The difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz boils down to wireless range vs. speed. If you want better range, use 2.4 GHz. If you need higher performance or speed, use the 5GHz band.
The 5GHz band, which is the newer of the two, has the potential to cut through network clutter and interference to maximize network performance. Which means this band will be better for things like reducing game lag.
5GHz more channels for communication and usually there aren’t as many competing devices on the newer band. But by design, 5GHz can’t reach as far as the 2.4GHz.
How to choose whether to use 2.4GHz or 5GHz
- Size of Your Home
Larger homes will require a greater coverage area and the 2.4GHz band is best suited for this.
For smaller homes or apartments, 5GHz will not only provide greater speed, but also help with interference from neighboring networks.
- Interferences and Obstacles
The 2.4GHz band is more prone to interference because of the number of devices that use this frequency. This includes older routers, microwaves, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, garage door openers and more.
The 5GHz will be a better option to help fix inferences slowing down your WiFi connection if the device is near the router/access point. 5GHz also operates over a great number of unique channels. Less overlap means less interference, which equals better performance.
- Type of Device and How it’s Being Used
The 2.4GHz band uses longer waves, which makes it better suited for longer ranges or transmission through walls and other solid objects. Ideally, you should use the 2.4GHz band to connect devices for low bandwidth activities like browsing the Internet.
On the other hand, 5GHz is the best suited for high-bandwidth devices or activities like gaming and streaming HDTV.
The idea is to spread out your devices over the two bands so that there’s less competition for the same channels. Separating your personal and Internet of Things (IoT) devices can also help your WiFi security. By splitting your devices between 2.4GHz and 5GHz, you can maximize your network’s performance.