5Ghz vs 2.4Ghz: Advantages and Disadvantages

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Since the 2.4 GHz wireless band is used by everything from your microwave to your Bluetooth speakers, it looks and feels like Friday rush hour traffic all the time.

By contrast, 5.0 is a large, 5-lane highway early on a Sunday morning – lots of room, very little traffic and no roadblocks. As such, it is the perfect band when you need to transmit large amounts of data – like streaming live audio or video, without interruption and at remarkable speeds. When you have both together – it makes for a fantastic solution to network overload.

But like all technology, nothing is perfect. And that includes 5.0. Very simply, 5.0 is less crowded and provides faster data downloads, better streaming, fewer interruptions and an overall improved Wi-Fi environment. But there is a downside too. The thing about radio is – the higher the frequency, the shorter the range. The 5.0 GHz band has a smaller range and doesn’t penetrate solids – like walls – as well as 2.4. It can’t travel the distance needed for excellent data downloads from anywhere. So what may work while you are in your home office upstairs may not work at all when you are in the kitchen.

This makes it difficult for larger locations like hotels, office buildings, schools and other structures to utilize 5.0 without combining it with the increased coverage and saturation of 2.4. There are also many users in public places who are using only 2.4-enabled technology, so at least for the immediate future, dual-band solutions will become the norm.