It’s difficult to overstate the value of wireless internet in our modern lives. The information age has transformed the way we work, play and relax, enabled by new generations of mobile technology which has meant that – no matter where we are or what we’re doing – we have the world at our fingertips.
It’s easy to forget, but it wasn’t that long ago that wired connections and extremely limited mobile internet were commonplace. Today, the air around us is dominated by wireless internet waves, and it hasn’t happened by accident.
Constant iteration of WiFi technology has led to fast, secure and widely available WiFi. Innovations have come thick and fast, but few have been as powerful as two-channel support.
You may have noticed on your own WiFi network that modern routers broadcast at two separate frequencies – 2.4GHz and 5GHz – but what does that mean, and why should your commercial WiFi support it? To explain, we first have to describe briefly how WiFi works.
How does WiFi work?
Like any wireless technology, whether it’s your mobile phone or television signal, WiFi uses radio waves to transmit data.
The difference in these technologies is the frequencies that they broadcast across, with the frequencies describing how tightly the wireless waves are packed together and how fast they’re moving. As such, WiFi uses higher frequencies than your radio and TV in order to carry more data, enabling the fast download and upload speeds that we enjoy today.
Dual-band routers support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, but what advantages do these frequencies have over each other?
2.4GHz vs. 5GHz
Don’t be tempted into thinking that ‘bigger = better’ when it comes to wireless frequencies because, in reality, each band serves its own distinct purpose. Let’s break it down:
- 2.4GHz – 2.4GHz was, for a long time, the only widely supported frequency for WiFi. It was primarily designed for range and so offers a generally slower experience.
- 5GHz – Now standard across almost every new router and supported by most new devices, 5GHz inverts the strengths of 2.4GHz with significantly higher speeds but a much shorter range.
Overall speed, of course, will be limited by the incoming broadband speed, but 5GHz wireless will be faster when delivered at a close location.
The other major difference is the number of devices you can run on each band without compromising the experience. 2.4GHz has fewer channels than 5GHz, which supports 23 non-overlapping channels. 5GHz can, therefore, support more wireless devices.
So why is dual-band wireless essential?
Effectively, dual-band wireless works to solve the typical issues encountered with 2.4GHz-only wireless deployments. Namely, issues regarding too many people connecting at once and slow speeds.
By combining 5GHz connections and 2.4GHz, your customers can enjoy high-speed wireless internet without sacrificing utility when they’re away from a router. It’s why all of our WiFi deployments support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, with intelligent planning which ensures everyone on your network enjoys consistent, effective wireless internet around the clock – regardless of where they are.
To learn more about our guest WiFi solutions, get in touch with us today.