If you have a WiFi network at home and are interested in technology, you may have seen that there are routers with two different communication patterns.The first is the most common:2.4 GHz. The second, even though it is as old as the first, is becoming more popular only now: 5 GHz. But do you know what these numbers mean?
Generally the term GHz (giga-hertz) is associated with performance.A 5 GHz processor, for example, is much more powerful than a 2.4 GHz processor. In this case we can say that the higher the number, the better the product.
In the case of WiFi there is a small difference: these numbers do not express the number of cycles per second as in the case of processors.Here they are the operating frequencies of the radio signal transmitted by the router.Thus, there is no necessarily better value, since they are two different transmission patterns.
These differences are advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into account when buying and positioning the router inside your home, business or store.
How the radio signal spreads
When we talk about radio frequencies, we need to understand a basic principle: the higher the frequency of the transmitted signal, the stronger it will be, however, the lower its range.This means that the 5 GHz signal has more intensity at close range;Since the 2.4 GHz frequency can carry less data at a single time, but can reach greater distances.
In addition, 2.4 GHz are also more efficient at crossing solid objects such as walls, something the 5 GHz signal can not do very efficiently.
On the other hand, the 5 GHz frequency is wider and has 23 non-overlapping transmission channels, compared to only 3 channels at 2.4 GHz. This results in less interference to the higher frequency.
The transmission channels are like lanes of a highway, that is, the more clues, the more space for the cars to pass without hitting.Now imagine that two routers are next to each other transmitting each of the signals at the 5 GHz frequency. If both use the same channel, one can crash into the other, causing interference and loss of data for both sides.On the other hand, if each of them works with a different channel, it will be possible for both to work without interfering with each other’s work.
Signal overlap occurs when the channels are different, but the transmission “leans” on the side, that is, part of the signal collides with the neighboring channel.Hence the need to choose channels that do not overlap.
Since the 2.4 GHz frequency has fewer channels and only three that do not overlap, there is more chance that one router next to the other will end up interfering with the other signal.If you live in an apartment and your neighbor from above has a router working on the same frequency and on the same channel, there is a risk of signal loss.
To make matters worse, many wireless devices use the same frequency to work with.Cordless phones, some television controls, toys, wireless speakers and Bluetooth devices are some items that cause interference and detract from the WiFi signal.
To understand this, imagine again the lane of a freeway.Part of one stretch is under construction, another has collapsed.Later on, trucks start moving on the same lane, causing traffic jams.This is more or less what happens with the transmission when there are many different handsets working on the same frequency.
But which one is better, after all?
The best is the one that more fully meets your needs.To summarize: it is possible to have a larger data transfer with the 5 GHz, but you have to be aware that the signal range will be smaller.
It is generally recommended to have the network utilized and its primary goals in mind before choosing the router.For larger sites and simple navigation on the internet (email, social networks) is recommended a 2.4 GHz router. For streaming movies and online games the most recommended is 5 GHz.
The best (and a little more expensive) solution is to invest in a wireless router, that is, a router that has both modes of simultaneous transmission.With this, you will always have two WiFi networks at your disposal: one working at 2.4 GHz and the other working at 5 GHz – and you can switch whenever you need it.
Note that not all WiFi devices support both communication standards.Before buying a notebook or a new smartphone, make sure they have this feature so you do not have problems later.