Difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi (and Which One Should You Use)?

So, what really is the difference between a 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi? Well, we will tell you what?

You might already have heard of both these terms. When we talk about the dual-band WiFi, these, the 2.4 and 5Ghz WiFi bands refer to it. While wanting to replace your old WiFi router to different bands, you might have heard of these terms and must have wondered what these terms meant. Well, you do not have to be curious about these terms anymore because we are here to explain to you exactly what these terms mean.

So, What Exactly is the Difference Between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi??

These numbers may refer to different bands of the WiFi itself. Your WiFi uses these bands for its signals and depending upon the strength or the speed, both of these can be divided. Now if the circumstances are right and the conditions are ideal, your WiFi which is of 2.4GHz will use a speed of a total 450 Mbps to 460 Mbps. A WiFi of overall 5GHz Wi-Fi will have a speed rate up to 1300 Mbps. It is to be kept in mind that both the quality and class of the router greatly matters in their overall speed.

Now just as there are some caveats in everything, there are some here as well. First of all, the maximum speed that you might see might also be dependent on what wireless standard does that router or the router you are using supports, it can be the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.11ac.

You can also learn more about how these different standards affect your WiFi in many places, they will also give you some information on the use of your WiFi, whether you should it or whether you should upgrade your wireless router to another one.

Now there is another big caveat as well, and that caveat is the important phrase we mentioned earlier which goes by

ideal conditions.”

Now the 2.4GHz band for a WiFi is quite a crowded place because it is used in terms of more than just WiFi. It is also used by the cordless phones, the garage door openers, the baby monitors, and many other devices that tend to use the 2.4GHz band.

Distance and transmission also count. The longer waves of the WiFi used by the 2.4GHz band and are better suited for the long ranges, they can also be transmitted through the walls as well as through solid objects.

Therefore, it is arguably better, if you need an enhanced range of connection on your devices or if you tend to have a lot of walls or other objects in the areas where you need more WiFi coverage. There however is a catch, because so many of these devices use the 2.4 GHz band, the resulting congestion may be able to cause dropped connections and they can so be slower than the expected speeds.

Coming to the 5GHz range WiFi, Now the connection of 5Ghz WiFi is a lot better as well as it is less congested than the 2.4Ghz one because of its large size. Since the size is much more than the 2.4Ghz WiFi, the 5Ghz WiFi tends to be very stabilized. You will also witness connections speed increase at a drastic level in a good way. The speed will be increased and stabilized which means you will have a fast internet connection to efficiently do your daily works. Along with witnessing high range speeds, you will also see how amazingly it takes hold of itself as compared to the 2.4Ghz. However, on the other side of the picture, you will also witness that the shorter range of waves which are used by the 5GHz band makes the signals less capable of penetrating in the walls as well as the solid objects. It has also got a shorter but a very effective range than the conventional 2.4GHz band.

Of course, you may also be able to mitigate the WiFi with a shorter range through the use of range extenders or the mesh Wi-Fi systems, but you should know that you will need a much bigger investment and you should be aware of that in case you want to incorporate any range extenders in your system.
WiFi range extenders are those machines or equipment’s which will cause the poor or the limited connection of your WiFi to enhance, become better and also operate better than it is normally, so you can enjoy a smooth range of signals everywhere you go. It works by receiving a signal, it then amplifies and sends them out for enhanced consumption when needed.

What Are Dual- and Tri-Band Routers?

Let us tell you something great here, Okay the good news here is that most of the modern routers act as a dual band or a tri-band router.

Let us tell you something great here, Okay the good news here is that most of the modern routers act as a dual band or a tri-band router.

