Cable Modem Router: 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz Wi-Fi

Learn > Cable Modem & Routers > Cable Modem Router: 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz Wi-Fi

Today’s Wi-Fi connected devices demand a lot from your cable modem router and wireless service, which means you may find yourself looking to upgrade to a router that boasts both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (also known as dual-band). 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz refer to the two wireless frequencies, or bands, that are used to transmit data in the wireless spectrum.


2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz

The primary differences between the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band are speed and range. The band that you connect your device to is essential for getting peak performance. It’s important to know the benefits and limitations of each band and how it impacts your Wi-Fi experience.


2.4 GHz Band – Range

The 2.4 GHz band has a long wavelength when it transmits, making it the more versatile band between the two.  Because of this, many devices are manufactured to operate on the 2.4 GHz band, therefore, it tends to be crowded and slower. The 2.4GHz band is a great option for devices located farther from the cable modem router as it has a longer wireless range. This makes it the ideal option for both less Wi-Fi demanding devices and those that are located in a different room than the cable modem router. When deciding on if the 2.4 GHz band is right for your device, keep in mind that it offers slower speeds than the 5 GHz band, but it can also penetrate walls better than the 5 GHz band, making it more reliable for some devices.


5 GHz Band – Speed

The 5 GHz band is a shorter wavelength, meaning it offers a shorter range of coverage. The 5 GHz band is often considered superior to the 2.4 GHz band due to its faster speeds and stronger connection, but because it has a shorter wavelength, the signal strength is limited to devices that are closest to the cable modem router. The shorter wavelength of the 5 GHz band is less reliable when connected to devices in other rooms away from the router as it can’t readily penetrate walls and solid objects.


Simultaneous Dual-Band Cable Modem Routers

To get the best of both worlds, opt for a simultaneous dual-band router. This type of router creates two networks, one for the 2.4 GHz band and one for the 5 GHz band. This allows you to connect your devices to the ideal band for the best possible performance. For devices that are farther from your router or don’t need blazing fast speeds, you can connect them to the 2.4 GHz. The 5 GHz band is perfect for gaming consoles, streaming devices and other devices that demand a stronger signal. The performance of each band is dependent on factors such as home design, location of the router, and the device itself. With a simultaneous dual-band router, you can work around these conditions to achieve the ideal connection for your devices.

For more information on cable modems, cable modem routers and related topics, check out Hitron’s ​ Cable Modem Routers… A Complete Guide​ and ​Learn Page.

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