiencing interference or intermittent connectivity issues, then 5 GHz is probably a better option/looking at using different channels with 2.4GHZ

Please Click Here to assist with any changes you would like to make on your router settings for Wi-FI if the need arises.

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Updated on September 1, 2020

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