The Different WiFi Frequency Bands and What They Mean for You

Staff WriterStaff Writer7/22/2022

What are wifi frequency bands?

The WiFi frequency bands are the frequencies at which 802.11 wireless LANs operate. The 802.11 standard defines three frequency ranges- 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 60 GHz.

The different WiFi frequency bands and what they mean for you

One of the most common frequencies is 2.4 GHz; it's used by pretty much every router. It doesn't have a whole lot of range, but it does penetrate walls relatively well. The other major WiFi frequency band is 5 GHz. It has more range than 2.4 GHz and can handle more data traffic, but doesn't penetrate walls as well.

If you have a dual-band router, it will likely broadcast on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. If you have devices that support 5 GHz (such as newer smartphones and laptops), connect them to the 5 GHz network for better performance. Otherwise, they can connect to either one and will automatically switch to whichever network is available.

The 2.4 GHz Band Explained

2.4 GHz is the most widely used frequency band for wireless applications such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee. The electromagnetic waves in this band have a wavelength of 12.5 cm, which makes them well suited for indoor applications where obstacles such as walls can cause signal attenuation.

The 2.4 GHz band is divided into several channels, each with a bandwidth of 22 MHz. In the US, 11 of these channels are available for use by unlicensed devices such as Wi-Fi routers and Bluetooth gadgets, while other countries allow for up to 13 channels. One benefit of using more channels is that it reduces the chances of interference from other devices operating in the same band.

The 5 GHz Band Explained

The 5 GHz band is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is used for wireless communication. This band is divided into multiple channels, each of which can be used to transmit data. The number of channels and their widths vary depending on the country and region in which they are used.

One advantage of the 5 GHz band over other bands is its higher data rates. This means that more data can be transmitted in a given period of time, which is ideal for applications such as streaming video or gaming. Another advantage is that there are more available channels, which reduces congestion and improves performance.

The 60 GHz Band Explained

The 60 GHz band occupies a unique space in the electromagnetic spectrum. It falls within what's known as the extremely high frequency (EHF) range, and it's one of the most efficient places to transmit data wirelessly. That's because this band has very wide channel widths, which means it can carry more data than other frequencies. Additionally, the short wavelength of the signals in this band allows for tighter beamforming and smaller antennas.

One downside of the 60 GHz band is that its signals don't travel as far as those in other bands, which limits its range somewhat. However, advances in technology are starting to mitigate this problem, and we expect that the 60 GHz band will become increasingly important in the coming years.

How to Choose the Right WiFi Frequency Band for Your Business

Businesses have a few different options when it comes to WiFi frequency bands. The most common are the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. There are pros and cons to each, so businesses will want to consider their needs before making a decision.

The 2.4 GHz band has a longer range than the 5 GHz band, but it is also more susceptible to interference from things like cordless phones and microwaves. The 5 GHz band doesn't have as much range as the 2.4 GHz band, but it is less likely to be interfered with by other devices.

Businesses will want to take into account both the interference potential and range when choosing which WiFi frequency band is right for them. Factors like budget and desired speed may also come into play when making this decision.