A wireless router can utilize one or two bands. Those bands, or frequencies, come either in the form of 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz waves. The primary difference is that 5 GHz is much faster than 2.4 GHz, but it comes at the cost of range. 2.4 GHz has a lower bandwidth, but it can cover a larger area.
That major difference is the exact reason why 5 GHz has not replaced 2.4 GHz and why most high-end routers support dual-band Wi-Fi. It is similar to 4G and 5G. While 4G has a significantly better range, 5G is much, much faster. If you want to learn more about 5ghz vs 2.4 ghz wifi , gaming performance, and more, then keep the reading party going!
2.4 GHz for Browsing
The 2.4 GHz frequency is capped at around 150 Mbps. That is not very fast, but it should be enough to browse the web, watch YouTube, scroll through social media, and so on. 2.4 GHz is slower, but it has a much better range, so it is great to have 2.4 GHz if your house is very big.
If you plan to use only one router for your whole house, try to get one that supports dual-band Wi-Fi. Otherwise, get a router that has 2.4 GHz. Because 2.4 GHz is much better at penetrating through solid objects, such as walls and furniture, you should use it on devices that are located in other rooms or those that move around a lot, such as your phone.
Since 2.4 GHz is a frequency not only used by your router, but also by your microwave, Bluetooth devices, door openers, etc., it sometimes can cause interference with them.
Pros ; Cons of 2.4 GHz
2.4 GHz can cover a much larger area because it has a longer range. It can also penetrate through solid objects.
The downsides are the severely lower maximum bandwidth of only around 150 Mbps and it is prone to interference from other devices.
5 GHz for Gaming and Streaming
Unlike 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz is much faster thanks to its shorter and more dense wavelength. You can expect to see bandwidth of over 1 Gbps when using 5 GHz. The range of the 5 GHz frequency is not so bad if you are located in an open area, but it is horrible when it has to travel through solid objects.
If you connect your phone to your router via 5 GHz and then move out of the room where the router is located, the connection will probably drop instantly or switch to 2.4 Ghz. However, the significant increase in speed and the stability that you get from 5 GHz is irreplaceable.
5 GHz is great for playing games and streaming high-res videos, movies, and TV shows. Try to place your 5 GHz router near your TV and other devices that you use frequently for those purposes if you want to have a fuss-free experience. Speaking of fuss-free, 5 GHz is less often used by other devices, meaning that you won’t face issues with interference.
Pros ; Cons of 5 GHz
5 GHz is significantly faster than 2.4 GHz. You can get a connection speed of over 1 Gbps. The range is decent, provided there are no solid objects between your router and your device. There is also less interference between the 5 GHz band and other devices around your home.
However, the downsides are that 5 GHz has a significantly worse range than 2.4 GHz and it does not penetrate solid objects well, making it much less stable on devices that are moved around frequently.
Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz have some upsides and downsides. 5 GHz can reach much higher bandwidth speeds than 2.4 GHz, but the range is also significantly worse. 2.4 GHz penetrates solid objects better, but it is also prone to interference from other devices that use this frequency.
You should use 5 GHz for media that requires a lot of data, such as streaming high-definition video and gaming. 2.4 GHz is better for less demanding tasks, such as scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. If you want to get the best of both worlds, get a dual-band Wi-Fi router that can use both frequencies.