2.4GHz vs 5Ghz: What's the Difference?
"Surfing the web" might be an outdated term that makes your teenager cringe when they hear it, but your internet connection and surfing do have something in common. Much like a patient surfboarder, your WiFi is all about catching the right wave.
These invisible WiFi waves are known as 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. These bands are what carry the data from your router to your wireless device. They are essential to you achieving proper internet speeds and WiFi coverage for your wireless devices.
The latest WiFi routers are faster and more versatile than ever, offering many powerful new features. One important feature makes it possible for the router to send data over the two different radio frequencies. Routers that use both bands are called "dual-band" routers.
So what are the differences between the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands?
Key Features of 2.4 GHz:
- Greater Range (~300 ft) - Essentially able to cover a larger area than 5 GHz but doesn't have as much bandwidth/signal strength capability.
- "Universal" Compatibility meaning it works on almost all your devices, even the older out-of-date devices.
- It is often congested with WiFi overlapping interference because the majority of routers have this capability.
- The signal is disturbed by non-WiFi interference. 2.4GHz is the standard channel for many interfering devices like microwaves, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, wireless security systems, etc.
Key Features of 5 GHz:
- Has the ability to transmit faster speeds. This is how you get your faster speeds over 200 Mbps!
- Lower range (~90 ft) - Covers less area but has a larger bandwidth.
- Limited compatibility. (Not compatible with older devices.)
- Up to 24 non-overlapping channels, which means limited WiFi congestion!
- Very little non-WiFi interference
By correctly setting up and utilizing both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, you can:
- Double the potential available wireless bandwidth which means faster speeds to your devices!
- Maintain the backward compatibility for older 2.4 GHz devices if needed.
- Provide better performance for newer 5Ghz compatible devices
If you'd rather not mess with the settings on your router in fear of screwing something up, check out our new Advanced WiFi service and have CTC optimize your Home WiFi Network!