Wi-Fi networks use radio signals, it transmits at frequencies of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Each frequency band has its advantages and disadvantages, and we will see which is the most convenient to use depending on your situation, speed, distance, and device.
All modern Wi-Fi devices support 2.4 GHz connections, while some supports both frequency band. Home broadband routers that feature both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios are called dual-band wireless routers.
An important distinction to make is between a WiFi network and your mobile phone’s wireless network. These are two very different technologies, and it can become even more confusing when you discuss 5 GHz WiFi frequency band and 5G mobile networking technology, the replacement for 4G.
5G & 5 GHz Are Different: Here’s What They Mean
Here we will discuss WiFi networking that you can set up in your home using a router, and the two frequency bands used and how a dual-band home network can be set up to take maximum advantage of the best of both frequencies. This does not cover mobile networking technology for smartphones and other devices.
GHz and Network Speed
WiFi networking comes in a few varieties. These WiFi standards define improvements in networking technology. The standards are (in order of release, oldest to newest):
These standards are connected to GHz band frequencies, but these aren’t discussed in great detail here, but they are referred to.
A 5 GHz network can carry more data than a 2.4 GHz network and so technically are faster (assuming the electric power to the higher frequency radio is maintained at a higher level). 5GHz radios support significantly higher maximum data rates in network standards 802.11n and 802.11ac. Home devices that generate or consume the largest amount of network traffic, like video streaming units or game consoles, generally run fastest over 5 GHz links.