5GHz or 2.4GHz : Best WiFi Frequency

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By Ann M.

7/12/2022

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What is the best WiFi frequency, 5GHz or 2.4GHz? The solution would rely on your network requirements. You could ask what WiFi frequency is optimal for your network installations while creating a WLAN. This article will help you decide if it is better to give a dependable wireless experience using the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band frequency.

A quick explanation of the WiFi frequency (5GHz vs. 2.4GHz)

Wireless data is exchanged between devices using a frequency band. These bands, which may either be 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz radio waves, are used to transmit data. These bands’ range (coverage) and bandwidth (speed) are the main distinctions between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. For instance, the 2.4GHz band provides coverage over a wider area but delivers data more slowly. The 5GHz frequency, in contrast, has less coverage but transmits data more quickly.

How do you determine the best WiFi frequency for your business between 5GHz and 2.4GHz?

Data rate and coverage area

Despite having lower data speeds, the 2.4GHz frequency band provides a broader coverage area and a longer range than the 5GHz band. Instead, although having a faster data throughput, the 5GHz frequency has a narrower service area than the 2.4 GHz band.

Speed

The GHz band does not always determine a wireless device’s maximum WiFi speed. What should be taken into account most is the setting where the network will be installed.

For instance, depending on the kind of device, the 2.4GHz band may often handle up to 450 Mbps or 600 Mbps. However, because so many devices use the 2.4GHz band, the ensuing congestion might result in dropped connections and slower speeds.

The 5GHz frequency, however, can support up to 1300 Mbps. Because fewer devices utilize it and more channels are available than in the 2.4GHz frequency, it is typically less congested. The wireless standard that the access point supports, such as 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.11ac, will determine the maximum speed.

The 5GHz spectrum has less coverage than the 2.4GHz frequency when compared. As a result, as the frequency rises, the signal’s capacity to pass through solid structures (like walls) declines, which is why the 5GHz band was initially only utilized for outdoor installations. However, data is transferred more quickly the higher the frequency. As a result, the 5GHz spectrum transfers data more quickly and with more capacity. Then, if providing good WiFi speed performance is your top concern, you should lean toward the 5GHz band.

Interference

Potential interference with the frequency range of the WiFi network is another item to look out for. A network’s speed and range can both be considerably reduced by interference. For the 2.4GHz band, for example, microwave ovens and wireless telephones are the two most apparent causes of wireless network interference. Instead, the most frequent causes of interference for the 5GHz band are cordless phones, radars, digital satellites, and perimeter sensors.

When several devices use the same frequency, interference usually occurs, which might change the properties of the signal at the receiving end and slow down the connection speed. Due to interference from other devices, your WiFi connection on a certain frequency band may also be quicker or slower.

The 2.4GHz band’s waves are better suited for greater distances and transmission through solid things like walls. Because of this, 2.4GHz is more practical if you need to provide your devices with a better field of view or have a lot of walls or other obstacles where you require coverage.

However, the shorter waves of the 5GHz band make it less able to pass through solid things like walls. This occurs due to electromagnetic waves’ unusual properties: increased attenuation at higher frequencies (5GHz). As a result, various obstructions, including walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and others, readily affect the signal.

Overall, 2.4GHz WiFi connections are more susceptible to interference from other devices than 5GHz WiFi connections. As a result, your connection will slow down if your WiFi network is near a lot of interference from other devices or appliances; as a result, we advise moving your equipment to the 5GHz WiFi band. Use the 2.4 GHz frequency if you wish to provide more signal coverage.

As a side note, the client device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, or USB adaptor) must support this frequency while accessing the 5GHz band.

Congestion

Overcrowding occurs when numerous devices seek to share the same radio space. The 2.4GHz band’s heavy usage for WiFi and other devices, including garage door openers, microwaves, cordless phones, and Bluetooth devices, has resulted in substantial congestion in this frequency.

On the other hand, the 5GHz band, which has 23 active channels as opposed to the 2.4GHz band’s 11, is less crowded and offers a more available radio spectrum and channels. Consider that channel availability varies by the nation where the deployment is made, leading to increased connection stability and speed.

Cost

Finally, you should be aware that access points that support 5GHz cost more than those that support 2.4GHz. This is because the 5GHz market is more recent. Additionally, a lot of 5GHz devices support 2.4GHz radios as well.

Pros and cons of 2.4 GHz

PROs

2.4GHz provides coverage across a wider area. It offers a wider range and a greater coverage area.

  • Interference: If there are a lot of walls or other objects where you require coverage, 2.4GHz is more practical. This frequency’s waves are better suited for greater distances and transmission across barriers.
  • Price: Access points supporting 2.4GHz are less expensive than those supporting 5GHz.

CONs

  • Speed: 2.4GHz transfers data at lower data rates and slower speeds.
  • Congestion: Because so many devices utilize the 2.4GHz frequency, users may encounter greater congestion. Slower speeds and disconnected connections will result from this.
  • Overcrowding: 11 free radio air and channels are available in the 2.4GHz band, less than the 23 accessible in the 5GHz band, depending on the country’s requirements.

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CONS and PROS of 5 GHz

PROs

  • Speed: The 5GHz band transmits data at a greater data rate and quicker speeds.
  • Less congestion: Since fewer devices utilize the 5GHz WiFi band, there is less interference from other devices.
  • Less congestion: Depending on the country’s requirements, the 5 GHz spectrum has 23 operational channels compared to the 2.4 GHz band’s 11.

CONs

  • Coverage: The 5GHz band has a narrower region of coverage.
  • Interference: The shorter waves of the 5GHz band make it less able to pass through walls and other solid things. This occurs as a result of waves’ increased attenuation at higher frequencies. As a result, several obstructions might readily impact the signal.
  • Price: 5GHz-capable access points are more expensive. This is because the 5GHz market is more recent.