Differentiating the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands

The two (2) types of frequencies that Linksys dual-band routers support are 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz.  This particular feature of the router allows you to choose where to best connect your devices at home or in the office to ensure stability with your local network and Internet connection.

Band2.4 GHz5 GHz
ChannelThree (3) non-overlapping channels23 non-overlapping channels
Standard Wireless-B, G, and N Wireless-A, N, and AC
Network Range Wider Range Shorter Range
Interference Higher Lower

Network Speed

The Gigahertz (GHz) range that a wireless device is using does not necessarily determine the maximum speed of the wireless network.  A Wireless-A device that runs on the 5 GHz band can also support a maximum data rate of up to 54 Mbps, which is exactly the same data rate that a Wireless-G device running on the 2.4 GHz band supports.  The environment in which the network will be set up is what really should be considered.


A 5 GHz network has a lower chance of picking up interference because most wireless devices such as Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, microwave ovens, and computers use the 2.4 GHz frequency.  To learn how to reduce the wireless interference on a 2.4 GHz network, click here.


The 5 GHz band has a shorter range compared to a 2.4 GHz band because in radio frequencies, the higher the frequency the shorter its range.  In other words, if you are using a lower frequency like the 2.4 GHz, the distance it will cover will be greater than the 5 GHz band.


It is recommended to select the 2.4 GHz if you will be using computers to access the Internet for simple browsing and email.  These applications do not take too much bandwidth and work fine at a greater distance.

The 5 GHz has a wider wireless spectrum available compared to the 2.4 GHz, which leads to significantly better performance as the 5 GHz is commonly used for usage that requires uninterrupted throughput.  That is why it is recommended for media streaming and transferring music, pictures, and video throughout your home network.

IMPORTANT:  Setting the channel width to 40 MHz on a 2.4 GHz network will allow you to use 2/3 of the entire Wi-Fi band, thus having a higher chance of interference.  It is advisable to use 40 MHz if you live in areas with less crowded wireless networks.  If you're unsure, you may leave the channel width at Auto.  This will automatically adjust the settings to 20 or 40 MHz, depending on which best fits your network.

QUICK TIP:  If you want to use the 5 GHz frequency, ensure that your wireless devices and adapters have a 5 GHz capability to have access to the network; otherwise, do not change the default frequency of the router which is 2.4 GHz.  For instructions on how to check your wireless adapter’s capability, click here.  For instructions on how to connect to the 5 GHz wireless band on your Linksys Wi-Fi Router, click here.

Related Articles:

Identifying Linksys dual-band routers and devices 
Using 5 GHz wireless band on a non-simultaneous dual-band Wireless-N router

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