• Technology

Battle of the WiFi Bands: What’s the Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

Jun 23, 2022
By Gracey Maala

3 min read

AB

Every WiFi router is built to deliver a specific range of frequencies. 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) and 5GHz refer to two different radio wavelengths, which are also called bands or frequencies, and these two are currently used by a majority of routers to transmit WiFi connections.

Which frequency is best to use?

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WiFi routers normally transmit only one of these bands — the 2.4GHz, which are also known as single-band routers. However, some newer WiFi routers can transmit both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, which are called dual-band WiFi routers. In addition, as newer routers have both, you have a choice of which band to use.

To maximize your connection, it’s best to know what band works best with it for optimal performance. That’s why we’re going to dig deeper into the differences between the two!

2.4GHz Band

First, let’s talk about the 2.4GHz band. It’s the standard band that can go up to a maximum speed of 600 Mbps (depending on the router), which can penetrate solid objects that allow it to cover larger areas.

The problem here is that it’s not just a standard band that’s used in WiFi routers, but it is also used in a lot of other devices such as microwave ovens, phones, Bluetooth devices, and other wireless devices.

This becomes a problem because with many other devices using the 2.4GHz band, the signal becomes congested, causing a lot of interference with WiFi signals. When this happens, it slows down the network speed and makes it prone to disconnection from the WiFi router. This is why the 5GHz band came in.

5GHz Band

The 5GHz band is a newer band that allows users to have a greater data range (up to 1Gbps) with less interference, and it provides a great deal in terms of internet speeds for home WiFi. On the flip side, it has a smaller coverage area and has difficulty penetrating solid things.

Which frequency should you choose?

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Here are the factors that you have to consider:

  1. Size of your home – Is it big or small?
  2. Inferences and obstacles – What’s the layout of your house? Do you have thick walls?
  3. The devices you will use and how they will be used
 

2.4GHz

5GHz

SPEED

Lower data rate (Up to 600 Mbps)

Higher data rate (Up to 1Gbps)

RANGE

● Larger coverage area

● Has efficient wall-passing capability

● The recommended distance is up to 150 feet indoors.

● Smaller coverage area

● The recommended distance is up to 50 feet indoors.

CONGESTION

● More prone to interference

● Usually used on more devices

● Less prone to interference

● Fewer devices use this frequency

Go 5GHz if…

  • You use devices near the router
  • You are doing a lot of high-bandwidth online activities, like gaming, video streaming, etc.
  • You are in a home with a lot of 2.4GHz band devices
2.4GHz 5GHz TP-Link

From TP-Link Official Website

Go 2.4GHz if…

  • You use devices that are farther from the router
  • You use devices that you frequently move around with throughout your home
  • You live in a large home

Since a lot of electronic devices and appliances use the 2.4GHz frequency, it is likely to be congested, which affects your WiFi’s speed. On the other hand, the 5GHz is less prone to inference as fewer devices such as laptops and smartphones normally use this frequency.

To sum things up

Wireless range vs. speed is the major difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz. If you are in the same room as your router and do not require efficient wall-passing capability, the 5GHz WiFi network is ideal for a faster and more stable connection. Use 2.4 GHz instead if you want a wider coverage.

Meanwhile, as average broadband speeds in the Philippines have been continuously increasing in recent years, PLDT has played a key role in defining the country's internet speeds for Filipino households. PLDT Home currently holds the record of being the fastest broadband network in the country for the fourth consecutive year based on the Ookla Speedtest Awards Q3-Q4 2021. Check out PLDT Home’s Fiber Unli and Fiber Plus Plans!

 

Know the Product Better

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  • Aimesh: reliable and seamless WiFi access at home

PLDT Home’s All-New Fiber Plus Plans

  • With speeds of up to 1000 mbps
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AUTHOR

Gracey Maala

Gracey is the lead content writer for Next Upgrade’s Technology and Gaming sections. She loves to explore and learn new stuff for work, while she enjoys telling stories, watching TV series, and bonding with her mom and dogs in her free time.

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