5GHZ Wifi: Overview, Benefits, Range, Installation, and More
When was the last time you went shopping for a new modem and heard terms like ‘5ghz Wifi,’ ‘5G,’ or 2.4ghz wifi? Did the salesperson help you make a choice basis your internet needs? Did you confuse 5ghz wifi with 5G mobile networks?
Before we dive into understanding what 5ghz routers are, it is best first to know the background of the topic in discussion.
Essentially, wireless routers (wifi routers) use radio frequencies to transmit the internet to your devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, or others) that are connected to your Wifi. This transmission primarily happens in two (2) bands, i.e., 2.4ghz and 5ghz.
More than often, people mistakingly relate 5ghz with the 5g mobile network. Well, it’s not entirely their fault because India is going gaga over the upcoming 5g internet services.
So, now that we are clear that 5ghz has nothing to do with the 5g network let us kickstart this exciting and hot topic about wireless routers.
What is 5ghz Wifi?
If a user has an 802.11a or newer wireless router, chances that the router offers internet on two (2) bands, i.e., 2.4ghz and 5ghz.
The difference between these two bands eventually boils down to the router’s range and speed. For example, if your household or office required a better range, then 2.4ghz would be a better option. In case you want a high-performing wifi connection, then 5ghz would be your best bet.
Don’t worry, we will cover the difference between the two in the coming sections. For now, let us look at the benefits provided by 5ghz wifi.
Benefits of 5ghz Wifi
5ghz router undoubtedly offers better speed than 2.4ghz router. We will tell you why!
While 2.4ghz wifi supports an internet speed of up to 450mbps or 600mbps, 5ghz wifi supports the same up to 1300mbps. Big difference, isn’t it? Also, for Gigabit speed broadband connections, users would need 5ghz routers indeed.
The above speeds work in ideal conditions and may vary depending on your home’s or office’s size, the networking hardware, the no. of connected devices, your internet speed, and others.
The 2ghz router is a standard radio frequency band used by most wireless router users. And, as the usage of 5ghz devices is not as communal as that of the former, 5ghz wifi router users experience fewer network congestions.
We will understand more pros and cons of 2.4ghz vs. 5ghz wifi in the upcoming sections.
Range of 5ghz Wifi
Though 5ghz bands have faster speeds than 2.4ghz bands, the latter uses longer transmission waves, thus having a longer range overall.
By design, 5ghz wifi cannot cover as much distance as 2.4ghz wifi can. Additionally, 5ghz routers with shorter (though strong) internet waves are usually hard at penetrating walls and solid objects. However, if you are using the internet within a small range, then you are assured of high internet speeds. This means that you can enjoy buffer-free video streaming via all your connected devices.
Does My Device Support 5ghz Connection?
Honestly, paying for 5ghz wifi will be of no use if you do not have a wifi adapter capable of transmitting 5ghz radio frequencies. To check if your device has a 5ghz wifi adapter or not, go ahead and check your WLAN capabilities. By doing so, you will get to know if it supports 802.11a (or higher) wifi standard or not.
What Is The Difference Between 2.4ghz and 5ghz Wifi?
As you might have read, various key differences between 2.4ghz and 5GHz wifi earlier in this article, we’ll now present the same in a tabular form for improved readability.
|Comparison Factor||2.4ghz Band||5ghz Band|
|Operating frequency||Wifi standard 802.11b operating frequency||Wifi standard 802.11a operating frequency|
|Speed||Supports 450mbps to 600mbps internet speed||Supports up to 1300mbps internet speed|
|Distance||It can cover long distances||It covers short distances|
|Resistance to Walls/Other Objects||It has greater resistance to solid walls and other blockages||It has the least resistance to sold walls and other jams.|
|Bandwidth||It has a lower bandwidth than the 5 GHz frequency||It has a higher bandwidth|
|Use||Best suited for using the internet to surf at distances||Best suited for streaming shows and downloading|
|Range||It reaches 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors||It reaches around one-third of 2ghz’s distance|
Before you jump to making decisions based on the conclusions drawn by the above facts, it is essential to consider the below three factors concerning your unique internet needs.
- Size of Your Home/Office
If you have a large home or office space, then you will likely require greater coverage. The 2.4ghz router will support this requirement. On the other hand, for internet usage in smaller apartments. 5ghz router will not only provide excellent speed but also avoid interference from neighboring networks.
The 2.4ghz internet band is more prone to interference because of excessive devices using this radiofrequency. The 5ghz wifi will be a better option to help fight inferences that slow down your wifi connection, provided your connected devices are in close proximity to the router.
- Internet Usage Habits
The 2.4ghz wifi uses longer waves, making it better suited for longer ranges through walls and other solid obstacles. The 2.4ghz band is ideal for activities like internet browsing, etc.
On the other hand, 5ghz wifi is ideal for high-bandwidth activities like gaming or streaming HD TV.
How to Enable 5ghz wifi?
To enable the 5ghz band on your laptop, you first need to check if your system supports 5ghz wifi at all! The best way to find it is to go and open the Control Panel and search for the same in your Windows Search Box.
You can then follow the below pathway –
- Windows Search Box > Control Panel > Device Manager > Network’s Adapters.
If your adapter supports 802.11ac, it will support 5ghz frequency for sure. In most cases, 802.11n adapters will also support 5GHz.
Once you have figured out whether your device supports 5ghz wifi or not, you can then connect to the wireless network like you would have connected to any other network before.
We hope this article answered all your queries about the 5ghz network and will help you make informed decisions about buying a 2.4ghz wifi or 5ghz wifi.