Internet Connectivity and Routers, Explained

Your business might depend on its Wi-Fi, but do you know what the difference between the various Internet channels mean for your connection? You might be in the process of upgrading your router, or maybe you just have questions about what the difference between a “dual band” router is. Let’s discuss routers with today’s blog.

What is a Dual Band Router?

Simply put, a dual band router is one which broadcasts both a 2.4 and 5.0 GHz wireless connection at the same time. The primary difference between the two connections is going to be the speed of the connection. Depending on conditions, 2.4 GHz can support speeds up to 600 Mbps while 5.0 GHz can support speeds up to 1300 Mbps. These numbers are the absolute ceiling, though, and the actual speeds your device is capable of will depend on which wireless transfer protocols it uses.

Now, these ideal conditions are likely never going to be realized, but it’s still safe to say that 5.0 will be faster for most purposes—even if 2.4 and 5.0 are used for very different things, as we’ll soon see.

What Runs on the 2.4 GHz Connection?

Using a 2.4 GHz connection is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, there are quite a few benefits to using it, as it can easily transmit through walls and solid objects, and it also has a large range for its connection. However, a 2.4 GHz connection is also used by many devices that you might not realize, like baby monitors, garage door openers, old cordless phones, and other similar devices, so the connection strength tends to be diluted. You might even drop connections every so often as a result of this poor connection.

What About the 5 GHz Connection?

On the other hand, a 5.0 GHz connection is much more stable and capable of greater wireless speeds. The 5.0 connection utilizes shorter-range signals, and it might not be as good at penetrating walls or other objects, but the speed and reliability it offers makes it worth this downside. Plus, you can use devices like signal boosters to offset the difference in connection range. If you can make the investment, it’s worth it for the reliability alone. 

Which Connection Should You Use?

In most cases, a 5.0 GHz connection will be far superior to that of a 2.4 GHz connection, but depending on the device, you might not have a choice. Some devices cannot connect to a 5.0 GHz connection, making it easy to determine your decision. If the device doesn’t need any strenuous or reliable connection, though, it might be worth considering using a 2.4 GHz connection so you don’t clog your 5.0 connections too much.

In other situations, you might have the ability to make a choice, depending on the use for the device. For example, if you notice that your connection drops frequently or you need greater reliability, then a 5.0 connection is a no-brainer. Still, a wired connection will be your best bet for reliability whenever possible.

If you need assistance with setting up an in-house IT infrastructure that utilizes a combination of wireless and wired technologies, we would be happy to help you navigate this challenge. To learn more, reach out to us at (215) 525-3223.