Have you ever heard the term Wi-Fi frequency and scratched your head? This term typically comes up when you are looking for a new internet service provider, buying a new piece of tech for your home, or when you call tech support. Examples would be: tech support may ask which frequency you are using, or the new robot vacuum’s instructions may say this device must connect to a 2.4GHz wifi. To help you understand what this means, we have created this handy guide.
The short answer:
Many modern Wi-Fi modems have two frequency bands built into them, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The short explanation is that a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency will travel much farther and through solid objects, walls or floors, than a 5GHz frequency, but a 5GHz will provide you with higher upload and download speeds.
If you want to learn more, we will start with the basics.
What does gigahertz mean?
The definition of a gigahertz is a unit of measurement for the number of cycles per second, most commonly used to measure computer processing speed or Wi-Fi frequencies. The higher the gigahertz, the faster the processing speed, the lower the gigahertz, the farther the signal travels.
What does this mean for my internet connection?
Most Wi-Fi modems are built to have a dual-band a 5GHz, and a 2.4GHz, as the main connection. This means that your phone, smart devices, computers, or anything that connects to the internet will automatically select its preferred band.
When you are using the 5GHz band on your router, you will experience faster upload and download speeds. However, your wireless range will decrease more quickly when you are on a 5GHz network because the frequency is not able to travel through solid objects, like walls or floors. The 5GHz band will also experience less overcrowding compared to a 2.4GHz frequency band because fewer devices use it and it has more channels.
The main benefit of using a 2.4GHz band is that the signal is going to travel farther. So if you have a robot vacuum or any smart appliance, these devices will connect to your 2.4GHz band because it is more likely that for them to maintain a signal, the signal will have to go through a solid object. These devices will also not be uploading and downloading data at the rate of a device like your phone, computer, or video game console.
Why does it matter?
When setting up your Internet Network, depending on your service provider, you may be able to create separate networks. You could have a dedicated 2.4GHz band, a dedicated 5GHz band, and a dual-band that has both, allowing you to customize your internet network experience completely.
You could even create a guest network if you have frequent guests, or need a customer network if you rent your house or a room on Airbnb, or VRBO.
How do I access them?
You can access the networks you set up just like a normal internet network, through the settings on your device. Just be sure to name each network separately so you know which is the correct network, an example would be “Internet-5G” or “Internet-2.4G.”
What does ESTech offer?
If you are a member of Eastern Slope Technologies and have one of our newer routers, you will have the ability to set up different networks through our CommandIQ mobile app. If you already have the CommandIQ app installed on your phone, you can tap the My Network modal on your home screen in the app to see and edit your networks.
If you do not have the CommandIQ mobile app, or are not sure if you have a router that has dual-bands or a dedicated band, reach out to us and we will be happy to help!