Wi-Fi. 2.4GHz Vs 5GHz. Which one do I use?



If you're lucky enough to have a Wireless Router with dual-band capabilities, you'll probably see 2 similar Wi-Fi names come up when looking to connect to a network. For example:

Router1234

Router1234-5

You're probably wondering what the difference between the 2 are and which one to use*.

*In more cases than not, your 5GHz Wi-Fi name will end in -5

Let's take a look at the differences.

Range

2.4 GHz - This frequency is able to travel longer distances than 5GHz, therefore devices that are further away from the router are still able to connect. It also has a better chance of penetrating walls and floors.

5 GHz - This frequency has a shorter range than 2.4 GHz and is not able to penetrate walls and floors in the same way. So your device may not be able to pick this up further away from the router.

Compatibility

2.4 GHz - All Wireless-enabled devices support this frequency band.

5 GHz - Not all Wireless-enabled devices support this frequency. For example, Wireless-enabled Printers. You might find that your device and printer have to be on the same 2.4GHz network to print successfully.

Speed

2.4 GHz - As the number suggests, you will get slower speeds than 5GHz. However, for normal every day use such as reading emails or browsing the internet, 2.4GHz is perfectly acceptable.

5GHz - For Streaming TV and Videos (Think YouTube, Netflix, etc), this faster frequency is better suited and is less likely to have pausing and slower download speeds.

Interference

2.4 GHz - This frequency is the most susceptible to interference. Things such as Microwave Ovens, Baby Monitors and Cordless Phones run on the same frequency, as such they can interfere with the wireless signal. You may even find that your connection cuts out all together when using the Microwave.

5GHz - Generally, there shouldn't be any such interference on this frequency. However, this may be a problem in the future as technology companies upgrade their products to a higher frequency.

Summary

Whilst both have their Advantages and Disadvantages, we recommend that you use the 5GHz frequency to get the best experience.