You’ve probably seen Wi-Fi networks split into two selections: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. In fact, most routers these days are dual-band (which means they offer connections over both the radio frequencies). The point here is that many wireless routers will automatically select the channel for you upon initial setup, where depending on your wireless environment, it could lead to slow Wi-Fi speeds and interference.
As an example, most home networks utilize routers that by default, run on channel 6 (2.4 GHz). And, when neighboring home Wi-Fi networks run over the same channel, they generate radio interference. This can cause significant performance slowdowns for everyone running on that channel. To optimize your Wi-Fi signal, it’s best to find and use a Wi-Fi channel that no one else is using. If you’re using the 2.4 GHz band, channels 1, 6, and 11 are usually the best choices because they don’t overlap with each other.
2.4 vs 5 GHz Performance vs Reliability
|2.4 GHz||5 GHz|
|Operating Distance||Travels farther||Less range|
|Barriers||Less signal loss||More signal loss|
The Difference Between the 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
The main difference between the two frequencies are the range (coverage) and bandwidth (speed) that the bands provide for your connected devices. The 2.4 GHz band provides coverage at a longer range but transmits data at slower speeds. Conversely, the 5 GHz band provides less coverage but transmits data at faster speeds. That’s because the range is lower in the 5 GHz band because higher frequencies cannot penetrate solid objects like walls and floors. This means, you’ll need to be close to your router to take advantage of it. Unless you have a mesh Wi-Fi system, more on this later.