If you have internet at home, you most probably have a wireless router. While a modem is what gets the internet to your home, it is a router that allows multiple devices to connect to the same network through either wired or wireless connections. Now to truly understand the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, you must know that your internet runs on two frequency bands – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
To put it in layman terms – if you want a longer range in your home then 2.4 GHz is the band for you. If you’re looking for faster downloads and internet speed, then you should opt for the 5 GHZ band.
The 2 GHz works on the same frequency as many gadgets in your home. Your microwave, garage door openers, old cordless phones, Wireless keyboards, Bluetooth devices even baby monitors and more use this same frequency. This means that although the 2.4 GHz is a lower frequency, it has a lot more inference from these other gadgets which could affect your internet connectivity.
Back in the day, most devices only ran on the 2.4 GHz frequency and it is only recently that devices have been upgraded to the 5 GHz. The lower frequency allows a larger range to be covered and is more commonly found in North America in all the gadgets named above. It also has fewer channels which means that the frequency could get congested, leading to dropped phases. But this lower frequency works well if you have a lot of walls and obstacles in your home, as it offers better range as well as transmission through solid objects. The material used in your walls could also determine the effectiveness of the frequency.
Now, coming to 5 GHz. This frequency is higher but has a shorter range. This is great for people who need faster speeds – because in the end, this is what the difference between the two boils down to. As it has fewer gadgets that run in this frequency, you will have a better and stable connection. You have to keep in mind that the shorter waves of the 5 GHz doesn’t make it a great choice if you have many walls in your home and therefore has a less effective range as compared to the 2.4 GHz.
This higher frequency allows for faster transmission of data which is what everyone is getting used to right now and expects from their router. A user accessing the 5 GHZ frequency can download and upload files faster as well as experience smoother streaming of HD video and high bandwidth applications. The 5 GHz has less inference as it also has 23 available channels instead of the 3 available in the 2.4 GHz band.
Although each has its own advantages and disadvantages, it all depends on what your final end usage is. If you are looking for better coverage, 2.4 GHz is the one for you and if you need better internet speeds, then you should go for the 5GHz option.