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Wireless Networking Frequencies (Questions/Answers)

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Published On: July 24, 2018 by Blake Schwank

Are You Using The Right Wireless Frequency?

What You Should Know To Get The Range And Speed You Need

There’s a lot to consider when setting up a Wi-Fi connection, and not all of these considerations are obvious. Take frequency for example. You can choose between 2 types of frequency connections. But what’s the advantage of picking one over the other? It depends on a number of different factors.

What Do You Need To Know About Wi-Fi Frequencies?

Whenever you connect your device to Wi-Fi, you’ll be connecting to one of 2 different frequencies. The first is a 2.4Ghz connection, and the other is a 5.0Ghz connection.

      

Here’s the thing about these connections:

A 2.4Ghz connection will provide you with a range of approximately 150 feet indoors from where the signal is coming from. And, you’ll have a range of about 300 feet outdoors.

This gives you a pretty wide range, doesn’t it?

In comparison, a 5.0Ghz connection is only going to provide you with a range of about 1/3 of these distances.

So, why would you even consider using a 5.0Ghz connection if 2.4Ghz provides a superior range? The reason is that the speed of the 5.0 connection is much faster than the 2.4.

These are your choices … If you want a wider range, you’ll sacrifice speed. And if you want a faster speed, you’ll have to sacrifice range.

Keep this in mind when you’re setting up WIFI in your office.

But, now that you have this covered, here’s something new that’s coming down the pike.

What’s Coming In Wi-Fi?

A new wireless communications standard should go into effect next year – 802.11ax. It should be officially certified by the IEEE sometime in 2019.

The 802.11ax standard will be much faster than the current 802.11ac standard. And great news! – It will be able to work even if there’s heavy interference.

Additionally, 802.11ax routers will also be able to send data to as many as 12 devices at the same time!

Most of the older routers people use today can only send signals to one device at a time. They must switch back and forth between devices. This happens so quickly that you probably don’t even notice it’s happening.

What Limits Do You Face When It Comes To Wi-Fi Connection Speeds?

Distance, physical obstructions, network protocol overhead, and radio interference can all create a disparity between what speed you should get from your Wi-Fi connection and what you’re actually getting.

Plus, the more devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi, the more your speed will slow. This is because there’s only so much bandwidth available.

Your network hardware may also present its own limitations. If you have a router with a speed of 802.11g, but your laptop doesn’t support it, you won’t get this speed. Both hardware devices must operate under the same 802.11g standard for the optimal speed you require.

Can Your Internet Service Provider Limit Your Network Speed?

When working at home, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) you use may limit the speed of your connection. Even if your router supports a higher speed, your ISP may not.

How frustrating for most users!

The good news is that the majority of ISPs offer tiers of service. Essentially, if you pay more, you get more speed.

Why Does Network Speed Matter?

Do you like to stream movies, play online games, use video-streaming applications like Apple TV or Roku? After a hard day at work, this can be a great way to zone out and unwind … But not if your Wi-Fi connection doesn’t support minimum speed requirements.

What about in the office? You may need to stream video conferences, business presentations, and educational seminars. Again, you’ll need a high-speed connection to do this.

What happens if you don’t have the speed? The quality of your video will suffer, creating frequent pauses and buffering. Again, this can be frustrating.

Movie streaming services recommend that you have a broadband connection speed of 1.5 Mbps. But for better quality, you’ll need 3.0 Mbps for Standard Definition quality, 5.0 Mbps for High-Definition (HD) quality, and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality.

How Can You Test Your Network Speed?

Your ISP may provide an online speed-testing service you can use. Log in to your account, go to the connection speed page and ping your Internet service. You should repeat the test at different times of the day to find the average speed. If you think it’s too low, contact your ISP.

If your Internet Service Provider doesn’t provide a speed test, there are free internet speed services you can check out on the Web.

Most of us download more data than we upload. Your download speed and upload speed will probably be different. You may have a download speed of 10-25 Mbps, and an upload speed of only 3 Mbps. This provides the speed you need to stream a 720p high-definition video. But videos might take as much as 20 minutes to download.

When it comes to your business, there’s a lot to consider when setting up a Wi-Fi connection, and not all of these considerations are obvious. Watch this space for future episodes of our Wi-Fi Mini-Series.

In the meantime, do a little educational reading on your own. Just check out Our Blog. Here’s an example of what you’ll find:

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When’s the Last Time You Tested Your Data Recovery Backups?

Best Way to Improve Cybersecurity? Train Your Employees!

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