What is a dual band router? That’s a term that you are likely to come across when shopping around for a router in South Africa. The term applies whether one is talking about Telkom, Vodacom, Cell C, MTN or about any other ISP in the country. So, what is a dual band router?
2.4GHz and 5 GHz simultaneously router
A dual band router is a router that is capable of operating at the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, either simultaneously or individually.
What is the difference between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands?
Hopefully we have answered the question what is a dual band router? But which of these frequencies should you choose?
What are the differences between a router broadcasting at 2.4GHz and one that’s broadcasting at 5GHz? Which of these bands is ideal in what instances?
The table below highlights the differences between the two frequency bands;
|2.4 GHz||5 GHz|
|Network Range||Wider Range||Shorter Range|
|Speed||Lower speeds||Faster speeds|
|Ideal for||Simple, ordinary uses||Streaming and gaming|
2.4GHz vs 5GHz WiFi bands
Each of the WiFi bands under review in this article has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Your decision on which to use will ultimately depend on what you primarily do with your WiFi.
If you are into streaming and gaming, you will be better off using the 5GHz band. That suffers from a minimal amount of noise when compared to the 2.4GHz band. So, you will have no interruptions.
Another thing to consider is speed. In most instances, speed will be greater at 5GHz than at 2.4GHz. That makes 5GHz ideal for uses where greater bandwidth is required, such as video streaming and gaming.
Please note however, that speeds can be equally great at 2.4GHz depending on whether Wireless A or Wireless G is used.
In terms of range that’s greater at 2.4GHz than at 5GHz. So, that’s another thing that you will need to consider when deciding which to pick.
Also 2.4GHz is not as prone to obstructions as is the case with the 5GHz band. What that would mean is that 2.4GHz is ideal where you need to get connectivity in different offices of room.
Can you use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time?
The answer to this depends on the type of router that you have. On some routers, you can use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time.
These routers are capable of broadcasting on two channels. Essentially, you will have 2 WiFi networks. These can have different passwords.
However, there are some routers that are only able to broadcasting on one frequency. That make it necessary to select which between the two you wish to use.
Does a dual band router switch automatically?
In most instances, dual band routers do not switch automatically between the two bands. We have already noted that on some you need to pick which band to use manually.
Even on routers that support simultaneous broadcasting on both bands, it’s advisable to treat the two bands as two different WiFi networks with different passwords and SSIDs.
That makes it easy to pick the network that’s ideal for your particular use. As an example, if you are doing basic internet surfing, you would pick the 2.4GHz band, which has greater range. When streaming, you would choose 5GHz.
Summary: What is a dual band router
In this article, we answered the question what is a dual band router? We noted that dual band routers operate at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The band that you choose depends on your needs. For streaming and gaming, 5GHz is ideal. However, in most instances, 2.4GHz will be ideal. On that band, you get greater range and minimal obstructions by walls and other items in your home or office.
You can leave a comment below if you have something to add. Alternatively, you can post follow-up questions on our router discussions forum.