What is a Dual Band WiFi?
Dual band units used in wireless networking boast the ability to transmit a couple of standard frequency ranges.
For instance, the modern-day WiFi networks used in our homes come equipped with dual band routers that can transmit both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz channels.
Things were different during the 1990s and most of 2000s. Those were the days of first generation home routers. Those units came with just one WiFi (802.11b) radio that had a frequency range of 2.4 GHz. The commercial networks of that era, however, supported 5 GHz or 802.11a devices.
Read on to know more about dual band WiFi and benefits.
What are the Advantages of Dual Band WiFi?
Dual band WiFi routers offer amazing flexibility when it comes to setting up home networks thanks to its ability to supply two different WiFi frequencies for each bandwidths.
Some devices installed in your home would need higher signal reach and legacy compatibility, which only 2.4 GHz connectivity can offer. The 5 GHz option, on the other hand, is suitable for devices that need extra network bandwidth. By opting for dual band WiFi you would be able to connect devices of both kinds.
Home networks often experience wireless interference that arises from prevalence of the 2.4 GHZ gadgets such as cordless phones and microwave ovens. These are consumer gadgets that can operate only on 3 non-overlapping channels.
Dual band routers would allow you to prevent these issues by letting the gadgets use 5 GHz thanks to its ability to support as many as 23 non-overlapping channels.
A dual band router is also capable of incorporating Multiple-Out Multiple-In radio configurations.
Dual band supports along with multiple radios on a single band provides home networking much high performing connectivity. Something no single-band router could have provided.
The 2.4 GHz Frequency
As mentioned above, it used to be the only available frequency option for receiving and sending data when WiFi routers were first launched.
The biggest benefit of this frequency is its ability to transmit a powerful signal over quite a large area of your home. It is even capable of penetrating various solid objects such as floors, walls, and partitions. This means, the 2.4 GHz frequency would allow you to enjoy a strong connection even after moving away from the router.
There are some significant downsides too.
The first one is surely the high saturation level of this frequency. It is becoming busier with every passing day. That’s probably because it offers lesser number of channel compared to the 5 GHz bandwidth.
This means, when using a 2.4 GHz router, the network might experience interference from other household devices as well as other routers operating in its surrounding area.
Examples of interfering devices include baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, wireless speakers, cordless phones, microwave ovens, and so on.
Interference from nearby devices results in notable decrease in speed and also hampers the overall performance of the router.
The other demerit of 2.4 GHz network is that the maximum speed offered by it is usually 100 Mbps or even less than that. If more than one users try to use the network for performing activities requiring high-bandwidth (for instance for streaming HD videos), it’s unlikely that the 2.4 GHz network will be able to provide the required support.
The 5 GHz Frequency
A 5 GHz network is capable of offering greater speeds and can also limit the interference of other devices. That’s the reason why modern day manufacturers offer the added support of 5 GHz frequency with almost all routers of present generation.
Availability of two different frequencies/bands provides a dual band WiFi router with the ability to manage significantly more traffic than the single band units of the past.
What’s even more amazing is that the highest speed offered by a 5 GHz band is four times more than the highest speed of 2.4 GHz band.
This means, a device known for using maximum bandwidth would perform better when connected to a dual band router.
What makes having a dual band router essential is that the 5 GHz band also comes with certain drawbacks. Unlike the 2.4 GHz band, the 5 GHz band cannot broadcast WiFi signal by penetrating floors and walls.
So, having the 2.4 GHZ band option on your router is important for covering distance.
A small recommendation
If your home has several competing wireless gadgets, you can consider getting Google WiFi. This specially designed router comes equipped with three satellites, which the company refers to as Wi-Fi points. Each of these satellites covers an area of 1,500 sq. ft. This means, the router possesses the ability to cover a whopping blanketed coverage of 4,500 sq. ft. Another highlight of the Google WiFi router is its beam forming technology. It allows the router to rout gadgets to the most powerful signal automatically.