Is 5GHz WiFi Actually Faster than 2.4GHz WiFi?

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Is 5GHz WiFi Actually Faster than 2.4GHz WiFi? Well, let’s find out.
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Is 5GHz wifi faster than 2.4GHz wifi?
Bands can be confusing, with all these reunions and all, well OK, this video isn’t about musical bands, but networks bands are still a bit confusing so let me explain.

(0:03) 2.4GHz and 5GHz: what’s the difference and why should you care?
But before that, let’s talk about compatibility. 2.4GHz is going to be compatible with all of your devices. 5GHz however, is a more recent standard and so you will need to check if your device is compatible.

(1:03) Now, to understand the fundamental difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz we’re going to need a bit of physics. Hertz is a measure of frequency so 2.4GHz means that there are 2,400,000,000 wavelengths per second. 5GHz means that there are 5,000,000,000 wavelengths in a second. So you can imagine, there’s going to be 3,600,000,000 more wavelengths per second in the 5GHz range than 2.4GHz range.

Now, you may instantly think: oh, that means it is going to be faster, actually no, that’s not how waves work. Waves can be explained using the simple equation “v=F?” or in this case “c=f?” where c equals speed of light. They are both radio/microwaves so they travel at the same speed. This means that because 5GHz has a higher frequency, it has a shorter wavelength. That means that indeed they both perform the same.

(2:42) So what’s the point of 5GHz?
Well, it’s like having a road with a bus lane. You can think of 5GHz as a bus lane so there’s going to be less traffic in the bus lane which allows buses to get to their stops faster. This doesn’t mean the bus lane is faster than the other lane, just less busy which allows the buses to drive faster. 5GHz is like the bus lane because it’s a newer technology and so less devices support 5GHz. This means that there’s going to be less devices using the 5GHz band.

(4:23) Now, there is actually one benefit of the 2.4GHz network which is inherent. And that is: it has a wider range. As we discussed, 2.4GHz has a longer wavelength which means that when it goes through a gap, for example a door, it undergoes greater diffraction. The closer the wavelength to the size of the gap, the more diffraction that takes place so the wave is going to spread out more. Because 5GHz has a shorter wavelength and higher frequency when it goes through a wider gap it’s going to diffract less. This means that less of its signal is going to carry out.

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Video produced and owned by Dominic J. London

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