March 2019 David Chu
Wi-Fi is a very essential feature in our lives and we can’t imagine our lives without this awesome technology. It has made our lives a lot easier and we just connect with the devices we want with a single click. The Wi-Fi adapters are equally important as we don’t want to have a compromise on the quality and speed of the connection.
A particular feature of the Wi-Fi is the frequency of the signals. A lot of people are confused by this specification and since the common understanding is that the higher the better, they choose 5GHz frequency without even understanding what is the effect. Let’s have a look at various aspects of these two frequencies for Wi-Fi signals.
The frequency of the signals has a big effect on its range. Most of the people might be thinking that 5GHz signals would be having a wider range than 2.4GHz signals, however, things are quite the opposite. The lower frequency is, in fact, better at sending signals over a wider range because such frequency signals can easily penetrate solid materials. On the other hand, 5GHz signals have a hard time penetrating solid materials, thus resulting in a shorter range.
The second aspect of the frequency is the bandwidth of the signals. The higher the bandwidth of the signals is, the higher the transfer rates you will be able to achieve on your devices. In this case, 5GHz frequency signals have an advantage over the 2.4GHz signals as they have a higher bandwidth resulting in better transfer rates.
Another aspect of the frequency of the signals is interference. A lot of other devices in our homes use 2.4GHz frequency such as Bluetooth devices, microwaves etc. This results in a much-cluttered channel and causes interference, resulting in slower transfer rates. Meanwhile, 5GHz signals are totally free from this issue and achieve maximum transfer rates possible.
Before you consider a wireless adapter, you should make sure that your Wi-Fi router supports the 5GHz frequency signals. A dual-band router can operate at both 2.4GHz frequency and 5GHz frequency which means that they are also backward-compatible. On the other hand, if you buy a 5GHz wireless adapter and you own a single-band router then such a wireless adapter will not a provide any advantage because the adapter will be forced to work at the 2.4GHz frequency. Also, both the dual-band routers and dual-band adapters are quite expensive than single-band routers and wireless adapters.
With all of that being said, we close our article with this conclusion that if you are looking for faster transfer rates, which won’t be covered by 2.4GHz signals or you want an interference-free signals then you should consider buying a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter but if your connection speeds are covered by the 2.4GHz signals and you want a wider signal range then you should consider a single-band Wi-Fi adapter. You can have a look at our recommendation for the best usb wireless adapters by appuals.
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