WiFi Basics And FAQs

This article covers some of the WiFi basics and common questions that one might come across when talking WiFi.

What is the difference between a Single Band, Dual Band and Tri Band WiFi Routers?

The “band” here is the frequency band that the Wireless router uses to communicate with devices connected to it.  2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are the frequency bands used in WiFi communication.

Single band router is a first generation router, broadcasting on a single 2.4 GHz frequency band. It is quite likely to be the router that most homes and offices will be equipped with.

Dual Band router is equipped to broadcast on two frequencies –  a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band. Dual Band routers are the the current generation of routers that are becoming more and more common place . It is the first option for any homeowner or business looking to upgrade or replace their existing WiFi router. Dual Band routers are more expensive, but offer improved connectivity, faster speed and support for newer wireless devices.

Tri Band Router, well, has three bands – one 2.4 GHz band, and two 5 GHz band. They are the latest generation of WiFi routers offering even faster speeds, ability to support more devices, and lesser interference. All this obviously comes at a significant price and to be considered only if your needs demand it.

What is the difference between a 2.4 GHz Band and a 5 GHz band?

The key difference between the bands is the range and speed. The 2.4 GHz band has a wider coverage, but transmits data at a lower speed. The 5 GHz band has a lower coverage area, but transmits data at a much higher speed.  It has a lower range, because higher frequencies have more difficulty transmitting through solid objects, like walls and floors.

What does this mean to you as a user?

If you have an older mobile, laptop or other electronic devices, its very likely that it supports only the 2.4 GHz band.

The 2.4 GHz band while useful for its range, is also likely to be more crowded with more devices using this band including microwave ovens, cordless phones and baby monitors.

If you are using a newer device capable of connecting to 5 GHz, then that is the one you want to use to get the best data transfer speeds. 

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Shashi Venkatesh
Shashi Venkatesh is a 20 year veteran of the technology industry, having worked with an IT Multinational with clients in the Telecom, Logistics, and Airline industry, working globally across America, Europe, and Asia. He enjoys reading and gaming and is an avid motorsport fan.

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