Wifi: What frequency band should be used?

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Did you know that there are two frequency bands in WiFi routers? What are they and what should be used?

Wifi: What frequency band should be used?

Wireless internet connection, popularly known as Wi-Fi, has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years, managing to adapt to the needs of increasingly demanding users. Thus, users are looking for ways to have more power , but also “protect” their service from their neighbors.

One of the main advances, which many may be unaware of, is the possibility of offering more than one WiFi network , since they operate on different frequencies and have very different characteristics.

Currently, WiFi 5 and 6 routers offer two frequency bands (SSIDs) that appear in their list of networks: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz . If you have a WiFi 6E router , which is an improvement to the WiFi 6 standard, it will allow you to add the 6.0 GHz band .

On the other hand, there are still routers that continue to offer the 2.4 GHz band , which was developed in 1999 for wireless Internet connection in domestic environments, since there are still many devices that are only compatible with this frequency.

Until the advent of WiFi 5 , the 5 GHz band was barely used in the home. Many routers, despite their power, did not support this band before the advent of WiFi 5 . This only materialized in 2014 . 

The latest Wi-Fi wireless connectivity standards , including the most recent Wi-Fi 6 and 6e , released between 2019 and 2020, are specifically focused on improving network capacity, making them ideal for a home where multiple devices are connected.

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WiFi: Which one to use?

The 5 GHz band offers faster connections than the 2.4 GHz band . However, the negative part of this band is its problem with the coverage area.

The 5 GHz network makes use of shorter waves for data transmission. This makes the signal attenuation when there are walls, for example, higher than that of 2.4 GHz . For this reason, the latter offers a greater width to connect devices than 5 GHz .

All routers, unless we deactivate it, natively offer the two popular active bands. The 5 GHz network is easily detectable, since it can normally be identified with the name of the network followed by “5G”, similar to that of mobile telephony.

What is a Wi-Fi network?

Wi-Fi network is simply an internet connection that’s shared with multiple devices in a home or business via a wireless router. The router is connected directly to your internet modem and acts as a hub to broadcast the internet signal to all your Wi-Fi enabled devices. This gives you flexibility to stay connected to the internet as long as you’re within your network coverage area.

What does Wi-Fi stand for?

The term was created by a marketing firm because the wireless industry was looking for a user-friendly name to refer to some not so user-friendly technology known as IEEE 802.11 and the name stuck. Wi-Fi, often referred to as WiFi, wifi, wi-fi or wi fi, is often thought to be short for Wireless Fidelity and the organization that paid for the marketing firm is sometimes referred to as the Wireless Fidelity Alliance Inc. 

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How does Wi-Fi work?

How does Wi-Fi work?

Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transmit data from your wireless router to your Wi-Fi enabled devices like your TV, smartphone, tablet and computer. Because they communicate with each other over airwaves, your devices and personal information can become vulnerable to hackers, cyber-attacks and other threats. This is especially true when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network at places like a coffee shop or airport. When possible, it’s best to connect to a wireless network that is password-protected or a personal hotspot.

Types of Wi-Fi connections

Your options for connecting wirelessly at home are growing as mobile networks expand into the home internet realm. As with internet service, there are advantages and disadvantages to each type of wireless connection, such as speed and strength of signal. We’ve outlined a few of them here.

Wireline/router

Most homes use a wireless router to access the internet these days. The pros include convenience of setup, mobility within range of the Wi-Fi access point (router) and the ability to connect multiple devices. The cons: limited bandwidth and reduced speed as more devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, as well as potential interference from other electromagnetic devices in the home.

Mobile hotspot or jetpack

Mobile and dedicated hotspots are becoming a more popular way of connecting safely on the go. Two common hotspot devices are your smartphone and a jetpack. Most any smartphone or tablet today can be used as a temporary hotspot and is a great option if you occasionally need it. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require buying extra devices, but it can zap your battery life and data pretty fast. On the other hand, a jetpack acts as a dedicated mobile hotspot that picks up a signal from cell towers in your area just like your smartphone. More devices can connect to it and it offers a greater range of Wi-Fi. And because it’s a separate device, your smartphone battery power doesn’t get touched. The downfall is having to buy the jetpack and a separate plan.

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LTE Home Internet

If you live in a rural area where your internet options are limited, 4G LTE Home Internet is worth considering. It offers high speed internet service delivered over cell phone towers and mobile networks with average download speeds around 25 Mbps. The advantages of LTE over satellite are better speeds and reliability depending on your carrier. 

5G Home Internet

5G Home Internet (Fixed Wireless Access) is now in more places around the country.* Even with multiple devices connected, it’s reliable and fast enough to power your whole home. Fixed wireless access has a simple plug and play setup, which means there are no messy wires and no need to wait for a technician to come to your home for setup. 

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