If you have been in the market for a new router, you will have likely heard the term ‘dual band’ along the way. But what exactly is dual band Wi-Fi? And how will it affect you?
2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz Wireless
The two frequencies that are used for wireless signals are 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz, also known as ‘bands’. Most basic household routers are single band and only operate on the 2.4 Ghz band. 2.4 Ghz will support speeds of up to 450 or 600Mbps under ideal conditions. 5 Ghz on the other hand can support up to 1300Mbps. The 2.4 Ghz band also has a lot more traffic on it, as Wi-Fi is not the only signal that operates on that frequency. Many remote signals, bluetooth, baby monitors and most devices that use an RF signal. This is due to the fact that 2.4 Ghz has a longer wave length and can reach further and pass through walls better than 5 Ghz which has a shorter wave length. 5 Ghz has a lot less traffic on the band and is therefor a lot less congested. This means a faster connection speed and a more stable connection.
What are Dual-Band and Tri-Band Routers?
Dual band routers are becoming more popular and commonplace in the average household. A dual band router will offer both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz frequencies. The router will provide two separate Wi-Fi networks, one on the 2.4 Ghz band and the other on 5 Ghz. A tri-band router will have two 5 Ghz signals, and one 2.4 Ghz. This is to prevent congestion when there are multiple devices connecting to the router on the 5 Ghz band.
When is 5G Ghz Better Than 2.4 Ghz?
It might be tempting to put every device you own on 5 Ghz if it can support it, but doing so can lead to more traffic on the band which will inevitably slow it down, and in doing so defeat the point of having 5 Ghz. Any device that will be streaming, like a smart TV, would benefit greatly from being on the 5 Ghz band. And if you are gaming, then 5 Ghz will lower your ping and provide much better latency. Ideally, you wouldn’t be using Wi-Fi for gaming, but if you have no choice then try opt for a 5 Ghz connection.