Frequency bands are a mode of transmission of data between devices wirelessly. These are actually electromagnetic waves that carry the data from device to other device and these bands are in two frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
Commonly, 2.4 GHz frequency band is used and it is the default frequency band of most wireless devices. Routers which only have 2.4 GHz frequency band are called single-band routers but nowadays there are newer Wi-Fi routers which transmit both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands and they are called dual-band WiFi routers.
You will find that Wireless Routers nowadays have two different frequency bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. You might have come across these frequency bands when you were setting your router or trying to change the frequency band.
Both of these frequency bands are used for the transmission of wireless signals but to choose which frequency band is the better one, well, that is a difficult thing because each of the frequency band has its own advantages and disadvantages and it really comes down to the situation that which frequency band is the better option.
If both of these frequency bands are provided then it is obvious that both of them will have a unique function and it is nice for the users to have an option to choose the frequency according to their situation.
2.4 GHz Frequency Band
2.4 GHz is the default frequency band that is not used by WiFi routers but also by other electronic devices such as Bluetooth devices, wireless cameras, microwave ovens, etc. The main feature of the 2.4 GHz frequency band is that it is able to transmit data at a longer range but has relatively slower data transfer speeds.
The phenomenon behind this is that higher the frequency, faster would be data transfer but the range would be less but with the lower frequency, you’re getting a much higher range with relatively slower data transfer speed.
So, with the 2.4 GHz frequency band, you’re getting much longer range but relatively slower transfer speeds and because the 2.4 GHz is also used by other electronic and wireless devices, it is much more prone to signal interference and when interference happens then it slows down your WiFi network and sometimes could even cause you to lose connection to your WiFi network.
2.4 GHz band has about 11 different channels to choose from, out of which 3 are non-overlapping and the rest are not. So, with 2.4 GHz band, you’re left with only 3 solid non-overlapping channels to choose from.
5 GHz Frequency Band
5 GHz frequency band isn’t the default frequency band and is rarely used by any device. As mentioned above, the higher the frequency, the faster would be transfer speed. So, with the 5 GHz frequency band, you’re getting much faster speeds as compared to 2.4 GHz but the range over which the router can transmit signals decreases and has a hard time penetrating solid objects.
So, you are receiving good speeds on one end but on the other end, you are giving up the range. But there is more to all of this because 5 GHz frequency is less commonly used by wireless devices, it is less vulnerable to interface and has about 25 non-overlapping channels which mean that you wouldn’t see any kind of interference from other devices on the 5 GHz frequency and the internet speeds would be comparatively faster than 2.4 GHz frequency band but because this is a high-frequency band, it will have a shorter range and harder to penetrate solid objects.
Which band is better?
The answer to this question is based purely on the situation that you’re in. If the wireless router is close to you then choosing the 5 GHz frequency band would be a wiser option because you will be having no interference and the data transfer speed would be much higher and because the WiFi router is close to you, you wouldn’t have any issues regarding the range.
However, if the WiFi router is away from you then choosing the 5 GHz option wouldn’t be optimal since you would be getting weak signals and frequent cut-offs. So, for long-range, it is recommended that you use the 2.4 GHz since it has a much longer range than 5 GHz and it isn’t hard to penetrate solid objects due to low frequency.