You must be thinking what a dual-band router is, so a dual-band router is that router which is able to broadcast both the 2.4GHz as well as the 5GHz signals from the same unit, thus it essentially provides you with two WiFi networks which means you get two best packages in the same unit. The dual-band routers further come in two different flavors:

  • A Selectable dual-band. A selectable dual-band is that WiFi router which will offer over 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi network, but you can only use one of these at a single time. In case you want to use another band, you actually have to use a switch to convert it to the band that you want to use.
  • A Simultaneous dual-band Now a simultaneous dual-band router can easily broadcast the separate 2.4GHz as well as the 5GHz Wi-Fi networks at the very same time. Therefore, it gives you two Wi-Fi networks that you can choose from whenever you set up a device. There are some brands of this router which will also let you assign the same SSID to the two bands so that devices can only see and operate under a single network even though both of them are still operational. The catch here is that these WiFi Routers may tend to be a bit more expensive than the selectable dual-band routers, but not so much. The advantage of having both if these bands operating simultaneously can usually outweigh the overall difference in the cost.

A tri-band router can broadcast all the three networks simultaneously. Crazy and equally surprising right? We think that too.

A tri-band router has two signals of 5GHz and one signal of 2.4 GHz. The reason for incorporating all of these is to help alleviate the overall network congestion. In case you have multiple devices that are for the purpose of using a 5GHz connection heavily, like for streaming that high resolution or even videos whose resolution may be 4K, then it might be the best option for you to take advantage of spending a bit more for a tri-band router.

Should I Go For a 2.4GHz or 5GHz for My Devices? Which one is the Best One for Me?

After reading about the different types of routers, a question often comes to the mind about these routers, which one of these should you buy and which one of these will suit your surrounding the best.  To know the reply to this query, we have written this column since it is one of the most asked questions related to the different types of WiFi Routers.

But before all this, there is something we should tell you as well. In case if you have a device which can support a wired Ethernet connection and if for you, it is not awkward to get a cable to the device and use it, then we would highly recommend that you make use of a wired connection over a wireless one.

Wired connections are more stable, they can offer much lower latency, there are no dropped connections due to the interference, and they are, to put into simple words, just plain faster than the normal wireless connections.

With that being said, we can now focus on the wireless routers and which one of those will be the best suited for your surroundings. If you are on  2.4GHz Wi-Fi at the moment and are wondering whether you need to upgrade to a signal of 5GHz, it is really all about what you need to do with it.

In case you are experiencing a sudden drop in your connections or if you need more speed for watching those High Definition videos or for the purpose of playing games, then you probably need to switch up your connection to a 5GHz one. There is not so much speed you can get out of a router which is of 2.4GHz, even if the overall conditions are ideal.

Now in case you are living in a crowded apartment which is really complex and has dozens of wireless routers and baby monitors, as well as other 2.4Ghz band devices, then you should definitely consider transferring to the 5Ghz band if you already have not.

If you are somebody who is now using the dual-band or the tri-band routers and you have both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands accessible on your router, then you will have to make some decisions, you have to decide on which one of those band you should be connecting your device to. Even though it may be very appealing to go ahead and use a connection which is a 5GHz Wi-Fi for any device which can support it and use the 2.4GHz connection for the rest, even though you can certainly do that but it is not always the best strategy to adapt.

You can instead think about different ways on how to use each and every device. If your router is a 2.4Ghz one, then the decision for you has already been made, but if your device is capable of supporting both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz then you should think about whether you really need to use a speed of 5GHz?  You need to know if your device really needs a higher speed or does it not? Are you mostly checking email and surfing the web? Is your device experiencing a drop-in connection on the 2.4GHz network or do you need your router to be more reliable? Do you need to ask yourself if you are okay with the device having a but a shorter operative range that comes along with using a 5GHz band?


In short, we recommend that you use a connection of 2.4GHz until and unless there really is a need for a band of 5GHz because this will really help to keep the congestion down and keep the low use devices from competing on the 5GHz band.


In the end, we would like to tell you that it does not matter what type of router you choose unless you have a proper connection established, so first of all work on a creating proper channel for yourself, in your surroundings. You might actually be surprised to see the differences that small things can make.

We hope that this article gave you information on whether to have a 2.4GHz or a 5GHz WiFi Router and how to use it in the best possible way so you can benefit the most from it. Many WiFi Routers exist in the market, the only thing we would recommend before purchasing any is to do proper research and put your needs up front, you will surely find the router which is best suited for you.

What routers do you use that give you an optimum performance? Let us know in the comments bar below.

Until next time, off we go.


P.S. We have Reviewed  Top 5 Wireless Routers 2019, take a look

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