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What is the Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

The major differences between the two are the type of frequencies (channels) they offer and the Wi-Fi protocols they support. The 2.4GHz band offers 3 non overlapping channels and supports 802.11 b/g/n. The 5GHz band offers at least 23 non overlapping channels and supports 802.11a/n.


The GHz range of a wireless radio does not entirely relate to the speed of a wireless network. For example, 802.11a runs only on the 5GHz band and supports a maximum data rate of 54 mbps which is the same as 802.11g running on the 2.4GHz band. What really must be taken into account is the environment in which the network will be setup.


The 2.4GHz band covers a larger range than 5GHz and is commonly used throughout the US in consumer products such as PC’s, PDA, Bluetooth Devices, cordless phones, and microwaves. 2.4GHz can occasionally experience interference from these devices when the same frequency (channel) is used. 5GHz on the other hand has a shorter range but because it offers numerous non over lapping channels it’s not as susceptible to interference. However, because of its shorter range it does not penetrate solid objects nearly as well as 2.4GHz and limits its reach inside the home. This can be resolved by adding more access points in the home when using 5Ghz.

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