What is the Difference Between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi

2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz WiFi

If you are confused about which router you need to have for WiFi connectivity at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz, then you first understand the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, their advantages and disadvantages, to get better clarity.

You should first know how both networks work to get better clarity about which router would help you the most.

Let’s start the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi.

What is 2.4 GHz WiFi 

2.4GHz WiFi is the popular wireless radio band that most of the routers & other devices use to connect with the internet over the air.

What is 2.4GHz WiFi

Devices like microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors along with WiFi routers also use 2.4 GHz as a standard frequency. Since 2.4 GHz frequency is widely used by multiple devices, it results in signal interference and thus connection drop.

2.4 GHz uses longer radio waves that makes it better to transmit through walls and to cover longer ranges  (more than 400 feet). Means 2.4 GHz WiFi is ideal for longer range transmission but not for high performance because of two reasons – one is the slow frequency of radio waves. 

Secondly, 2.4 GHz is used by multiple other devices that leads to network congestion & hinders the performance.

2.4 GHz has 11 wireless channels to transmit data and out of 11, you get 3 non-overlapping channels to use uninterrupted data transmission.

2.4 GHz non overlapping channels

Limited non-overlapping channels results in more network congestion and slower networks.

Advantages of 2.4 GHz WiFi

  • Farther range – that is suitable for large homes where you need more wireless network coverage.
  • Better penetration –  Can penetrate walls and other objects to reach out more area. 

Disadvantages of 2.4 GHz WiFi

  • Vulnerable to interference – Since more devices use 2.4 GHz, it may result in signal interference and connection loss.
  • Slower speed – 2.4 GHz has slow data transmission speed due to low frequency, not ideal for online gaming or 4K video transmission.

What is 5 GHz WiFi 

What is 5GHZ WiFi

5 GHz WiFi is a rather new and high performance network band that works on 5 GHz radio waves. 5GHz uses higher frequencies but shorter waves that result in faster transmission but shorten the distance covered around 200 feet.

Since 5GHz is a new frequency, you won’t get many devices that use it, that means your network has more stability in wireless connections because of less interference and congestion from different devices.

5 GHz uses shorter radio waves that makes it difficult to transmit through walls and longer ranges. You can enjoy 5 GHz’s fast performance at smaller spaces.

5 GHz has 25 non-overlapping channels to use high speed data transmission without any interruption.

Advantages of 5 GHz WiFi

  • High speed – you get a high speed WiFi network for performance oriented stuff like online gaming and Ultra HD video streaming.
  • Lesser congestion – Since 5GHz is not used by many devices, it results in almost no signal interference and connection loss. You get a highly stable connection.

Disadvantages of 5 GHz WiFi

  • Lesser penetration –  Because of shorter waves, it can’t penetrate walls and other objects well
  • Low coverage – As it can’t penetrate objects and walls well, it is not suitable to cover larger areas

Difference Between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi

Difference Between 2.4ghz and 5ghz WiFi

#1. Internet Standard

Both networks use different network standards to transmit data except 802.11n which is used by both 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz.

Mainly, 2.4 GHz uses 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n standards for data transmission. These trio are old technologies that are most widely used in all over the world. That means 2.4 GHz is compatible with almost every device running on the planet.

On the other hand, 5 GHz runs on 802.11a, 802.11ac and 802.11n to transfer data. 802.11ac is the fastest internet standard for data transmission.

#2. Range and Penetration

2.4 GHz has longer radio waves that travel longer distances and provide you better coverage. 2.4 GHz can reach up to 200 feet in close proximity and up to 400 feet in open areas. Making it ideal to cover farther areas.

On the other hand, 5 GHz uses shorter radio waves that can travel to shorter distances so not suitable for large homes. 5 GHz can cover around 50 feet up to 200 feet area.

Since 2.4 GHz uses longer wavelengths, they can easily penetrate walls and other objects on the way but 5 GHz can’t penetrate walls so well because of shorter wavelengths used at high frequencies.

#3. Connection Speed

2.4 GHz is considered a slow technology because you get data transfer speed in the range starting 2 Mbps and maximum of 150 Mbps in the real world scenario.

5 GHz is a high speed connection that offers a data transfer speed in the range of 3 Mbps up to 1 Gbps.

Speed comparison – 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz

StandardFrequencySpeed
802.11a5Ghz3 – 32 Mbps
802.11b2.4Ghz2-3 Mbps
802.11g2.4Ghz10 -29 Mbps
802.11n2.4Ghz300 Mbps (150 Mbps in actual)
802.11n5Ghz450Mbps
802.11ac5Ghz210 Mbps – 1 Gbps

#4. Stability

2.4 GHz has 3 non overlapping channels out of 11 while 5 GHz has 25 non-overlapping channels that makes it more stable as compared to 2.4 GHz.

5 GHz is used by a lesser no. of devices so you don’t get any network congestion or interference which is common in 2.4 GHz as it is the most widely used frequency.

Best 2.4 GHz WiFi in India 2020

Tenda N301 Wireless-N300 Easy Setup Router 

Tenda N301 Wireless-N300 Easy Setup Router

Tenda N301 Wireless-N300 is a single band router that works on 2.4 GHz frequency. It comes with  5dbi Omni Directional double antennas to provide you wider WiFi coverage for a 2 or 3 BHK home. 

You can get up to 300 Mbps speed on Tenda N301. 

You can easily set it up with the help of a setup template and quick guide provided with the router.

You also get parental control feature to limit internet access of your kids. You can fix the time they can use the internet and also block certain websites that you don’t want your kids to access.

Tenda N301 also has a WPS feature to connect any device securely with the push of one button.

Pros of Tenda N301 Wireless-N300 Easy Setup Router

  • Amazing coverage
  • Easy to setup
  • Parental control

Cons of Tenda N301 Wireless-N300 Easy Setup Router

  • Not ideal if you have high speed internet connection

Best for – Medium-size homes. 

Best 5 GHz WiFi in India 2020

You can find 5 GHz WiFi with any dual band router that works on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. A dual band wireless router offers you the flexibility to switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

Let’s talk about the best dual band router that uses 5 GHz frequency for high performance experience.

TP-Link Archer C20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Router

TP-Link Archer C20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Router

TP-Link Archer C20 AC750 supports upto 433 Mbps speed over 5GHz band using 802.11ac protocol and up to 300Mbps speed over 2.4GHz band using 802.11n protocol.

TP-Link Archer handles simple tasks like emails or web browsing using the 2.4GHz band while bandwidth intensive tasks such as online gaming or 4K video streaming on the 5GHz band. This way it gives you the best performance depending on your task.

You get 3 omnidirectional antennas for a stable connection and wider range of up to 400 sqft.

You also get one 10/100 LAN port to connect your PC, laptop or printer with a wired connection.

Pros of TP-Link Archer C20 Wireless Dual Band Router

  • Dual dedicated bandwidths for different tasks
  • 3 antennas for better coverage
  • 1 LAN port
  • Inexpensive

Cons of TP-Link Archer C20 Wireless Dual Band Router

  • Overheat sometimes

Final words 

As you have gone through the article, now you clearly understand the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi networks. If you want to differentiate both network in one line you can simply remember that –

Slower speed longer range means “2.4 GHz”, while faster speed but shorter range means “5 GHz”.

If you need longer range, go for 2.4 GHz network and if you want high performance within a room or two, go for 5 GHz.