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Are You Using A Dual-Band Wi-Fi?
You can’t always blame the Internet speed on your slow Wi-Fi. This is because your 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency could be overloaded with devices. But, what if you could switch back and forth?
Newer Wi-Fi routers offer dual bands. They provide both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, and these signals can be shared.
By upgrading your Wi-Fi to a dual-band device you’ll experience better Internet speeds when using your wireless devices. And this, in turn, will ensure you stay productive when working on them.
A 2.4 GHz band is better suited for long range transmissions and signals that must go through solid objects like walls. But, because so many devices use 2.4 GHz, your router can get overloaded. This results in slower speeds and dropped connections.
A 5 GHz band is more stable and provides higher Internet speeds. It’s also not as congested as 2.4 GHz bands. However, it emits shorter waves and is less able to penetrate solid objects and walls. For this purpose, you can use add-ons like range extenders and mesh Wi-Fi systems (devices that work together to blanket your office with wireless signals). But, this means a larger investment in equipment.
Most modern are dual-band. With both a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal you’ll have the best of both worlds.
Let’s say you walk into your office and you want to connect your iPhone or a newer device like a laptop or tablet to your Wi-Fi. If you’re using a new Wi-Fi with dual bands, it’s smart enough to communicate with your device to select what frequency is best. This will depend on where you are and where you’re walking in the office. Your device will pick up the best frequency available to provide the speed you require.
There are two types of dual-band routers:
1. Simultaneous dual-band routers that broadcast separate 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi signals at once. This provides two Wi-Fi networks that you choose from when setting up your wireless device.
2. Selectable dual-band routers where you can use only one network at a time. A selectable dual-band router provides both a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, but you have to use a switch to select the band you want to use.
Simultaneous dual-band routers are a bit more expensive than selectable routers. However. they provide the advantage of being able to use both bands at the same time.
A tri-band router broadcasts 3 signals simultaneously. Two of them are 5 GHz and the other is a 2.4 GHz signal. This helps to relieve some of the congestion on the 2.4 signal. And, if you use multiple devices that rely heavily on 5 GHz connections (for example to stream high-res videos) you’ll want to check into a tri-band router.
The answer to this is, it depends. What we mean is that it depends on what you need to do wirelessly.
If your router is dropping connections or if you need more speed, you should upgrade to 5 GHz router. If you work from home and you live in a crowded apartment building where people are using other 2.4 GHz devices (like the baby monitors) you should move up to a 5 GHz band router. The same goes if your office is in a crowded building where people are using 2.4 GHz devices.
If you are using a dual-band or tri-band router with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks it’s not always easy deciding which one to connect to. You may want to go with the 5GHz band for the speed it provides, but you’ll have a shorter signal.
Just like when deciding whether to upgrade, decide what you’ll be doing most with your wireless devices. If the devices you use only support 2.4 GHz, then you select 2.4. But if you’re experiencing dropped connections, go with the 5.0 GHz.
Most IT experts recommend using the 2.4 GHz signal unless your device needs the 5 GHz band. This keeps others using devices that only need 2.4 GHz signals from taking up the bandwidth on the 5 GHz signal.
Hopefully, this helps. It can be confusing so remember the team at Colorado Computer Support is always here to help you make the right decision and select the Wi-Fi router that’s best for your business in Colorado Springs.
In the meantime, stay up-to-date on the latest IT news. Check out our Blog. Here’s an example of what you’ll find:
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