Your wireless router uses radio frequencies to send a wireless internet connection to WiFi-enabled devices. Dual-band routers utilize 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wavelengths depending on the user and device's connectivity needs.
Please note that many newer model modem/router units will be set to display one network option, then internally manage devices on the two frequencies by default. If you are experiencing home network issues, you may need to call your ISP and request help setting this configuration. To learn more about home networks, see the "Home Internet Network Basics" article.
If it is possible, using a hardwired connection through an ethernet port is always a faster and more reliable way to connect to the internet. (Internet speeds typically double to triple when hardwired versus Wi-Fi.)
Choosing a 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz Connection
|2.4 GHz||5 GHz|
Large coverage area
Better at reaching past physical objects
Faster data rate
Less likely to be interrupted
Avoids congestion with other IoT (Internet of Things- cameras, refrigerators, Roombas, thermostats, lightbulbs, etc.) devices
Slower data rate
Prone to interruption
Typically services more devices (Many IoT devices only work on 2.4 GHz)
Smaller coverage area
Worse at reaching past physical objects
Often has connectivities issues with older devices (typically 3+ years)
In general, 5 GHz frequency provides a faster connection, however, it has a smaller distance it can cover and a more difficult time reaching past physical objects. Choosing either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz will depend on circumstances such as:
- How far your device is from the router
- How many walls (and what they are made of) or other objects are between your device and the router
- Other WiFi traffic accessing the router
- Your device's WiFi Adapter (Read the "Wi-Fi Adapters" article.)
2.4 GHz can be better for activity not requiring a high data rate and farther from your router while 5 GHz should be used for activity using more data and can be placed near the router.
If you need faster data rates for activities such as watching videos, Zoom, etc., and are unable to place your device near your router, look into adding a WiFi extender or a mesh network system to your home network.
[Sprint 1 Check: CB 03/01/22]