The main differences between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals are speed of internet and range covered. A 2.4GHz Wi-Fi signal cover internet to a bigger area then 5GHz signals, but compromise with speed, while the 5GHz provides faster speeds, but cover smaller area. Every router or access point is designed to deliver a certain set of frequencies that you need to consider when deciding which Wi-Fi band will best suit your needs. Speeds you get from your router may vary depending on the internet service you got from your service provider.
Range of 2.4GHz
Official range of 2.4 GHz is 460 feet but in real distance covered is half i.e. 230 feet for a standard of 802.11b. Official distance covered for a standard 802.11g is 125 feet and real distance is 62 feet only. So keep in mind that speed and distance comply with many factors.
Range of 5GHz
Official range of 5GHz is 390 feet but in real distance covered is half i.e. 195 feet for a standard of 802.11a. Official distance covered for a standard 802.11n is 460 feet and real distance is 230 feet only. So keep in mind that speed and distance comply with many factors.
Which frequency is best 2.4GHz or 5GHz?
It depends on your requirement. As you can probably see, switching to 5GHz requires planning. There are a few things to consider before making the jump. If high performance and overcrowding of other 2.4GHz networks in the area is an important factor, then 5GHz wireless network may be the best answer. However, if you have little control of what network cards your users are using or of access points, then a 2.4GHz system may be a better choice.
There is a different factor that will dictate which band your devices should utilize. Lots of devices in today’s world use the 2.4GHz wavelength like microwaves and garage openers. While you may not have these devices in your home, if you live in a building apartment surrounded by other people with their own routers, the 2.4GHz band is likely congested with all sorts of devices. If you have a device that doesn’t move around and will be located near your router, I recommend having it utilize the 5GHz wavelength to reduce congestion and take advantage of the higher speeds that the 5GHz wavelength can provide.
If you have a device that moves around your home a lot (like your cellphone) and it is usually located farther away from your router, we recommend you set this device up to take advantage of the 2.4GHZ wavelength. The 2.4GHZ wavelength has a larger range and can penetrate solid objects easier than the 5GHZ band, making it ideal for devices such as cell phones or laptops that are taken from room to room or are located farther from the router.
It is also important to note that all devices do not support 5GHz frequency. Older devices usually support 2.4 GHz and new technology devices support both the frequency. So keep in mind these while making a purchase of device (Laptop, Tablet and Mobile etc.)
Cost is another factor. The popularity of 2.4GHz means that wireless network components such as access points, antennas and network cards are more easily available and less costs.
2.4GHz Point Summary
- Lower data rate, more susceptible to interference and usually has more devices using this frequency.
- Larger coverage area, better at successfully penetrating solid objects.
- 2.4GHz max speed: 150 Mbps
- 2.4Ghz max distance: 410 feet
5GHz Point summary
- Higher data rate, less susceptible to interference and usually has fewer devices using this frequency.
- Smaller coverage area, less successful at penetrating solid objects
- 5Ghz max speed: 1 Gbps.
- 5Ghz max distance: 410 feet.
Whether you choose 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz, you need to make sure your router and device are using the same frequency. After reading this, you should now have a better idea of which frequency works best for your situation.